Sunday, July 08, 2007

On the Bass...Derek Smalls!

There really aren't words for how awesome this I'm just going to show it to you...

As far as I'm concerned, Live Earth did its job merely by making this moment happen. I still say the Tap should have played the Tokyo show instead of London. They have a huge Japanese following, you know.

Still, Hubbins-Smalls-Tufnel reunion aside, this whole Live Earth thing strikes me as a bit silly. I mean, I believe global warming is a considerable problem, and I'm even willing to go along with the whole "we all have to do our part" thing.

But there wasn't much of a purpose to this concerts. I'm not sure the public needs to constantly be reminded of the reality of global warming. Most reasonable people are already convinced it's real. What we need is real decisive leadership on the issue and actual workable solutions. That's what's missing. Nothing is happening right now because the rich white guys who make all the decisions aren't yet convinced that saving the Earth is the right one. Once they have no other option but to change...say, they are forced by legislation, or plain old public outcry...then we'll see some real action on this issue.

Asking people to fill up their tires so they can get one extra tank of gas per year out of their car is ludicrous to the point of insulting the general public. That's obviously not going to save any planets, even if millions of us take Chris Rock's advice and do it immediately. Come on...

Bob Geldof, creator of the original Live Aid concert, feels pretty much the same way.

"I would only organize Live Earth if I could go on stage and announce concrete environmental measures from the American presidential candidates, Congress or major corporations," he goes on to say. "They haven't got those guarantees, so it's just an enormous pop concert or the umpteenth time that, say, Madonna or Coldplay get up on stage.

"I hope they're a success. But why is Gore actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody's known about that problem for years. We are all [expletive] conscious of global warming."

I pretty much agree. The whole thing came off a bit sanctimonious. I mean...of course Cameron Diaz and Sting can make thoughtful decisions about their carbon footprint. They're friggin millionaires. Millionaires get to make all kinds of interesting decisions about things that non-millionaires take entirely for granted. Like, "what kind of cell phone should I get?" vs. "which crappy cell phone that comes free with the plan will I grudgingly accept?"

Also, obviously excepting the Tap's performance, the performances I saw yesterday were kind of sub-par. I was enjoying The Police's "Message in a Bottle" until Kanye came out halfway through and started talking over it. (There's a thin line between freestyle rapping and mumbling some shit whilst a band is playing, and Kanye was walking directly on top of that line.) This is really a shame, both because the reunited Police actually sound pretty good (except that one moment where Sting's voice totally gives out) and because it's a perfectly chosen song for the theme of this concert.

Witness the tragedy:

No, no, no, no, no...

I mean, I like rapping. Even freestyle rapping...sometimes. But "Sending out a message in a bottle/It says we need a new tomorrow..." That's just retarded. He even stoops to "wave your arms in the air like you just don't care" at one point. Then there's a series of "yeahs!" and grunts while the Police are playing a song! Be quiet and let The Police play, would you? It's just disrespectful, really.

Actually, there's a larger issue at play here. Rap in a rap song is very good. Classic rock in a classic rock song is also very good. But quite unlike chocolate and peanut butter, these are two great tastes that fucking taste like shit together. No one should ever interrupt a classic rock song with a bit of rappin' in the midsection. Witness Linkin Park.

And if that's not compelling enough evidence for you, an anecdote. In high school, I saw the Steve Miller Band play live at what was then called Irvine Meadows. (I believe now it's the News Corp. Presentation of the Verizon/GE Memorial Cheez-It Park, Brought to you by Bank of America. Or something.) Halfway through "Fly Like an Eagle," they brought out some poor bastard to spit some hot fire. " an eag-le...into the sky..." It was horrible. I was hardly a huge Steve Miller Band fan, then or now, but I was still traumatized. As if "Abracadabera" weren't a significant enough crime against humanity...

Finally, for no real reason, "Girls on Film":