The Edge receives honorary degree from Boston’s Berklee College

The Edge received an honorary doctor of music degree from Berklee College of Music at their 2007 Commencement in Boston on Saturday.

The Edge told Berklee’s graduating class:

“The thing I want to say is collaborate. Collaborating with talented people is not easy, but it’s the way to really shine – you shine brighter if you are working with really great people. The important thing in the end is not that you are proved right every time, the important thing is that the music is the best that it can be. I want to wish you all that you would find your own voice. But if you are so disposed that you would find collaborators to work with, that you would shine as you could never shine on your own.”

Berklee also awarded honorary degrees to Gloria and Emilio Estefan and the late Andrew Hill or their achievements in contemporary music, their enduring contributions to popular culture and for the influence their careers and music have had over Berklee’s student body. In previous years recipients included Duke Ellington, David Bowie, Count Basie, Billie Joel and Quincy Jones.

Honorary Knighthood for Bono

Bono will receive an honorary knighthood. The British Ambassador to Ireland, Mr David Reddaway, announced the news on Saturday.

He will receive the honour, Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order, for “his services to the music industry and for his humanitarian work.” The ceremony will take place in Dublin shortly after New Year’s Day. Bono will not be adding his name to the long list of people who have declined a British honour, like David Bowie, Francis Bacon and John Lennon, who eventually returned his MBE.

Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commander who are not not citizens of the United Kingdom or another country ruled by the Queen are not entitled to the prefix “Sir” or “Dame”, but may still use the post-nominal abbreviations: Paul Hewson, KBE.

A statement on reads:

We understand that Bono is ‘very flattered’ to be honoured, particularly if the honour – like its French counterpart – opens doors for his long standing campaigning work against extreme poverty in Africa.

The sainthood can’t be far off. Though maybe The Mrs has dibs.

Arcade Fire, Amsterdam, Paradiso

Final FantasyWe already published a review of Arcade Fire’s Funeral in 2004, but after seeing them again live only recently, we felt another few words about this excellent band were well in order.

Amsterdam, Paradiso. A young looking fellow enters the stage with a violin, explaining how he was late, because he had to defend Bloc Party. Owen Pallett is his name, and his solo act is called Final Fantasy, but in general he is probably better known as Arcade Fire’s violin player, or, incidentally, the Hidden Camera’s violin player.

His sound is original, refreshing and new. The violin used in every possible way, sometimes coming awfully close to being abused. I get visions of Warren Ellis, plucking the strings, using the pickups as microphone, alas, the works. All in all, a very enjoyable support act.Arcade Fire

Then it’s Arcade Fire’s turn, filling up the stage with no less than seven people. Sparks start flying right away, rhythm joins up, a splash of theatre, a dash of chaos and an unlimited supply of enthusiasm. A crash helmet becomes a drum machine, while strings and straps break, only to end up in the back of the audience, followed by a microphone stand

Most interesting to see is how often the bands changes around their musical duties. One moment this person is playing the drums, the next moment someone entirely different has taken up that task, while the former drummer is suddenly playing the guitar or the bass…

Arcade FireIn short, they bring the old church to its knees with an extremely strong gig. Unpretentious, simply doing what they do, being who they are, without falling into the over styled, over hyped indie band scenario. Or? To the casual onlooker, they may seem to be overhyped, with David Bowie calling their album the best of the year 2004, and journalists raving about them. Yet, they are not. The difference with Arcade Fire is that they actually manage to live up to the hype.
In the end, their live set ends up portraying them even better than their already fabulous recorded sound. If you do get a chance to see them, by all means, do.

All pictures (c) ~E/