dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Banterview: We Can Live With Or Without U2

This week news came out that U2 and Green Day have recorded a song together, and so it seemed like a good time for J'ason and MoogaBoo to discuss whether the "Greatest Band In The World" is still all that great.

J'ASON D'LUV: Did you know that when I bought my iPod off The Duke, it had every single U2 album on it?

MOOGABOO: That's a lot of U2.

JD: Have you ever had that one U2 album you just gave yourself over to?

M: Yeah, I was into The Joshua Tree. Well, I was into the singles. Specifically, "With Or Without You." Actually, I was really into Paul Parker's 1992 Hi-NRG remake. The "Without U2 Mix" was a masterpiece! You?

JD: Paul Parker's finest moment of brilliance was "Right On Target '95"! It still makes me want to don my vinyl butterfly wings, put a whistle in my mouth, grab a glowstick and jump into the nearest strobe light! [MP3 Download - Right On Target '95] But anyway, I was all about Achtung Baby.

M: By far, their coolest moment. Yet, also the one that launched them into their worst moment...

JD: Are you referring to Zooropa, because I loved that one! It reminds me of the first guy I ever hooked up with in college. He was a big U2 fan, and I thought that if I got into their latest album, he'd wanna do sinful things with me in the study lounge at 2 a.m.

M: And that's the kind of musical integrity that went on to form Chart Rigger. At least you didn't do drugs and smoke and drink to impress someone -- you know, like normal kids do. Did this lead to him wanting to spend the rest of his life -- or at least the semester -- with you?

JD: No, after a few weeks he went back in the closet and I flung Zooropa out the residence hall window like a frisbee. I think it landed in a recycling bin outside the Science building.

M: Well, you made good use of it. Was that the album with "Lemon" on it? I remember hunting for weeks to get those trendy remixes, and then when I finally heard them, I went back to listening to Paul Parker.

JD: Yeah, it had "Lemon" and "Numb" and the clunky ballad from that Wim Wenders movie.

M: I remember "Numb"! That was the one where they tried to make The Edge into a video star. I guess Bono wanted to free up more vacation time.

JD: Well, I have to say, I never really got into U2 when the rest of the planet did back in the '80s. That said, you do have to give them credit for inventing that thing where a band can do totally nonsensical lyrics in a sneaky way that comes off as "wise" and "universal," so that people have almost a religious-like attraction to them. Coldplay have obviously read the U2 "how-to" manual.

M: Yeah, they're not overt about anything spiritual, but something about their image inspires devotion.

JD: Like, what the hell does "See the thorn twist in your side / see the stone set in your eye" mean, anyway? Bono's lyrics are so vague that thirtysomething women in Kansas hitch all their hopes and dreams up to every word, and then drag their husbands to see them live every four years.

M: Do U2 still have a large Midwestern fanbase? I would have thought the whole MacPhisto period had driven those people into the arms of Blues Traveler.

JD: I don't know. I was always more into Depeche Mode, who are also guilty of the same lyrical tactics, but at least they did heroin. Remember when U2 reached their lowest point, when two of them did the Mission Impossible theme song?

M: And remember when they reached an even lower point, and had Junior Vasquez remix it? Still, their worst was that album with "Discotheque" on it. What was it called?

JD: Wal-Mart?

M: Pop Tart? Tart Mart?

JD: Both of those sound right. Well, now U2 are back in the studio with Rick Rubin, and they've also done some much-hyped song with Green Day. I sometimes wonder whether Bono is really just as opportunistic as Madonna...

M: Of course he is. At the end of the day, after all the charity work and the humbled appearances at the UN and the lunches with the Pope, Bono is still damned determined to stay hip, fresh and youthful. And like Madonna, he'll probably bury his vampiric fangs into whatever fresh meat occasions to stop by. In this case, Green Day, who I think are my mom's age at this point.

JD: We all know I have a mad crush on Billie Joe Armstrong, ever since that dream I had last year -- which is why I'm feeling the vitriol for U2 at the moment. Hopefully Bono isn't entertaining the notion of playing "hide the car bomb up Billie Joe's chassis."

M: I know you love him, and American Idiot is a classic. But he needs to start applying a good sunscreen. So, this is a duet that might work. Both bands are of comparable age, they're into the same issues and ideas and they're both rock. How often do we see duets between people this sympatico anymore?

JD: Well, technically, the guys in Green Day are just a few years older than us. But Bono's been around since the potato famine.

M: I seriously thought Billie Joe was 40.

JD: What's with Bono taking it upon himself to drunkenly assail the new crop of singers every five or six years and forcing his advice on them? I read some article last year where Brandon Flowers said he met Bono, who told him something like, "You've got the moxie, kid, but spare us the 'interesting' sophomore album." He probably then vomited into a ditch and bought another round.

M: I hope B. Flo was listening. And I kind of like that Bono still drinks! How else would he get the courage to approach Brandon Flowers? But now we know why The Killers' new album is an ode to Springsteen and not a U2 pastiche. Let's hope Brandon never picks up a Tom Waits record.

JD: So getting back to the upcoming U2 album... I wonder when Hilary Duff will finally release "Playing With Fire"? That was a brief flash-in-the-TRL-pan. I even touted her as channeling Kylie!

M: It seemed really quickly culled together. The video was kind of cheap, the vocal was a little off, but those things made me love it all the more.

JD: They probably rushed it out after Material Girls flopped, to try to keep the Duff steam rollin'.

M: Do you think Hilary realizes her career is living on borrowed time?

JD: Oh, for reals. Look, she's had two hits. And the attempt to do the obligatory sibling-franchise offshoot with Haylie never took off.

M: When are these kids gonna learn that the public will only tolerate you for so long if you're not gonna show your tits? It's sexist, it's awful, but it's a Pusscyat Dolls world.

JD: Did you write that down, Bono?

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  • At 1:53 PM, Blogger Daft Monk said…

    A few years ago I read an interview where Courtney Love discussed how she went over to The Strokes and gave them the "Bono talk" with the same advice that Flowers got. Personally I'd prefer the "Courtney" talk where you learn how destroy your career, but you really can't choose what unsolicited advice you get.

  • At 5:07 PM, Blogger The Duke said…

    Yup, EVERY U2 album -- that's what happens when you date an Irish lass who had fantasies about licking Bono's sweat. Nowadays most U2 and Coldplay makes me want to slit my wrists... but in a good, across-the-vein way.

    Pretty much everything U2 has released since 1993 has sucked (save maybe the Passengers album with Brian Eno). Who gives a shit about them trying to reach a "younger" generation by doing a song with Green Day (like Green Day's really THAT young)? The more important U2 news that you didn't mention is they are finally releasing the Zoo TV concert from Sydney on DVD next Tuesday. Get with the program, Chart Rigger!

  • At 5:17 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Daft Monk, I think the "Bono talk" is the most hysterical aspect of him. It's like, "I dain you worthy, young laddy..." I'd actually pay a couple bucks to receive the "Courtney talk"...

    Duke, I've got that very promo DVD sitting on my desk. I'm Fed Exing it to the same recycle bin outside the IUP Science building...

  • At 12:23 AM, Blogger xolondon said…

    "into the arms of Blues Traveler" is actually a very SUBTLE U2 reference. was it on purpose!?

    My fave is Joshua Tree, released on my 18th birthday (another factoid unleashed to the net). J'adore the Chimes version of "Still Haven't Found" - dyou know it? If not I will post it (along with some Family Stand etc).

    Didja know Madge has turned down duet offers from Bono? She thought it would be cheesy (or now she would say naff).

    What a HORRID pic of Bono. Aging sucks.

    Billie Joe. Good makeup! JD you won't hurt your jaw on - nevermind. let me not finish that sentence. At least not where MOM? can read it.

  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    Well, I didn't get the subtle reference, but then a lot of MoogaBoo's zingers are loaded with references... We'll have to let The Man himself respond.

    I do recall that Chimes version, but sadly don't have it.... can you help a brutha out?

    Oh, do you know something I don't about BJ?

  • At 9:18 PM, Blogger xolondon said…

    nude pics out there....

  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Ella Thorvaldsen said…

    Come to think of it many have turned down both Bono and Madonna...i think they are just too big.

  • At 12:49 PM, Blogger J'ason D'luv said…

    ELLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *

    You're back!!

    * Not to be confused with Marlon Brando's "Stella!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • At 10:50 AM, Anonymous play with fire said…

    Is Bono even physically able to remove the colored sunglasses at this point?

  • At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Paul Parker, bless! And early 90s Eurodisco star Double You released a rival Hi-NRG version of "With Or Without You" at the same time.

  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    CODIGO 0.

  • At 2:57 AM, Anonymous Xavier said…

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