Saturday, July 07, 2007


Well, I was intending to write about Ian Bostridge on Handel. More of that later. Meanwhile, in the midst of catching up with some writing, I've been on-and-off watching the BBC broadcast of today's Live Earth concerts across the world - a noble effort to mainstream concerns about global warming and Al Gore's necessarily ambitious seven-point programme to tackle the human impact on climate change. Not much that lands vertically on my musical universe, admittedly. But the Red Hot Chilli Peppers managed to combine rockist sensibilities with some accomplished playing, good use of dynamics (not that easy at the cavernous New Wembley Stadium), high energy material and strong harmonies. Bloc Party are also interesting, and Corinne Bailey Ray brought a beautiful voice and some jazz and soul vibes to the proceedings. Perhaps surprisingly, I also love The Beastie Boys [Mike D, Adrock and MCA, pictured] and their wry, experimental, MC scratch-driven, hard-edged punk rap. The Blues Brothers gone 'Intergallactic' for the C21st. Kinda. Then there's Shakira, whose appeal (like that of the Pussycat Dolls, who actually performed well) is perhaps not exclusively musical. And don't forget the raw, hook-laden power of Foo Fighters' 'Times Like These'. Predictably Gore has been attacked over the environmental impact of an eight gig satellite linked event for an eco-cause. He has hit back. Let's put it this way. The nay-sayers are not motivated by compassion.

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