Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ding Ding Ding
Michael Cohl fires back at Ben Rayner (at least indirectly): "These are our best artists. It's not all of them, but it's sure a substantial portion of them."

These were our best artists Michael.

To be fair, we sympathize with Mr. Cohl. His job is not to impress the 18-34 hipster crowd. Or provide a stage for the new generation of Canadian talent. His primary mission was to put together a boomer-pleasing, mainstream concert for cottage country and CTV. Look at the other line-ups on this mission, they ain't exactly cutting edge.

Just moments ago we were saying to Mr. Radwanski (in one of those real, face-to-face chats - believe it or not those still happen every once in awhile) that Live 8 is proof of one thing - that, at the moment, there are two completely different realities. There is the big established Canadian music industry and there is this big new indie thingy. And the two sides don't really talk much. In fact, they might not even have all that much in common. This weekend, one side will gather on island south of Toronto and have its little party. The next weekend, the other side will have its own party in Barrie.

Maybe it's always been so. But we'd wager that the two sides have never quite been so entrenched or so diametrically opposed or respectively healthy (depending on your point of view). And maybe, eventually, one side has to overtake the other. Or at least meet the other halfway. But maybe it might be fine enough for the two to peacefully, separately co-exist.

Perhaps Kevin Drew and Bryan Adams will one day meet, shake hands, hug and then walk onto the same stage and tear into a rousing medley of Cuts Like A Knife/Lover's Spit/Summer of '69. That'd be fun. But we ain't going to lose sleep waiting for it.

Anyway. Blah blah blah. Long ago when we were a music critic, we argued that what's happening with the kids these days is to be celebrated and embraced and enjoyed. Sparing us the usual cynicism and such. And maybe the ultimate celebration would culminate in a great takeover of Sir Bob's free, don't-call-it-a-charity-concert concert. But to be honest we're quite content to have some fun on the island this weekend and then hit Hillside in a few weeks. And if it never gets any quote-unquote bigger than that - if Denise Donlon and us never end up loving the same music - so be it. (Even if the world would be a better place if Torq Campbell was in charge.)

... All right. Enough of that. There's been way too much thinking going on here lately, eh? Next up, something frivolous and tawdry. Promise.

Update. Colby Cosh and The Final Bell chime in. Ben doesn't need us to defend him, but we will offer a couple counters to the latter's points: 1) No, we absolutely can't imagine any of the current crop of kids would steer clear of Live 8 to "maintain their cool or indie status." And 2) Motley Crue are, strangely perhaps (but then again, perhaps not), far more relevant than Our Lady Peace.

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