Welcome, welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" What god doesn't like music? I'm thinking.
Nope, can't think of a one.
They especially like it when the songs are about them. And no, that doesn't make Mick Jagger a god, even though there's a song about him.
News comes to me of one of those huge, international mega-concerts where they try to raise money for African famine and otherwise get rampaging crowds of people to crush into a small space where there aren't enough toilets and there are too many policemen.
This one is called Live 8. It's gonna be held in Philadelphia, London, and Berlin on July 2. Promoters (read, Big Music, Inc.) estimate as many as a million people will attend the free concert in Philly alone.
I'm a goat judge, and that makes me a bit peculiar. I just like things on a smaller scale. For instance, if I like a musician, I always want to meet him (or her). Barring that, I like to be able to see the whites of the musician's eyes when he or she is singing to me in concert.
Oh, look out, you rock 'n' rollers! This is a problem, isn't it? I mean, how's a humble goat judge gonna get up close and personal with Dave Matthews? Or P. Diddy? Or Madonna? Try to see if those people have whites in their eyes, you're likely to be drop-kicked the length of a football field by some private security guard who trained with the Israeli Special Forces.
I wish all problems had such simple solutions.
Here's how it works.
You choose a kind of music that's beautiful, played frequently in lovely outdoor settings, and cost-effective for the consumer.
My music of choice is bluegrass. And for those of you who think bluegrass is stupid hillbilly music, please be advised that in a 2002 survey, the professors at Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, MD, voted bluegrass "the most difficult music to play in the world."
Move over, Ravi Shankar. Sitar's for sissies.
Back to my advice. Want to meet your favorite musician? Choose a musician who's local, struggling, who will appreciate it when you buy his or her CD and when you tell him or her that you like his or her style. (See why I hate inclusive language?)
Alison Krauss is the most famous bluegrass musician today. I've met her. I've seen the whites of her eyes. I attended a fiddle workshop with 24 other people in a tent, where she showed how she plays. And I don't play the fiddle. I just toddled in, sat down, and listened to her presentation.
So please excuse me if I do not attend Live 8, even though the bored gods endorse it as a worthy cause. There may be a bluegrass festival someplace nearby that weekend, and I have a good old blanket and a picnic basket. If I see a musician I haven't met, or one that I'd like to meet and greet, all I have to do is wait for the set to end.
Try doing that in Philly on July 2.
ANNE DOESN'T BELIEVE IT'S LIVE UNLESS SHE CAN SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES