Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Oils on World Cafe

Kelly Morris km97mo@yahoo.com
Mon, 29 Apr 2002 15:09:26 -0700 (PDT)

I know what you mean about it being hard to separate
the band's motives from the individual members'
motives.  Is there a difference?  Well, it strikes me
that Peter Garrett does see a distinction, at least a
small one.  It is confusing to see comments like his
when the band has done so much, like giving benefit
and protest concerts and singing about activism that
they commit themselves to in their personal lives. 

It's my guess Peter wants people to pay attention to
the music as well as the lyrics, and that is why he
sometimes pushes the band's musical side in
interviews. Many critics, if not fans, seem to
consider Midnight Oil's activist side as being the
most important part of the band, hence reviews that
criticized Capricornia for not being political enough.
 That is unfortunate because the band's musical talent
merits equal attention.  They don't copy or try to fit
in with musical fads and their songs are powerful and
It is sad that they are not recognized as much for
their music as for the issues they sing about.

I decided to mention the interview from the World Cafe
broadcast because none of the other workers seemed to
have heard it (at least, no one else has mentioned it
yet) and it was interesting stuff.  
Anyway, sorry that I came across as so defensive.  I
admire Peter Garrett very much, and it's obvious that
you do too.  I hope I explained how his comments can
be interpreted in a positive way.  

--- fish_oil@space.com wrote:
> On Mon, 29 April 2002, Kelly Morris wrote
> ~snip
> > 
> > Personally I don't think he sounds like a sell out
> at
> > all.  That's a harsh judgement on someone who has 
> > done so much.
> And who continues to be more active than most of the
> people who criticize him (myself included.) I didn't
> intend it as a slam against Mr Garrett, or you for
> that
> matter. I think you raised a very worthwhile point.
> At
> 49 years of age, Mr Garrett has certainly done his
> share to make the world a better place. In addition
> to
> raising a family, lecturing, heading the ACF, etc.
> his
> commitment to changing the world spills into and
> lends
> passion to his music.
> > I think you are confusing the band members'
> > personal opinions and concerns about the world
> with
> > the band's motives itself.
> Yeah, I'm afraid I am. It's a conscious choice. The
> two
> seem inseparable in my mind. Midnight Oil IS these
> men
> and everything they believe in. That's what makes
> them
> different from every other band. I realize that the
> whole is much more than the sum of its parts, but
> the
> component parts are all there and always present in
> the
> music. All that stuff about being 'true to art'
> first
> is just talking shit to me. Sorry. I'm afraid I
> don't
> get it. A band's first responsibility is to be true
> to
> themselves IMO. And the Oils have long ago waded
> into
> the political fray (thankfully). If they choose to
> back
> off now, that's cool. I just don't like the idea of
> hiding it behind some vague notion of being true to
> art, as though that's more important than changing
> the
> world. It begs the question of the purpose of art.
> Is
> it simply some cathartic process that serves only
> the
> artist? Is it about laying bare reality? In whos'
> service is this? The artist's? The community's? I
> don't
> have any corner on truth here, but that's how I read
> it. And for some reason I refuse to think of the
> Oils
> as mere artsy entertainment. That may be MY problem.
> > All Pete was saying was
> > that the band does not exist to spread a message
> > around the world.  It exists first to make music. 
> > However, it's natural for the band's opinions to
> > appear in their music.  People write what they
> know
> > and what they care about.
> To what end do people write or care? To know and be
> known? Or to share concerns, passions, etc. in order
> to
> Bring On the Change? Maybe the medium is the message
> for mass cultural consumption, but I hope to God
> there's more to it for any who choose to go
> deeper...
> > Maybe it will help put his comments into a
> > better context.
> > This is word for word by the way, so if you don't 
> > like what he says, don't attack me.
> Thanks for taking the time to post this. THe context
> is
> helpful. Please don't take the flame personally,
> they
> were directed not at you personally, but at the
> comments, and the implication that we are such pin
> heads that we don't get it and need our noses rubbed
> in
> it, or that we don't know our political arses from
> chads and dimples. REst assured that if I ever
> manage
> to meet the esteemed Mr Garrett I'll see if I can't
> straighten him out about who he REALLY is, how he
> SHOULD behave himself, and what the band OUGHT to be
> doing.   ;)
>      Meanwhile, we continue to "kick at the darkness
> 'til it bleeds daylight."
> Best wishes,
> bruce
> Join the Space Program: Get FREE E-mail at
> http://www.space.com.
> _______________________________________________
> Powderworks mailing list
> Powderworks@cs.colorado.edu

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Health - your guide to health and wellness