6.02.2005

live 8? more like white 8!

damn it, london activist group, black information link beat me to saying publicly that the lineup for live 8 is full of too much whitey that it's making me blind. well i think they're saying that about the london lineup. the US lineup seems to have at least 5 african-americans (6 if you count will smith, which i emphatically do not). for those of you who don't know, live 8 is the concert being organized by sir bob geldof, the same guy who organized live aid, and is going to be held with the G8 conference is being held and it's going to call upon members of the G8 to forgive the debt of under-developed nations and give them a whole bunch of money for food and stuff.

actually, my point isn't quite the same. my point is that i predict semi-failure for this event. i'm sure that it'll raise a lot of money, but no where near the amount of money that the original live aid made. there are several reasons why i think this. first, the ethiopian famine, which is where the proceeds for the first live aid went to was a much more visceral tanglible cause. with all of the footage of dying babies and what not, people were bound to give at the first real benefit event. while i'm pretty sure that there are just as many people dying because the IMF and world bank are holding under-developed countries hostage with their imperialist fiscal policies, i doubt anyone really gives a crap.

the second reason, and the one i'm much more interested in, is because of the nature of the music business today. back in the 80's it just seemed like there were more genuinely artists with crossover/universal appeal than there are today. who didn't like phil collins back then? but today, i kinda feel that everything is too structured around genre, and i think that ultimately is related to race. case in point, coldplay is slated to open up the london show. how many black coldplay fans do you know? yeah, that's what i thought. in a lot of ways, we've made a lot of progress with race relations since the 80's. but as i have said on several occasions here on this blog, race still continues to heavily influence the way we live our lives. and i think music is one of those places where music is extremely organized by race, via genre. not to say things haven't changed. hip hop is surely the most popular music, pop music is heavily influenced by r&b, but by and large, the white elites still prefer the decidedly white world of rock and indie rock, which seems to be the dominant genre for live 8. which is a shame since this concert is a really good idea, but won't be as successful as it could be.

some thoughts on the lineups for the five venues:

rob thomas in philadelphia - does he really warrant a place on the stage here? we couldn't get bruce springsteen to sing glory days and born in the USA?

the british lineup includes joss stone, scissor sisters, and snow patrol - the equivalent of style council, ultravox, and status quo from the original live aid london lineup. hear that? that's the sound of a lot of black people not giving a damn.

U2 in london - is it possible for them to top one of the greatest live performances of all time? smart money is that during this performance, we'll be transported to 1986 and the crowd will go completely apeshit over the bono and the mates.

yannick noah in paris - i only know this because my family have always been tennis fans, yannick noah is a former tennis pro that won the french open once. when the hell did he become a rock star?

tim mcgraw and faith hill in rome - whatever.

a-ha at the brandenburg gates - for those of us who always wanted to see "take on me" live i guess. dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun...

no phil collins: this is a travesty. those of you who have seen the original live aid know what i'm talkin' about.

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