St. Patrick’s Day is Here, and That Can Mean Only One Thing
March 17, 2009

Orange-Mocha Frappucinnos (spiked with Bailey’s and Jameson!) Vintage live U2 clips!  Here’s them performing “Mysterious Ways” on their Popmart Tour:  

The Edge’s guitar solo at the end is pretty much enough to get anyone drunk in my book, but I’m a notorious lightweight.  Hopefully you’re not seeing double, because he’s another round:

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U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Cedars of Lebanon”
March 3, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Aaaaaaaand we’re finally here.  At the end.  Turns out that my sore sinuses from the other day ended up being the first tremors of a bona-fide  sickquake.  Thankfully a little homemade chicken soup and a healthy dose bed-rest have got me back on my blogging feet (minus a scratchy throat, but thankfully I blog with my fingers, so no harm and no foul, I figure), but I digress.  We’re here to talk haiku reviews, not my old-maid tricks to getting over a winter-weather cold.  So FOCUS, people!  We’ve finally made it to the finish line of gonzo endeavor.  So dust off your mourning veils and get the kindling for your funeral pyres; this is the end of a (week-and-a-half-long) era:

cedars-haiku1

I suppose, as much as this is an end, we can always put the album on repeat (something I’ve already been plenty guilty of and shall continue to just get guiltier), so there’s no need for tears (well, except for the fact that you’ve just listen to “Cedars of Lebanon,” which is a one-way ticket to frowns-ville, population you and me). 

So there you have it.  Every song off No Line on the Horizon reviewed in haiku.  I’m sure this experience was deeply illuminating and informative in a 5-syllable/7-syllable/5-syllable sort of way.  Or perhaps they’ve inspired you to put me on blog-block.  For eternity.  

Either way, you’re welcome.

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Breathe”
March 1, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Let’s file this under bitter irony: my sinuses decide to turn on me the day “Breathe” comes up in this little endeavor.  Woof.  Admittedly, I’m not a cloggy mess, but my sinuses are all dried out and burny.  It’s better than being a mucous machine  (too much information?  nonsense, we’re close at this point, so deal!), but still, it hurts to…wait for it…breathe.  Harharhar!

breathe-haiku

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time for me to find my neti pot.  I’m glad I got to share with you my sinus status and another haiku, my dears.  Tomorrow, the grand finale: “Cedars of Lebanon”!

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “White as Snow”
February 28, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Given how joyfully upbeat the bulk of No Line on the Horizon is, “White as Snow” is kinda like an unexpected sadness kick to the face.  It’s ethereal and quite lovely, but it’s bound to give you a case of the frowns.  Grab your Prozac and take it to your happy place, y’all, ‘cos here we go:

was-haiku

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d best be off to the set of the video for “Laid” with my bag full of Heath bars.  I’ll be back tomorrow with “Breathe.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

The Bestest: The Video for “Laid” Was Apparently Filmed Inside My Head
February 28, 2009

I’d never really picked-up on the band James, but I always knew their song “Laid” as that pop song I liked that was in the trailer for American Pie.  Then today I was perusing wikipedia to see what other bands Brian Eno has produced, and a Manchester band by the name of James was mentioned.  If U2 and Coldplay hold any sort of proof positive, it’s that Brian Eno is the Worcestershire sauce for UK rock: he makes them just taste better.  So imagine my surprise when I came upon this little candy-colored, acid-laced cupcake of nostalgic awesomeness:

I’m quite glad that I never saw this video before today because I’m pretty sure I would’ve just been confused, but now it’s just a checklist of things that I love, including but not limited to:

  • Jacques Demy-esque pastels
  • Fancifully energetic frontmen
  • Dolly zooms (aka the Vertigo zoom; see 0:26 and 1:14 in the video)
  • 50s kitsch set decoration, costuming, and general aesthetic ambience
  • Subtitles in a music video
  • Gender roles
  • Drag

Then there’s this shot, which might be the most formally brilliant shot.  Ever:

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U2 “NLOTH” Haiku Review: “Get On Your Boots”
February 25, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

A sad day has come upon us!  I’m over halfway done with this little exercise insanity/tedium.  Before you know it, the whole album will be reviewed and there won’t be any more haikus (show some respect and try not to look so damn happy!).  Shall I stop now (please?) so we never have to face the inevitable?  No?  Fine!  Get your hankies ready because the end is now in sight:

goyb-haiku

Le sadness.  Only five more left.  Next up is “Stand Up Comedy.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

A.R. Rahman is One Step Closer to Becoming the Cuba Gooding Jr. of Best Song Oscar Winners
February 24, 2009

I may be profoundly unimpressed with the ridiculous Slumdog Millionaire sweep (Best Editing?  Really?), but I’m not such a crotchety bitch that I can’t recognize credit where credit is due, and I can fully admit that the end of Slumdog is innocuous and sweet:

There’s also something kinda creepy in a cultural-fetishization/imperialization sort of way, what with a movie about growing up in the slums of Mumbai being written and directed by two white men from the UK, but whatever.  I’d be inclined to complain about how, if the Academy really felt so inclined to give Slumdog a Best Song win, they could’ve at least picked the better song, but “Jai Ho” is perfectly fine, the Oscars are over, and we can all move on with our lives, right?

WRONG.  

Look at what I found on iTunes today:

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U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Unknown Caller”
February 23, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

I don’t know if it’s the lack of sleep (because Oscar parties in Washington Heights when you have to still travel back home to Brooklyn will do that to you) or what, but these damn haikus are wearing me out.  Curses to my blog promise!  Ugh.  Let’s get this done with:

u-c-haiku

Whatever.  I’m clearly Blogster the Grouch right now.  Let’s all go to bed.  G’night.

Tomorrow is “I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.”

As always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Moment of Surrender”
February 23, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I’m still playing catch-up with this foolish project.  So sue me.  The Oscars were yesterday, which meant I had to spend my day making banana nut muffins and doing oodles of laundry.  Seriously, my room was mere days away from warranting hazmat suits for guests.  Don’t believe me?  This is my room:

swamp-room2

Well, minus Swamp Thing and Heather Locklear.  My room simply isn’t lucky enough to house the cast of the 80s-camp goodness that is The Return of Swamp Thing.  Then again, is any room that lucky?  No, I think not.

But I digress.

Here’s the next installment of our haiku review.  If it were 2008, I’d make some timely joke about drinking it up like a milkshake, because Daniel Day Lewis was winning at the Oscars  for There Will Be Blood.  Alas, better (a year) late than never.  So drink it up!  Drink up the haiku-shake:

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U2 NLOTH Haiku Review: “Magnificent”
February 21, 2009

Benjamin made a promise to review every track off No Line on the Horizon, one a day, leading up to the official release on March 3.  Whoopsies!  Unfortunately, he can’t write about music for a damn as he studied film; it’s all “chiming Edge guitar” this and “propulsive rhythm by Larry and Adam” that, blah blah BLECH.  Instead, he’s embraced the new-found experimentation that U2 has clearly found: why review when you can haiku?  So put on your crazy boots, ‘cos here comes the next round:

Two reviews in one day?  Isn’t this supposed to be daily?” you ask.  

“Tacky, insolent reader,” I reply, “I was too busy writing about blue genitals on Friday.  Recognize the priorities!  Today is catch-up day, and tomorrow we’ll return to our regularly scheduled program.”

“Fair is fair,” you respond.  As you should.

The new haiku review drops NOW:

magnificent-haiku

Whew!  Another down.  I think I may be getting the hang of this.  Haikus are fun (and by fun, I should say that they’re a lazy man’s review)!  Only nine more left!  We can do this!  Hold onto your haiku hats, ‘cos tomorrow gets another!

Oh, and as always, you can stream No Line on the Horizon on U2’s Myspace, so you can hear of which I haiku.

No Line on the Horizon Track-by-Track Review: “No Line on the Horizon”
February 21, 2009

So apparently the “No Line on the Horizon” I heard before was totally a b-side.  Whoopsiedaisy!  That must’ve been the “punk-y Pixies/Buzzcocks homage” version that Q Magazine mentioned some time ago.  All the better.  Anything unexpected shall always surprise.  And “No Line on the Horizon” surprises in spades.  And by surprises, I mean this song is awesomely ridiculous.  Check out U2’s Myspace page if you don’t believe me; they’re streaming that ridiculousness.

So in honor of all the ridiculousness and surprises No Line on the Horizon seems to be holding, I’ve decided to do these track-by-track reviews as haikus, because that’s also surprising and ridiculous (and I also don’t know how to properly discuss music worth a damn; I studied film, lay off me!).

So here we go, y’all:

nloth-haiku

Well that was fun (?).  And ludicrous.  And an exercise in absolute nonsense.  And there’s still 10 more to go.  Ruh-roh.  Looks like this is going to be a bumpy ride on the crazy train…

Next up: “Magnificent.”

Crimminy Crap! No Line on the Horizon Has Been Leaked!
February 18, 2009

No Line on the Horizon leaked today, y’all.  According to @U2:

For the second time this month, an online music store has started prematurely selling No Line on the Horizon. This time, the Universal Music Australia storehas made the entire album available as digital downloads, and fans all over the world are buying it up, putting it on file sharing sites, and sending it to friends. The album’s out there now; no turning back. Update: Universal Australia is no longer selling the album; it was available for about 1-2 hours.

Little did anyone know that NLOTH was also available on the Napster Mobile online store. An @U2 reader found it and bought the album on February 8th; it was available all last week, and finally removed yesterday (Feb. 16). 

I think we all know what I had to do, because I certainly lost all patience and will power about a week ago.  And, well, about all I can say right now is this:

nlothomfg

My head hurts from how many thoughts I’ve spinning around about this fabulousness.  Ever since I became a fan with the release of All That You Can’t Leave Behind (lay off me, I was a late bloomer!), I’ve longed to have the thrill of getting a U2 album that would have the same game-changing feel of excitement that Achtung Baby had for a certain generation of fans.  

Well, that moment has arrived.

Every song on No Line on the Horizon is a hands-down triumph.  Simply put: this one is a beaut.  So much sonic texture to the production!  So Much Album-As-Spectrum-Of-Human-Emotions-In-Our-Current-Moment Deliciousness!  SO MUCH AMAZING!  GAH!!!

See?  I can’t deal with it right now.  My homo-wittiness has disappeared in an ocean of fanboy hyperbole!   I’ve given it three full listens and I’m still an atomically hot mess of unadulterated school-girl giddiness.  I don’t think a frosting-scented Jon Hamm could get me this excited.  I need a cold bath (stiff drink).  I’m going to have to take a few days to properly digest this album, but you’d better believe a lengthy review is coming.  LENGTHY.  You’ve been warned.

U2 is back, bitches.  I hope you’re ready to deal with my ensuing craziness.

Thanks, @U2 for the tip.  You’ve ruined my ability to be a tolerable human being for the next year.

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