Is It Possible to A Capella U2’s “Discotheque” Without Irony?
March 17, 2016

fork a capella

As it’s St. Patrick’s Day, it seemed like a perfectly fair and otherwise rare opportunity to blog about U2, but in my quest to find something that was still appropriately camp, I instead discovered a Finnish a capella group Fork. You know, as one does.

The third most impressive thing I discovered this evening about Fork is that they exist, which unto itself seems like a small victory, though I’m not sure for whom.

The second is the above picture, which is insane. It’s like a dinner theater production of The Matrix, or a portrait of the Four BDSM Horsemen of Conflicting Ideas About What Sexy Looks Like, but then I tell you it’s in fact a promo photo for an a capella group and oops! Your head just f*cking exploded.

The most impressive thing by far, though, is the fact that they performed U2’s “Discotheque”, which I’m pretty sure they meant it without irony:

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This Is Just a Very Good Cover by Twin Shadow
March 21, 2015

I’m not saying that this is a passing of the torch, because nobody will replace U2 in my book (or my blog), but I am saying that I’ve been listening to the new Twin Shadow album Eclipse on non-stop repeat and that this is just a very good cover of “With or Without You” that I’ve also been listening to on non-stop repeat. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that he’s super duper dreamy, but I digress. Old obsession, meet new obsession.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, So Here’s the “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” Video from U2’s Zoo TV Tour
March 17, 2015

Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d post this clip of the “Ultra Violet (Light My Way)” video content from U2’s Zoo TV tour. This is one of my most favorite U2 eras from my favorite U2 eras, plus I unequivocally adore Edge’s guitar work at the bridge. It isn’t camp, but U2 has long been my other…magnificent obession, so I’d feel remiss not to. Besides, a high school friend told me when I first came out that she knew I was gay because I “liked even 90s U2”, so that’s gotta count for something, right?

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TGIF! Now Here’s Two German Daddies and a Dog Singing U2
February 20, 2015

Much like the tale of Athena as writ for an issue of Twink Fancy, here are two German muscle daddies and their bulldog singing along to U2’s “With or Without You”, a video sprung forth from the imagination of aging queen quietly approaching his twilight appreciation for silken caftans and aged spaetzle.

Happy Friday, you old queens!

[via @U2 Blog]

 

 

Muse Covering U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” Is the Second Best U2 Cover I’ve Heard
June 28, 2010

In other words, Muse covering “Where the Streets Have No Name” is not a life-ruining monstrosity that must be stopped, but you would expect as much seeing as how the Edge joined them on stage at the Glastonbury Festival to help them nail it.  Muse–with very special guest the Edge–performing “Where the Streets Have No Name,” y’all:

NAILED IT.  (Of course they did.)  Though it’s still no Ethel Merman Experience, which isn’t a criticism, just an observation.  That is all.

Much love to @U2 for this one.

A Perfectly Reasonable Response to the American Idol Season Finale
May 27, 2010

Now that Lee DeWyze has won this season of American Idol, we can all listen at our own risk to his cover of U2’s “Beautiful Day.” I personally imagine it to be the soundtrack to my own personal Hell–the one where it plays on infinite loop over an endless montage of inspirational moments from sports movies–because I hate sports movies (that are not A League of Their Own, DUH) almost as much as I love U2.  But I digress.

Here’s a video of someone’s mom reacting to last night’s American Idol finale:

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Lee DeWyze’s “Beautiful Day” Must Be Stopped
May 26, 2010

It has come to my attention that if Lee DeWyze wins this season’s American Idol, his first single will be his rendition of U2’s “Beautiful Day.”  That is unacceptable, because his version is just like the leather hoodie he’s wearing during this performance (AWFUL):

Blech.

Sure, I recognize that many of you out there are like, “But Benjamin, what version of ‘Beautiful Day’ doesn’t suck?” and that’s fine.  Seeing as I’m too-U2-fanboy-to-function (as has been repeatedly evidenced here), I’m inclined to disagree, but disagreeing is one of those things upon which we can all agree.  And you know what else we can agree on?  Lee DeWyze’s version is a total bore.

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Five Lost Fan Videos That Would Make the Internet a Better Place
May 20, 2010

UGH.  I hate to make like a broken record, y’all, but for realsies:

I can already feel early onset withdrawal coming on, and boy is it bleak.  It’s so bad that I’ve had to work extra hard on my shimmies to help balance out the shakes, and I’ve had to buy myself industrial strength spoons to make sure I don’t accidentally swallow my tongue in the process.  Like I said, bleak.

Anyways, the one upside to being such a human train wreck is that it’s gotten me thinking about Lost fan videos, or–to be more specific–the lack of Lost fan videos.  Seriously, the internet is a bastion for all of us nerds with too much time on our hands to obsess over things like Lost, or which image should come next in their YouTube Miley Cyrus fan video slide show.  Sadly for me, I’m too technologically incompetent to know how to make or even upload a YouTube video.  Hell, I can barely make a gif, and I have to write up all my blog posts on a typewriter and then have have a 15-year-old transcribe them into C++ (that’s how it works, right?), because the interwebs are for the young and I am OLD.  My point is, I’ve come up with a list of Lost fan videos that I think should happen, and I think we, the internet, need to make them happen.  For example:

Song: U2’s “No Line on the Horizon”

Why: U2’s ambient rock hymn to a “girl who’s like the sea” is transformed into one fan’s ode to the mysteries of the island itself.  The lines “Time is irrelevant/It’s not linear” take on a whole new meaning that encapsulates the time-shifting experience Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have crafted over the course of six seasons.  On the down side, though, there’s no mention of narrative meandering, inexplicably dropped plot threads, or a last-act explanation of “Your questions lead to more questions, so here is a cave of golden light.”

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The U2 360° Tour Concert Film Will Premiere on YouTube?!? Shut Your Fabulous Face, Interwebs!!!
October 22, 2009

U2 360 YouTube best news ever ever

Oh, hello U2 news that elicited a thousand SQUEEE!s of enthusiasm:

U2 has announced that Sunday night’s concert at the Rose Bowl is being filmed for a future DVD release … and that it will be streamed live online, too. According to an email being sent to U2.com subscribers, the webcast will begin at 8:30 pm PT.

I don’t even care that 8:30 pm PT is 11:30 pm over here on the east coast, nor does it make a lick of difference to me that the L.A. Times reports that the concert will remain archived on YouTube after its live premiere, thereby making it possible for me to watch at my convenience.  I’m watching the stream live.  Every last minute of it.

Yes, there are downsides to staying up ’til 2 am on account of your inability to exhibit an ounce of self-control when U2 is involved.  You may be really tired at work the next day for example.  Or perhaps you find yourself having to hide that shiner your roommate gave you because you couldn’t stop shrieking at your computer.  Worthy sacrifices, I’d say.

Seriously, check out this trailer and tell me it won’t be worth a punch to the face:

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OH. EM. GEE. U2 360° IS IN NEW YORK TONIGHT!!!
September 23, 2009

Actually, it’s technically in New Jersey, which has as a result made figuring out the quickest and easiest commute a nightmare.  When you live in Brooklyn and plan to go to work the next day, getting back to your apartment at 3 am on account of unprepared public transportation system is simply not an option.

Nevertheless, last night I had a vision of the imminent future of Giant Stadium’s attendees, and it looked like this:

u2 360 freakout

See, that police officer clearly HATES that girl having that melt-down because she’s being so incredibly loud that he’ll probably have irreversible hearing damage for the rest of his life.  I will soon be that girl, and that cop will soon be anyone in the vicinity of me at the U2 show tonight.  This is what we call a visual metaphor.

Anyways, the problem with me and going to a U2 show is that I lack any concept of self-control.  If I know the lyrics, I will sing that song at the top of my lungs.  I will dance.  I will jump about.  When nothing else is happening, I’ll be cheering ’til my vocal chords bleed/I’m mistaken for an escaped howler monkey by animal control .  I might even vomit on account of excess enthusiasm.  I know these are just signs of my unwavering commitment to U2 Motion, but I pretty much become that guy at the concert, and so I preemptively apologize to whoever sits around me at tonight’s show.  I can’t help it.  I’ve been brimming with U2thusiasm for months and months, and it’s time to let it all out like a dusted damn.

That, and I’ll probably operating on one hell of a sugar rush after I eat one of these bad boys for dinner:

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I Can’t Believe the News Today! Tragedy Has Struck Broadway!
August 12, 2009

Mon dieu, y’all!  Did you hear the news today about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, the Spider-Man musical that was to be directed by Julie Taymor and has songs written by Bono and the Edge?  It’s simply terrible:

spider-man musical hiatus

NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!  Not an indefinite hiatus!  Damn you, recession!   You’re ruining EVERYTHING.

The New York Post has the details:

Last week, production crews at both the Hilton Theatre and the scene shop where the show was being built were put on “hiatus” because the producers ran out of money. Assistants in the scene shop “ran to the bank to cash their checks because they weren’t sure they’d clear,” a source says.

Now comes word that the actors have been released from their contracts, with no incentive (i.e., money) to hang around waiting for the production to get back on track.

While I’m rather certain Shmarker will be deeply disappointed by this news, I personally can’t say that I’m that sad.  Or even surprised.

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We Have the Answer to the Most Important Question! HUZZAH!!!
July 1, 2009

So, in case you’ve been under a rock, the most important thing in the world, EVER, began yesterday.  Yes, that’s right:

u2360squeal

Really, whenever I so much as consider the fact that the U2 360° Tour is an actual thing that’s happening (as opposed to a fever dream of delirious fabulousness from which I’ll inevitably wake up, which turned out to be the case that one time I thought I saw the Popmart Tour, or that one time I saw them at a private gig at a Barnes & Noble), the squealing recommences.  I haven’t blogged as much about it as I said I would, mostly on account of the fact that my coworkers/roommates/the Tri-State area have been complaining about the noise and accompanying bleeding ears, so I’ve tried to keep the U2-thusiasm to a minimum.  Well, seeing as how yesterday’s show in Barcelona officially kicked the tour off, I refuse to be respectful any longer, y’all.  

And while there’re already a-bajillion-and-three things I could say about the tour just from the first show, I’ll cool off for the moment and just focus on answering what we can all agree is the MOST important question: Where’s my Eno?

Why, glory be, he’s here:

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Every Band Should Have Their Own LeftRightLeftRightLeft
May 1, 2009

I totally recognize that Coldplay is pretty much the “rock” band for soccer moms, and I also recognize that admitting to liking Coldplay (unless you’re a soccer mom) is terminally lame.  Hell, it’s so lame that if you admit to liking Coldplay while in Williamsburg, a swarm of hipsters surrounds you and silently judges you as if you were responsible for bringing the swine flu to an elementary school.

Whatevs, though.  I think they’re great.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of their albums since I first bought Parachutes, and Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends was without a doubt one of my favorite albums of last year.  I’ve seen them live twice, and they have a sincere desire to make sure you’re having as much fun as they are when they’re performing.  There’s no posturing to be cool or edgy; it’s just unabashed love, and I for one appreciate that.

Also, there’s this:

coldplay leftrightleftrightleft

“What the hell is LeftRightLeftRightLeft?” you ask?  Well, according to Coldplay.com, it’s the new live album they’re giving away to all concert goers on this (presumably) last leg of their tour.  Oh, and also anyone that can’t make it to a show who instead downloads it from their website.  Says their site:

Good morning. We’re pleased to announce that Coldplay will be giving away a live CD, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, at every remaining live show in 2009 (apart from festival shows). Starting with the band’s first North American tour date, at West Palm Beach in Florida on May 15th, every fan attending a show will be given a free copy of the nine-track CD, which won’t be available elsewhere. Also on May 15th, LeftRightLeftRightLeft will be made available as a free download right here at Coldplay.com, for all fans (and for the same time period). 

According to the band, the give-away is meant as a recession-busting mark of gratitude to everyone who’s supported them: “Playing live is what we love. This album is a thank you to our fans – the people who give us a reason to do it and make it happen.”

Hell yes, Coldplay.  Yet another reason for me to love you long time.

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Your Pants are Not Safe! Muse is Opening for U2!!!
April 7, 2009

I mean, I just don’t know what to do anymore.  The promise of a new U2 tour is forever a daunting task, because it always promises to be an emotional roller-coaster.  There are the months of sweaty-palmed anticipation as you await for the tour date to come.

Then there’s the hyperventilating anxiety mixed with electric excitement the night before and the day of the show; it’s like Christmas, but it only comes once every several years!  Will U2 grant you your set-list wish list and play all the songs you want to hear, or will you suddenly halfway through the show find yourself realizing that the event is amounting to the U2-set-list equivalent of finding socks and ugly sweaters under the tree?  Ugh, it’s so nerve-wracking that I need need to run for a paper bag to calm myself!  ‘Scuse me.

ANYWAYS, I never before had braced myself for the fact that I was going to have to worry about literally losing total control of my bowels at a U2 show.  I long ago accepted the possibilities of a fainting spell, which is certainly embarrassing to be sure; however, it’s merely embarrassing.  Taking a number 2 amongst a crowd of 77,000 U2 fans is positively shameful as its both embarrassing AND totally stinky.  And with Muse opening for U2, I’m seriously frightened that there could be a very, very distinct possibility.  If this live clip is any indication, I may need to pack a few Depends to err on the side of caution:

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In Honor of Iowa, This Post is Extra Gay
April 4, 2009

So I’m sure that you’ve heard the excellent news by now, but seriously, y’all:

iowa-the-best2

It is always exceptional news to hear when another state recognizes that it is unconstitutional to ban gay marriage, and the fact that it’s Iowa is particularly exceptional.  You don’t really expect such a radical political change to come from the midwest.  You just expect potatoes and corn.  All of us New Yorkers should feel particularly embarrassed today for feeling like we’re such a progressive state.  Apparently it’s Iowa that’s for gay lovers.  New York’s just for smug jackasses.  Whoops!

Anyways, I decided I’d that, in honor of a little piece of history being made, I’d keep it light share a few of my favorite homo things.  First off, we have the inimitable diva, Barbara Stanwyck, in A Walk on the Wild Side.  I could bother to set this up with a little plot exposition, but where’s the fun in that?  Just know that these are the 17 greatest seconds of performance any actress has ever delivered.  EVER:

That, my friends, is not camp.  That is exquisiteness.  I like to imagine that Barbara Stanwyck’s performance is so fabulously intense and perfectly delivered that it physically hurls Capucine onto the couch with the strength of a perfectly placed bitchslap, kinda like a gay version of the Force push.  Did I just reference Star Wars?  I just said something totally gay and totally nerdy.  Two-for-one special on quips, y’all.  You’re welcome.

Equally homoriffic, yet in a completely different medium of pure fabulosity, is the music video for U2’s “Discotheque”:

A friend said these words to me after I came out during freshman year of college: “I always new that you were gay because you even liked 90s U2.”  Truer words have never been spoken.    It’s U2, drenched in a Jacques-Demy-in-neon aesthetics and extolling the virtues of the dance floor.  I’d later realize that this is what we consider high camp; at the time when I first saw this in middle school, I just knew it as awesome.  Besides Lady Gaga, this really is the gayest thing in pop culture.  And it came from four straight men!  Go figs.

But mostly, I think we need this little bit of homoness to honor these changing times:

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I Will Blog Too Much More About U2 Now
March 30, 2009

Fact: Ticketmaster needs to be renamed to Ticketmonster.  After putting me through the most emotionally draining 18 minutes of my life, replete with panic sweats and adrenaline-fueled jitters, I can safely say I’ve emerged from the war zone with this important message:
u2360squeal

The world is safe from the rampaging beast of queenery–an incredibly gay Hulk, if you will–because I will be seeing U2 this fall; however, this also means that I’ve officially boarded the crazy train headed towards Crazy Town, population you and me.  I will indubitably be blogging much, much more about U2 and the concert in the coming months.  Trust me, this boiling anticipation is going to go supernova on y’all.  

If you’re a fellow U2, then you’ll probably consider this a good thing.  If you’re not, the next few months will be the blogging equivalent of paisley pants, this pair in particular:

94426_wb7188_m_su08

In other words, things are gonna get ugly.  

You’ve been warned.

Let’s Start Sunday With The Most Important Question: Where’s My Eno?
March 22, 2009

It’s safe to say that my U2 love is quite well documented on here, so it should come as no surprise that I frequently search YouTube for live clips.  So color me giddy when I stumbled upon this little piece of deliciousness this morning:

In an album that stands out as easily being their best work in well over a decade, I think “No Line on the Horizon” is without a doubt the best of those tracks.  U2 has a knack for making great album openers, but this tripped-out sonic ocean of guitar noises and layered drum loops simply nails it.  And when the final verse explodes from spacey-ambiance it to full on sonic assault, well, I pretty much lose it; needless to say, that makes for the morning commute to work pretty special when I suddenly start screeching like a total crazy.

Given that the success of the song is as much in the production as it is the raw form of the songwriting, snaps must go to U2 for finding so much drama in such a stripped down, intimate setting.  But, seriously: Where’s my Eno?  June 30th marks the beginning of the U2 360° Tour, which is guaranteed to be a completely fabulous affair.  I’m so excited that I’ve completely accepted that I’ll be making a sojourn to New Jersey, which is like Orpheus walking into Hell for his true love, except with more Aqua Net and ridiculously painted nails.  As such, I fully expect to have Eno-riffic beeps and boops contribute to a day’s worth of stunted hearing after the show, otherwise things just won’t quite feel complete.  Don’t let me down, U2!  I don’t want to suffer the soul-crushing experience of day-tripping to Jersey just to hear a complete lack of Eno sounds; that would be dreadful.

Oh, who am I kidding? Nobody will pick up their phone for weeks after I see that show because I’ll be such a nightmarish ball of let-me-bend-your-ear-some-more-about-how-amazing-U2-is adoration.  Work will forbid me to listen to music because it’ll be all U2, all the time; and I’ll generally become completely socially ostracized until I get it all out of my system.  This is just part of the cycle.  So carry on, U2.  Carry on.

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.

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