HE SAID: U2

May 1, 2009

electricalstormeraI can remember my first year at Windridge quite vividly (those of you who know me, stop laughing).  The year was 1991 and my counselor must have played the album Achtung Baby 50 or more times in the month that I was there.  These were good times.  Already a somewhat avid music fan, as soon as I returned to civilization I went to the local music shop and made my father purchase both The Joshua Tree & War on audio cassette.  More good times ensued.  I fully expected to be a U2 fan for years to come.

Like most females have done to me throughout my life, this was only a tease.  U2 sucks.  The albums they have released since Achtung Baby are all AWFUL.  I’m not even talking about their experimental albums like Zooropa or Pop, because I respect bands who try to eff around every once in awhile, but albums like All That You Cant Leave Behind or No Line on The Horizon scream “generic crap that is going to sell because we are U2 and I am Bono so shut the fuck up!”

You know what though, it’s not even really the music.  When you create such amazing albums from the get go, I understand that they are hard to live up to.  Just take a look at Weezer or Pearl Jam (two of my favorite bands).  It’s their attitudes.  Bono walks around like he is God’s Gift to this Earth, prancing around in lame sunglasses all the time, and even claiming he has taken the biggest dump of all time.  On top of that, they have a guitarist who calls himself “The Edge.”  You are almost 50 fucking years old, you aren’t cool enough anymore to call yourself anything but David Howell Evans.

Believe me, I know U2, and Bono, have done amazing things (Band Aid, Live 8, Hurricane Katrina relief, hundres of other things), it’s the self-righteousness they bring to the table while accomplishing all this.  When Bruce Springstein or Eddie Vedder talk about political change, it feels like they are truly invested in it; when Bono speaks, it seems as though he is only doing so because he feels like he should.  I am not claiming that this is actually the case, only how it appears to me .  Maybe this will change once Bono takes off his goddamned shades.

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SHE SAID: U2

May 1, 2009

The first U2 song I heard and was able to attribute to U2 was One off of Achtung Baby.  And, though we were in eighth grade at the time, Josh picked it as “our” song and wrote out all the lyrics on a dollar bill that I carried with me at all times.  It was to be expected after our love that was supposed to last a lifetime fizzled out, so did my adoration of U2.

Which isn’t to say that I don’t respect and appreciate them. I respect Sunday Bloody Sunday and Numb and I sing at the top of my lungs to Mysterious Ways and Beautiful Day, among others.  They are an impressive rock band to have been around for as long as they have, we’re close to 25 years here, and to have continued to produce music, that is on occasion either catchy, interesting, or just legendary.  Consider the bands, Creed, Carbon Leaf, and this is causing me distress, so I’m going to stop, but there are a lot of really bad bands out there making songs that are boring both musically and lyrically.  U2 isn’t like that.  The only sad thing is that nothing I heard, and there were some winners over the years, gave me enough incentive to buy, or even illegally download any of their music.

Bono did take off his glasses on the last Rolling Stone and it looked like he hadn’t slept in ten years.  Having seen this, I’m all for the glasses.  I have friends that always wear three layers of clothing or always have their hair up … I’m not going to hold it against them.

The Edge – clearly there’s some sort of an issue there.  It reminds me of “The Maestro” from Seinfeld, and “The King” from American Beauty.  Both of whom are fantastically funny as characters, but The Edge doesn’t strike me as a comedic genius and now I’m wondering if he makes his friends call him that in real life or if it’s just a stage thing.

Celebrities speaking out about politics or their beliefs has long been an issue for debate and while to an extent I agree that most should shut up, I think that there is a lot of good that can come out of our country’s fascination with celebrity and the amount of attention some of these people can focus on an issue.  I am not talking about Paris Hilton saying we should vote when she can’t even go to the booths herself, but Bono  has dedicated a lot of time to his humanitarian efforts and is well informed so why shouldn’t he use his knowledge and fame towards those? Accusing him of walking around like he’s “God’s Gift” is a little over the top…

I respect Bono as an individual for many reasons.  He wrote this fantastic New York Times op-ed this past January, and he once said, years after being recognized as a great singer, that he still had a lot to learn.  I was so entrigued and happy to hear someone who could so easily be a conceited and selfish superstar say something so humble.