Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Band to play on

W. Chris Graham wcgraham at shaw.ca
Sun Jan 23 10:12:02 MST 2005

I have seen enough of American Idol to know that I can't stomach it.
But more than that, I know why.

It's not just the trite ballads that are most often performed.

My biggest aggravation is that they are looking for a vocalist with specific 
tonal qualities, and systematically stripping out any voice that has too 
much character, until they end up with one homogenized sound again and 

"Perfection".  Like a beauty pageant that only selects flawless bimbesque 
clones.  [Not that they all necessarily do, but that's what Idol is like.]

Lack of "flaws" means less individuality, less character, and really, less 
sonic interest!

I have always loved PG as a vocalist.
He's fallen flat in a *couple* of live sets, and in those cases I wished he 
would stop wearing himself out jumping around, and save himself for hitting 
the notes.

But I love the way that his voice expresses things, and I love the range of 
sounds that have come from him over the years in different contexts.

I agree that the Oils are highly-talented players and writers 
instrumentally, and that they often aren't given their due for that.
But I think it's the politics, and not PG's voice, that has dampened 
peoples' recognition of the musical talent of the band.

Not that I would have had the Oils lyrics any other way.  It's rare to find 
a band with something important to say and so much talent to say it with.

I will listen to the future Oils, whatever they may be called, whether it is 
instrumental, or the boys do their own vocals, or Pete comes back to the 
fold [not holding my breath] -- or if they get someone else.

[As is pointed out, you can't "replace" Peter with someone else.  But you 
can make good music with someone else.  It may sound strange to have that 
music called Midnight Oil, but I'll still take it on its own terms!  When 
Yes put out an album in 1980 without Jon Anderson, many people rejected it. 
The vocalist was no Jon Anderson, and the music wasn't exactly Yes -- but 
it's a very good album in its own right.]

But I hate to hear anyone diss Pete's voice.
It may not be able to do some things -- every instrument has limitations --  
but what it does is wonderful.
It may have limited the band on the pop charts, but it didn't limit them 
where it counts.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Beth Curran" <bcurran at columbus.rr.com>
To: <powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu>
Sent: January 23, 2005 8:24 AM
Subject: Re: [Powderworks] Band to play on

> I've been musing on the bit about RH's comments on PG's limitations as a 
> lead singer (Haven't read the book yet).  I prefer a distinctly imperfect 
> voice on a lead singer, though I do draw the line at at an actual speech 
> impediment *grin*  It was a major adjustment for me when Mark Knopfler had 
> the temerity to develop a real voice as he got older.  What will I do if 
> MO get back together and I find PG has learned to sing???  Oh no!  A sign 
> of the apocalypse, for sure!! - Beth
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Todd Weber" <todddw_ at hotmail.com>
> To: <jscott at iinet.net.au>; <powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu>
> Sent: Sunday, January 23, 2005 12:17 AM
> Subject: RE: [Powderworks] Band to play on
>> I agree....without garrett the group doesnt seem to be the same, but with 
>> pete or not, they're still one of the best groups i've ever heard, even 
>> if they bring someone new to join as lead singer...
>>>From: "Jeff and Jane Scott" <jscott at iinet.net.au>
>>>To: "Powderworks" <powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu>
>>>Subject: RE: [Powderworks] Band to play on
>>>Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2005 12:46:14 +0800
>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>> > From: Nathan Arrowsmith
>>> >
>>> > It appears the page has been removed. There was nothing new on it
>>> > anyway, just someone trying to make a story out of old news.
>>> > The quotes
>>> > were from Mark Dodshons book.
>>>I thought that might be the case.  I'd love to see them continue to play
>>>without Pete.  The musical strength of the band was always awesome, and
>>>I'd love to see it without the distraction of that big bald guy jumping
>>>around in the middle!
>>>Powderworks mailing list
>>>Powderworks at cs-lists.cs.colorado.edu
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