Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Austin names March 3rd Michael Franti Day

The City of Austin, Texas will proudly proclaim March 3rd “Michael Franti Power To The Peaceful Day” in conjunction with the Anti- recording artists’ performance at Stubb’s Bar-B-Q that day as part of its Yell Fire! Tour. A distinction typically offered to large non-profit organizations, Mayor Will Wynn and City Council Member Mike Martinez will recognize Franti’s efforts for peace with a presentation from the stage. Additionally, through a donation of renewable energy credits from Green Mountain Energy, the Austin performance will offset the 4,400 pounds of CO2 used to power Franti’s Stubb’s performance.

“Artists have a unique opportunity because we have a voice, but our voice comes through something that we create,” Franti told The San Francisco Examiner last week. “So when we write about political things and our cause, it brings up something that a news anchor or a politician can’t do.” Through his 2005 documentary about the Iraq war, “I Know I’m Not Alone: A Musician’s Search For The Human Cost Of War,” and the 2006 album it inspired, Yell Fire!, which the newspaper dubbed “a call for hope,” Franti blends hip-hop, rock ’n’ roll, reggae and folk sounds.

In November 2006, Franti won the Best International Documentary Award in the prestigious Harlem International Film Festival for his directory efforts on the aforementioned film, shot during his travels to the war zones of Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The film has been called “an antidote to despair” by anti-war activist Medea Benjamin of Global Exchange.

Called “the most important artist recording and touring today who has yet to reach the masses,” by Island Records’ founder Chris Blackwell, the critics have resoundingly agreed. “Who says protest songs can’t be both fiery and fun,” wrote Entertainment Weekly in it’s a- review of Yell Fire! Elsewhere, All Music Guide wrote, “Franti’s brain-stimulating songwriting rises to a new level of proficiency,” and Amazon.com said, “It’s easily Franti’s best album yet.”

Michael Franti and Spearhead are midway through a five-week U.S. trek and have been confirmed to appear at the 2007 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee the weekend of June 14th – 17th.

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