Elf's Treehouse -> Archives -> 2005 -> July

Not Very Live8

2005-07-03 16:50:41 - 2 comments    |     Archives

When Live Aid was on tv way back in 85, I clearly remember that we loved every single band that came on stage. I now realize that the main reason we thought everyone was great back then was because rock was never shown the state channel in Norway. So we had nothing to compare them to. Now, twenty years later, you get the world's biggest artists in your living room whenever you want to (but you're not able to speak to your neighbor anymore), and because of this we've grown more cynical about it since it's not such a rare occasion anymore. But can that be the only explanation to why most of the artists who performed at Live8 last night sucked in a live setting?

It's amazing to me that so many of the modern artists either can't sing, don't know jack shit about how to do a live show or even pull it off to play properly. We were served one boring artist after another during this concert. And I just know one thing, hip hop doesn't work live. Do you hear me? Hip hop can be great on a record, but live it just doesn't work! The concert from Philadelphia almost put me to sleep. And when hip hop artists weren't boring you, the soul and r'n'b crowd did their best to cure any viewers who might have been suffering from insomnia. It seems to me that soul and r'n'b mostly consist of wailing women who are so desperate to show what great voices they've got that it all ends up in tiresome shriek contests. It's the most boring musical genre ever invented! And don't get me started on those country rock artists and generic (punk) rock bands that make it sound like they've only ever written one song when they perform live.

We have a saying in Norway that says that the old are the eldest. Never has that been more confirmed than last night. U2 pulled it off very well, but it was Madonna that proved yet again why some people are just born entertainers. Finally someone got the crowd going nuts. At last someone did what should have been done several hours before that. Not only is Madonna a born entertainer, she also has better songs than any of the artists up to that point and she had better dancers. The crowd was in the palm of her hand, and it was a power demonstration that was a joy to behold.

I'm not going to paint the whole concert as bad, because there were great moments in between all those good for nothing untalented artists. And one from the younger generation who shone like a piece of gold between all the turds was Robbie Williams. Another born entertainer! I know that a lot of people hate him, but they should stop that immediately. Getting a crowd of 200,000 people to sing along to your own songs commands respect. And Robbie Williams just gets it, doesn't he? I mean, he understands that to get the crowd going, you turn to songs by Queen (the "winners" of Live Aid).

Not all the old geezers were great either. A-ha had severe monitor problems (not their fault), Brian Wilson raped the most brilliant pop song ever written in the ass and Pete Thowsend & co seems to have forgotten that there is a thing called notes. But Pink Floyd pulled it off! My, my, that was great, even if it seemed like Waters enjoyed himself more than Gilmour did.

Other things that disappointed me where 1) NRK1 actually dropped Sting's "Every breath you take, which is pretty fucking stupid considering that the lyrics were changed to reflect the concert's message. 2) Where was the Cure?!?! And 3) Björk only did one song.

And yes, I did sign up and I support the concert's message!

The Socks Are Off

2005-07-07 22:39:51 - 0 comments    |     Archives

The subject line says it all. The summer finally arrived and the past few days have been wonderful. Unfortunately most of my afternoons have been spent on my knees in the living room screwing together furniture, but today I decided to let such things be. After spending the last five hours in the company of your very best friends doing stuff that includes going for laps in a tree meter long and half a meter deep pool, eating Bamsemums with raspberry taste, barbecuing chicken filet wrapped in ham and melted cheese which you serve together with potato salad, drinking four liters of Pepsi Max, having a water fight with your son and Very Pregnant™ friend, playing with three dogs, watching a spider catch a fly in it's fantastically beautiful web and wearing nothing but shorts made me more relaxed that I can remember having been for a long time.

It made me forget the huge amount of work I have at the office, the apartment that I still haven't been able to finish and London. Days like today are so far between that I will live on this day for a long time to come. I'm not even bothered by the unfinished pc-desk that is staring at me from the corner of my eye. I will go to bed smelling of sunscreen, sweat, pool water and barbecue... in short: The smell of summer!

My 30 Minutes of Fame

2005-07-10 21:58:41 - 0 comments    |     Archives

First of all, James Randi, whose work I greatly admire, has included an entry from me in his weekly column. This is a column I urge everyone to read as it is highly educating, as well as scary when you realize what some people actually believe in.

Secondly, but probably most important, I'm on the air again from tomorrow morning (Monday 11th of July) at 06.30 CET (+01:00 GMT). I will be the DJ on the Breakfast Show on 1FM. You can hear me live via the radio's live streaming! Tune in, turn on but don't cop out.

I will be doing this for the next two weeks, and it's the first time I've been on the air as a DJ since 1997. Needless to say I'm a bit nervous, but I've been practicing a lot and I will be there early to prepare. Wish me luck.

PS! I've got no control over the music, what so ever. It's a formatted station. The defense rests...

An Update

2005-07-18 15:00:23 - 0 comments    |     Archives

A little update on the state of affair:

Currently I'm all butterflies since my holiday starts in four days. I've no idea what Håkon and I will do, but plans are slowly taking shape. Unfortunately they all include skipping the student's reunion. We'll see.

I'll Be Sure to Go By Train

2005-07-29 01:52:51 - 0 comments    |     Archives

I don't know why I love going by train. Norway is a developing country when it comes to railway communications. The time table is based on the "we'll be there whenever" principle, almost like going by public transport in Central Africa, the tracks are so old that high speed trains are out of the question and when walking through the cars of the train you feel like you're in a boat that's just hit a rough spot of weather. In Germany I could write handwritten letters and post cards while on the train as there was no shaking and my hand was steady. When I take the train in Norway, my offspring can't even play with his coloring book because of all the humping around that's going on. And have you tried walking in the cafeteria car with open beverage in both your hands while desperately trying not to bump in to all the other dining guests? Impossible.

Then it's the comfort. Unless you're so rich that going by train is something you consider to be beneath a person with your stature, you won't be able to afford the finer sleeping accommodations. It's unbelievably little room to maneuver inside the compartments, and the toilet facilities are just as smelly and dirty like most public rest rooms in Norway are. I only laughed when I saw the shower compartment. Who the hell would risk their lives by combining the impossibility of standing straight and steady with soap between your toes?

When you add all this together with the fact that NSB's online booking never works (this time our seats from Åndalsnes to Dombås were triple booked, the seats from Dombås to Trondheim were double booked and when checking in at Trondheim I was told that Håkon and I were placed in different compartments, even if I had booked a family compartment) it really amazes me that I love taking the train. But I do.

I've always loved trains and I've always loved riding them. To sit idle and just watch the world rush by, seeing the different locos and cars at the stations, looking at beautiful old station buildings where you only stop for a few minutes, get ideas for new creations, designs and technical solutions for your Lego train setup which I can't wait to get up and running again in my new apartment, read a book, let the rhythm of the tracks lull you to sleep, seeing your son taking in his very first train trip... It was the perfect way to start the vacation.

And in the mortal words of Richard Palmer-James and Michael Cretu:

If I ever get to heaven
I'll be sure to go by train
If I make it home at seven
I'll never drive again
In heavy traffic

Have a nice summer!

Hogne Bø Pettersen's Facebook Profile