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22 octobre 2005

Songlines sept/oct 05

Music and Media

The excellent British world music magazine Songlines continues to pound away at the absurdity of the organizers of Live 8 presenting a series of concerts on behalf of Africa, yet only inviting one African artists (Youssou ‘N Dour) to participate.

The current issue (September/October) includes comments from Andy Kershaw, Peter Gabriel, Thomas Brooman, Damon Albarn, and Baaba Maal addressing this situation, while Bob Geldof defends the selection process on the basis of popular appeal.

“You have to really pick and be careful about what is going to get you the biggest mass audience where you could talk about the conditions of the poor people in Africa,” Geldof told the magazine. “That’s what we’re doing. If you can suggest to me British blacks acts that should be one, that sell in the same quantities as the bands we’ve got, fine.”

Geldof certainly deserves high praise for his efforts in this arena, but it also can’t be disputed that it’s a bit lame to hold events designed to increase interest in and awareness of Africans, then leave them out of the mix. Hopefully, that won’t happen again when or if there’s another series of similar events.

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