Taken from Salt Lake Magazine (Aug 14, 2012)
Review of Michael Franti: Franticide is fun!
by Mary Brown Malouf and Glen Warchol
When A&E contributor Dan Nailen flew to the Bay Area to catch theOutside Lands Music & Arts Festival, he enlisted SLMag comrades MaryBrown Malouf and Glen Warchol to scope out the Michael Franti concert Sunday night at Red Butte.
Malouf: Let me just say here that I know I'm not the right age or mindset to appreciate a lot of pop music. I love old country for its genuine heartache, old rockâ€“Elvis through Sid Vicious and beyondâ€“and rap for its Eff-You attitude. I love great voices and complicated compositions.
Warchol:I like pop music and Dan assured me that if I loved Jimmy Cliff, I would enjoy Franti. â€śHe's fun,â€ť Nailen said.
Malouf: A remark that made me skeptical. I know a lot of people who dismiss reggae as "fun" music. It does make you move. It does allude frequently to ganja. It is an offshoot of a religion with silly overtonesâ€”revering Haile Selassie?? But, reggae at its roots is revolutionary music. Before it got subducted by pop, it spoke about oppressed people seeking identity and spiritual solace. I'm not Franti-savvy, and I am told his lyrics used to address real ideas. But now he seems way more Beach Boys than Bob Marley. All one flavor and it's sticky sweet. Not that I don't like Pet Sounds.
Warchol: I was willing to remain open-minded through the jazz-litepre-concert canned music as suburban ladies-who-lunch settled inaround me at the Butte. Obviously I was unfamiliar with the cult of Franti. The performance that followed is best described in Hollywood concept speak:Raffi-meets-Richard Simmons.
Malouf: Or Van Halen in pigtails. As in, "Everybody, JUMP!" "Clap your hands!" "Clap your hands, OVER YOUR HEAD!" Even the lunching ladies were jumping, a sight to behold considering their surgical enhancements. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Certainly, we can all use the exercise, and I would absolutely recommend Franti as great sounds for any aerobics class.
Warchol: This guy not only whistled, he skipped on stage. That was followed by a trademark schtick of wading, salamander-like, into his adoring crowd.Mick Jagger can pull off skipping (even in a pinafore), and Al Greene moshes with the ladies.
Malouf: I've still got Al's rose!!
Warchol: But with Franti, it's just creepy.I learned it isn't really possible to wire brush the horror out of my memory, so I've been listening to a continuous loop of Waylon Jennings and, yes, Jimmy Clliff. It may be the only known antidote to Franti.
Malouf: So, in summary, thanks Dan!
... any % of U is as good as the whole pie ...