Archive for February 13th, 2006

Fun with Franti & Fatdog

Tonight's show (at 7:30; repeated on Friday night at 10:30) combines two of my passions: music and politics. But where my interest in those subjects has mostly been expressed from the sidelines, Michael Franti, my in-studio guest, has put himself front and center. ... Well, maybe front and left. ... But even though Franti's politics -- and many of the lyrics to the infectious, joyful songs he performs with his group, Spearhead -- are decidedly progressive in their orientation, the spirit is always one of bringing everybody together.

A powerful record of Franti's heartfelt quest for integration and resolution can be found in his documentary, I Know I'm Not Alone, which chronicles the musician's singular peace mission to the Middle East -- armed only with an acoustic guitar. It's an amazing movie. The scene that stays with me the most is one where Franti sings an antiwar song in a bar filled with AK-toting American soldiers -- talk about a tough room!

Michael FrantiFranti brought his guitar to our interview as well, and gave the first performance of a song so new he had to squint at the handwritten lyrics as he sang. Man, that was cool! ...

Also in this episode: a visit I made to Subway Guitars of Berkeley, where I got a chance to ask Fatdog -- the store's legendary owner -- what it was like to employ a young Franti years ago. Plus I got to play a bunch of incredible guitars, albeit incredibly badly. ...

9 comments February 13th, 2006


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