Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on January 1, 2009
You’ve gotta hand it to Billboard magazine. Not only do they keep us up to date on the music industry’s hitmakers, but they provide an always interesting commentary on popular culture as we know it. Case in point is their current Green Issue (on stands this week), complete with a list of the top 10 green artists, who over the past 12 months have done good by the environment and are encouraging others to follow suit.
Did your favorites make the cut? Here’s a brief summary:
1) Jack Johnson
Super tanned and health radiating, Jack Johnson is as easy on the eye as he is on the environment. The Live Earth veteran has kitted his Brushfire Records recording studio on Larchmont Boulevard (ooh, that’s where I do yoga…I must stalk — I mean, look him up) with denim walls and solar panels. The avid surfer also tours green and makes girls scream. The latter’s not so green, unless you count the green paper it generates for Jack.
2) Willie Nelson
The old braided one is the brains behind BioWillie biodiesel fuel and the country’s largest green truck stop, which is located in Texas. Willie spreads the eco-word to truckers through his XM radio show with legendary trucking DJ Bill Mack. BioWillie? Sounds too good to be true.
This Mexican rock quartet was singing about the planet long before Miley Cyrus was even on it. Through their foundation, Selva Negra, they’ve kept busy saving sea turtles, reforesting and pitching to make environmental studies and ethics part of the curriculum for Mexican school children.
4) Dave Matthews Band
The five members of DMB treat Mother Earth as if she were their own parent. The band makes up for their own touring footprint and then some, encouraging fans to offset carbon outputs and even offering online carpool service to their gigs. Can they be anymore socially responsible?
5) KT Tunstall
The Scottish singer/songwriter partnered with Virgin to create a “100% post consumer waste recycled and chlorine-free booklet” to accompany her latest CD, “Drastic Fantastic”. Not only was she super psyched to partake in Live Earth, she’s a proponent of carbon-neutral touring and is greening her abode. That’s what I call a fine lass!
6) Pearl Jam
When it comes to green, this Seattle-based grunge band (wow, has that term dated) are walking the talk and putting their money where their mouths are. Since ’05, the band has dolled out $120,000 to organizations devoted to climate change and have jammed at benefit gigs and planted trees.
7) Serj Tankian
Long, lean Lebanese-born Armenian-American singer, songwriter, poet and activist, Tankian may look like Borat’s long lost cousin but that’s where the similarity ends. Deadly serious about the environment, his website connects fans to environmental organizations and he also has a non-profit (Axis of Justice) with Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello.
By releasing the brilliant “In Rainbows” as a digital download, Radiohead stuck their fingers up at the record industry and high-fived fans and the environment. What’s more, these carbon-footprint-reducing musical heroes only fly when they absolutely and positively have to be there overnight.
9) Missy Higgins
Aussie singer/songwriter Missy Higgins just spent two weeks driving across the country in her Toyota Prius, stopping at various “forward-thinking locations” like the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado to post web documentaries. Beats driving around in a Hummer, stopping at every In-N-Out Burger and mooning your iPhone.
10) The Roots
Judging by the band’s name you might get an inkling these guys are into green. At this year’s Pre-Grammy Awards jam, the band gave away signed compost bins to their fans. Pre-Grammy, huh? So fans had to lug around the bins all night? Now that’s devotion to the environment.
For more in depth coverage on these eco-dedicated musicians (or to simply read a cool magazine) check out the new Billboard.