I look to see if the musicians and their recordings I have blogged about the past year are on these lists. I discover I need to cast a wider net when it comes to best of the year album lists. I am gaining a fuller appreciation for the music education Rough Trade Shops provides the music of our heart.
Michael Franti is one of our favorite artists. We have seen him live twice in concert and he enlivened everyone in the concert hall . His jubilant energy is infectious.
I am psyched that Micheal Franti and Spearhead have announced a new album, All People that drops on July 30th. They will be touring in support of that new release.
“All People is about the beauty of diversity, being your authentic self in a crazy world and the infinite power of love,” added Franti. “For everyone that’s been with us for days or decades, I really appreciate the love that you’ve given us. The music is for you and you inspire us.” Franti’s impressive career spans decades, albums and many achievements. The singer, poet and activist has amassed an extensive and rabid fan base, and draws sell-out crowds by virtue of his electrifying live shows.
They have announced a local club date on Tuesday September at Toad’s Place in New Haven. I am eager to see them in that setting. The first video “I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)” gets you up and moving.
The year was 1970. The group was Shocking Blue, Dutch musicians from The Hague with a #1 US Hit on February 7, 1970 “Venus“.
I remember attending Career Academy Broadcasting School at 8 West 40th Street in New York City when “Venus” exploded upon the airwaves. My listening tastes were still being shaped by Top 40 AM radio but progressive FM radio was my consuming passion. I wanted to become a professional disk jockey in the worst way. I played that 45 r.p.m. record religiously as part of my afternoon radio show class.
Roll the tape ahead 43 years later. I am picking through music magazines at Barnes & Noble when I notice the cover of Shindig Magazine from the UK. Shocking Blue is their cover story. I buy the magazine to learn more about why Shocking Blue was more than the one-hit wonder. I get a side education about the Dutch music scene as a by-product.
I learn that The Hague is Holland’s number one music city. Nederpop home to groups Shocking Blue, Golden Earring (Godfathers of Nederpop) and Focus just to name a few.
I saw Golden Earring open for King Crimson in Central Park in 1975. I will never forget how the lead singer ran behind the stage during “Radar Love” and used a mini-trampoline to jump over the drummer to hit the stage standing right at that point in the song after the drumming where the vocals start again.
I make it my mission to delve more into the music of The Hague at my next opportunity 😉