Monday, July 09, 2007

When Green Means Rotten: The Live Earth Concerts

You're probably going to be surprised when I say this, but Al Gore never asked for my advice on the subject of "Live Earth". Not once did Madonna consult with me, nor did Kelly Clarkson ring me up for set list choices.

Which is probably all good, especially in Clarkson's case because I couldn't tell you the name of one Kelly Clarkson song. Who is Kelly Clarkson, again?

I just spent/wasted some time at the "Live Earth" website. That's seven minutes of my life I'm never getting back. My disdain for this mega-event is not the result of some ostrich head-in-sand attitude about global warming, but more than anything else a disdain for music performed in large venues. Can we just agree than concerts held in arenas suck? Really? Can we just stop pretending that we enjoy seeing/hearing music performed by musical acts hundreds of yards away while surrounded by other humans pretending this is fun?

Can we also formalize our generally held collective view that any music act popular enough to play at an event like "Live Earth" is: A. intrinsically lame (Kelly Clarkson?); B. hopelessly outdated and therefore really lame (Crowded House? Are you serious...Crowded House?); C. popular only with armies of teenagers going through their "well, everybody else likes them, so they must be cool" phase (Kelly Clarkson???)

The old line was: If they play it on commercial radio, it must suck. Well, commercial radio is dead, so that line no longer applies. Let's just replace that aphorism with: If they played at "Live Earth" they must suck. Okay, perhaps that's harsh and overly generalizing, but I invite you to spend/waste seven minutes of your life looking at the website/list o' acts. Brutal.

Based on the insightful, devastating comments above, it must be obvious that Al Gore WILL be consulting me about the next global warming concert extravaganza. Here's a few suggestion for Al, Madonna, and Kelly Clarkson, whoever she is:

  • All concerts around the world will be held in venues limited in size to holding 100 or fewer people, one or two pool tables, and a handful of earth-friendly CFL light bulbs (for use in incredible "laser" shows in which a roadie flips the earth-friendly CFL light bulbs on and off)
  • Actual jazz and classical music will be performed at some of the concerts. State-of-the-art Bose noise-cancelling headphones will be distributed to jazz/classical hating attendees for use during these sets
  • State-of-the-art Bose noise-cancelling headphones will, of course, be distributed whenever Crowded House performs
  • Okay, on second thought, Crowded House will NOT be performing. Only Burque Babble approved old washed-up bands will be allowed
  • The Pixies will be allowed
  • The jury is still out on The Police, and it's gonna take a Gregory Peck in "To Kill A Mockingbird" closing statement for them to have much of a chance
  • The following supposedly cool companies are forbidden from being involved in "Live Earth: 2.0": Apple Computers, any company which makes earth-friendly CFL light bulbs, Bose, Microsoft, any company that manufacturers organic yogurt, Segway, Al Gore
  • Leonardo DiCaprio and any other non-musical "celebrities" taking the stage will be shot on sight using earth-friendly, non-lead containing ammunition
I have some other ideas, but don't want to overly burden Mr. Gore, what with his constant struggle over whether to run for President again. In fact, if the above is too complicated Al, just remember one thing: No Crowded House, Al. No Crowded House.

P.S.: Here's how strong my large venue = sucky concert philosophy is at this point. The ABQ Journal currently has some sort of contest where the winner gets third row tickets to the Bob Dylan show at Journal Pavillon. I am a huge Bob Dylan fan (especially the early, funny albums). I have no interest in winning these tickets. None. If Bob wants to play the Launchpad (maybe with Neil Young and Sonny Rollins as opening acts), I'd be there in a second.

On the other hand, I wouldn't see a Journal Pavillon show, even if it featured Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammad, with Shiva on drums and Sonny Rollins playing saxophone. I know I'm increasingly old and decrepit, but I've felt this way going back all the way to my teenage years ,when I would sit amongst the shag-carpet thick marijuana smoke at Tarrant County Convention Center saying to myself, "well, all the other kids think it's it must be..."


Natalie said...

Hey now...
Hey now...
Don't dream it's over...

Anonymous said...

Word on the street is Bob Dylan has no interest in seeing you either.

Kelly Clarkson was the only portion of the Jersey concert worthy of putting your drugs down long enough to take a listen. She easily buried the always brutal Police, among several other "major" acts, and frankly blew the roof of the dump. And, if you're looking for "intrinsically lame", look no further than Jersey's own Bon Jovi.

Voluntary disclosure: I am not a member of the Clarkson family, I have never heard KC on any radio station, and I have never seen her on Idol.

frannyzoo said...

Anon: Based on your google search for:

"kelly clarkson" "live earth" blogspot

that led to seeing my blog (all the way from Quebec) I'm guessing you're a fan of Ms. Clarkson. Good for you, and thanks for reading. And no, I still have never heard a Kelly Clarkson song, a situation not likely to change. As for Bobby D., at this point he's entitled to his own opinion, regardless of what it is.