6 Songs Say A Lot

I’ve seen this on a few blogs around the web and figured I’d take a shot at the meme. The premise originated on NPR and asks you to basically define yourself with a few songs. I’d love to know your songs, too.

What was the first song you ever bought?
One Christmas I received two copies of Huey Lewis and the News’ Fore! and for the first time in my life I was given the choice of what music I wanted. Of course, I opted for Wang Chung’s Mosaic because of the song “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.” I have no regrets. It’s still a great song even if no one knows was it means to Wang Chung tonight.

What song always gets you dancing?
I’m not a dancer, but it never fails that any time I hear Electric Light Orchestra’s “Mr. Blue Sky” I lose control and have to move to it. I dare you to try and sit still while you hear this song.

What song takes you back to your childhood?
Star. Wars. Theme. What you expected depth?

What is your perfect love song?
Since 1987, the answer’s been the same. “With or Without You”

What song would you want at your funeral?
They wouldn’t be my all-time favorite band if they didn’t show up on this list more than once. U2’s “Bad” has always been on the short list for favorite song ever. One of my favorite performances of it was captured in Rattle and Hum.

Time for an encore. One last song that makes you, you.
Maybe I’m being a little nostalgic, but underneath the overwhelming 80s influence, The Boss will always make me think of lifelong friends, growing up in the ‘burbs, and make me wish I could write songs. “No Surrender” brings it all.

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U2 Albums

A few weeks ago, Patton Oswalt was performing in Anchorage and told a story about being in Alaska in 1994 and referenced Zooropa. He said Zooropa was U2’s worst album. In my head, I objected, but then I went through the exercise of listing them in order…well, shucks.

1. Achtung Baby (1991)
2. The Joshua Tree (1987)
3. Boy (1980)
4. The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
5. October (1981)
6. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
7. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
8. Rattle and Hum (1988)
9. War (1983)
10. No Line on the Horizon (2009)
11. Pop (1997)
12. Zooropa (1993)

Bands I’ve Seen Open for U2

  • 1992 ZooTV Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, WA)  The Pixies
  • 1997 Popmart Autzen Stadium (Eugene, OR)  Rage Against The Machine
  • 1997 Popmart Kingdome (Seattle, WA) Smashmouth
  • 2001 Elevation Tacoma Dome (Tacoma, WA) PJ Harvey
  • 2001 Elevation BC Place (Vancouver, BC) PJ Harvey
  • 2001 Elevation Rose Garden (Portland, OR) PJ Harvey
  • 2005 Vertigo Sports Arena (San Diego, CA) Kings of Leon
  • 2005 Vertigo Rose Garden (Portland, OR) Kanye West
  • 2009 U2360 Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) Black Eyed Peas
  • 2009 U2360 BC Place (Vancouver, BC) Black Eyed Peas
  • 2011 U2360 Qwest Field (Seattle, WA) Lenny Kravitz
  • 2011 U2360 Busch Stadium (St. Louis, MO) Interpol

No Line on the Horizon: Anatomy of an Album Review



I went to great lengths to not hear U2’s No Line on the Horizon until it was officially released on March 3. Believe it or not, I resisted temptation and my first listen was at about 9pm on March 2 (it was already March 3 on the East Coast and the album was available on AmazonMP3). The first listen was at a low volume and all I did was sit and listen…no notes, no real analysis at all. The next day I listened to it pretty much non-stop. That night I got home from work and listened to it with notepad open with the intention of writing a review. I started with rough notes. I kept listening and listening and listening. I went back and forth on how to review the album. Upon first listen I would have rated it 4 stars (out of 5 if I believed in stars). That next day I started to digest it a little more. I started to hear themes and patterns. I recognized that the song structures were similar to what I’d observed in How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and “Window in the Skies”. It started to feel like U2 had created an album for me…or for fanatics. There seem to be lots of hints to other work they’d done going all the way back to Boy. I’m now confident giving it a 5 star review. Here’s a quote from The Mad Fishicist [posted without permission]:



“the melodies of unforgettable fire,

the guitars of achtung baby,

the rhythm of pop,

and the sentiment of how to dismantle an atomic bomb got together one night for a few beers,

but got so drunk they couldn’t find their keys.

no line on the horizon had them the whole time.”

And as a treat, to you few readers who still tune in, I’m including the first notepad text I jotted down on day 2.

1. No Line on the Horizon

wow great opening, feels like a preface to the journey

Verse: my favorite Bono voice register

Chorus – Simplicity

Verse: time is irrelevant…



2. Magnificent

Intro: that’s a meaty chord

Euro dance

Great riff

This will be the live song of the tour!

Very “Until the End of the World”

Edge and Larry rockin us into the chorus

Only Love – Can make such a mark, can heal such a scar

Adam’s challenging himself

I’m air guitaring…I can’t help it in this bridge/solo

I want a djembe a la The Visitor



3. Moment of Surrender

Neat little intro very Achtung Baby

Part “Love is Blindness”, part “So Cruel”

Feels like “N + S of the River”, might be trying to be the “So Cruel” wherein the drug is the lover.

Bono’s not cheating on the vocals, he’s selling it.

Very theatric

It’s not if I believe in love, if love believes in me…oh believe in me.

Kinda Pink Floyd -> momentary lapse of reason

Understated little solo with piano and Edge taunting us

There’s the Edge…lots of compression, just what the song needs.



4. Unknown Caller

Intro – Feels like “Walk On”, birds chirping

Wow, sounds like vocals off of
War

Verse – Back to Achtung Baby

Bridge – Go Shout it Out, Rise Up

Chorus 2 – Restart and Reboot Yourself, nice

French Horn transitioning to Solo – Edge making guitar sing

5. I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight

Larry nice beat

Cheesy lyrics? Bono, falsetto trying to do the New Radicals thing?

Chorus kicks – great melody, Edge ripping

Answer to cheesy lyrics “The right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear” ironic lyrics?

Background melody in chorus

Strings?

BABY BABY BABY Bridge (Ultraviolet)

Another solo with Pridesqe sounds including the arena sing along anthem.

Adam winding down.



6. Get On Your Boots

Syncronous bass/guitar…bass pulls through

Ah, “The Fly” of 2009.

You don’t know how beautiful you are (You don’t know octave)

Reminds me of CoBL “Oh you look so beautiful tonight, in the city of blinding lights”

1988 sound

Larry working it.

Let me in the Sound…awesome!

Get on your boots, not get your boots on or put on your boots…interesting



7. Stand Up Comedy

DMB rhythm

Two towers

Fall down, stand up

Lyrics had to have come last

Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady

Historical references…do some research

Small man with big ideas, ha!

Humming into the bridge

Solo in the bridge

They think it’s hardcore, with a few changes it would be.



8. FEZ – Being Born

FEZ- great contrast – Let me in the sound…sounds like Great Expectations sndtrk song…look that up. [edit: “Siren” Tori Amos]

Being Born- driving intro…we’re gonna go somewhere in this song.

Layer 2- Holy… elevated (who’s playing piano?)

Verse – brought it back down, but Larry’s still driving us

Adam – nice

African sun

Chorus? Is this a chorus or a bridge? Is there a chorus? Well crafted structured. Here’s a bridge.

10 bucks says Bono wanted to have some anthemic chorus at one point but simplified it.

How would this look live?

Transistions to drop down for next song.



9. White As Snow

This takes me to Ireland or Sarajevo.

Sounds like Sinead could sing this

Good bridge (?) Lanois on steel string?

There’s Bono’s voice.



10. Breathe

Rhythm intro…

Edge + piano

Rough scratch

John Lennon sounding

3 things 3

These days are better than that

Loose electricity

Strong chorus

Can see this being incredible live

Strings

Solo pulls us into a bridge

Chorus is the simple U2 chords we’re used to.



11. Cedars of Lebanon

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s “Love is Blindness”

Intro dissolves

Great percussion

It’s a talkie

Interesting little chorus with the harmony

Return the call to home

Very Eno/Lanois sounding with strings and keys

Abrupt end, brilliant

Feels like “Promenade”, but much darker

Lyrics: More Than Words (Part Five)

In honor of the New Year, here are three songs to get you reflecting on 2007 and on 2008.

“A Long December” – Counting Crows from Recovering the Satellites

A long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving
Now the days go by so fast

And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think that I could be forgiven…I wish you would

The smell of hospitals in winter
And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls
All at once you look across a crowded room
To see the way that light attaches to a girl

And it’s one more day up in the canyons
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
If you think you might come to California…I think you should

Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after 2 AM
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it’s been a long December and there’s reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass

And it’s one more day up in the canyon
And it’s one more night in Hollywood
It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean…I guess I should

“New Year’s Day” – U2 from War

All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you,
Be with you night and day

Nothing changes on New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it’s true, it’s true
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I will begin again
I will begin again

Maybe the time is right
Oh, maybe tonight

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we’re told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year’s Day

“The New Year” – Death Cab for Cutie from Transatlanticism

So this is the new year
And I don’t feel any different
The clanking of crystal
Explosions off in the distance, in the distance

So this is the new year
And I have no resolutions
For self assigned penance
For problems with easy solutions

So everybody put your best suit or dress on
Let’s make believe that we are wealthy for just this once
Lighting firecrackers off on the front lawn
As thirty dialogs bleed into one

I wish the world was flat like the old days
Then i could travel just by folding a map
No more airplanes, or speed trains, or freeways
There’d be no distance that can hold us back

So this is the new year

10 Years, 10 years

Do you remember what you were doing 10 years ago? While the date passed on Wednesday, 12/12/1997 was a Friday, however, so tonight is the night I choose to recognize. Still lost? Were you part of the famous sweet 16? Ring any bells? On December 12, 1997, U2 played one of the last major concerts in Seattle’s Kingdome and myself and 15 other friends were in the front row for it. Most of those 16 have gone their own way over the last 10 years, but I do still keep in regular contact with many. It will always be a special night. So, Riche, Mad Fishicist, [Sch]metzger, Chindo, J-Nard, Laura, Fearing, Freshmaker, Thunderchuck, Homdrom, Gladney, Reaney and others I can’t distinguish (it’s been 10 years, give me a break) at this hour. Someone somewhere has a photo from that night I remember posing for it a few minutes after convincing Bono to bring “40” out of the vault.

What Were the 90’s All About?: Bono

How can you define the 90’s when there is such a variety? The 90’s through the many faces phases of Bono.

1990 (Early Achtung sessions in Berlin)


1991 (Achtung Baby sessions)


1992 (ZooTV)


1993 (ZooTV/Zoomerang)


1994 (Remember the Sinatra duets/Grammy presentation?)

1995 (Warchild)

1996 (Yeah, he’s wearing a Batman necklace)

1997 (PopMart)

1998 (Is that Bono or Elvis Costello?)


1999