The Edge Helps Launch New Music Rising at Tulane Website

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The Edge appeared via video Tuesday during the launch of Music Rising at Tulane, a new website that helps preserve the musical traditions of the Gulf Coast area and educate the public about them, too. In a news release announcing Tuesday's event, Edge had this to say about the project:

Out of this partnership we were able to create a program which fosters national and international study through the work of K-12 educators and university scholars. I hope that this is only the beginning of an opportunity to provide future generations of students a chance to experience the colorful and dynamic musical history from this very special part of the world.

And here's the video that played during the launch event. We don't know how recently Edge taped his comments.

The Edge launched Music Rising with producer Bob Ezrin in 2005 to help New Orleans-area musicians after Hurricane Katrina. The organization has since expanded its focus on helping musicians around the country in the wake of natural disasters.

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Bono and Edge take part in tribute to Seamus Heaney

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Bono, The Edge, Paul Simon and Paul McGuinness have helped pay tribute to Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet who died last year.

A tapestry titled "Out Of The Marvelous" was commissioned by Amnesty International and partially funded by the rock stars. Designed by Czech artist Peter Sis and woven in France, it's now hanging in Dublin Airport's Terminal 2 (see the photo here).

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Bono said Heaney should be an inspiration to people on their travels:

"With my life, I pass through a lot of airports. Seamus' poems are my companion on every journey ... they come with me wherever I go. Now, when any of us travel -- be it leaving our home, or our visitors returning to their own homes, Seamus will be there to bid us all farewell."

Edge agreed that Heaney was an inspiration to U2:

"Seamus Heaney was an inspiration to our band -- as well as to politicians, artists, dreamers and all in between, from every corner of the world. I love the idea that the words of this great poet -- and Sis' beautiful tapestry -- will send travelers from Ireland and beyond safely on their way 'out of the marvelous.'"

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U2 Lists: Top 10 U2 DVD Easter Eggs

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U2 Lists[Ed. note: This is the 57th in a "U2 Lists" series, where @U2 staffers pick a topic and share their personal rankings on something U2-related.]

It's Easter (well, a few days late), when thoughts usually turn to chocolate and that holiday favorite, the egg! This list, however, has nothing to do with chocolate (pity). Instead, it’s about those hidden gems, also known as Easter eggs, found on many a DVD: unexpected or undocumented features included as bonuses or just for fun.

On U2 DVDs, Easter eggs include exclusive behind-the-scenes footage or alternative versions of U2 songs — and in some cases nothing U2-related at all. Listed here are my Top 10 U2 DVD Easter Eggs, some of which were difficult to find.

1. U2 Zoo TV Live From Sydney

This DVD has several hidden gems.

My favorite is a time-lapse video of the Zoo TV stage set-up and breakdown set to the soundtrack of “Some Days Are Better Than Others.”

How to access: Insert Disc 2 and on the main menu highlight the “Extras” entry. Then press the right arrow key on your remote followed by the down key.  The Zoo TV logo at the top of the screen will be highlighted. Press “Enter.” A screen with “Abort” will appear. Enter the numbers “2711” and the clip will play.  

To access the 25-minute documentary “Interference,” enter the “Documentaries” section and select “Play All.” Fast-forward through the footage, and when you return to the menu screen, highlight the “Subtitles” menu entry. Press the down key on your remote followed by the left key to highlight an “O” in the center of the screen. Press “Enter” and you will access the clip, which also includes “The History Mix.”

To access a one-minute clip of atomic bomb-themed warning drills (sounds like fun!), enter the “Extras” section on the DVD and highlight “DVD” credits. Press the down key, followed by the right key on your remote, and another “O” appears in the center of the screen. Press “Enter” and a screen with “Abort” will appear. Enter the numbers “1993” and the clip will play.

2. U2 Popmart Live From Mexico City

This is possibly the most bizarre egg on the list. Not really U2-related, apart from the footage of the Dublin docklands, it’s set to a karaoke background of “All Kinds Of Everything” performed by Edge at the Dublin Popmart show on Aug. 30, 1997. The song is by Irish singer Dana, who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970.

How to access: Insert Disc 2 and press the “Enter” key, which takes you into the documentary aisle. You'll see a security camera at the top left corner of the screen. Press “Enter” at the “x” that’s on the security camera to play the clip.

3. U2 The Joshua Tree Remastered with Paris Bonus DVD

Check out footage of the Dalton Brothers during the third leg of the Joshua Tree tour in 1987.

How to access: Insert bonus DVD. Go to the “Extra Videos” menu screen and click on the bar above the U2 logo at the top of the screen. An access screen comes up prompting you to enter a password. Type “BETTY” and press “Enter” to access the footage.

4. U2 How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb CD/DVD

On this DVD you’ll find a link to access the handwritten lyrics to “Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.”

How to access: From the main menu, select “One By One,” then select the studio performance of “Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.” Press left, left, down, right and up — in that sequence — using the arrows on your DVD remote. A little red “x” will appear, next to the big one in the background. Press “Enter” and the lyrics display on the screen.

5. U2 360 At The Rose Bowl

This DVD includes an 11-minute long film, 21 Days = U2 360, a collection of countdown videos released through U2.com before the 360 tour.  

How to access: From the main menu, scroll down to “Track Selection.” When “3.32” appears on the bottom left corner of the screen, press “4” on your remote just before it changes to “3.33” and the film clip will play.

6. U2 Live At Red Rocks Under A Blood Red Sky

The egg on this DVD is an alternative mix of “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

How to access: Insert disc and click on the menu bar under “U2”on the main screen. Enter password “727” to view extra footage with “Sunday Bloody Sunday” playing in the background.

7. U2 Best of 1990-2000

This egg was quite a cool find! It is a brief clip of the making of “Last Night On Earth,” and U2 being chased with a sword by William Burroughs.

How to access: Go to title menu and highlight “Bonus Tracks.” Click on “Last Night On Earth” and press the up and left buttons on your remote four times. Click on the third photo down on the far left to play the clip.

This DVD also features a short clip of a Trabant in a fish tank, accessible from the main menu by choosing the screen for the “One” video. Press “1,” then “Enter,” and the screen will reload. Repeat this process, hitting “1” and “Enter” twice, and the fish tank will appear. The Trabants take a little longer to appear.

8. Elevation 2001/U2 Live From Boston DVD

I had difficulty with this egg, which apparently shows “Until The End Of The World” as seen by Bono. I followed the instructions, but instead of “Until The End Of The World” it featured camera footage of “Elevation." Perhaps you'll have better luck.

How to access: Click on “Additional Tracks.” Press “7” on your remote. If it doesn’t work by pressing “7” alone, follow by pressing “Enter.” 

9.  Vertigo — Live From Chicago

Apparently this DVD has a short easter egg on Disc 2 featuring video of the stage and diagrams, along with a time-lapse video. I couldn’t find instructions on how to access it, however.

10. Achtung Baby UBER Deluxe Box Set

Unfortunately I don’t have this box set, but apparently on Disc 3 you can access some MacPhisto clips from the Zoo TV tour including calls to Alessandra Mussolini, band introduction, phone call to Schipol Airport and a phone call to Helmet Kohl. You can view the clips here.

Additional @U2 staff contributed to this list.

© @U2/Foster, 2014.

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VIDEO: U2 Pays Tribute to Mike Peters & The Alarm

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U2 will show up this week in a pre-taped BBC Radio Wales special in honor of the 30th anniversary of The Alarm's album, Declaration. If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen some of the tweets back on April 11 about U2's brief video that was played during the taping of the concert special. The BBC made that video available for all to see now (embedded below). It begins with U2 singing "Happy Birthday" and ends with them doing The Alarm's "Blaze Of Glory." Bono delivers a short message in between.

The Mike Peters/Alarm special is due to air at 9 pm local time on BBC Radio Wales.

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Poll Results: Most Fans Say U2 Has 2 Albums Left Max

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U2 fans aren't optimistic about the band having many more studio albums left in their career.

In a recent @U2 survey, almost 76 percent of fans said they think U2 will release two more studio albums or less. Almost 40 percent said there'll be only one more U2 studio album, and more than 12 percent said U2 won't release any more studio albums.

We posted the question on March 7th, the same day that Billboard magazine reported that U2's next album won't be released until 2015 -- a report that U2's spokespeople denied a couple days later. More than 3,400 fans voted during the two weeks that the poll was open.

On the flip side of the coin, 15 percent of fans think U2 will release three more studio albums and more than five percent voted "5 or more." Here are the full results.

poll-more-albums

One of the common things fans say when it looks like the new album gets pushed back is along the lines of "it gives us more time to save money for the next tour." So that's our new poll question: Have you started saving money for U2's next tour? Let us know by voting on our home page.

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Column: off the record…, vol. 14-615

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off the record, from @U2

Is anyone else out there as happy as I am that Record Store Day is still a thing? That there are still stores open to host and participate?

I go every year, and yesterday was no exception. Though I was disappointed not to see a U2 item in the mix, I did get almost everything that I went for (save for a "Ghostbusters" 10-inch picture disc and a collection of Soundgarden singles).

I scored an orange copy of “You’ve Got Time” by Regina Spektor (an homage to Orange Is the New Black, since it’s the theme song); and the coveted Nirvana single “Pennyroyal Tea.”

I hope your pursuits were as fruitful if you played along.


Waiting to hear who made the cut for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is something I greatly anticipate each year. There are inductee choices that I wholeheartedly agree with: The Beatles, The Police, of course U2; and then those who were overlooked, which I classify as travesties: Cheap Trick and Duran Duran, to name a few.

This year, I was thrilled to see that Nirvana was one of the inductees selected. When I would bring it up, I found myself immediately defending my excitement to others, saying things like, “I was the right age when Nirvana got popular,” or “I’m a native of the Pacific Northwest.” And then it dawned on me: I shouldn’t have to defend anything. Though Kurt Cobain’s tragic suicide has unfortunately overshadowed his genius, the music he and his band created still changed the world (in my opinion, for the better).  

Just before the induction (which was coincidentally 20 years to the week after Cobain’s death) I attended a Seattle Town Hall presentation with Cobain biographer Charles R. Cross and a local radio personality. They discussed the impact of the Nirvana front-man’s work, contemplating what could have been had he lived — and of course, though presented quite respectfully, there was much talk of his addiction.

As I sat there, processing, I felt a grief similar to that about the recent passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Such an overwhelming sadness that someone so talented would be remembered as much for the way he departed as for his body of work.

I was pleased to learn, from Cross’s new book, Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact Of Kurt Cobain, that Bono told Newsweek years back that he was a Cobain fan:

I remember watching Kurt come through and thinking, ‘God, this music is nuclear.’ This is really splitting the atom. They [Nirvana] raised the temperature for everybody. Manufactured pop never looked so cold as when that heat was around.

Amen.


Something that has always impressed me about rock ‘n’ roll musicians is the amount of respect they give to their peers. Sure, there’s a natural level of competition, but the community is generally kind and complimentary, unlike other industries.

U2 have long cited The Ramones as one of their major influences. I was recently reminded that on Easter Sunday in 2001, Joey Ramone lost his seven-year battle with lymphoma.

The unique thing about Joey’s passing was that he was listening to a U2 song, on repeat, as he went.

It was “In a Little While,” and his mother Charlotte told reporters, “Just as the song finished, Joey finished. He's free now. He heard it and now he's gone.”

Though losing him was awful, I can’t think of a more peaceful way to depart.


Speaking of Easter: Athough it’s timed to coincide with the birth of Bono instead of the resurrection of Jesus, I always associate the Build a Well for Bono’s Birthday campaign from the African Well Fund with the holiday. Each year around this time, I log on, donate, sign the card and smile since I know that fellow fans are doing the same.

If you’re interested in giving this year, click here for more information.


And to those who celebrate, Happy Easter!

(c) @U2/Kokkoris, 2014.

 

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Column: off the record…, vol. 14-614

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off the record, from @U2

Dear Diary,

Just as people are debating U2’s relevancy in today’s music scene, I have been struggling with a similar issue as a fan. I’ve been around this block as a fan for a quarter-century now. I’ve gone through the typical motions of fandom: buying everything I could with any disposable income I had; seeing the band as many times as possible before I hit my credit card limit; debating the merits of songs and tours with fellow fans; being a card-carrying member of the band’s fan club since 1989; wearing U2 gear everywhere I went; defending the band members’ choices whenever possible and more.  

I feel like my fandom has evolved much like a child growing up. At first, everything was new and fresh. I was excited about every morsel coming from them. I clipped everything I could from magazines and kept scrapbooks. I wore my Achtung Baby tour gear every day to the point where the fabric wore out. I even wore a disco-themed jacket to the PopMart tour opener in Las Vegas, which is how m2 identified me and thus began my time here sharing my point of view with you all. I loved the ‘90s with this band, and as a result of that dedicated devotion I found my husband in a U2 chat room via the old MSN U2 site. The life I have currently is “All Because Of You” for sure.

As the innocence has faded and experience has taken over, I have lived U2’s songs now. A decade ago, I can say that I could appreciate them for the artistry. Today I can easily say I appreciate U2’s songs because no matter what walk of life you are in, you’re living them. It helps to have the band be about 10 years older than me to a degree.

As with many of you, my family and other commitments have overtaken the free time I used to have to dedicate to the fan activities I used to engage in. I’m lucky if I can pop in a concert DVD every once in a while, let alone listen to their music in the car. I have to sneak it in every so often as music education for my kids: “Now children, THIS is one of the greatest songs you will ever hear in your lifetimes,” as I play a live version of “Where The Streets Have No Name.” Inevitably, we’re back to listening to the Frozen or Phineas And Ferb Across The Second Dimension soundtracks.

A month ago, our local PBS station aired an episode of American Masters: JD Salinger. I’ll admit, I am not a reader of Salinger. I’m sure I read Catcher In The Rye in school but that’s the extent of it all. I was not aware of who he was, the lifestyle he led or the great lengths he went through to retain his privacy. The program focused on a group of fans who shared stories of their pilgrimages to Vermont in search of Salinger to engage him in conversation in the hopes he could answer their question, “What does it all mean?” One gentleman shared that when he actually got to speak with Salinger, the author’s reply was along the lines of “I’m just a writer! You figure it out. Leave me alone.”

This struck me and challenged me in my own devotion as a U2 fan. When asked what I wanted to do for my career in my high school yearbook questionnaire, I wrote “Work for U2.” In college, I worked on the concert committee in the hopes I could learn enough to one day work for U2. My college degree was in journalism with the hopes I could use it to write about the band. Thankfully, this site allows me to use that college degree to an extent.

I still have a notebook with questions I’ve been jotting down since the late ‘80s about things I would like to ask the band. Most of those questions have been answered over these years through other interviews. Those that remain unanswered are ones that might solicit a “you figure it out” response. I have to wonder how many times Bono gets asked those types of questions as he is very good at turning it back around so it’s not him answering the question. Most of the questions I have left are ones that would be best discussed over a pint in a pub with the answers never seeing the light of day in print.

And this is where I struggle with the relevancy as a fan. This band has shared so much of itself that there really isn’t too much left to the imagination to know or to understand. I know what the band members’ world view is; I understand their musical influences; I recognize the band’s strengths and weaknesses; and I have accepted that the personal relationship between band and fan isn’t there like it used to be. There really is not much more to talk about, and if there was a story out there that hasn’t been shared it’s for a very good reason. It’s like that comfortable silence you can share with a loved one when you know completely what’s going on without having to say a word -- that’s where I am with my U2 fandom.

So, in terms of relevancy, what is there left to do as a U2 fan? You can join the masses and complain that the music isn’t released yet or there should be a tour now or whatnot. You can wax nostalgic about what was awesome in the past or determine that Edge’s beanie phase is never going away. At this point, I am content to just appreciate that the music currently available to listen to evolves through each life stage with the hope that whatever comes next will do the same. I am not bothered when the new material comes, just as long as it’s not crap. That’s the deal I signed up for when Bono offered it and I’m willing to wait it out.

Don’t get me wrong -- if ever given the opportunity to share a pint and have a deeper conversation with the lads, I will not pass that up. However, I’m perfectly OK with the Salinger approach of “figure it out yourself and leave me alone!” U2 don’t owe me any explanations; the four men are just the artists. Good artistry leaves it up to the observer to figure it out.

Until next time …

©@U2/Lawrence, 2014 

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Like A Song: Grace

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Like A Song[Ed. note: This is the 84th in a series of personal essays by the @U2 staff about songs and/or albums that have had great meaning or impact in our lives.]

Grace, she's got the walk

I’ve always been ungraceful.

Ballet lessons? After clomping around a dance floor at age 5, I abandoned attempts to be a swan-abee and took up piano instead.

High heels? I still wobble when I walk in them.

But Grace carries me.

Grace, it's the name for a girl
It's also a thought that could change the world

Just like U2 in the song “Grace,” I’ve always pictured Grace as a girl, maybe because Grace is such a beautiful thing. Like a mom to all, she’s soft, but solid. Gentle, but strong. Loving … always loving, no matter what.

To Grace, we — all of us in the whole world — are always good.

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain

I’ve been ashamed of lots of things I’ve said or not said, deeds I’ve done or haven’t done, relationships I’ve neglected, people I’ve hurt, people I’ve ignored. All the bottles of bleach or Oxi-Clean in the world aren’t enough for my stains.

But Grace is enough.

She travels outside of karma, karma
She travels outside of karma

“An eye for an eye,” they say. “It all comes back to you.”

But Grace comes to me instead.

It makes no sense, and that’s what’s so amazing about Grace. Some people say Grace comes from God. But you don’t have to believe in God to believe in Grace. She’s got endless, all-encompassing arms, and a heart full of mercy, not judgment.

Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace finds goodness in everything

I used to think that Grace was this really gorgeous lady in gossamer white robes, with a voice like the sweetest violin melody you’ve ever heard, and the long legs of a ballet dancer.

But now, I think Grace is wobbling around on heels. And I hear her voice in the melodies of a guy who wears black and used to dress up like a devil.  

(c) @U2/Lindell, 2014

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Achtoon Baby: Li’l U2 in … Bono Needs an Intervention

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Prince? Bruce Springsteen? David Bowie (not pictured)? How and why are those three music legends getting featured here?

Well, if you heard the recent gossip about Bono having a case of writer's block (see here), that should serve as your entry clue. @U2's Kelly Eddington trots out some of rock's royalty to help Bono through his struggles in the newest edition of Achtoon Baby. Enjoy!

 Achtoon Baby: Li'l U2 in ... Bono Needs an Intervention

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Column: off the record…, vol. 14-613

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off the record, from @U2

I learned something new last week. Well, I learn a lot of new things every week, but here's one from last week that's specifically relevant to this column:

It's really hard to write one of those personality quizzes that are so popular now!

I'm talking about the Which member of U2 are you? quiz that we launched last Wednesday. It was actually a group effort involving a lot of the @U2 crew. I came up with four questions of my own and shared those with the group, then we brainstormed a bunch of ideas until the final set of 12 questions came together.

But that process was like the proverbial drawing blood from a shell. Coming up with question ideas was pretty easy on its own, but then you have to come up with possible answers that can be associated with each band member and that's where it gets pretty difficult. (Q: What's your favorite breakfast food? A: Pancakes. Okay, which band member is pancakes?)

Regardless, we got it all sorted out and we're approaching 18,000 completed quizzes right now, which is really cool to see. And we'll be doing some more quizzes in the future, so stay tuned for that.


The other thing I learned is that I have a little of all four band members in me.

I like some of the same music that Bono has said was a big influence on him, and we also share similar spiritual beliefs. I'm very into tech and gadgets like The Edge is said to be. I'm probably the least like Adam, but I do appreciate luxury like he's said to. And like Larry, I'm usually more than happy to skip the party and stay home with my family.

I've taken the quiz probably 10 times now, though, and Larry is the one I usually get. I can live with that. And judging from the replies we got on Facebook and Twitter, it seems like all but a few people are happy with their results, too.


A couple months ago, I mentioned that we're working on an update to U2tours.com. That's still in progress, but now it's getting very close to being ready for the doors to be opened wide. We already invited about 20 close friends and longtime @U2 readers to use and test the new site, and they provided us with some great ideas and feedback -- some of which we're now working on putting into place (and that's just about finished).

The next step will be to launch the site in "beta" mode, meaning that we know we're not 100% finished, but we want people to be able to start using the site and providing us feedback on what's working, what can be better, etc. We know we still need a lot of help on set lists, and we're prepared to hire new permanent @U2 staff members to help with that. So if you're really into U2's live shows and like tracking what songs they've played from show to show over the years, that could be a great fit.

Anyway, look for more on this in the near future. We're excited to get the site launched in beta mode and let U2 fans start using it and helping us get it finished.


There's no new U2 music coming out soon that we're aware of, but there is some U2-related stuff on the way. May 20th will see the release of Mystery Girl Deluxe -- an expanded version of the Roy Orbison album that features "She's A Mystery To Me," the wonderful song that Bono and The Edge wrote for Orbison during the Joshua Tree tour.

According to the official Orbison website, the upcoming release will include a studio demo of "She's A Mystery To Me" as one of the bonus tracks, along with both versions of the official video. There's also a documentary called Mystery Girl: Unraveled, which features some old video footage of Bono talking about Orbison. Here's the trailer:

 

Until next time...

 

(c) @U2, 2014.

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