Thursday, December 27, 2012

U2 2013 & Album Rankings

Rumor has it U2 will release a new album sometime in 2013, probably late summer or fall, with a tour following it. U2 always comes up with great ideas for a tour, so expect something unique again, much like "The Claw" from the record breaking "U2 360 Tour". Rumor has it most of the shows will be arena shows this time around. Julian Lennon (John Lennon's son) said they are interested in possibly using one of his photographs as the cover.

1. Achtung Baby (1991) - U2 didn't just "chop down the Joshua tree" (as they've said), they sent it through a wood chipper with songs like "Zoo Station," "The Fly" and "Acrobat." Achtung Baby was a much darker album than people were used to from them. They embraced alternative rock, as well as dance and electronic music. It's so hard to pick a top song, because each one can probably lay claim to it. Anyone who hasn't heard this album must do it now. The accompanying Zoo TV Tour is possibly the most original & creative concert tour of all time, so the "Zoo TV Live from Sydney" DVD is also worth picking up.
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2. The Joshua Tree (1987) - The Grammy-winning album that sent them into the stratosphere. It's their best-selling album, with classics such as "With or Without You," "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." This was a more mainstream sound than their early-80s post-punk albums, also showing their versatility in songwriting. The most underrated song on the album is "Exit" which starts with a slow build then explodes into a loud rocker. I'm a sucker for that. From top to bottom it feels like the album is full of radio friendly hits.

3. All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000) - It's not their most creative album, but the songs very simply kick ass and never seem to get old as the years go by. Another big Grammy winner, it features the amazing "Beautiful Day" as well as other hits like "Elevation" and "Walk On." One of their best tracks, "Kite", was never released as a single and shows that even the deeper tracks on this album have as much, and maybe more, strength than the singles. Often called U2's third masterpiece after Achtung Baby & The Joshua Tree. It took U2 into the 21st Century in the most perfect way, and they haven't looked back.

4. War (1983) - My favorite of their pre-Joshua Tree albums, this has a lot of energy for a politically charged album, their first album that deals with politics and war. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day" are the well-known tracks, but most of the album has songs that are equally as good. War is one of their hardest rockers taking what they did on the first two albums to the next level. "Two Hearts Beat as One" is a rocker that makes you want to get up and move, U2 is always good at that. This is the album that proved they were more than a one hit wonder.

5. No Line On The Horizon (2009) - This one isn’t very mainstream, but it all flows together nicely, definitely an underrated album. It's a bit more experimental than the other U2 albums from the 2000s. "Breathe," "Magnificent," "Unknown Caller" and "Moment of Surrender" all stand out. It's their most visual album along with The Unforgettable Fire. "Get on Your Boots" is a good song, but is much better the way they perform it live with a different intro. Bono said the album would be more experimental that the previous two, but they probably could have taken that further.

Friday, December 21, 2012

NRA Head Blames Mortal Kombat

Wayne LaPierre of the NRA blamed 'Mortal Kombat' and movies like 'American Psycho' and 'Natural Born Killers' for gun violence during a ridiculous press conference meant to address the Newtown Tragedy. Apparently he just walked out of 1994. This press conference was basically to protect gun manufacturers, not even the individual owners. The only bad thing Mortal Kombat has done was give the Kardashians the idea to chance every "C" to a "K".

Its nothing but a total cop out and PR stunt meant to deflect attention elsewhere, by focusing on the entertainment industry. What's next, going to blame a robbery on Catwoman? Well I can put a big fat stop to that argument right now.

1. Mortal Kombat and other video games are extremely popular in Japan, even more than in the USA. Yet Japan is also the safest country in the world, as well as one of the most peaceful. Apparently they aren't affected by seeing Raiden shoot lightning from his hands, or Kitana throw sharp fans. Try again NRA.

2. So what do you blame for all the violence before the 1990s? To name a few: Son of Sam, Charles Manson, Bonnie & Clyde, 1966 University of Texas shooter, Ted Bundy, Hitler & the Nazi's, the mafia & gangsters of the 20th century, the catholic church killing "heretics" during the inquisition, the KKK, etc. I didn't know they all had access to video games and action movies.

Its up to parents to take more responsibility. If they have a kid (or know an adult) with clear issues and mental problems, they need to keep them away from BOTH guns and violent entertainment, both of which millions of people enjoy without ever doing harm to others. So instead of throwing blame somewhere else, it would be wise to actually get out in communities to educate people and do your part to make the world a better place.

Sane people with guns don't kill, entertainment doesn't kill - Lunatics kill. The US needs to find a way to keep guns away from criminals & mentally ill people, and part of that means families need to step up. The NRA dropped the ball today, and should have addressed that to try and be part of the solution, rather than placing blame on fictional entertainment. They could have come out in support of "Smart Gun Technology", which uses fingerprints registered to the gun owner, so nobody else would be able to fire their gun. They claim its "expensive". So what, you can't put a price on safety. The auto industry has added so many safety enhancements to cars, such as multiple airbags as one example, which cost more money but keep people safer. But, I guess we shouldn't have expected anything better from them.

Mayan Apocalypse Strikes!

December 21, 2012 is upon us, and we have an exclusive photo out of Tokyo just moments ago, while it was still 12/20 for us on the East Coast. It looks like we have a dreadful day ahead of us, as Tokyo is currently under siege, correctly predicted by the Mayans. Mount Fuji has unexpectedly erupted, sending lava into the city while a UFO has made its presence known along with Mothra. Where is Godzilla (the friendly one) when you need him? I promise this is not a photoshop image. Literally.

It seems some asteroids have begun blitzing areas. Cue Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing".

And out of Finland, you can see a trampoline has wreaked havoc below.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12-12-12 Concert Rocks the Garden

The 121212 Concert rocked Madison Square Garden last night, as well as maybe 2 billion people watching around the world.

- As expected there was the fusion of The Beatles and Nirvana, when Paul McCartney teamed up with Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear to perform a rocking new song called "Cut Me Some Slack". The song was written in just one day, and it sounded a bit like a cross between The Beatles' "Helter Skelter", which Paul opened with, and Nirvana's "Breed". It was definitely a great moment to watch. And you could hear Dave Grohl comment after while leaving the stage, "that was fucking awesome!" We all agree! McCartney had the set of the night, and is still trending on twitter as I write this. Definitely some unexpected songs thrown in.

- McCartney brought out a bunch of the heroes of Hurricane Sandy and then Alicia Keys performed "Empire State of Mind" with all of them on stage, which was a perfect way to cap off the excellent show. Keys also provided the "lighter moment" of the night during her earlier set, only with cell phones instead of lighters of course. Loved seeing MSG glowing all around her.

- Chris Martin of Coldplay had the joke of the night, saying "I know you wanted One Direction but its way past their bedtime, so that's why you get one quarter of Coldplay." He also brought out Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

- Kanye West wore a leather skirt. Maybe he borrowed it from Kim Kardashian's closet?

- The Rolling Stones had a quick two song set, though they were added at the last minute, and have another show on their tour tonight. Mick Jagger must have made people watching who are 30 years younger feel bad about themselves for not being able to move as good as he can. He certainly showed what the "moves like Jagger" really are.

-New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen of course, with Bon Jovi a couple sets after. Jon joined Springsteen during his set, and Bruce joined Bon Jovi during theirs much to the delight of the crowd. Billy Joel also got one of the biggest reactions of the night.

-Howard Stern fans rejoice, It wouldn't be a New York show without a "Baba Booey!" shout making it through, which happened during Billy Crystal's speech.

-Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder did a fine job performing some Pink Floyd classics. The Who also performed a long set, and sounded much better than they did at the Super Bowl a few years ago.

You can pre-order the live album on iTunes or wait for it to come out on CD everywhere. All proceeds go to the Robin Hood Foundation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 Concert TONIGHT

People all over the world can watch the 121212 Concert tonight starting at 7:30pm ET. There are already plenty of rumors about some of the surprises in store for the concert, which will help raise money for the Robin Hood Foundation for Hurricane Sandy relief. A ton of channels will be showing it, such as AMC, Fuse, and HBO. Check the website for more.

One such rumor that has been virtually confirmed is that Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic will be reuniting as Nirvana, with Paul McCartney taking over Kurt Cobain's vocals! A fusion of the biggest musical act of the 1960s & all time, The Beatles, with the biggest band of the 1990s, Nirvana. Apparently they will be performing a new song.

Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam will also be singing Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" with original Pink Floyd member Roger Waters.

With The Rolling Stones performing, one can also wonder who might join them onstage to take the female vocals if they perform "Gimme Shelter"? Lady Gaga is doing it at their concert on Saturday, so might she show up? Or Mary J Blige, who performed it with them in London?

Friday, December 7, 2012

121212 Concert Details

The 121212 Concert for Hurricane Sandy relief seems to be getting bigger by the day. A new addition was just announced today - The Rolling Stones. The lineup now features the iconic band in addition to: Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Eric Clapton, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Billy Joel and Chris Martin. We'll see if any other artists are added to the show in the coming days, but this is already a stellar lineup.

Fear not those of you who couldn't get tickets to the massive show at Madison Square Garden. It will be shown live across 34 different TV networks, as well as online and in select movie theaters. And not just in the United States, it will be shown across every continent reaching one billion people worldwide.

The proceeds will benefit the Robin Hood Fund. Music always seems to be the best way to both make people affected by tragedy feel better, as well as raise money and awareness to help a cause. The show should be a great one, make sure you tune in to one of the many channels on December 12th!