Thursday, December 17, 2009

Martin Short's Christmas Song...

This is Beauuuuuutiful....LOL! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Induction Speeches...

Thought I'd go back in time and post this for folks who missed it. In 1999 Bono gave Bruce Springsteen's induction speech for the Hall of Fame. Then years later Bruce returned the favor for U2. These are both really great induction speeches showing a great deal of affection for each other. The speech Bono gives is a bit rough but you can get the point.

There is a Part 2 to this, which I can't find...sorry...The Hall of Fame disk is out now, so I'm sure it's on there.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Gimme Shelter at the RRHF...Outrageous!!!

This was FANTASTIC. My favorite live music moments are when it's NOT so slick and polished. This fit into all my criteria. And I'm going to have to re-think Fergie a bit. She actually manages to nail one of the most difficult female vocals ever recorded (in my opinion). Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Defending the Twi-Hards

Okay, I went and saw New Moon for the second time last night...that's not bad for me, since I went to Twilight at least 9 times in the theater and caught much shit for it. I was trying to figure out what the label 40-somethings such as myself who like the series are called, and instead found a wonderful blog post that almost says what I wanted to say. This lady was replying to a movie review in the Savannah Morning News. The post read as follows:

I enjoyed reading your article, at last an article that doesn't refer to any fan of Twilight/New Moon as being only those lonely, lustful, teens, or totally incapable of thinking. While you may or may not be a fan of the series, I found your article more unbiased and insightful, giving just a hint of what transpires without spilling the whole movie. Also appreciated is your acknowledgment of the large audience of adult women (and some men) who love this story as well. I have been told outright by some family members (I do not live with them, thank goodness!) that I need professional help for my devotion to this series, but I love the overall feel-goodness of it and the "you can make it" theme through out the story. I think it helps all of us to realize we can overcome our weaknesses and even be accepted, maybe loved (?) in spite of our weaknesses and faults. Bella and Edward both believing they were unlovable because of their own weaknesses or traits. I also appreciated that even though they felt desire for one another, they abstained and followed Edward's "old-fashioned" belief in chastity before marriage. It was something new for Bella to hear from a guy, but she loved him and wanted what he wanted. It is a worthwhile message for all to hear. Thank you for your article. Judy Bradley

Now, I don't know about the whole "chastity before marriage" thing...I wasn't too good at that in my day, but then again I never dated anybody who would most likely kill me by accident if he got too excited. LOL! But there are points to it I agree with and was thinking about as I was watching the movie again last night. What is so intriguing about vampires? They somehow find their soul mate and mate for life. The movies haven't gotten to the whole imprinting amongst wolves thing, but that's coming in the next couple of movies. Wolves also mate for life...Humans are wonderful creatures, but we do treat each other as very interchangeable and disposable...ALL of us are capable of that. I know I've "disposed" of people several times during the course of my life because something about them made me uncomfortable. I never gave a lot of thought to what I may have done to that person as a result...hopefully I've never caused anybody any sort of lingering pain. If I have, I'm sorry.

Then there's love. Different folks are wired differently to handle that. Some people can date and date and date until they find the right fit. They can even get their hearts shredded and handed back to them in tatters and still find a way to continue to pursue love without worrying about being hurt again. I truly tip my hat to those folks. I'm more of a, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" girl. I've been shredded, at least 3 times over the course of my life and I find that eventually something in your gut sort of snaps into place and it makes you a lot less capable of giving yourself to ANYBODY on that sort of level again. I don't think it's a conscious decision, it was a defense mechanism. It is what it is..

Anyway, the illusive point: The thing I loved about the Twilight book when I first read it was the absolute certainty of Bella and Edward's love. It's a little annoying that Bella won't believe him, but in her shoes it would take me a long time to believe him as well. As the readers we know what it is, but if you were living it, then it wouldn't be as cut and dried. That's what appeals to me when I watch the movie; the intensity and goodness of the relationship. It's everybody who's ever been kicked in the teeth's dream, and I find it soothing.

As for the whole vampire lifestyle? Not so sure I'd be big on the power trip angle of it, and the bloodlust...that's not any part of my attraction. Taking away the whole, "When am I going to die" part of being human wouldn't suck though...knowing your body wasn't going to slowly decompose and sag until one day you just ceased to function wouldn't be a bad thing either. I'm not terribly afraid of aging and death, but it is something in the back of my mind. I worry about LOTS of things, if I didn't have to worry about that, to quote Forrest Gump, "Well, that would be one less thing!" LOL!

So why do I love Twilight/New Moon? Because it makes me feel better...that's why. I keep it concealed, but I'm pretty prone to panic attacks and I worry a LOT. Since I quit smoking that's a little worse because I'm lacking that calming thing when I get that flutter in my gut. So if I love Twilight, New Moon, True Blood, Queen of the Damned, eventually Eclipse and I watch vampire movies all day long every day, well, leave me alone. It makes me happy dammit!!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Funny People...Better Than It Was Made Out to Be.

I rarely grant the illusive "5 Star Rating" on Netflix...and I watch an average of 4 movies per week. I see a LOT of 3's. I was apprehensive when I saw this movie was over 2 hours long. A 2 hr and 20 minute Sandler/Rogan movie? Oh MAN. BUT, this was one of those rarest of surprises...I LOVED it.

Sandler is a big time comedian bachelor who finds out he has a leukemia-like disease. In realizing he's going to die he also realizes he has absolutely nobody in his life who isn't paid help. He randomly runs across Rogan, who is a young struggling stand up comedian who works at a deli by day and does improv at night. Rogan ends up having to follow Sandler's charactor onstage and a relationship ensues.

I've ALWAYS like Sandler, ever since Opera Man and Cajun Man were sporatic charactors on SNL...I was watching live the first time he did Red Hooded Sweatshirt. LOL! Seth Rogan is "okay". I'm not really a dick and fart joke movie person anymore...I've watched most of his stuff and it's been "okay". I can see the appeal to Seth Rogan, however I wouldn't say I'm a fan. In this movie Sandler does something we've seen him do in the past in other poorly reviewed films, and we see Rogan do it for the first time: They ACT. They both play charactors in this movie with depth, emotions and you actually give a shit about them; both of them. It's a really good movie, and I was never bored for the entire 2 hours and 20 all.

The thought that came to mind is that I feel for these poor comedians who make a career and are noticed by dick and fart jokes (see Kevin Smith for reference...probably one of the smartest film makers out there, but he's too recognized for chronic and low brow humor to ever be taken seriously...that's too bad). Then these guys evolve and grow up, but are unable to gain any respect because nobody can see past what they were to what they are. I repeat, that's too bad. Sandler has had moments of brilliance in Punch Drunk Love and Spanglish. I think this movie took that one step further because it was actually easy to be entertained by this movie than the afforementioned. Anyway, loved it and wanted to give credit where credit was due.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Moon Knocks It Out of the Park!!!

Admittedly, NOT my favorite book I am NOT team Jacob, I am Team Edward all the way...This book is a LOT of Jacob. But, the movie, the movie, the movie: They softened Jake's character up and made him MUCH more likable...either that or Taylor Lautner is a more likable guy than the Jacob Stephanie Meyer wrote. I'm thinking the latter may be true...

The FX are FANTASTIC. I knew with Chris Weitz (the Golden Compass) as the director that the wolves would be stunning. I was right...they are. The vampire's makeup is 10,000 times better, they no longer look like dead hookers from Hell! Carlisle is actually pretty hot in this one...I thought he was hideous in Twilight.

In this movie when the vampires are supposed to be doing something very fast, instead of the cheesy wire work they did a slo mo Matrix-like thing. MUCH better than the old system. This movie was just slick, polished and hi-tech...much, much better. And that said, Eclipse IS my favorite book and I can't WAIT for June and the release of that one.

Don't get me wrong, I love Twilight the book, and I actually have seen the movie more times than I can count...Catherine Hardwick did a GREAT job of casting and getting the first movie to the big screen on what I imagine was a limited budget. Kudos! But now that the franchise has pockets, I'm looking forward to the progression. Rumor has it that for Breaking Dawn the filming may be coming back to Portland and...wait for it....Gus VanZant may be the director! That will prove interesting, since Breaking Dawn has the sex scene AND a grisly c-section by Edward. Will take a certain director to pull that movie off and make it all work. To quote Victoria, "We shall see".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I Am Thankful for in 2009

Everybody seems to be doing this on Facebook this year, and I'm starting to feel like an ingrate for not stating what I'm thankful for...Since it will take more room than FB allows, it's a blog post. Here it goes:

I am thankful for life seeming to "settle down". Things seem to be going okay for now....I'm grateful for Kendrick and Nicole taking such good care of my parents. Despite the fact I'm not very capable of having a relationship with them, I also wish the best for them. I believe Kendrick and Nicole have provided them with a better life in their later years than they may have had in their former. Now they have a "family" environment that was really never present in that house before, even when a family DID live there. Thanks Kendrick and Nicole!

Although I rarely see them, I am thankful for the rest of my family up North...things seem to be leveling out for them as well and they seem to be enjoying their lives. I realize we don't see each other often, but they are ALWAYS there for me when I need them...not sure I'll ever properly return the favor.

I am thankful for having the best pets in the world..I complain about Tiny Rosie, but she is actually a pretty cute and kind dog, and gives Hewson great joy. He's never lonely with Tiny Rosie to play with. Edgy is a pretty damned good cat who just likes to make biscuits and always seems to keep himself out of harms way when he's outside.

I am thankful for my wonderful horse Firenze. He is turning into exactly the horse I had imagined he would turn into later in life (and I DID have my doubts). Riding my horse is actually the thing I believe I enjoy the most in life...and the better Firenze behaves the less nervous that makes me and the more fun I have at it. In being thankful for Firenze I am also thankful to Allison and Terry Vankoll. They have been instrumental in helping me teach my horse to be a better cooperator and helping me increase my own self confidence. I don't think they will ever have any idea just HOW much of a fan of theirs I am! I'm also thankful for their boarding facility. It is the NICEST bunch of ladies (and gentlemen) EVER. Barns can be wrought with drama...this barn is NOT.

I am thankful for my job. That too has been wrought with bumpy times and has probably given me more than a few gray hairs...HOWEVER, the worst seems to be behind me and I am actually starting to enjoy my job. I have a GREAT staff, probably one of the best staffs in any Vet hospital in the greater PDX area. Greg makes me nuts from time to time, but truth be told I have learned more about numbers and business from him than from any other source in my life...I think I will learn much more from him in the future. It will be interesting to see what is possible in the future.

I am thankful for my friends. I'm very sloooooowww to warm up to people, but I'm actually starting to see some possibilities for friends who will still be there in 10 years...Basically my entire staff (Leah, Melissa and Amanda you know we have slogged through the trenches together over the last 6 months...and successfully!!!), Nicole, Cam, and Kimberly...Miss Kimmie, we don't get to see each other as much as I'd like, but the longer I know you the more I view you as one of the greatest treasures of my life. Good, true friends are rare in adult life, but you are TOP DRAWER.

Whew...that's a lot, huh? Guess I'm lucky! Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Michael Jackson VMA Tribute with Janet

I didn't see this firsthand, but in watching it later on YouTube, VERY cool and worth watching. I believe these dancers are the same ones who were supposed to go on tour with him in This Is It....Poor folks...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough – Future Paso Doble – Video

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough Futuristic Paso Doble

Couldn't find this anywhere to embed yet, so click the link and go watch's really great!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Michael Jackson's "This Is It". Surprisingly Good!!!

For once I'll write about something other than U2 and Twilight...Tonight I attended the posthumous Michael Jackson movie, This Is It. I was VERY surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The whole time I was watching it I was thinking, "Why didn't he release something like this while he was alive? Letting folks behind the curtain to the real man may have made some things turn out differently".

This movie is mostly about the dress rehearsals for his ill fated This Is It Tour. Alas MJ died 8 days before the tour could kick off. In these rehearsals it is fascinating to watch just how knowledgeable and precise Michael was. Yes, he was a musical genius. The effortless way he could bust out all those dance moves we grew up trying (in vain) to emulate, and the ease with which his lyrics flowed from his mouth. Since he was in rehearsal Michael repeatedly emphasized he was trying to "save his voice" so he wasn't putting a lot on it. Even at 1/2 speed and volume he was nevertheless very impressive. Most of all what impressed me about this is that Michael actually seemed "down to Earth" and just plain, well, "real".

I've been a fan (although I took about a 20 year break I must admit) since the Off the Wall album. "Down to Earth" Michael has not been really since that album...okay, he was in "pre weirdness stage" during the Thriller times and just jumped off the edge from Bad on...I really believe if he could have shown folks that he actually could be so not weird that maybe some things could have been different for him. Hindsight is 20/20, huh? If somebody had just checked Elvis, Chris Farley, Phil Hartman's wife and Marvin Gaye's dad into rehab or even just spoken honestly to them instead of killing them with "yes men", then maybe we would still be able to see what else they could have created...

Considering how rough it's been for Mike over the course of the last decade or so, I feel this small film is if nothing else a kind and fitting farewell to a man who despite many bumps in his road truly was a cultural icon for our time. Michael, you will be missed...

Denise Saxon

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

"Never Hurt You" New Moon TV Spot!!!

Wow, in this one you actually see the wolf kill Laurent. I am getting VERY excited for this. I doubt I'll make an appearance at the midnight show, but I'll damn skippy be there the next day!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

My U2 360 Degree Review for Vegas and Vancouver B.C.

I attended the U2 360 Tour in Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on October 23rd and Vancouver BC October 28th. Since they were both virtually the same shows this one review will accurately cover both shows. I've read MANY concert reviews on this tour and seen many pictures of the stage. I will say that seeing it in person is quite something else. The huge Claw stage does many things; it blows smoke from many spots, it has moving ramps that allow Bono to interact with the audience from many angles, and it has a huge 360 degree video screen that is capable of stretching from ceiling to floor (entirely engulfing poor Larry Mullen, Jr!) when they so desired. This was my 9th time seeing U2 in concert and I will say they did a VERY good job of creating a seemingly "intimate" environment in a 50,000 seat stadium.

As for the music? Well....I'm not a fan of the No Line on the Horizon my perspective it's an "ok" album, but nothing special and they do 7 songs from this album. I had hoped some of those songs I was luke warm on would have a better presence live. Actually, a few did. I thought Magnificent might be great live...I was's exactly the same as listening to the album. Get On Your Boots is still not all that exciting either...I had higher hopes for that...HOWEVER, Unknown Caller had a video that played along with it and was VERY good. The boys did a disco beat and a video with I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight that made it very interesting...They ended the show with Moment of Surrender, which also was much better live than on the album. NLOTH is not my favorite album by any means, but I think a few of the songs may survive past this tour...

Amidst the new material there were a LOT of the standards; all the Joshua Tree giants, the high points off Achtung Baby, and of course Sunday Bloody Sunday. This was the first time I've ever seen them in concert that they DID NOT play Pride (in the Name of Love) though...curious. Bono and Edge did an accoustic version of Stuck In a Moment You Can't Get Our Of, and in honor of Vegas, Bono threw some Elvis hits in there...

This was a huge, larger than life show...even Bill Clinton was in attendance. We never saw him, but Bono announced his presence and his motorcade nearly ran over me on my way out of the tadium parking lot! I'll take Bono's word for it. I will say I attended 5 shows on the last tour, which I felt was a PERFECT show: Great album, great show, intimate venue. I think because I enjoyed the last tour SO much it made me more critical of this one. My friend who was with me hadn't seen the band since Pop Mart and she LOVED the show...if they come back she has stated she would like to go again. I believe based on her reaction I will say that U2 knocked it out of
the park in finding a way to give as many fans as possible an "intimate" experience without having to play a 220 show tour. I'll give U2 360 two thumbs up!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

And All the New Moon Trailers Mashed Together!!!

Wow, it's not too much longer until November 20!!! Gone by quickly. Here's a fan mix of all the trailers spliced together I found on YouTube.


Monday, September 14, 2009

And Another New Moon Trailer...

I don't think this one is as good as the first one, but it gives you a lot better look...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Danyl Johnson Audition....Wow!

This is pretty great! They have embedding turned off on YouTube, but click the link and go watch this. Both humorous and talented.

Danyl Johnson Audition

While we're at it I'll add the Stavros Flatley Audition which is pretty danged funny as well. Bet you can't watch it just once.

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Moon Trailer, Part 2!!!

I am SOOOOO glad I wasn't into Twilight a year before the movie came out. This waiting for New Moon is a long, long haul. LOL! BUT, here is the 2nd trailer, and this one is a little better than the first one. Can't WAIT to see this movie. Can't wait to see how many folks who think the Twilight thing is stupid will jump on the bandwagon after this one comes out. :-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

36 Hour Cialis

Again, funny, funny shit!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Weird Al Takes on Craigslist

This is so incredibly unique and weird and all that, I just had to put it up. They have embedding disabled so all I can do is link to it...This is wonderful in so many ways I don't even know where to start talking about it. LOL!

Click here

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

New Moon Trailer!!!!!!!

If this doesn't get you Twilighters pumped, I don't know what will. This is totally badass!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Who Will Win Idol????

I know the story has been that Adam Lambert would have to get arrested for pedophilia in order to lose this year...whether you like him or not, you have to admit he's got talent. HOWEVER, what has me sort of stoked? I think Kris Allen could actually win...I've liked him since he sang Man in the Mirror very early on in the season. That boy, win or lose, is going to have some sort of a music career and do well in the future....The thing he has going for him is the Bible Belt A.I. fans are most likely NOT Adam Lambert fans...Kris is right up their alley. (See W's second elected term to see just how powerful that area of the country IS when it comes to voting!!!!). Tuesday's show is Country Night, Keith Urban is the mentor...Good stuff! I repeat, Kris might win...that would be the biggest upset EVER!!!! Yes, I admit I am a dork for caring....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Derek and Julianne Hough

Okay, I fell to the Dark Side and I will admit I got sort of obsessed with DWTS last year and this year I'm completely into it. Going to have to admit that Derek Hough is my absolute favorite pro. I dug this video of Derek and Julianne dancing last year in the Pro Spotlight. Very impressive.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Colonscopy??? Very funny!!!

This is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time...Enjoy!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

U2 Does Letterman's Top 10

Sony's Latest Gadget Release

This pretty much says it all regarding "the latest rage in electronics" that's always coming out.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Eloquent U2 Review from the Oregonian...

I've read 100's of reviews lately on the new U2 album. I've listened to the whole thing several times on My Space (it's good...I need a copy in my car before I can say for sure though). Of all the reviews I've read so far, this is my favorite:

The Oregonian
March 02, 2009

By D.K. Row

Let me diverge a bit away from the art world.

On Tuesday, U2 releases its latest, "No Line on the Horizon." Hard to believe that Bono and the lads have been around for more than three
decades stirring up some incredible music and always looking to
reinvent. There's a lesson there for every creative person.

I confess I can't listen to them terribly objectively; I'm a fan. A
mad one. But the always insightful Ann Powers over at the Los Angeles
Times can. And she did, right here.

After the jump, however, is a story I wrote NINE years ago about the
band, on the eve of "All That You Can't Leave Behind." Like the band,
I was in the midst of transition at that time, one that would take me
back to the New York of my college years and then back to Portland.
Such are the nutty ways of love.

By the way, Hiroshi Sugimoto contributed the cover photograph for the
new disc.

There are some things in life you can never let go right away. The
beloved baseball glove, the well-worn shirt and, not to equate the
three, even an old girlfriend. And there are some bands you never
stop listening to, even when you think you should have outgrown them.

But even rarer is the band that grows up with you, shedding, like
you, its youth, and reinventing its music into something fuller and
more alive.

I've been listening to U2 for 20 years, when its propulsive guitar-
based sound and passionately sincere lyrics first gripped me in a way
that I knew wasn't merely "of the moment."

Ever since, I've blindly followed singer Bono, guitarist The Edge,
bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen wherever their music
has traveled, from the political anthems of "War" to the industrial
glam-rock of "Achtung Baby" to their latest, "All That You Can't
Leave Behind," which hits the street Tuesday.

I'm not a casual U2 fan, but I don't belong to a fan club or avidly
follow their whereabouts. I don't know much about them personally,
and because I hate crowds, I've seen them live only once. To me, it's
about buying the music and listening to it -- over and over. I've had
to replace a couple of CDs because I've worn them down to the last.

Now, the quartet -- with the same lineup since they began -- is no
longer young. Like the rest of their earliest fans, most of the four
lads from Dublin are now men with wives or serious companions and
families. But the music is still powerful, evocative. And as I listen
to the advance copy of "All That You Can't Leave Behind," I feel the
band's history and my own entwining.

1980 I hear, for the first time, "Boy." Growing up in Southern
California listening to Journey and spending most of my life in the
library, I experienced this as not simply music but some kind of
Rosetta stone in the form of heavenly sound. Authentic power-rock
songs about young love and growing up -- "Out of Control," "Stories
for Boys" -- transport me into that world beyond the imagination:
real life. The record isn't close to being a chartbuster, but Bono's
unabashed emotion and the band's refreshing sound create word-of-
mouth groundswell -- and personal solace of sorts. I've never been
out on a date, and a pretty girl actually asks me out. I turn her
down out of shyness.

1983 The band follows the disappointing "October" -- hastily
assembled after Bono reportedly lost some of the lyrics --
with "War." The Olympian call for peace in Northern Ireland, "Sunday
Bloody Sunday," will become one of U2's signature songs. As will "New
Year's Day," which features The Edge's most blistering guitar solo
ever. While Duran Duran and other fop-haired bands dominate the
charts, U2 becomes a critic's darling, making idealists out of us
all. I'm a dutiful student with a passion for sports. Although I grew
up in the seductive world of swimming pools, sun and Los Angeles-area
beaches, I move to New York to fight my own good fight: getting an

1984 I spend my first Thanksgiving away from home. I barely know how
to cook, so I eat a slice of cheese pizza the size of a Frisbee.
Somehow, I don't mind that I saw a rat running through the pizzeria's
kitchen, either. In New York, coping mechanisms -- called denial --
are everything. The band teams up with ambient sound masters Brian
Eno and Daniel Lanois for "The Unforgettable Fire." The music is more
sophisticated, but also muddled and diffuse. Bono's lyrics are even
more emotionally abstract and The Edge subsumes his ego. The once-
blistering ax is now layers of jangly, melodic echo.

At the time, I'm not sure Eno is the right producer for the band, but
in retrospect, this is U2's breakthrough record, intimating the grand
sonic landscapes ahead. I triumph with my own breakthrough. I get my
first girlfriend, a smarty-pants Ivy League girl who speaks English
like one of Lord Chesterfield's daughters. She thinks little of U2 --
"The spy plane shot down by those Russians?" We will not last.

1987 "The Joshua Tree" comes out. From the beginning track, "Where
the Streets Have No Name," there is no question this album will be a
masterpiece. Singles are plentiful: "With or Without You," "I Still
Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." I try to write a novel and spend
a year working demoralizing part-time jobs. I listen obsessively to
U2 to procrastinate, carried away by Bono's reach-for-the stars
cliches and The Edge's spiraling arpeggios. I write a grand total of
20 pages for the year, and get mugged for the first time ever on East
90th Street by seven kids. U2, though, becomes a certified mega-band.

1988 The '80s are winding down. That means yellow ties are out of
style, thank heaven. U2 follows up "The Joshua Tree" with "Rattle &
Hum," a buffet of fake blues and overblown anthems. It's all
hysterical polemic with the band's lowest moment: During "Silver and
Gold," Bono gives his famous Bishop Tutu speech, which asks the
question, "Am I buggin' you?" Has success spoiled the once-earnest
four lads? Of course. But that's OK. They still make the most
beautiful noise. As a musician friend tells me, "Listening to U2 is
every musician's secret bad habit." I stop writing and take a well-
paying job as a researcher at a law firm. Twenty floors up in the sky
in Manhattan's midtown, I spend many long days and nights reading and
researching legal documents, wishing I could play the guitar like The

1991 Redemption. The band returns with its finest effort. Recording
in Berlin and Dublin, the band reinvents itself with "Achtung Baby,"
a hybrid of arena rock, industrial soundscapes and ambient touches
that also presages the techno movement to come later in the decade. I
leave the big city and end up in Nepal, the most beautiful place on
Earth. What you don't see in those picture-perfect postcards is the
filth of Third World life. So after four weeks of not bathing and
ingesting what was probably a smidgen of cow dung by accident, I'm
felled by some terrible stomach disorder. In my dark tent, I lie
down, turn on my Walkman, block out the chatter of the sherpas, and
mend my intestines with beautiful sound: U2's sweet, soothing and
sad "One." 1994 I break up with my girlfriend -- someone I thought
was the love of my life. On a lark, I relocate to Portland. I know no
one. I don't have a job. I've never even been to this city. It is
quiet, clean, beautiful, with tons of creative young people. I take
to riding my bike late at night in the Northwest industrial section
of town and then across the Hawthorne Bridge, listening to the band's
1993 release, "Zooropa." U2, I believe, is not popular in the
Northwest, though slightly whiny alternative bands like Pavement and
Nirvana and the "alternative sound" are. What I also realize is this:
The last thing the world needs is another angst-ridden
hipster. "Zooropa," along with another fabulous record, Jane
Siberry's "When I Was a Boy," are my best friends as I fall in love
with the Northwest's own lushly ambient atmosphere: constant dappling
rain, good beer and strong coffee. 1997 "Pop" comes out. The band is
in full self-mockery mode -- the parodic PopMart tour seems just pure
spectacle. Although U2 has outlasted every band from the '80s, and
constantly challenged itself musically and influenced the likes of
Radiohead and a bunch of other alternative bands, "Pop" seems a
disappointment. Sonically, there are moments of gorgeousness, namely
The Edge's guitar work, which often replicates the sound of a
synthesizer. The band, though, seems to try too hard to be current
and cutting, when, in fact, the lads are old men -- in rock 'n' roll
years, that is. But so am I, as I put my art background and love of
writing to use as a local art reviewer.

2000 Older, grayer and, in the case of The Edge, balder, the band
comes out with "All That You Can't Leave Behind," a stripped-down
version of its early guitar-based, powerhook-laden songs. The first
single, "Beautiful Day," announces that U2 is back on its home turf
of emotional directness and grand sound-making. I thumb through the
liner notes that feature, again, the band's pleas to join Amnesty
International. Then it dawns on me, for some reason, that Ronald
Reagan was president when I first heard the band. Post-punk, all that
bad '80's music, grunge, those regrettable revivals of the '70s
and '80s have all come and gone. So, too, have I. Today I write about
art for this newspaper and I have a wonderful girlfriend who has
shown me how to take the right things seriously. The law firm, Nepal,
a failed attempt at writing a novel, and so many other things seem as
far away as "Boy." She tolerates my U2 obsession only because her
best friend, Matt, a former musician, is a bigger U2 freak than I am.
Last week Matt and his wife visited Portland, and we spent a night
drinking beer, talking about U2 and his about-to-be-born first child.

"I know this is not goodbye," Bono sings in one of the songs from the
new disc. I don't know which song it is -- I've just been listening
to the music over and over. And it also dawns on me: If Bono and the
boys decided to hang up their instruments and call it a day, I know
they'd be fine. And I know they'd never get together again, either.
That's how it should be.

And I would be fine, too, even though my favorite band would stop
making music. Because there are some things you never let go of, even
after they're gone.

© The Oregonian, 2009.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meltdown or Hoax? The Saga of Joaquin Phoenix.

I'm still not convinced Joaquin isn't doing a Borat and pulling an elaborate hoax that goes along with his "documentary" he's filming about his morph into a hip-hop star. If you've missed the infamous Letterman appearance, here it is. I haven't seen a train wreck this fun to watch since The Anna Nicole Show was still on the air...

And, to put a little icing on the cake, Ben Stiller NAILED this on the Oscars this year. If he's truly melting down in the public eye and I'm enjoying the downfall of yet another celebrity, then I'm sorry...I'll apologize later. But for now, this is some funny, funny, shit.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Boys Are Back In Town!!!

Well, I know I previously wrote I was a little pissed at Bono...I wondered how I'd feel about the new album, next tour...maybe I'd stay mad. Then I saw them sing again, nope, not mad. Check out the video for Get On Your Boots. Not the best radio song, but it's going to be fantastic in concert...I feel it will grow on me as time goes by! See for yourself!

And for those interested, here is the actual studio version:

Get On Your Boots