Category Archives: U2

U2 and Apple?

So U2 and Green Day welcomed the New Orleans Saints back to the Superdome in style with a mesmerizing 10-minute performance that rivals U2’s 2002 SuperBowl appearance. And you can watch it on YouTube. The highlight of the show was the groups performing “The Saints are Coming”, an old Skids song (Andrew Careaga’s got the history). The song and performance were a benefit for Music Rising, an organization the Edge started to help replace the instruments of Gulf Coast musicians.

Now here’s where it gets weird. U2, Green Day and Music Rising partnered with Rhapsody to offer downloads of the performance to benefit Music Rising. Rhapsody, which is incompatible with Mac and less than compatible with iPods? The song is going out to radio, and a commercial CD release is planned for November 7.

So if you’ve got a U2 iPod you may have a hard time getting the latest U2 song on it, at least for now. So what gives? Did U2 and Apple have a falling out? Was Apple not willing to give the benefits to Music Rising (doubt it, seems like Apple has done charity downloads before)? Or is music so last year and Apple is too focused on video? Weird.

The Vertigo Tour: U2 in Minneapolis

On Friday night I sat behind the stage, which isn’t quite as good as back stage, for the U2 show in Minneapolis. I first saw U2 in 2001 during the Elevation Tour when I was just becoming a fan. This time around I think I can say I’m more than a fan.

U2 has become far and away my favorite band. And I didn’t realize it until Friday night, but many of their songs have become worship music for me. I found myself pumping my fist along to “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” but also looking past the rafters and raising my hands to God during “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” The concert was more of a spiritual experience than a musical one. I think Tim said it better than I can.

Continue reading The Vertigo Tour: U2 in Minneapolis

Bono in Conversation

Just received a copy of Bono: In conversation with Michka Assayas. It’s basically a big long Q&A with the lead singer of U2 and most iconic rocker in a long time. Looks like it’s going to be fun.

Who the hell are you, then?

I’m a scribbling, cigar-smoking, wine-drinking, Bible-reading band man. A show-off [laughs] … who loves to paint pictures of what I can’t see. A husband, father, friend of the poor and sometimes the rich. An activist traveling salesman of ideas. Chess player, part-time rock star, opera singer, in the loudest folk group in the world. How’s that? (43)

It also reveals that Bono’s favorite religious song is “Amazing Grace,” (I’m sure that was probably common knowledge among U2 fans, but it’s fun to know that my dad and Bono love the same song) and when asked about his favorite U2 song says, “We haven’t written it yet.” When pressed he mentions “Stay (Faraway, So Close)” and “Please” among his favorites (129-130).

Yeah, I’m just pulling from the press materials that came with the book, but how can you resist the 12 pages of utterly quotable Bono they provide? Unfortunately my book pile is growing higher, so it might be a while before I can get deeper into the book.

Selling out U2

Along with the big splash of U2’s new album last year came plenty of complaints about the band selling out. The complaints range from the type music (too commercial), to their appearance in the iPod commercial (sell out!), to licensing their songs, to the recent ticket debacle. This Chicago Tribune article covers most of the complaints from disgruntled U2 fans.

Now I’m a U2 nut (in case you haven’t noticed) and probably rather biased, but I still don’t get all this complaining. The ticket stuff I understand–they screwed things up and should have a better system. Though I don’t understand how that makes them a bunch of sell outs.

But all the other complaints just amaze me. They’re taking all these steps to get their music out there and be heard, and they just get slammed for it. As if licensing songs–making money from the work you did–is a bad thing. The band has a big ego (OK, Bono has a big ego) and they want to be heard. They don’t want to play music to their dying fans on some unending reunion tour. They want to make fresh music and be heard by new ears. I don’t see how that’s a horrible thing. It’s not like we’ve seen the U2 rap album (or worship album for that matter). It’s not like they’re appearing on TRL and trying to rock it with the youngsters.

Quit your bellyaching, people. It reminds me of the folks who piss and moan when 89.3 plays a U2 song: “Oh, they’re too commercial!” Grow up.

The Complete U2

A ridiculous 446 U2 songs are availabe on iTunes in The Complete U2, which includes every studio album, tons of singles, EPs and b-sides, as well as several concerts and a collection of unreleased and rare tunes.

Surprisingly it’s available a day early (or it’s late enough the night before that we can call it close enough), but happily you can buy most some songs for 99 cents and don’t have to shell out $150 for the set (UPDATE: though most of the rare and live cuts are now available “album only”). But despite the title I can think of a few U2 tracks missing. Not many, but a few, including the covers “Beat on the Brat” (The Ramones) and “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town” (Johnny Cash), as well as “Fortunate son “(Creedence Clearwater Revival) and “Paint it Black” (The Rolling Stones), though the latter two are available on the Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses EP. I could probably go on, but it seems like a dorky, fan boy thing to do, and I’d probably get schooled by a real fan.

And if you haven’t heard, U2 stormed the streets of New York today.

The new album comes out tomorrow, so I’ll stop the obsessive U2 posting. I promise.

U2: Live on Radio 1

You can catch a live five-song set of brand new U2 material on the BBC’s Radio 1. If you’re really a U2 fanatic, you can listen to Zane Lowe’s entire show for the occasional bit of interview, otherwise skip to 1:38:XX into the show for the music (and good luck with the BBC’s goofy player that has no rewind or fast-forward buttons). You can also tune into Jo Whiley’s show for more interviews spaced throughout her show and cuts from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

The live set includes “Vertigo,” a rollicking song called “All Because of You,” the song “Miracle Drug” with a typical Bono introduction, “Sometimes You Can’t Make it On Your Own” (which Adam revealed during Whiley’s show was originally written for All That You Can’t Leave Behind), and “Beautiful Day” as the finale with some changed words for Dublin.

Don’t worry, the new album comes out next week and I’ll shut up about U2.