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8 Is Enough

The grandiose concert vision that was this month's Live 8 couldn't be more noble if Bill Gates and Bono had conceived a child on-stage midset. Eradicate African poverty? Sweet, y'all! Of course, there was the little matter of artists performing tunes originally penned for pep rallies and block parties. Rock on, Dark Continent; just don't listen too closely to some of the songs performed at the Live 8 concerts. Take these tunes, for example:

Performer: Snoop Dogg

Song: "Drop It Like It's Hot"

Choice lyric: "I can't fake it, just break it, and when I take it/See, I specialize in making all the girls get naked."

Just don't think of: Forced female genital mutilation.

Performer: Travis

Song: "Rain"

Choice lyric: "Why does it always rain on me?/Even when the sun is shining/I can't avoid the lightning."

Just don't think of: The 20 million people in the Horn of Africa facing the worst drought conditions in decades.

Performer: Linkin Park and Jay-Z

Song: "Numb/Encore"

Choice lyric: "Back to take over the globe, now break bread/I'm in Boeing jets, Global Express/Out the country but the Blueberry still connect/On the low but the yacht got a triple deck."

Just don't think of: The 46 percent of people in Sub-Saharan Africa subsisting on less than one dollar per day.

Performer: Def Leppard

Song: "Pour Some Sugar on Me"

Choice lyric: "You got the peaches, I got the cream/Sweet to taste, saccharine/ 'Cause I'm hot, say what, sticky sweet/From my head, my head, to my feet."

Just don't think of: Starving kids and warlords looting shipments of food and medicine in Somali ports.

Performer: Tom Cochrane

Song: "Life is a Highway"

Choice lyric: "Through all the cities and all these towns/It's in my blood and it's all around/I love you now like I loved you then...Knock me down get back up again/You're in my blood I'm not a lonely man"

Just don't think of: Systematic rapes by fighters in Sudan and Congo exposing thousands of women to HIV infection

Performer: Mariah Carey

Song: "We Belong Together"

Choice lyric: "I'm throwing things / Crying/Trying to figure out/Where the hell I went wrong/The pain reflected in this song/Ain't even half of what/I'm feeling inside."

Just don't think of: Glitter.

-- Sam Eifling

Sonic Surgery

Five years ago, around the time the national press began stroking the Strokes, a patient of mine, Frank, came into my office after returning from New York City. He looked like hell, said he'd been vomiting ever since stepping foot in Manhattan. As I learned of his trip -- where he went, what he did -- I concluded his sickness had something to do with the musical climate. See, Frank really digs NYC rock 'n' roll -- from the Dolls to the Devil Dogs. So, believing something he read in Spin, Frank assumed he'd like the Strokes... but his stomach decided otherwise.

Frank was the first of many Big Apple Poisoning victims I continue to treat to this day. And though the Strokes haven't been around lately to spread the dreaded BAP virus, there's an even more infectious carrier making its way around the country -- the Bravery.

Though the NYC foursome denies jumping on the '80s revival trend, its calculated concoction of Strokes-styled rock and synthy new wave is as much a coincidence as anthrax in an envelope. The fact that lead vocalist Sam Endicott was previously in a band called Skabba the Hut doesn't do much for the Bravery's indie-rock cred, but what is cred anyway these days? Let's ignore his fever-induced claims to originality and check the Bravery's medical records -- that being the group's sole album, 2005's The Bravery. In "Unconditional," Endicott sounds like the Cure's Robert Smith with a hernia, letting out pained wails I haven't heard since my days as an obstetrician. Other songs, like the electronic-based "Tyrant," aim for New Order but sound more like the theme from Miami Vice. I feel queasy just thinking about it.

Frank found out the hard way that mixing genres is like mixing drugs: If you're not careful, you'll negate the active ingredients and just make yourself sick. The Bravery may have fun playing musical pharmacists, but by draining rock of its energy and new wave of its melody, all they leave us with is a well-disguised placebo.

Findings: A Flock of Seagulls dropped a toxic turd on New York City. Diagnosis: '80s overdose. Treatment: Check out the comparatively less revolting Dead 60s as they open for the Bravery on Monday, July 18, at the Culture Room (3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $12. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 954-564-1074. -- Doc Le Roc

Ding! Your Band Is Now Free to Move About the Country

So Outtakes sees that the current (and possibly last) Destiny's Child tour is traveling under the following McDonald's-sponsored banner: "Destiny Fulfilled... And Lovin' It."

Tacky? Yes. Crass? All the way. A total sellout maneuver? You betcha.

But still, we're, ahem, lovin' it. Every act should do it -- why should sponsors have to settle for having their banners festooned on every flat surface for a square mile around the concert, their logo printed on every article associated with the shows, and a few shoutouts from the stage when they could have even more? Like, why shouldn't the tour be named after one of their slogans? Outtakes sifted through the annals of both music history and America's highest art form -- advertising -- to come up with some new, improved tour names.

By the way, corporate overlords: You're welcome. Send my consultancy fee in a plain brown envelope, please. I'll take it in hundreds. -- John Nova Lomax

Destiny's Child, Mario, and Amerie play at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 17, at Office Depot Center, 1 Panthers Pkwy., Sunrise. Tickets range from $43.75 to $63.75. Call 954-835-8000.

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax

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