In the midst of their five night engagement at Madison Square Garden, members of U2 took a bit of time off from their usual gig. First, Adam Clayton and the Edge made a surprise appearance at the 20th anniversary party of fansite @U2, joining a tribute band onstage to play a couple of songs. Then, the entire band sat down with the Scotts for the U Talkin' U2 To Me? episode years in the making, including multiple I Love Films segments and the band finally giving the Scotts some swag. (Still no t-shirts.)
Probably this is the first time Bono has ever publicly baptized a long-dead wife-beater into postmortem Irishness at Ellis Island, but honestly I wouldn’t know, because I mostly ignore his activities in his role as The Living Incarnation Of Thirst. Mostly this is just the convenient, and conveniently ridiculous, news peg I am using as an excuse to point out that he is an annoying doofus who has been peddling emptily profoundish, nauseatingly wholesome, sexless Disney World theme music to milquetoast nice bros for longer than I have been alive, and I wish he would quit it.Albert Burneko puts the boot into Bono and U2, along the way taking swipes at John Lennon and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You might want to calibrate your outrage with his views on cats.
Paul Morley conducts arguably the worst ever Brian Eno interview sometime in 1992. "A boring question is when you already know the answer" and other throwaways. [more inside]
Every Breaking Wave [13m17s] is a short film set in 1980s Belfast during The Troubles. Directed by Aoife McArdle [Vimeo], using music by U2, as part of Vice's The Creators Project.
U2 frontman Bono Vox writes an end-of-the-year letter.
Rolling Stone has announced its 50 best albums of 2014.
U2's thirteenth studio album Songs Of Innocence was released for free download via iTunes this week (with surprisingly good reviews and some naysayers). And of course, some controversy about how it was distributed... But it's been 5 1/2 years since the release of their last album. What on earth have they been up in the meantime? [more inside]
With the passing of Casey Kasem, noise artists Negativland have released the the original un-mixed studio multi-track tape "stems" for their 1991 single "U2" and are welcoming remixes on their facebook page. Previously.
Casey Kasem, the resonant voice of Top 40 radio and a vocal fixture on cartoon programs for the past 40 years, has died, according to his daughter. He was 82. [more inside]
Widespread fraud has been discovered in the case of an Indian generic drug manufacturer that makes generic Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) and many other drugs. Ranbaxy has "pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with intent to defraud." [more inside]
Classic Albums is a rock and pop documentary series, broadcast and on DVD, starting with The Making of Sgt. Pepper. There were 38 more albums covered, plus five more in the Netherlands... [more inside]
Kathryn Bigelow's striking bin Laden manhunt thriller Zero Dark Thirty arrives in wide release tonight on the heels of a final artful trailer -- one with oddly familiar musical accompaniment. The funereal hymn, a cover of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (lyrics), deftly recasts the 90s power ballad as a haunting dirge of quiet grief, shattered ideals, and a singleminded focus on revenge, a perfect distillation of the film's profoundly grim thesis. But while the song may be fitting, it wasn't composed for the project -- it's just the latest success story from Belgian women's choir Scala & Kolacny Brothers, whose mournful reinterpretations of classic and modern rock -- catapulted by their rendition of "Creep" in The Social Network -- have made them famous around the world, with star turns in the likes of Homeland ("Every Breath You Take") and Downton Abbey ("With or Without You"). Cover comparison site WhoSampled offers a list of YouTube comparisons between the covers and the originals; look inside for more of their work in movies and television. [more inside]
'It's probably easy today to dismiss Negativland's activities as trifle, banal or plain stupid. They probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable with that, as they rarely claimed to go beyond the softest platitudes of the entertainment biz. No Other Possibility (1989, 58 mins, .avi d/l link), their first video work, showcases the band at a career threshold, before their U2ploitation move and just after their Christianity hoax. It typically explores the debris of American pop culture, dealing with automobile fetishism, televised preaching, halloween traditions, Marlboro masculinity, soft drinks and MTV.' [more inside]
For some, it's a document examining a pivotal point in rock history with one of the biggest bands. For others, it is a eulogy marking the transformation of a vibrant force in music into ironic self-importance. Either way, David Guggenheim's 2011 film From The Sky Down [in two parts, ~90m total, trailer] is an interesting, somewhat historical, definitely hagiographic documentary about the struggles U2 faced between the end of the Joshua Tree tour and during the recording and release of Achtung Baby. [more inside]
Caitlin Moran: On a mission from god to reclaim feminism, or an excuse to crash a lot of cars and have a lot of fun
At 16, she published her first book, started writing for Melody Maker, and won the Observer Young Reporter Of The Year competition, and they gave her a column. At 17, she "skipped ship" over to The Times, and has been writing there since. U2 filmed a video in her house at 18, when she was co-presenting on the short-lived Naked City program, interviewing Björk, Iggy Pop, and others. Caitlin Moran won the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011, and Glamour Magazine's Writer of the Year award in 2012. The last award was in large part for her book How To Be a Woman, her mission from God to reclaim feminism, though it was more in the lines of The Blues Brothers: crashing a lot of cars, and having a hoot. The "British Tina Fey" talks about contemporary sexual issues such as slut walks, pop culture, clothing and women, abortion, having the sex talk, and why "it's actually technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism".
In 2002, @U2's long since departed Answer Guy analyzed Anton Corbjin's video for the then new U2 single Electrical Storm. His analysis is insightful and entertaining.
At the end of November, 1979, this band was just a year and half old and had played fewer than 40 sets. They had a handful of embryonic songs influenced by Television and Magazine, and a 3-month old, 3-song EP with two decent songs. Then they went to London to play a bunch of gigs behind that EP, and in just 6 months, over 40 gigs, they exploded. They watched in the studio during the January 1980 recording of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” wooing Joy Division’s producer Martin Hannett; appeared on TV that month with a song they had only played 4 times, and released a forgettable single at the end of February. Suddenly new songs poured out at a remarkable rate: ”Twilight”, “Things to make and Do,” “A Day Without Me”, ”Trevor” became ”Touch”, ”Silver Lining” transformed into a second single (produced by Hannett). They signed a record contract in March, and immediately began recording a stunning debut album. By the summer they had more songs: a psychedelic/sexual horror tune, and a hot new single. It all became
bloated and sucky commercial and atmospheric soon after, but for a while there, boy did they rock. [more inside]
Fifteen years and three weeks ago, four lads from Dublin wandered into a K-Mart in NYC and attracted a crowd as they played a song they've never played live since. They then took some questions from the audience about their intentions over the next year or so. The proceedings were carried live on music television stations around the world. (Part 1 2 3 4) The day was February 12, 1997; the song was Holy Joe; the men performing were U2. They were announcing the release of their new album, POP, released 15 years ago, on March 3, 1997. Loved by many critics, adored by many fans, met with an indifferent shrug by the general public, and repeatedly scorned by the band themselves, perhaps it's time to look back again at this controversial groundbreaking album and landmark tour. [more inside]
In anticipation of the upcoming 20th anniversary re-release (and gargantuan money sink opportunities) of U2's Achtung Baby!, Q Magazine (UK) is issuing their December issue with a bundled CD of covers of every track by big name stars. You can find a couple of them now for listening online -- Damien Rice doing One, Garbage doing Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses, and Jack White doing Love Is Blindness. [more inside]
You stand at the front of the stage with a sign that reads, "Blind Guitar Player Bring me Up". At the end of the encore Bono looks at you and says "What do you want to play". An uplifting story of a man that traveled to Nashville via Phoenix to watch his favorite band for the 20th time and the night he will never forget. I haven't been a big U2 fan for several years but props to Bono - how many rock stars would think of doing something so bold and generous (he gave him his guitar too).
U2 lead singer Bono is well-known for his charitable works. The band however seems a bit more mercenary in their business affairs, moving from low tax Ireland to lower-tax Netherlands in 2006. Some accuse the band of hypocrisy, and have attempted a protest at the Glastonbury festival.[prev.]
The Original Cast Recording for Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark is currently available for a free listen thanks to MSN. (approx 51 minutes) The track listing shows that it's not only the cast members performing the songs. [more inside]
Mike Massé does a lot of nice covers - to a smattering of customers live at Pie Pizza in South Jordan, Utah [more inside]
In 1993, after aid worker Bill Carter told them about the situation in Sarajevo, U2 wanted to play a concert there, but realized it would be impractical and dangerous for both the band and the people of Sarajevo. But Bono promised that U2 would play the city one day. (He also set up a satellite link to Sarajevo in the middle of Zooropa concerts.) On September 23, 1997, a year after the official end of the siege, U2 kept that promise. [more inside]
"People that like Spider-Man and super heroes and villains and violence and kissing would like this play." A six-year-old girl reviews -- sorry, "re-piews" -- the injury-plagued production of Julie Taymor's Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, currently in previews in New York.
This week, the world will finally get its first look at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. But the most expensive musical in Broadway history has already had an epic run—battling bankruptcy, broken wrists, unruly technology, and one comic villain disguised as a Post columnist. And at the center of it all, perched over her “God mike,” is the relentless and inventive Julie Taymor. (previously)
I CANT LIVE WITHOUT YOY. Armed with air guitar, U2's With Or Without You, and a video camera that he can type overlays into, a kid professes his everlasting love to
Twenty years ago in Berlin a wall came down. But at a free concert last night given by U2 in front of the Brandenburg Gate, MTV Europe decided to put a wall back up.
Fans of U2 have probably already seen concert footage from their current tour of the giant elliptical LED screen that morphs into a 7-story high cone-shaped structure, enveloping the band as it extends. But what you may not know is that it was designed (in collaboration with Barco) by Chuck Hoberman, inventor of the Hoberman Sphere. [more inside]
"I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight," a beautiful little moodful animated Larry Mullen Band music video. [more inside]
Only 325 days until Broadway's Hilton Theater hosts the first preview of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, a $40 million musical directed by Juliet Taymor with music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge of U2. Investors hope it will fare better than another big-budget pulp adaptation.
"Developing a low-quality aesthetic is a sign of serious fine art." Hiroshi Sugimoto is a Japanese photographer most famous for blank seascapes and photos of empty theaters that aren't really empty. In a 2005 interview he talks about the relation of his work with Duchamp, Man Ray, and the mathematics faculty of Tokyo university. He won the 2001 Hasselblad prize and his photographs of plaster models of mathematical surfaces have appeared in the New York Times. But his work has never really broken out to a mass audience. Until now.
Iconic joshua tree has fallen... many fine photographs centering on the national park and lots of information about the trees are included on this fan site. via [more inside]
U2FU? Paul McGuinness, longtime manager of the band U2, has called on governments to compel ISPs to introduce mandatory French-style service disconnections to stop unauthorized downloading. [more inside]
You've probably seen the video of Kirk and Spock set to "Closer." You might not be familiar with the wider world of fanvids, however. It might be "Lost" set to Warren Zevon or "Heroes" set to Jonathan Coulton. Some are slashy, others are just hilarious. And some are really awesome.
"Window in the Sky" is a YouTube style video synch mash-up done on a professional budget with the magic of copyright clearances. "It's a triumph of postmodern reconstruction" says the Washington Post.
"U2, Kaiser Chiefs, Maximo Park and about 4,000 other bands have taken out a full page newspaper ad calling for the improvement of British copyright law. " wtf
What do you get when you combine the Jesus and U2? U2-charist, of course!
Bonofilter: Yesterday, May 16, U2 front-man Bono was a guest "editor" for the UK newspaper The Independent. Called the "RED Edition," half of this issue's proceeds went "to help fight HIV and AIDS among women and children in Africa." Highlights included US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice offering her take on "The Ten Best Musical Works" and an interview with Eddie Izzard on immigration in Europe. Is there a downside to celebrity editing, or is it a win-win-win for Bono, The Independent, and some people in need?
Newsfilter: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Paul Hewson named by Time Magazine as their persons of the year in recognition of their efforts against HIV-1, malaria and debt in Africa. "For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year." said the mag's editor-in-chief.
U2, the Pope, Bush, Blair and Oprah together -- doing head and shoulders! Yet more Flash Friday fun.
Sometimes You Can't Fix You On Your Own. (Quicktime and Windows Media.) If there has ever been doubt about Coldplay's burning ambition to be U2, let it be put to rest.
Built at Lockheed's secret Skunk Works facility for use by the Central Intelligence Agency, and in service since 1950s, the U2 spy plane has seen service all over the world (or, at the very least, 70,000 feet above it). It has shown us what both our friends and enemies were doing, helping us avert wars, and in at least one occasion, almost causing one itself. Today, just over 45 years since Francis Gary Powers fell from the sky into the Soviet Union, the United States Air Force has announced from Baghdad that yet another Dragon Lady has fallen from the sky in an undisclosed location in Southwestern Asia.
"A number of people I talked to there felt like the Red Rocks show was a religious experience. Nobody was prepared for what the band did. It stunned everybody." 22 years ago today, U2 filmed their "Under a Blood Red Sky" concert at Red Rocks amphitheatre outside Denver, Colorado.
U2 Can B A Rock Star Prez. The president of the World Bank is traditionally an American. But in a recent editorial the L.A. Times nominated third-world debt relief activitist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee and--oh yeah--U2 frontman for the soon-to-be-vacant position. With economic tutoring from "probably the most important economist in the world", the singer/activist (and self-confessed egomaniac) has spent the last 5 years lobbying the World Bank and IMF to help African nations break the decades' old cycle of debt by combining debt relief with improved trade and AIDS assistance. After a stint as celebrity spokesmodel for Jubilee2000, then founding a similar DATA Agenda funded by Bill Gates, he's developed cred as "a serious player on Third World debt". "It's about the right to begin again," Bono says. "The right to be free of your past..." President Bono: a chance to reform the World Bank from the inside, or celebrity poser? Readers' response... [BugMeNot for the reg-only sites]
U2 vs. Negativland IPod "special edition". Totally Unauthorized, but your purchase will help Downhill Battle , and thus, will end the major label monopoly and build a better, fairer music industry. If you are not the high-bidder, you can always make your own by stopping here and here .
U2-style Friday Flash Fun. They join the ranks of Flash game marketeers in the promotion of their new single, Vertigo, and upcoming album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. And by the way, someone found the contents of that briefcase that got stolen in Portland 23 years ago.
Bono's commencement address to U.Penn. "The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.... That's what this degree of yours is, a blunt instrument. So go forth and build something with it." [via Ed]
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