Monday, June 27, 2005

LIVE 8; cynic in me speaks

LIVE 8 sounds so promising. The list of notables just keeps growing. Just today they announced Alicia Keys, Toby Keith, the Black Eyed Peas and Toby Keith will perform in Philadelphia. And while the excitement builds with the prospect of catching Coldplay, Keane, Paul McCartney, the Cure, U2 and many other legendary acts on MTV (reality check, will they show complete sets by anyone I like? doubtful), I don't hold out much hope that this event will end poverty.

Live 8 organizer Bob Geldof has his heart in the right place. But look at all the world attention pegged on the Sudan over the last few years, and the killing goes on. The U.S. can't get any other countries in Europe or Africa to give a damn. Other than the U.S., the world seems afraid to act. And throwing money here and there will not solve anything.

Even if the November 2005 release of the Live 8 shows proves to be the biggest selling DVD of all time, as Geldof hopes it to be, poverty will not end. Nor will peace come. All the celebrity performers will gather on July 2nd and perform and feel great. But the tragedy will go on.

I'm so very sorry.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rusting, fading away

No, I'm not dead.
But I have been away for a spell. I was actually out of commission because of health stuff, including a painful procedure on my back at the beginning of the week. It still smarts (or, to put in bluntly, it kills!)

Anyway, I wanted to get back in the ring.

Can you believe that Carrie Underwood's 'Inside Your Heaven' song debuts as Best Selling Song in the Nation and Breaks Chart History? Does anyone really believe she is going to be a significant artist whose career will last? Is "American Idol" the answer to the record industry's woes? You tell me...

In other news, with LIVE8 coming up, isn't it clear that London is the place to be. U2, Travis, Keane, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, sounds promising.

On a more serious note, please see the following. It revolves around a very sad incident that hit the local community earlier this month:

June 7, 2005 – Los Angeles, CA - A. Jay & Jeremy Popoff of the Orange County rock band Lit received terrible news this past weekend. Their mother, Sheri Suglia, and their step-father Kerry Suglia, were travelling on the Ortega Highway following an afternoon visit with A. Jay, Jeremy and their children when their motorcycle was struck by a drunk driver in an SUV. Kerry Suglia was killed on impact and Sheri is in extremely critical condition with massive multiple injuries. A memorial fund has been established:

Kerry Suglia Memorial Fundc/o R & R Business Management17609 Ventura Blvd. Suite 203Encino, CA 91316

The Kerry Suglia Memorial Fund was set up for those who wish to make a donation. The money will go to Sheri to help out with things that may not be covered by insurance. Due to the extent of her injuries the rehabilitation process and future medical expenses will be astronomical. Proceeds not used will go to a charity of her choice, or a foundation may be set up in his name to help others. Cards may be sent to the address as well, but we ask that flowers not be sent until she is moved out of the Intensive Care Unit. Thank you for your love, support and prayers.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Coldplay's latest lives up to hype

Since picking up Coldplay's "X&Y," it suddenly dawned on me. Although there are many talented groups that can produce strong albums, every generation can only boast a handful of great bands capable of producing epic works that define their time.

Until a week ago, I remained on the fence, despite being a big fan of Coldplay's first two albums ("Parachutes" and "A Rush of Blood to the Head"). But no more. Like the love affair I developed with U2's creative and continuing growth after catching them at the US Festival in May 1983, seeing Coldplay explode at Coachella in May 2005 and then listening (rather than ignoring the backlash via critics who have suddenly turned on Chris Martin and company) to "X&Y," it's clear Coldplay is the best band to emerge in the '00s. After hearing excellent songs such as "Yellow" when the band began getting airplay on KCRW at the beginning of the decade, I wondered if Coldplay was a fluke; I truly believed Travis was likely a stronger contender. But time has proved me wrong. Coldplay deserves comparisons with U2, while Travis has joined Oasis as a band that was unable to live up to its potential.

With each listen, the songs on "X&Y" open themselves up. Soaring choruses, beautifully moody vocals by tenor Martin, distinctive guitar work by Jon Buckland and driving rhythms courtesy of drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman. Coldplay is a group that writes and records great songs that bond with listeners on a widespread level that has not happened since U2.

Sure, people enjoyed Nirvana. But that was anger. A sonic revolution. Coldplay is all about the music, and the songs, and the energy that transports a weary and exhausted audience to a better place. Forget about the naysayers who haven't even listened to Coldplay's "X&Y." I have and I intend to keep on listening...

Monday, June 13, 2005

No surprise: MJ walks free

If you are a celebrity in America, you can get away with anything.

O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake, and now Michael Jackson. With jurors having just acquited the one-time pop star on all 10 counts, he can go back and make plans for his future. Any parent that allows their child near the Neverland Ranch is unfit to be a parent. But everyone reading this right now knows very well there are going to be parents who gleefully send their little ones there.

It is as sad as anything I can think of.

Why can't our society convict famous people? I don't get it.

The verdict is coming

The world waits. Within 20 - 25 minutes, the cat will be out of the bag. We will know whether Michael Jackson, a one-time icon who couldn't sell out an arena if his life depended on it stateside, will be found guilty on any or all of the counts relating to child molestation and conspiracy.

The world waits. Ever the jaded journalist, I can't help but think Destiny's Child selected the wrong day to announce their upcoming split following their fall tour.

Don't cry for me California...

Friday, June 03, 2005

News and notes for Friday

Some quick thoughts go into the first weekend of June.

Andrew McMahon, Lead Singer of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin, Has Been Diagnosed With Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. I first met Andrew when he was in high school and Something Corporate was just getting started. I have talked with him several times and seen him perform and he is a winning personality and talented musician. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and I hope he is well soon!

I heard Pavarotti pulled out of a planned concert tomorrow. Why is that tenor still singing? He sounds terrible; his voice no longer soars and he hasn't been good in years!

Best not to get me started on the Michael Jackson trial. I would only be putting down here what so many of you are already thinking anyway. Hope to catch you all next week and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Steve Winwood

I was asked to cover Steve Winwood last night, Tuesday. It was a last minute thing and I was at the show until almost midnight and had to get the review in early today. I'm tired, so tired.

Best to read my review when it runs in the OC Register tomorrow, on June 2nd to get the full story. My first time seeing him and I enjoyed it, jams and all.

I'll write more later. I just want to keep this moving. I tend to have days where I am so submerged, I don't have the strength to write another word. It's all those deadlines, and even worse, the stacks of CDs I need to get to! Where does the time go? We've all asked that, right...