Sunday, July 08, 2007

Live Earth

I think I must have watched 20 hours of coverage, having DVR'd broadcasts from Sundance, Bravo and NBC. I've talked about some of the performances on your blogs and I won't repeat them here. I had only gotten to see the final Police performance last night on NBC's coverage and it was great -- John Mayer and Kanye West guested. But if you go to Live Earth on MSN, you can see all the performances.

There were are a lot of short films, actor spots, etc. during the airing, especially on Sundance and you should be able to find a lot of those if you just go to the main Live Earth site on MSN.

There weren't a lot of memorable performances from the Australia and Japan shows. Lincoln Park was throwaway. There were some goofy Japanese pop metal bands dressed like schoolgirls. I did like Missy Higgins from the Australia show. She's cute and has a Lisa Loeb-type feel to her. She has a bit of the Cranberries' lilt to her voice. Another good band was the John Butler Trio. John Butler plays great slide acoustic blues.

A definite highlight of the London show was Spinal Tap playing Big Bottom with about 30 guitarists and bassists from other bands all playing bass on the song (Metallica, Beasties, Foo, Madonna, etc.). The lyrics of this song are probably the funniest (and crudest) of all time. The irony of the performance is that it seemed like a lot of the audience either didn't know what to make of it or weren't in on the joke. Anybody that hasn't seen This is Spinal Tap, do yourself a favor and check it out. If you like the crew of people that did Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, etc., this is them. It's obviously a joke band, but they can really play. Real musicians appreciate Tap because they see bits of themselves in the parody.

I liked the performances by Metallica, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Roger Waters, the Peppers, Dave Matthews and Duran Duran. Also, the Foo Fighters - Dave Grohl and Taylor are looking a bit shaggy. I'd guess the boys have been in the studio working on an album. Everlong was the best with Grohl starting the song out solo.

A lot of you may not like Garth Brooks, but I've always been partial to him. He did an acoustic performance at the Smithsonian Native American museum in Washington of probably my favorite song by him, We Shall Be Free. The lyrics were written over 15 years ago, but they seem very poignant now:

This aint comin from no prophet
Just an ordinary man
When I close my eyes I see
The way this world shall be
When we all walk hand in hand

When the last child cries for a crust of bread
When the last man dies for just words that he said
When there's shelter over the poorest head
We shall be free

When the last thing we notice is the color of skin
And the first thing we look for is the beauty within
When the skies and the oceans are clean again
Then we shall be free ...

When we're free to love anyone we choose
When this worlds big enough for all different views
When we're all free to worship from our own kind of pew
Then we shall be free ...

And when money talks for the very last time
And nobody walks a step behind
When there's only one race and thats mankind
Then we shall be free ...

A country song that preaches about poverty, racism, religious tolerance, environmentalism and tolerance of gays -- I challenge Nashville to put out anything so gutsy these days. The only crap they can put out is flag-waving, beer drinking dreck. In a related vein, I saw an interview with Keith Urban where he had said that he had a concert the night before and had told them he was going to Live Earth the next day. They booed. You could tell that he didn't appreciate or understand their negativity. When you live here, you understand it all to well. They say they are God-fearing, hard-working simple folk. Well, they have the simple folk part right. They are NASCAR-loving, war drum beating, religiously intolerant, racist, backwoods country hillbillies that consistently vote against their economic self-interest (What's the Matter with Kansas?). And they can all kiss my ass. I'm sick of politicians and pundits pandering to these morons and saying that they represent the "common man".

You don't have to have a PhD in Physics to know something is wrong or to let others know. If only experts were allowed to speak, most news networks would be blank screens. The people that say that you have to have 100% of info before making any decision are morons. Earth isn't static. It's not going to wait around for you to make up your mind. I guess they'll be the people roasting marshmallows when the planet burns.

Cynics will justifiably gripe about the ticket prices (Imagine Echoes). Others will complain about the irony of a show about global warming that has artists flying all about the planet. And both camps will have merit in their charges. But that's not to say that those things weren't thought of. As many artists as possible flew commercial or got there by other means. Fans were encouraged to carpool. Concerning the ticket prices, it would have been hard to do a show of this size and still have a good and safe show without a little bit of capital coming in. Those that say it would have been better if everyone stayed home since everyone knows about global warming (that means you Bob Geldof) are kidding themselves. People (especially Americans) frequently need to be hit between the eyes to see the merits of anything. If even a quarter of those watching picked up just one useful tip while enjoying themselves with the music, then it will have been worth it. Complaining of the ecological impact of one day of concerts as opposed to the 150 years of coal burning and 100 years of oil is ludicrous. Companies rarely do something just because it is the right thing to do. But if you get a few customers that might speak with their pocketbook, then they will follow the money. I don't care what people's motivation is in doing the right thing ... just do it.

Here's the pledge:


1.To demand that my country join an international treaty within the next 2 years that cuts global warming pollution by 90% in developed countries and by more than half worldwide in time for the next generation to inherit a healthy earth;

2.To take personal action to help solve the climate crisis by reducing my own CO2 pollution as much as I can and offsetting the rest to become "carbon neutral;"

3.To fight for a moratorium on the construction of any new generating facility that burns coal without the capacity to safely trap and store the CO2;

4.To work for a dramatic increase in the energy efficiency of my home, workplace, school, place of worship, and means of transportation;

5.To fight for laws and policies that expand the use of renewable energy sources and reduce dependence on oil and coal;

6.To plant new trees and to join with others in preserving and protecting forests; and,

7.To buy from businesses and support leaders who share my commitment to solving the climate crisis and building a sustainable, just, and prosperous world for the 21st century.


Laura said...

I didn't hear about it - did Bob Geldof poo-poo Live Earth? That's insane. Maybe he wants to be the only do-gooder?

People who criticize the concert for all the travel and resources used do have a point. However, most of the bands in the show were touring right now anyway. Some of them fly commercial. Some of them (Dave Matthews) use biodiesel busses. What I found ironic was all the plastic water bottles used by the bands on stage. You'd think they'd just use re-usable cups... Sure they can recycle, but still...

I'll have to go online and check out some of the ones I missed. I really would love to see Spinal Tap. It's funny that people didn't get the song. I wonder if many of them weren't born (or conscious) to remember?

Donna said...

guh Bob Geldof.

Great post. I'm wondering if Bravo is going to rebroadcast any of the Live Earth footage (they can show Top Chef 42 million times a day, you would think they could make some room on the schedule for this)

dbackdad said...

It seemed like dear old Bob was just trying to get a little pub. I think he feels that all benefits or conscience-waking shows pale in comparison to his. From what I've heard, him and the Tim Wall are actually friends.

Bob Geldof Slams Live Earth

Thanks Donna and thanks for stopping by. I see your comments on Laura's blog a lot and have visited your blog quite a bit. I dig your irreverance. Did you inherit it from Laura or did she inherit it from you? lol

Bravo was greating about covering just about every performance. My only complaint was the VH1ish hosts.

I know we've talked about this before, but what is with the Blogger word verification sometimes? For this comment, mine was "oldsekx". Have they been spying in my bedroom? Hoo-hoo

Laura said...

That's like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. Developed independently, our irreverence has been sharpened and refined by each other. But you can thank John for bringing the two of us together... once he figured out Donna spoke English.

Donna said...

Yes, our respective irreverences spawned independently of each other, but occasionally feed off in a caustic, the-whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts kind of way, not in a Who Moved My Cheese bullcrap synergy kind of way.

Jeff said...

Thanks for the link. Anyway, while I do have a problem with the ticket prices I think the idea of the show was solid. I think it could have been executed a bit better, I was watching the Bravo broadcast for around five hours and learned absolutely nothing about the crisis. I do think the world is better with it however than without it. Obviously rock concerts aren't environmentally friendly, but sometimes you need to do whatever you can to get the message to the people. One thing that we can all agree on in the world is our love for music, it speaks to everyone and it is a solid form of communication. Few people are going to go out of their way to find documentaries about Global Warming, but many will tune in to see their favorite bands perform at a concert, so I think the idea of the show was great despite the screams of hypocrisy from so many.

dbackdad said...

Jeff - I'm not disparaging you for bringing up those points at all. In a way, that criticism will make people think about the way in which we travel, in which we get to work, the store, etc. And I certainly appreciate the valid criticism from people that actually believe in global warming. I get irritated when those same criticisms come from those that are only meaning to obfuscate the issue of global warming and make people think there isn't a problem

Great White Bear, said...

great post. and your takes on Spinal Tap and Garth are both spot on. Actaully, so is your take on Laura and Donna. You are an amazingly perceptive guy!

I was gonna comment on the more serious aspects of our post, but it's 1 a.m., I'm working on about my 5th Leinenkugel, and I just can't make myself be that serious!

dbackdad said...

GWB, I'm just glad to hear from you. I'll take you in whatever dose you give. Wait ... maybe "dose" isn't the appropriate terminology considering that you are self-medicating right now. lol.

Hope you are well.

Great White Bear, said...

It is all good!