Where the song goes next

My favorite song on Spotify for the last week or so has U2’s “Temple Bar Mix” of Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. The song has always been one of my favorites, and this B-side of its ’92 single has not lo-fi but lower-fi sound. When the music wheels on you, the power of the turn has even more punch than the original, which is no easy move.

When you play this version on U2’s Spotify page, the next song in the line-up is Wide Awake in America‘s version of Bad. The sequence is just about perfect — a couple of fighter songs, charging up from nothing.

U2 remix for your post-Thanksgiving workout

After the turkey, the gravy and the pie, here’s the “Adam K and Soha Club Mix” of Magnificent. The original is one of the better songs on No Line on the Horizon, but the remix is easily twice as good. Good for U2 for releasing it. Available on iTunes, Amazon and elsewhere.

This song, of course, got me Googling for what serious U2 fans see as the best remixes over the band’s career. A “Top 8 Alternative Songs” essay surfaced on atU2.com with a remix atop the list and interesting interpretations of “alternative” in the other seven slots. Nearly all sent me to YouTube for listening, but the remix was the best of the bunch: Francois Kevorkian’s 1983 New Year’s Day. His take meshes vocal/lyric outtakes and released bits with an extended, airy version of the beat.

(And, yes, Orbit’s Electrical Storm. But the original is what’s new to me.)

Still haven’t found

Some night, sleep has to come from welcome and not just from defeat. You’ve heard this moment before. Or you’ve seen it, the moment when the crowd takes over the song, one plaintive voice becoming many, in a chorus more hope than complaint, more willful longing than anything else on your earth’s face. “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…” is the moment and the song you’ve heard before, but until you raise your voice deep in the tens of stadium thousands or alone in your house in the middle of the night, you never realize how “still” is the right word.

This is why Jesus invented the rock concert

And other ways I thought of beginning my U2 Fedex Field review.

-The world’s biggest band wants to be the universe’s biggest band.

-My ticket was $120. It would’ve been worth $120 without the band.

-I got dizzy watching Vertigo on the screens, and it was awesome.


-How is I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight that much better live?

-Only U2: Bono spots a turbaned Sikh fan waving a U.S. flag, pulls him on stage. They sing. Bono also pulls a child out of nowhere to run laps.

-I want a swinging light-up steering wheel microphone at my job.

-Live NFL directors used to impress me. Now they need to step it up.

-The Claw! At one point, I thought there was an invisibility effect.

-Only U2: The stadium of 80,000 felt like an arena of 20,000.

-It’s possible nearly everyone I know was at U2 tonight.

(Running tally from Twitter and Fb, will update as needed: Carlos, Jeff, Mollie, Joel, Brian, Sean, Korina, Juan, Jon, Everett, Matt, Greg, Jessica, Lauren, Sarah, Mike, Julie, Mary, Sara, Tricia, Susan, Carl, Armen, Jim.)

We welcome Friday night

cooper-bono-225That’s someone’s stuff they’re blowing up / We’re into growing up / Women of the future / Hold the big revelations

I got a submarine / You got gasoline / I don’t want to talk about wars between nations / Not right now

We welcome waking up Friday morning with a headache but in a great mood, racing through pages of edits on a doc that inspires you into a lunch that makes you happy for friends’ randomness, getting buy-in on code you didn’t used to know, turning up the music in post-week exhaustion, and reclaiming a photo from an IDEO session skit before it’s used against you.

(I was a bad Bono. Right after I was a soup kitchen volunteer with Plaxico Burress. And right before I was a phone operator at a Playboy Mansion telethon.)

Van Diemen’s Land and the magazine on a Sunday morning

About the song, a comment I’d never noticed before in the Rattle and Hum liner notes: “Dedicated to John Boyle O’Reilly, a Fenian poet deported from Ireland to Australia before of his poetry. [It wasn’t very good … !])” Hadn’t realized either about the album’s faded last verse turning up in full in the booklet, turning the song harder toward Belfast. The Edge explains.

Link. “‘Sometimes I take out your letters & verses, dear friend,’ he wrote in 1869 (one of only three messages to her that survived), ‘and when I feel their strange power, it is not strange that I find it hard to write … If I could once take you by the hand I might be something to you; but till then you only enshroud yourself in the fiery mist & I cannot teach you, but only rejoice in the rare sparkles of light.’ ”

No link. “He is perhaps the showiest performer since Vladimir de Pachmann, a Chopin speciailist of a century ago who used to milk cows to exercise his fingers and dip each digit in a glass of brandy before recitals. Lang’s irreverence is unabashed. One of the most popular clips of Lang Lang on Youtube shows him playing Chopin’s Black Key etude, Opus 10, No. 5, with an orange. Lang wears so much product in his hair that when he sways in rapture to his playing his head looks like a porcupine in a typhoon.”

Link. “I live in an old folks’ home, where people do all the heavy lifting for me, so I am free to sit around and daydream. I was daydreaming, and got hit by the poem.”

Link. “Unless your name is Judas, a kiss is just a kiss. Nonetheless, filmmakers cling to the smooch in the hope, or the fond pretense, that it might mean something more. Despite everything, it remains the most trusted image that we have for the clinching of an erotic deal: the zinger of our desires. How do we feel, then, when a movie like In Search of a Midnight Kiss begins with kisses — loads of them, exchanged between lovers who are never identified? Should that strike us as romantic reassurance, staunchly insisting that love is all around, or as a sly debasing of the currency, hinting that the simple meeting of mouths is no big deal?”

Link. “Everything is settled now. / Where you are now is where you’ll sleep, where you’ll wake up in the morning. / The mountain stands like a beacon, to remind the night that the earth exists, / that it mustn’t be forgotten.”

Singing with U2

Saw U2 on Wednesday. Good, good show.

Review in Friday’s Post. Review in Friday’s Times.

This was the first long review in the Post in a while where I felt like the reviewer didn’t capture the feeling well. (Their new guy wrote it, and — pure speculation — some localizing may still be ongoing.) The show did lean more on slower numbers than the first time I saw them and more than it did the Thursday night show (setlist), but I thought the vibe was a quietly strong one. Of the slower stuff, the Johnny Comes Marching Home part was powerful, and so was Miss Sarejevo. On the latter, Bono sang both his part and Pavoratti’s part well. (I also had no idea it was inspired by an actual Miss Sarejevo contest. For as much as I like them, I still have much U2 learning to do.) Bono had a good number of shoutouts to various groups, but they all got a good collective reaction and he got back to the music before getting boring.

In addition to a quick setlist, U2.com summarized the show and included more of Bono’s speechifying.

A surprising number of people left before the 2nd set of encores — why they didn’t wait until the lights went up, I have no idea. Not a huge number of people, but enough so that everyone who stayed saw someone leaving, so that gave the closing songs a more intimate feel. The last one of the night was 40, which (again) I didn’t know until this week was based on Psalm 40. Earlier in the show, Sunday Bloody Sunday‘s “how long must we sing this song” had gotten the night’s strongest sing-a-long, with probably few crowds more likely to grasp the length of work necessary than Washington’s. So 40‘s “how long to sing this song” continued the sentiment to the final notes.

Jeff was there both nights, and the second night he was on the floor in the middle of their big circle stage, about 15 feet from Bono at some points, according to his away message. Will try to get some impressions from him soon.