Monday, July 09, 2007

Live Earth thoughts


Against our better judgment, Red and I watched some of that Live Earth concert over the weekend. There were next to no bands playing that we were that interested in. Indeed, probably the only band that we actually wanted to watch was Fall Out Boy, so we were keeping a close eye on the "more music" interactive red-button screens on Sky.

But while looking out for the Falling Out Lads, we stumbled upon a couple of other acts that we have a passing interest in: Taking Back Sunday, and AFI (pictured above).

Music goes in waves, and years can go by when one nation seems to be putting out better music than another. The same with films and most everything else, I suppose. Right now, no one is making music as great as the young Americans. Call them emo if you wish, but to do so is reductive. These are youngish mostly males getting back to basics with a couple of guitars, a bass, a drumkit, and a voice. That's all you need. You can take your keyboards and violins and saxophones and, in the words of The Streets, "introduce [them] up your jacksie".

Taking Back Sunday unfortunately suffered from a bad stage mix, so half the time you could hardly hear the singer, but AFI rocked it, and the camp vocalist was also very articulate on the subject of climate change and vegetarianism (in stark contrast to the TBS frontman, who urged attendees to go away with "some litterch--, some litt--, some littature", sounding, as Kerrang! magazine recently put it, like Foghorn Leghorn), as well as doing a pretty good version of "Ziggy Stardust", which I felt owed more to Bauhaus than to Bowie's original version.

Other acts we caught, though, included Foo Fighters and Madonna. I don't really care for Foo Fighters, but they did put on a good show. Now if only their records weren't so damn boring.

And what of London's headline act Madonna? It should come as no surprise that I don't like Madonna. And I really hate artists who try to dupe their fans by making out like they are real musicians and can play an instrument. Madge's weapon of choice was the guitar, and she proceeded to play a staggering two chords for the duration of "Ray of Light", looking like a complete plum while doing it. I have it on good authority that her outfit was nice, but I spent much of the time with my head in my hands. There was a moment, though, when I had to ask myself out loud whether she was a twat or a genius. Yes, it's come to this. Her reimagining of "La Isla Bonita" as a Romany song rather than Spanish-themed, accompanied by two members of the barking-mad band Gogol Bordello, was as inspired as it was ridiculous. Kudos to her, I think. But I'm not sure that she or her audience saw the full irony of her urging them to sing the words "time goes by so slowly" over and over during the song "Hung Up".

But it wasn't all about the music, was it? It was about the message. I'm just not sure that the world at large is ready to listen. I try to do my bit. With all the recycling we do at home these days, last week we produced just one black bin bag of rubbish for the dustbin men (trash collectors). The rest was all recycled: paper, cardboard, glass. It makes me feel a bit better for having to keep computers running all day (but not all night, I'll have you know).

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24 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

Like you, I tried to avoid the concert. However, it was mighty difficult seeing as how it one or another of the locations was being shown on just about every station. I caught part of Madonna's La Isla Bonita and I'll admit I enjoyed it although I'm no Madonna fan either. Probably only because of the presence of Gogol Bordello.

There's a lot of hubbub right now about Madonna's participation in the concert as she has a HUGE carbon footprint. I lost count of how many homes she has in London alone. IMDb.com though is reporting today that she's planning on totally revamping her life and going green. Yeah, right...

I don't understand how all these big stars have the balls to get up there and tell us, the commoners, to go green and save the planet when they're doing far more harm than any one or two of us. Perhaps they should stop flying around the world so much. Sorry, I'm bitter today.

09 July, 2007 13:08  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

I was completely bowled over by AFI...I'm like, their new biggest fan! I loved them. I heard them interviewed earlier in the day when the endless bs talk preshow was occuring and was a little worried. They stole my heart!

Listen, I'm a fan of the Madonna as we know, but I cringe when she plays guitar...not even because she can or can't play more than a chord but it's the way she is so stiff and focused on the guitar when she plays. Maybe it's because she moves like a dancer theatrically stiff when she plays...eek. But I loved her set in general and at least she had tons of dancers.

I was in pain when Taking Back Sunday played and I just don't think I'll ever like that band...they were dead boring and I felt sorry for them.

I LOVED Fall Out Boy, wow good show and they were so cute and humble.

As for the message....well I suspect there willbe many people who will take a few steps towards thining about things. I especially think that the attention the show got with advertisers and media will attract older generations rather than younger ones. What was a shock was how out-of-it Kelly Clarkson was in pre-interviews...which made me see that actually her generation is rather naive about environmantal issues...a generation I assumed didn't need to be alerted to recycling. Clarkson reacted to the concept of recycling as a massively new concept...so maybe the show will convert her fans...and for some unknown reason, she seems to have a lot fo fans. She thought the stage was "really rock and roll" and I almost spit out my drink with laughter. Oh well.

Oh well, if a wealthy karioke singer can be converted to environmentalism maybe the days' event is worthwhile?

09 July, 2007 13:10  
Blogger Ranting Dullard said...

The earth needs to warm up, only then can the ants evolve and take over as masters of the universe.

09 July, 2007 13:32  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

I'm not a fan of this sort of thing. Live Aid left me just as cold. I studiously avoided it all weekend and searched (in vain) for coverage of Le Tour instead.

Bah humbug...

Puss

09 July, 2007 13:47  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Karen: There is something of an ongoing problem, I think, in that we plebs are being told how to behave by people who, like you say, leave huge carbon footprints themselves and, albeit indirectly, exploit Third World countries more than we ever could. It's a big hypocritical mess is what it is. Still, better to get the message out then not, I guess.

Candy: Glad you liked AFI. We were really not at all familiar with their work, though we have quite liked what we've heard snippets of, and they look cool, too, which is always important. Fall Out Boy were good mostly too, though I'm not convinced that Pete Wentz is a good bass player! Kelly disappointed me. We'd seen her rock out a bit on American Idol a while back, and so I was hoping for more of the same; instead we got more of the lame. Oh well. And it's shocking that she was so ignorant, going by your account there.

RD: That is a very good point and one that I hadn't fully considered.

09 July, 2007 13:49  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

G/puss: They are usually boring, and this was no exception. But you'll still not get me anywhere near a bunch of grown men in silly clothes on bikes that weight less than a kitten!

09 July, 2007 13:51  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

yeah...Adam got me hooked on AFI for a spell. Some of their stuff is pretty awesome. Especially older.

09 July, 2007 14:25  
Blogger furiousBall said...

I really dig what the AFI guitarist has going on. He's got a great tone and his parts are just flat out tasty.

09 July, 2007 16:13  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Shea: I think we're gonna pick up a CD or two and see what we think. A bit late on the train, but better late than never, right?

F/ball: Yeah, I'm looking forward to learning more...

09 July, 2007 16:31  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i didn't hear about this till it was over and done with... but i'm glad you enjoyed it, for the most part (well... seemingly)

anyway... yeah. i don't like madonna. at all really. i feel like she's become really famous simply for reinventing herself and doing crazy, scandalous things. sort of like marilyn manson (mentioned in prev. post)

i just think she's annoying. but whatever. she does her thing, and she does it her way. i guess that's something.

09 July, 2007 20:37  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

It's good to raise awareness, but I'm afraid the concert isn't going to stop megalithic polluting industries from spewing toxic crap into the environment. Still, it's good to raise awareness. I tuned into bits and pieces of the concert, but my musical taste is so far gone at this point that most of it bored me.

10 July, 2007 04:05  
Blogger The Anti Crapitalist said...

Whoa ... what a loony. I've forgotten what I wanted to post now!

10 July, 2007 07:17  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Martha: I guess you've had other things on your mind, right! I half admire her, kinda, but I also really dislike her!

Mr A: Awareness is good, damn right, but we little people are not the problem, really. I guess the best we can hope is that we little people start boycotting irresponsible corporations. But then they'll just keep quiet about all the shit they are doing, and so it continues.

AntiCrap: I know. I had to delete him. There were screens upon screens of ranting about blacks, gays, Schwarzenegger, and God knows what else!

10 July, 2007 08:23  
Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

I thought it was funny that this was for greener ways yet they flew stars around the world using cars, airplanes, gasoline like crazy, electricity, tons of ampage to get the message across that we need to concerve. Crap. This makes Sheryl Crows stupid toilet paper comments seem okay. So, no, I didn't watch it but I did catch Poor Bill turning on snipits here and there.

10 July, 2007 08:58  
Blogger Milla said...

Ahhhhh I am so glad we haven't got a television. I read a couple of reviews on some newspapers and I thought 'ahhhhh I am so glad we haven't got a television'.

I don't think this kind of concerts can make a difference. I mean, look at the End Poverty one from two (or 3) years ago. The only good thing that came out of it was that Pink Floyd got together again. Nothing else. And even at THAT concert Madonna put on a good show. In fact, I remember she was quite hot.

10 July, 2007 13:27  
Blogger Milla said...

Oh I forgot: if it wasn't for all that makeup, the singer of AFI wouldn't look half bad. I LOVE his tattoos.

Word verification ten wraps

10 July, 2007 13:36  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

RefPo: It's always good for a giggle, that paradox, isn't it?

Milla: You know you wanted to watch it! Do I need to mention again how much I hate the Floyd? Probably not, so I won't. I don't mind the AFI dude's make-up, and his tattoos sure do look good from what I have seen.

10 July, 2007 18:28  
Blogger Underground Baker said...

I really have little to say about the concert. Did not watch it. It will not make me a better enviromental person as I try already and still crap piles and we get serious sunburns.

Did the concert enlighten the world?

It may have eased a few of the performers conscience, and most certainly somebody made a lot of money from it.

But I did watch the madonna/bordello clip at Candy's blog and that was a fun old world new world musical romp. I love Gogol Bordello!!!

10 July, 2007 19:36  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

It's load of hypocritical bollocks is that stuff. Rock stars fly in on private jets and tell us how to save the planet???

We could have shot em all to stop em flying out again I suppose. It'd reduce their 'carbon footprint' if we had.

What the fuck is a carbon footprint anyroad??

10 July, 2007 23:11  
Blogger Pendullum said...

It is about the message... You are so right...
and in our city we have to recycle almost everything...
we have a compost pick up every week, recycling of bottles and papers every second week and a garbage pick up every third...
And since we live in North America... we are kinda freaks as we have chosen NOT to have a car... walk or cycle or public transit... and when need be... which is rare, we rent a car...
But education is key... and to realize that everything, everything goes back to the earth...
Did not catch the concert... But hopefully all chose to attend via the green way...We know a whole bunch of musicians that arrange their tours now with this in mind...
Practicing what they are preaching so to speak...

11 July, 2007 00:48  
Blogger Gardenia said...

The only way we can work on this problem is doing it in our corner of the world. Kudos to you for your recycling! I think the concert will bring more attention - perhaps to younger focus groups - but then it is mostly the younger (younger than me) generations that will stand up and demand social and or environmental justice!

11 July, 2007 02:50  
Blogger The Anti Crapitalist said...

They are not really set up to be taken seriously ... main corporate partner ... Chevrolet. For fucks sake. Fucking redneck monster truck manufacturer to American hicks sponsoring a concert about the environment.

11 July, 2007 20:57  
Blogger Milla said...

You hate the Floyd? Ohhh Zorro and I wanted to invite you and Red for a Sunday (or Sturday) lunch this summer and play some Floyd while we were eating in the garden. Awwwww that's a shame. I'll have to eat all the food meself then ;)

I don't like men in makeup. That's just...wrong. Unless you are Robert Smith.

12 July, 2007 10:36  
Blogger Tanya said...

didn't watch the concert. Watched the Diana concert, though. What really made me feel a little icky was how some acts tried to out-Diana each other.

12 July, 2007 16:14  

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