Top Five Green Bands

29 Oct

Why are Green Bands Important?

Music has a profound effect on people of all ages and permeates our every day lives from leisurely listening to TV shows, movies, commercials and parties (of all sorts).  Our fondest memories are tied to songs and eras of music that create in us waves of emotions and nostalgia every time those  sounds fill the air. Musicians have an opportunity to have a huge impact in the way we live, think and emote, especially among our youth who are usually more impressionable and live their lives through the power of music of the day.  Thus  a popular musician is given a gift he can use to write powerful music that speaks to us on a different level, fill us with emotions and by example can guide us and our youth by showing them doing the right thing and “living it” is the cool thing to do.  A musician does not necessarily need to sing about the environment to be the message.

My Top Five Green Bands

Here is my personal list for the top ten “green” bands.  The following is the criteria I used:

  • Promote green
  • Walk the walk
  • Give Back
  • Good Music
  • I don’t care if you never heard of them – you should and will now.

This is a short list knowing there is an exhaustive number of bands that are now promoting sustainability and giving back to their comDr Goodvibe - Shemunities.  But my list is personal and I think these five have forged the path and are far and away more green inside and out than most others.  I’d love to hear what your thoughts are and what your favorite green bands are and why, in fact, I’ll send the first person to comment a FREE CD of Dr. Goodvibe’s Album “She”.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

“Life in general is just a work in progress.” – Jack Johnson

Green Link: Jack Johnson Greening

Type of Music: Acoustic Rock

What makes him green: Jack Johnson  feels it’s more important to eat locally than organic, because so much of the food in Hawaii is shipped in.  So hes eat locally first and organic when possible.

Jack Johnson’s record label, Brushfire Records, is blazing a trail in environmental responsibility.

Brushfire is headquartered in a newly-renovated green building, leveraging a number of innovative features to keep their environmental impact low. These features include:

  • Solar panels providing all power for offices and studio
  • Interior/exterior wall insulation made from 100% post consumer waste (cotton from blue jean scraps)
  • Duro-Last Green Roof
  • Recycled Shingles

Why I Like Him: Venerable  – how can a cool laid back surfer not create a huge following.  He is arguably the most green  and the ultimate in green musicians.  He crosses generations and puts on a great live show, I love his music and so does my six year old son (whose been to a JJ concert with me), he walks around singing “reduce, reuse, recycle“.  Talk about indoctrinating the youth – I love it.

Cloud Cult

Cloud Cult

“I’d rather teach by example than by preaching, so we’re trying to build a good business model that other bands can emulate.” – Craig Minowa

Green Link: Earthology Institute

Type of Music: Indie Rock

What makes them green: In 1999, lead singer Craig and Connie Minowa formed Earthology, a the world’s only nonprofit record label.not-for-profit environmental organization. Craig worked on developing the Earthology Records branch, which  was focused on helping to green the music industry.  the Earthology Institute provides resources and an action network that disseminates critical, forward thinking and practical tools for the advancement of human health, sustainability, and the environment. ” Earthology Institute advocates positive environmental change with a focus on sustainability, environmental toxins, human health, ecological integrity, proactive and positive living in the 21st century, advocacy through the arts, and tools for green living.” Earthology developed the first 100% post-consumer recycled CD packaging in the U.S. market. Earthology Records is now on an organic farm, powered by geothermal energy and partially built from reclaimed wood and recycled plastic. The band’s merchandise is  100% post-consumer recycled or certified organic materials. Cloud Cult has planted over a thousand trees and plants several hundred more each year to offset the band’s CO2 output. They also donate heavily to projects that build wind turbines as revenue generators on Native American Reservations.

Why I Like Them: Cloud Cult has a great story, its tragic, rejuvenating, powerful and moving.  It comes through in their music, you need to hear it.  Their message of hope purpose and undying love comes through in a depth of emotion that touches your soul. A violinist, cellist and two live painters are integral facets of the band and during their shows build on the passion and intensity of emotion that defines Cloud Cult. Craig Minowa is incredibly passionate about the environment, lives it at home and on the road, not to mention they have solar panels on their van.

Dr. Goodvibe

Dr. Goodvibe

“It’s world gone crazy too much goin’ wrong… nobody’s listening could you write me a song …she wants to save the world she wants to do it today, and I said don’t worry baby we will find a way.”

Website: Dr. Goodvibe

Type of Music: Acoustic Soul

What makes them green: This little known Australian Band is catching a lot of attention  winning some acoustic music awards in Australia and popular on the concert circuit down under. While I was walking on a Brazilian beach with Edu and his wife they were picking up trash using a plastic bag they found (they do this everywhere they travel, which is all over the world).  They promote sustainability wherever they go and live it at home by composting, growing organic produce and native plants, capturing rainwater and living a minimalist lifestyle among other things.  They’ve been green long before the word green came to its present state of an overused and washed out marketing phenomena.

Why I Like Them: They set an example and their music has a unique funky vibe (acoustic soul they call it) that is honest and addictive.  In fact one music producer told them their music was “too honest.”  They are fun loving and have an amazing message that they live and breathe.

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band

“Progress takes away, what forever took to find.”

Green Link:Bama Green Project

Type of Music: Acoustic Rock/Jazz

What makes them green: While on tour, DMB participates in an evolving green program by eating locally, reducing waste, using bio-diesel, and hosting over 1,700 environmental groups across the country in the Bama Green Eco-Village to help spread the message to their fans. The Bama Green Project is also dedicated to educating DMB fans around the world about how to take simple & action oriented environmental steps. They’ve had the help of nearly 2,500 volunteers in collecting fan carbon offset donations, and more than 400,000 fans have participated in their carpooling program. When the band is not touring, the “Eco-Village” hits ski areas on the annual IZSTYLE Winter Tour, created by bassist Stefan Lessard. Dave Matthews is also an official supporter of The Wilderness Society, which is dedicated to preserving America’s wilderness. The band has also retroactively neutralized the carbon footprint of their entire touring career, offsetting a total of 101,320 tons of CO2.

Why I Like Them: The band jams in concert, is an incredible scene to be a part of  and has a “Grateful Dead like” cult following.  They were at the forefront of carbon offsets for traveling bands.  They’re cool!

30 Seconds to Mars

30 Seconds to Mars - A Beautiful Lie

“Is it better to do this than to not?”

Green Link: A Beautiful Lie

Type of Music: Indie Rock

What makes them green: “For the record, let me state loud and clearly: We do not profess to be experts on the environmental conditions of the planet.  We do not pretend to live our lives in perfect harmony with the Earth making sure that every time we exhale we purchase green tags to offset the carbon emissions that come from all the hot air we admittedly toss around.  And yes, we are aware of the implications and banal social dangers that could come with making an environmental statement in a music video.  But we were compelled and inspired to move forward regardless and it ultimately came down to us asking ourselves…”

Why I like them: They are a part of the solution, understanding that even attempting that is better than complaining about it.  They rock hard, tell it like it is and they do it in an intelligent and profound manner.

Five honorable mention bands, doing the green thing:

Pearl Jam – Since their inception they’ve been committed to the environment and social causes.

Neil Young – He’s been preaching to us about environmental and social issues before time began and still is, and now he’s electrifying his Lincoln Continental.

K.T. Tunstall – Leading the way in Britain and living it.

John Denver – You may not love his sound but he committed his life and music to the environment.

Willie Nelson – Farm Aid and now “Buy Local, Sell Local” is his mantra.

Sure there’s more and some doing some great green things.  Let me know about it.

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