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Anticipating U2′s No Line on the Horizon

17th February 2009

Artwork for the cover is by Japanese artist and photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto

As a U2 fan, I am looking forward to the release of U2′s new album, No Line on the Horizon. While the album is slated for release in North American on 3 March 2009, the first single from the album, “Get on your boots,” has been available since mid-January. I’m not sure what I think about “Get on your boots.” I like it, though I don’t think it will be one of my U2 favourties. The song is a fun romp with Bono taking a break from his political activism (“I don’t want to talk about wars between nations”) and calling us to live in the joy of the moment together (“”here’s where we gotta be / love and community / laughter is eternity /if joy is real”).

The official (and somewhat surreal) music video for “Get On Your Boots” can be viewed on YouTube:

The first full review of the album was just published over at Neil McCormick’s blog. McCormick comes right out and give us his assessment:

It is a great record, and greatness is what rock and roll and the world needs right now. From the grittily urgent yet ethereal title track all the way to the philosophically ruminative, spacey coda of ‘Cedars Of Lebanon’ it conjures an extraordinary journey through sound and ideas, a search for soul in a brutal, confusing world, all bound together in narcotic melody and space age pop songs.

What I found most interesting about McCormick’s review is his statement that “To me, it is probably the album ‘Zooropa’ was supposed to be, building on the sonic architecture of classic U2 and taking it into the pop stratosphere.” It seems like what we’re going to be treated to is another example of U2 departing from the easy route and giving us something that is a bit experimental yet retaining enough of the core sound that everyone expects from U2. As someone who loves pretty much all of U2′s albums, including the more experimental albums Zooropa and Pop, I know what I’ll be buying the morning of March 3rd!

I encourage you to read McCormick’s full review (btw, McCormick is a childhood friend of Bono and U2 and author of Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppelganger [Buy from |] and contributor to U2 By U2 [Buy from |]).

The album, No Line on the Horizon, is being released in a number of different packages:

Posted in Music Videos, Popular Culture, U2 | Comments Off

Help with 1970s Pop Culture Reference

20th February 2007

OK, this may seem a bit strange, but I want some help to identify a 1970s pop culture reference. I was watching the music video for Everclear’s song “AM Radio” and for the life of me I can’t recall the name of a TV show/movie that is referenced in the video. Here are some image captures:



If anyone can help me here, it would be much appreciated as it is kind of bugging me!

The video, by the way, is quite clever. It has references to Kojak, Brady Bunch, American Bandstand, Pong, The land Before Time, among others.

Posted in music, Music Videos, Popular Culture | 10 Comments »

New U2 Single Released!

5th September 2006

I mentioned the rumours that U2 was heading into the studio this fall here.

As it turns out they released a new single already! Check it out here.

(HT Looking Closer)

Posted in Humour, Music Videos, News, Popular Culture, U2 | 1 Comment »

Stylus’ Top 100 Music Videos – A Bit Off the Mark

21st July 2006

I woud like to thank AKMA’s Random Thoughts for distracting me from my work today by pointing out Stylus Magazines Top 100 Music Videos of All Time article. Now, as a teen in the eighties, I grew up on the (then new) entertainment medium of music video. I remember staying up late every Friday night to watch the latest and greatest videos on “Friday Night Videos” — this was before channels like MTV becames popular or others like VH1, or MuchMusic even existed (and when MTV actually played music videos!).

Looking through Stylus’s list I thought it was pretty good, though as AKMA noted it seem to have favoured more recent fare. I was happy to see Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime” at number 20 as well as their “Wild Wild Lifeâ€? at 55 (featuring a slim John Goodman before he was well known), R.E.M.‘s “Losing My Religionâ€? at 17 (facinating to realize what exactly “losing my religion” is referring to), Chris Isaak – “Wicked Gameâ€? at 56, Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spiritâ€? at 77, Robert Palmer’s classic “Addicted to Loveâ€? at 96 (hmm… shouldn’t this be higher? and then there’s Shania Twain’s parody, “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” or even better yet, Bowling for Soup’s partial parody in “1985“), and even OutKast’s clever video of “Hey Yaâ€? at 77. I was pleasantly surprised to see Johnny Cash hold the number two spot with his video of the Nine Inch Nails’s song “Hurt.â€? I use this video along with the original Nine Inch Nails video in my advanced hermeneutics class. There were many videos I hadn’t seen — and a few that I watched. I quite liked seeing Christopher Walken dance in Fatboy Slim’s “Weapon of Choiceâ€? (but where was Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You” in the list?); I didn’t understand why the number one video was number one.

PGabriel_Play.jpgI think that Peter Gabriel‘s “Sledgehammer” should have been number 1, instead of 15. And I would have perhaps put some of his other videos in the list rather than “Shock the Monkeyâ€? (number 83). In fact, perhaps the biggest surpirse was the fact that only two of Peter Gabriel’s music videos were on the list! I can’t think of any other artist who treats his music videos as art. He is experimental, creative, and sometimes shocking in his videos. I would have included his “Steam” (which won a Grammy as best short music video in 1993), “Digging in the Dirt” (Grammy as best short music video in 1992), as well as “Blood of Eden.” One of my favourite DVD video compilations of all time is Gabriel’s 2004 Play: The Videos (Buy from | Buy from

There were a number of other videos that I was surprised not to see somewhere on the list. For instance, I was surprized to not see Dire Straits, “Money for Nothing“; this video was one of the first to experiment with computer graphics. Or even their “Brothers In Arms“, which won a Grammy in 1986. By no strech of the imagination am I a Michael Jackson fan; that being said, his “Thriller” video must be considered one of the best of all time — at least top ten (I have to laugh at the beginning of the video when Jackson says “I’m not like other guys; I’m different”! Nobody knew then just how different he was!). I was also disappointed not to see any U2 in the list. Finally, I think “Weird Al” Yankovic should have been honourable mention for all of this excellent video parodies!

OK, back to work… of course I guess I could consider this research for my Religion & Popular Culture class!

Posted in Media, Music Videos, Popular Culture | Comments Off