Tuesday, May 13, 2008

U2 Hits the Studio in Dublin

U2 Hits the Studio in Dublin
Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

U2 has hit the studio in Dublin to continue work on its next album with longtime collaborators Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. "We're going to try and break new sonic ground and deliver a masterpiece," Lanois tells Billboard.com. "The sleeves are rolled up. Bono is all charged up with a lyrical angle."

As previously reported, U2, Eno and Lanois have spent time working on new material on three prior occasions in France and Morocco, and Lanois confirms the results are prolific.

"There's so much material," he says, referring to speculation that the sessions could yield two new albums. "When you get Eno and I and those guys in the room, before lunch there's like eight things."

"We've had some exciting beginnings via jam sessions," he continues. "Now we will pick our favorite beginnings and say, 'OK, that's a lovely springboard. Now what are we trying to say?' The springboards are sometimes melodic, sometimes riff-based, but I can assure you they are exciting."

There's no date yet for the project, which will be the follow-up to 2004's "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb."

In other U2 news, the group has contributed to a new charity single, "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew," proceeds from which will benefit the cancer-stricken Irish artist of the same name. The track will be available in Ireland only as a download beginning Friday (Feb. 22) and week later on CD.

In addition to U2, "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew" features appearances by the Pogues' Shane MacGowan, the Frames' Glen Hansard, Sinead O'Connor, Andrea Corr, Damien Dempsey, Ronan Keating, Chris de Burgh, Gavin Friday and members of the Dubliners.

10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About U2

By Aidin Vaziri

“We’re not Irish,” The Edge once announced on national television. “Honestly, we’re not. We’re from Duluth, but we saw this Irish Spring commercial one day and we just went, ‘That’s it, we’ll be Irish.’” Naturally, the guitarist’s faux confession was for a comedy bit called “U2 Secrets” on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Since forming in 1976, U2 have been mostly drama-free, with their original lineup still cranking out the massive hits over 30 years later. But that doesn’t mean you know everything about them.

1. That’s Sir Bono to you. Even though he’s not technically qualified for the royal title, in 2007 the Irish-born U2 frontman received an Honorary Knighthood from the Queen of England. At the ceremony, the singer, born Paul Hewson, joked that his son, “thought I was becoming a Jedi.”

2. The same year, U2 ranked No. 22 on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list. The band’s robust bank account may have had to do with manager Paul McGuinness encouraging the band to move their songwriting catalog from Ireland to a tax shelter in Amsterdam.

3. Bono is the only person who has been nominated for an Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe, and a Nobel Prize. He was nominated three times for the latter. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world twice, and made him Person of the Year in 2005 along with Bill and Melinda Gates. “He was every bit the geek that we are,” Gates Foundation chief Patty Stonesifer told the magazine. “He just happens to be a geek who is a fantastic musician.”

4. Before deciding on the name U2, the band tried out the Larry Mullen Band, Feedback, and the Hype. They settled on U2 after browsing a list of suggestions from a family friend, punk musician Steve Averill. It was the name they hated the least.

5. Even though it is now universally reviled as a half-formed collection of songs and blight on U2’s otherwise pristine discography, the group’s techno-heavy ninth studio album Pop debuted in the No. 1 position in 32 countries when it was originally released in March 1997. Rolling Stone issued it four stars out of five, declaring they’ve “made some of the greatest music of their lives.”

6. Following in the footsteps of the Beatles, the Band, and the Who, U2 were the fourth rock band ever to be featured on the cover of Time magazine. The April 29, 1987 cover featured the band’s name in flames with the headline, “Rock’s Hottest Ticket.”

7. Many fans believe 1987’s The Joshua Tree was originally intended to be a double album, a theory backed by the fact that singles such as “With Or Without You” and “Where the Streets Have No Name” came with a bounty of quality b-sides that would put most other bands’ main output to shame. Bono further fanned the flames when he admitted, “The album is almost incomplete. ‘With or Without You’ doesn't really make sense without ‘Walk to the Water’ or ‘Luminous Times.’ And ‘Trip Through Your Wires’ doesn’t make that much sense without ‘Sweetest Thing.’”

8. The band’s fourth album, 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire, was named after a series of paintings created by survivors of the atomic bomb attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of the band’s strong Christian roots, many people believe it has to do with Bono’s strong affinity for the Bible. But 1981’s October remains the only album with overtly religious lyrics.

9. The sunglasses aren’t just there to make Bono look like a rock star. The U2 singer says he has an allergy to salicyclates: “That means I lose my voice or I fall asleep in the strangest places, like once on the lighting board for Sonic Youth, one of the loudest concerts in the world. And I get red eyes, which is one of the reasons I wear glasses.”

10. Larry Mullen Jr. gets regular injections of bull’s blood. Bill Flanagan’s book, U2 at the End of the World, claims the drummer uses the holistic treatment for dealing with a bad back: “Bono says Larry tried different doctors without success until he went to a German who brought in a holistic healer who started giving Larry shots of bull’s blood. That did the trick! Larry’s Irish doctor refuses to accept it―he looks at X rays of Larry’s crooked spine and says it’s impossible, but Larry feels fine. He flies to Germany for shots of bull’s blood regularly.”

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bono Praised for Charity Efforts

Rocker Bono and artist Damien Hirst were praised last night at a Valentine's Day charity auction for raising more than $40 million for AIDS relief. Now that's impressive!

The U2 star teamed up with Hirst to head "The (Red) Auction" event at the Gagosian Gallery in New York City, which sold off contemporary art to the highest bidders.

Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Matthew Barney, Banksy, Richard Prince and Antony Gormley were among the 100 artists who donated masterpieces.

Auctioneers Sotheby's have hailed the $42.6 million that was raised as one of the biggest single charity events in history. Organizers were originally hoping to raise around $29 million. All proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the United Nations' HIV relief initiative in Africa.

Kudos to celebrities like Bono that actually use their celebrity status for a good cause!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

U2 tower now ready for Elevation

After years of planning, wrangling and rowing, it finally looks like the landmark U2 tower is finally set to get off the ground. Plans for the Liffey highrise remain on course even though a formal agreement with the developers has still not been struck.

The Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) said negotiations between it and the preferred bidders -- a consortium including U2 members -- "are due to be completed shortly."

The DDDA expects "construction of the tower to begin by the end of this year or early next year," a spokesman said.

Geranger Ltd. was chosen by the DDDA as the preferred bidder for the €200m project on Britain Quay in October, beating off competition from Sean Dunne's Mountbrook Homes.

Geranger, a consortium consisting of Ballymore Properties, developer Paddy McKillen and the members of U2, plans to build a skyscraper soaring 60m higher than the Spire.


The scheme contains a design for an egg-shaped recording studio suspended beneath a battery of vertical wind turbines and a huge solar panel at the top. This "energy centre" will raise the overall height from 130 metres to 180 metres.

The Geranger project, a tilted triangular tower designed by Foster & Partners, will include a public viewing platform offering panoramic views over the city and Dublin Bay.

This will be located just below U2's "pod" studio, which will be separated from the structure for acoustic reasons.

Norman Foster's practice is best known for the Swiss Re or "Gherkin" tower in the city of London.

DDDA director of architecture John McLaughlin said that the Foster scheme "had the edge because its public spaces were really well handled" and it provided a gateway to a bridge over the Dodder where it joins the Liffey.

In addition to the tower, which will largely comprise luxury apartments, the scheme includes a five-star hotel in a flanking building, and a block of 34 social and affordable apartments.

Monday, May 5, 2008

U2 attend U23D premiere in Dublin

The band arriving at Cineworld in Dublin for the premiere of U23D. Shakily captured by 'U2Neat'.


[Source: U2log.com // Weblog and Magazine - Posted by FreeAutoBlogger]

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