Rock the Earth
» Fight Over Grand Canyon Begins
» Michael Franti Joins RtE Advisory Board
» Dozens Nominated for Inaugural Planet Defender Awards
» RtE Seeks Summer Outreach Interns
» March Membership Madness
» Jason Mastrine Rocks the Earth: Interview

» Rockin' the Earth in Central Park: Photo

Fight over Grand Canyon Begins

Last week, the National Park Service (NPS) issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Colorado River Management Plan, an issue in which Rock the Earth has been involved since our inception in 2002. This week, RtE and River Runners for Wilderness, spearheading a coalition of wilderness advocate groups including Living Rivers and Wilderness Watch, will be filing its first lawsuit against the NPS to challenge the ROD. Our primary claims involve access to the Colorado River by public, non-commercial boaters, the failure of the NPS to consider the deleterious impact that the Glen Canyon Dam is having on the River, and the fact that the ROD, by allowing for continued motorized use on the River, is inconsistent with the Park's Wilderness recommendation. The outcome of this case will be far-reaching, potentially impacting how all wilderness is managed in the United States and determining what activities are “necessary and appropriate” on our most precious public lands. For more information on the issue, check out the RtE CRMP information page. Stay tuned to the RtE website to see a copy of the Complaint and for the latest news.

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Michael Franti Joins RtE Advisory Board

Michael Franti - Power to the Peaceful 2005
Photo by Dave Vann

Rock the Earth is thrilled to announce that Michael Franti has joined our growing Advisory Board. In nearly two decades of music-making, Franti has grown from a black-booted voice of youthful rage into a barefoot clarion for social justice. In 1986, Franti formed the Beatnigs, whose black industrial sound deconstructed punk rock and Reaganism with a leather-jacketed "No!" to militarism, racism and compromise. By 1992, Franti and Beatnig member Rono Tse became the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy with multi-instrumentalist Charlie Hunter (who has since become a renowned jazz guitarist). Franti toured with U2, recorded with William Burroughs, and became a protest music icon.

His next step defied expectations. In 1994, he signed to Capitol Records for his new band, Spearhead, and dove headfirst into his blackness, mixing up Mayfield and Marley, Scott-Heron and Scarface on hits like "Hole In The Bucket,” "People In the Middle" and "Ganja Babe." Home and Chocolate Supa Highway sold hundreds of thousands of copies and Spearhead became a worldwide phenomenon.

Musically, Everyone Deserves Music represents the most connected, developed work Franti has ever done. He composed many of the songs from the guitar up, and, like fellow 21st century cultural globalists Manu Chao and Ozomatli, continues to synthesize his eclectic influences. In a departure from the noise of the Beatnigs and Disposable Heroes and the minimalism of early Spearhead, Franti's affirming lyrics are now set to appropriately swelling rock chords, while keeping a 21st century world-wise groove, nodding towards reggae, dancehall, bossa nova, Afrobeat and funk, with a nod to the '80s rock of The Clash and U2, as well as classic soul from Stax and Motown. Indeed, Everyone Deserves Music might be called a movement record dedicated to the preservation of "the motion of the hips." Franti's revolution has never been this funky.

Since the release of Stay Human in 2000, Michael Franti and Spearhead have toured relentlessly, headlining hundreds of shows for their legions of devoted fans as well as sharing the stage with acts as diverse as Dave Matthews, Ani Di Franco, Trey Anastasio
(Phish) and KRS-One. They continue to hit the festival circuit worldwide, in addition to producing the annual Power to the Peaceful festival, which has drawn over 20,000 people to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco over the past four years. In both popular music and the peace movement, Franti has never been more relevant and influential than now. Lyrics from his song, "Bomb The World," written in the dark aftermath of September 11, have found their way onto protest signs and T-shirts all over the world from Los Angeles to Berlin, the San Francisco Chronicle to CNN as millions have marched for peace. "You can bomb the world to pieces," he sings, "but you can't bomb it into peace."

Rock the Earth has worked many a show and festival with Michael Franti and Spearhead, most recently, in October 2005, collaborating with Michael on a fundraiser for RtE and Bioneers, with a solo concert and screening of his new movie, “I Know I'm Not Alone.”

"Right now, people ask me, 'What can one person do to change what's going on with the world?' I don't know what one person can do except to connect with other people. In doing that, each of us play our roles," he says. "My role is as a storyteller and a songwriter. I'm somebody who is trying to keep the spirits of other people up, despite all the chaos and fear around us."

Rock the Earth is honored to have Michael join our Advisory Board.

RtE's Advisory Board is:
Matt Butler Eugene, OR
Michael Franti San Francisco, CA
David Gans Oakland, CA
Dr. Jon Gelbard Berkeley, CA
Bob Hollis El Dorado Hills, CA
Bob Lippman, Esq. Castle Valley, UT
Jason Mastrine Portland, OR

For more information about all of our Advisory Board Members, check out the RtE website.

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Dozens Nominated for Inaugural Planet Defender Awards

On Earth Day 2006 in April, Rock the Earth will announce the winners of its inaugural Planet Defender Awards. Thank you to RtE members and friends who have nominated dozens of musicians, activists and community leaders in our three categories.

Nominees in the "Rocker" category include musicians Jack Johnson, Michael Franti, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and the Hot Buttered Rum, among others.

In the "Leader" category, nominees include Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, Julia Butterfly Hill, the Oregon Country Fair, Howard Dean, and the Whole Earth Festival.

"Grassroots" category nominees include Jason Rutledge of the Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, Earth Institute Founder Lester Brown, the Utah Kind Foundation, and Happy Brigade.

Rock the Earth's Volunteer Staff will review the nominations over the next month before the April announcement of award recipients. Thank you to all of our members and friends who help advance our goal of Defending the Planet One Beat at a Time!

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RtE Seeks Summer Outreach Interns

Are you interested in a summer internship with Rock the Earth? This summer, RtE will once again tour the country! Our goal is to educate music fans and environmentalists about our mission and the environmental issues on which we are working. We will be signing up new members and volunteers, as well as continuing to build our relationships with musicians nationwide. We had great success during our 2005 Summer Tour, and look forward to reaching even greater heights in 2006! If you are interested in learning more about the Summer Outreach Intern Positions, please email us at for a full job description.

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March Membership Madness

March is a time where the weather starts to change, the flowers start to pop up and folks begin to look towards summer plans. For our Members, this month we're featuring several opportunities for discount tickets to upcoming festivals, in addition to our ongoing Members Only discount of 20% off any merchandise from the String Cheese Incident when purchased through their website,! Email us at to find out how.

Members can also purchase specially priced RtE merchandise, as well as t-shirts, posters, DVDs and concert photography from your favorite artists and musicians! Look for announcements on our website,, and in your monthly newsletter.
This month, we're featuring a few of items available only to our Members:

Discount Tickets to Joshua Tree Music Festival []
Through April 1, RtE members are able to receive discounted tickets to the 4th Annual Joshua Tree Music Festival - a 3-day high desert camping experience in Joshua Tree, California, featuring Kinky, New Monsoon, Lotus, Kan'nal and many others. Tickets for Rock the Earth Members are $70 - a savings of UP TO $20!

Discount tickets to Smilefest []
RtE Members are able to receive discounted tickets to Smilefest XII. Smilefest will be held June 2-4, at the Gorges Music Park, in Lake Toxaway, NC. A full weekend of colorfully varied world-class music, serene camping, terrific food, exciting kids' activities, important community and environmental service info exchanges, and much more awaits each attendee. Smilefest features Yonder Mountain String Band, Keller Williams, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Sam Bush, The Everyone Orchestra and Hot Buttered Rum. Tickets for RtE Members are $75 - a savings of up to $30!

Discount Tickets to 10,000 Lakes Festival []
RtE Members are able to receive discounted tickets to 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, MN, July 19-22. 10KLF is held at the Soo Pass Ranch, a 600-acre state-of-the-art concert and camping venue with 4 stages, vendors, activities, huge restroom facilities with running water, and beautiful wooded and lakeside camping. Featuring artists such as Phil Lesh & Friends, String Cheese Incident, Trey Anastasio, O.A.R., and Benevento/Russo Duo featuring Mike Gordon, 10KLF is surely a festival not to be missed in 2006. Tickets for RtE Members are $100 - a savings of up to $60!

One last March Membership Benefit
In honor of Rock the Earth's latest addition to our Advisory Board, we are offering our members this opportunity to purchase a Limited edition Michael Franti & Spearhead Print for only $15! Printed on Living Tree tree-free paper, this rare, limited edition print (9.75"x17") by concert poster artist Scramble Campbell, is signed and numbered by the artist, out of a series of 200.

To order any of these items, email

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TicketsWest's Jason Mastrine Rocks the Earth

Jason Mastrine is the General Manager of TicketsWest-Oregon. Before working for TicketsWest, Jason served as General Manager and co-founder of SCI Ticketing, a concert ticketing company created to provide musicians with a means of selling tickets directly to their fans. In addition, he was one of several managers who formed the Footprints Foundation & Gouda Causes - the philanthropic arm of The String Cheese Incident. In 1996, Jason received his Masters degree in Environmental Geochemistry from the University of Alabama, and spent several years working as a consultant in Boulder, CO, covering various Natural Resource Damage Assessments, and mining-related fish studies. While no longer in science, Jason has spent much of the past 10 years working to advance various social and environmental problems afflicting the U.S. Jason remains an active member of the Advisory Board from his office in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Verity, and son, Julian.

1. What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?

Living responsibly and resisting the temptation to dissuade yourself that change begins with the individual. It's easy to forget these things when you have the Bush Administration blindly hacking their way through their respective jobs, considering only the carrot that's been slipped into their back pockets, rather than the needs of the whole. But we must each do our part to stay grounded and not get caught up in the rat race of everyday life and Bush's fumbles, where our ability to question, reason, and consider the whole before ourselves is replaced with automation and a lost sense of self. I write these words on paper because for me, this is MY most important environmental issue. It affects most of us no matter how enlightened we may think we are.

2. What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your music?

I was an environmental geochemist prior to entering the music industry in 1998. I made that career change in large part because I felt that I could use my science background to affect change on a larger scale by giving certain environmental issues a voice through music and the artists.

3. Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?

That "place" has changed as I've moved around the country. When I was young, my family owned a small cabin in the Hocking Hills (Southeast Ohio) where we spent most weekends and a good part of the summer. Not many people think of Ohio as having much topography or significant geology (outside of glacial features), but the Hocking Hills are a great example of the Appalachian foothills and have fantastic sandstone formations, caves, ferns and many waterfalls. In some ways, not so dissimilar from where I live now in the Pacific Northwest, which makes being in nature in either of those two places the most comfortable and inspirational for me.

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Rockin' the Earth in Central Park: Photo

RtE Member, Melissa Ross, with Ira Greenberg in Central Park in NYC.

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For more info, visit

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