Thursday, April 17, 2008

Power brokers pow-wow on power usage

The vacuum in my schedule continues to suck in all sorts of ways to waste time. So what's one more?

From the Tennessean:

"Prominent activist Robert Kennedy Jr. spoke to music industry leaders at the home of Emmylou Harris on Tuesday night about the growing environmental crises....

He was part of the Natural Resources Defense Council's gathering that attracted Sheryl Crow, Kathy Mattea, Big Kenny and Christiev Alphin, Matraca Berg and Jeff Hanna, J.D. Souther and Mayor Karl Dean and Anne Davis. Warner Bros.' John Esposito and Bill Bennett attended, as well as power managers Gary Borman and Ken Levitan.

NRDC's Allen Hershkowitz, who also spoke, said the music industry is progressive and has historically aligned itself with meaningful causes such as civil rights, peace and gender equality. So we wanted to identify and inform these leaders in the music industry about the liability that they unknowingly may be imposing on future generations by buying power to record and market their records from utilities using mountaintop-mined coal."

On the positive side, it's nice to see the political power of music recognized, and harnessed for an apparently good cause. If you think about it, the top is the best part of the mountain! But obviously the real agenda of the meeting was to get the music industry to help spread the message, maybe by putting out songs to move providers to stop destroying mountains to get coal. Fair enough, although it would've been nice if they'd been a little more up front with their aims. Surely they don't expect the music industry to use less power...I can see the results now:

Comments heard in the studio:

• "OK, we've used up all our non-mountaintop coal power allotment. Everybody take five while we plug the equipment into the alternate source for this last song. Cooter, put down that fiddle and jump on the bike; at least we know you can PEDAL on key!"

• "Billy Bob, they I see that methane is one of the approved low-impact energy sources. I told you that third helping of beans at lunch was a good idear!"

• "I heard Big Kenny's next single is gonna be called "Save A Mountaintop, Record An EP."

• "And Natalie Maines is doing a new version of the classic 'I'm Just An Old Chunk of Coal.' It's called 'I'm Just A Big Bag Of Wind.'"

And from Music Row magazine: "Industry sources are flocking to release new product on a new, mountaintop-friendly media: mp3's are quickly being replaced by wax cylinders, recorded on a hand-cranked machine. They're a little bulky, but they're nearly impossible to download illegally. Many listeners prefer the new media over the polished digital sound, especially for the 'pitchy' effect on vocals. 'It's just like hearing them sing live!' said one fan."

I know I'm missing an obvious "Coal Miner's Daughter" joke. Anyone? Feel free to pile on the silly sarcasm train.

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