Weekend Roundup: Music Edition

July 6, 2005 at 12:31 am (Music)

I spent my first July 4 on the west coast soaking up some beautiful
Portland summer sun, an abnormal amount of alcohol, and a lot of
music. This weekend was of course the MegaChemCo Bluse Festival
brought to you by Faceless Financial Conglomerate LLC (otherwise known
as the Portland Blues Fest), and of course Live8. Here’s my take
on both events:

Bluesfest:
Ok, it turns out that the corporate sponsorship pretty much pays
for the whole thing, and all proceeds benefit the Oregon Food
Bank. So I’ll be publishing a retarction of my earlier criticism
on page 14C of tomorrow’s edition. In the meantime, here are some
impressions:

1. Portlanders are remarkably clean. There was so little
trash strewn about the grounds, I could hardly believe it. And
the recycle bins contained, get this, recyclable materials. Even
drunk rednecks from Gresham seem to be able to separate paper from
plastics. And yes, that was me rummaging through the garbage bins
with a look of wonderment on his face.
2. Note to event planners: Next year you need to close Naito
Parkway, set up the booths in the street, and allow the entire park to
be used by people, you know, at the festival. You shut it down
for the Memorial Day carnival, which maybe drew a few grand…there
were 25,000 people there Friday if there were a dozen.
3. Also, next year you should take advantage of the emerging
science of sound engineering. Using such techniques, speakers
aren’t just haphazardly set up in random positions, but can be
strategically placed to facilitate the movement of soundwaves from
speakers to people’s ears.
4. Whoever said Portland has fewer hot chicks per capita than most large cities was, unfortunately, spot-on.
5. On that note, I saw a bearded woman. It had more facial
hair than I do, and double-D cups. It’s not polite to stare, and
I was very, very rude.
6. I’ll take the guy with a guitar and a harmonica on the back
stage any day. If you ever get the chance to see Kenny Neal or
Billy Branch, do it.
7. Buddy Guy was really disappointing. I’m all for the
occasional dramatic pause for crowd feedback, but I bet he spent 30% of
his time on stage just standing there in silence.

Live8:
I wasn’t in Philly for this summer’s sweatfest, so I spent a few hours
Saturday afternoon streaming the London show off the web. The
only reason of course is because the one band that was never going to
get together for a reunion, Pink Floyd, got together for a
reunion. They happen to be my favorite band of all time, so it
was worth waiting through the live rendition of Mariah Carey’s “Make it
Happen.” The setlist was predictable yet respectable for a show
of this type (4 songs), although I would have replaced “Breathe” with
“Time.” Here is a more detailed review:
David Gilmour: Man, he’s still
got it. The most captivating voice in the history of rock and
roll, and he can still play guitar like few others. If he was a
young woman instead of an old man, I’d be attracted to him.
Roger Waters: I must say, it
was just nice to see these two on the same stage, and that makes it
hard to criticize him. His bass playing was typically Floydian,
technically simple yet exactly what should be played, he looked
healthier than he probably ever has and I think those were genuine
smiles. But whoever decided to let him sing the second verse of
“Wish You Were Here” needs to be fired. My only thought was
“Mommy, make the bad man stop.”
Nick Mason: He was always a
pretty second-tier drummer, and he still is. Pretty much the same
as in 1972. Not bad I guess.
Rick Wright: Well, he sounded
fine, but the chick singing backups on “Comfortably Numb” got more
camera time that he did, so it’s hard to say. But he was standing
up, so I guess that’s good.

The only question that remains is will they get back together for a
tour? I really hope so and I really hope not. I hope
so because I would pay serious cash for a nosebleed seat to one of
those shows. I hope not because that would be a sellout (the bad
kind). They don’t need the money and that would negate the
altruistic rationale for getting back together for this little
tease. What does anyone think? Does anyone care?

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7 Comments

  1. booyah said,

    Hey now. Not everyone from Gresham is white trash… Wait a minute. Yes they are.

  2. larry said,

    I think the positive far outweighs the negative on the Floyd thing. Who cares why other people did or didn’t do something if it provides you with enjoyment? I mean, motives matter of course, but in this case it’s easy to overlook selfishness since the reward you seek is selfish in nature as well. Note that I don’t find anything wrong with selfishness so long as you don’t do something selfish at another person’s expense. “Live for yourself, there’s no one else more worth living for”

  3. LogJammin said,

    Don’t keep your fingers crossed for the reunion tour…rumor is Waters and Gilmore couldn’t even exchange looks back stage…

  4. JB said,

    Where did you hear that? Liar.

  5. LogJammin said,

    some dumb chick on some dumb clear channel station…and why would clear channel lie to me?

  6. jones said,

    i saw them on the division bell tour. ill sell you my tshirt if you want.the show here was underwhelming, though big crowds are always entertaining. the best part was probably seeing jack van impe interview bob geldoff on fox news the night before. after that i was sure the city would go up in flames.

  7. JB said,

    Yeah, I saw them on that tour too. I took a hit of acid that kicked in about halfway through the encore.

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