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By Andy Argyrakis
U2 Weekend Report: U2 kicks off American concert tour
Friday, September 11, 2009


The biggest band in the world is arguably U2 and this weekend marks the kickoff to its American tour in support of No Line On the Horizon (Interscope). Despite a fairly weak lead off single ("Get On Your Boots"), the rest of the album soars with modern rock superiority and is poised to become a cornerstone of its catalogue. In anticipation of the band's double shot of shows, here's track by track breakdown of the new tunes:

1. "No Line On the Horizon"- Sounding like something straight out of the set list for "The Zoo TV Tour," The Edge's hypnotic guitar sounds flow seamlessly with Bono's bellows. Add in some subtle keyboards a la "New Year's Day" and the rough necked rocker also has a melodic undercurrent.

2. "Magnificent"- The rhythm section again explodes with riveting grooves, while the front man urgently pleas: "Only love, only love can leave such a mark/ But only love, only love unites our hearts." He may have sang similar lines before, but sounds especially revitalized across the instantly memorable chorus.

3. "Moment of Surrender"- This alternative ballad of sorts is reminiscent of the prodding "Numb," but it's executed with a clearer vision and more muscular harmonies between Bono and the boys. It probably won't be a live classic, but it's ear pleasing in the personal listening experience.

4. "Unknown Caller"- Jangly strums and haunting lyrics carry this ethereal sing-a-long that's just as much textbook U2 as it is experimental from a production direction.

5. "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"- It could've come straight off of 1991's Achtung Baby if it wasn't so current sounding, but then again, that old school album still holds up with relevance today. Though this track boasts a meatier chord structure, expect a similar feeling of exuberance sparked from "Who's Gonna Ride You're Wild Horses."

6. "Get On Your Boots"- Also taking cues from that same album, the lead single is loaded with distortion and brisk lyrical delivery. In the context of the entire collection, it flows fairly well, but as a stand alone radio track, it lacks hooks and immediacy.

7. "Stand Up Comedy"- Picking up where "Mysterious Ways" left off, "Stand Up Comedy" is the most soulful song on the endeavor. The rhythmic shuffles return and it literally seems crafted for Bono to prowl on the catwalk in concert.

8. "Fez-Being Born"- U2 doesn't dive into instrumental realms all that often, but the first two minutes find the foursome jamming with chilling abandon. Bono eventually dives in eerily to compliment The Edge's icy guitars, an interaction that won't likely attract airplay, but one that makes for an adventurous album cut nonetheless.

9. "White As Snow"- As the slowest ballad on the CD, the song also serves as the band's socially and spiritually conscious mouthpiece. Bearing a mild resemblance to "The Wanderer" (but without Johnny Cash this round), the track leans ever so slightly towards the alternative country side of the dial.

10. "Breathe"- It's back to electricity doused rock n' roll for this jarring, mid-tempo stadium rocker. However, the prominent presence of strings indicates a tremendous amount of sonic depth and variety amidst everyone's otherwise familiar playing styles.

11. "Cedars of Lebanon"- Though it doesn't round out the record with a bang, this laid back reflection finds the band recalling "Running To Stand Still" off 1987's The Joshua Tree. Even so, it still finds itself firmly planted in 2009, addressing current events without coming across as overly preachy.

Of course, everyone's bound to have their own opinion of each carefully crafted track (and U2 in general), but it's safe to say No Line On the Horizon is just as much a return to form as a bold step forward. Though the band made a conscious decision to put more stock in a solid start to finish album than merely a catchy single or two surrounded by filler, it's a move that will only prolong its longevity as arguably the greatest rock band on earth. (Bet your life - Saturday and Sunday at Soilder Field- Chicago, IL: www.ticketmaster.com)
The Beatles Street Week: Beatles bonanza!
Monday, September 7, 2009


If there's any band to buck the entire music industry system of today, it's The Beatles. The Fab Four continues to find success despite never conforming to download or internet trends, while continuing to draw acclaim for its entire catalogue rather than just a single song or CD. With that undeniable truth in mind, it's not surprising to see the group's entire history being remastered, and while it would seem like this would've been done sooner, it actually marks the very first time dusting off the group's entire annals.

Long story short, every single studio CD, soundtrack and even the Past Masters greatest hits compilation is now back on the marketplace under the lens of today's technology, which may have ruffled a few feathers with purists, but has otherwise been The Beatlesreceived with widespread open arms. Considering all the albums sounded incredible in their heyday with limited studio techniques at the band's disposal, it's no wonder why early internet reports find fans marveling at the new and improved sonic quality.

In addition to standard CD release, the remasters are combined into a luxurious box set that's currently sold out at major retailers like Amazon.com. In other words, the initial estimations were under the actual fan demand, prompting another round of pressings currently in the works for both the mono and stereo editions. But no matter what format one decides upon, there are plenty of Beatles tunes to devour in perhaps the freshest listening experience since the material's original incarnation.

The Dish Archives 2009

Aug. 31 - Sept. 4
Aug. 24 - 28
Aug. 17 - 21
Aug. 10 - 14
Aug. 3 - 7
July 27 - July 31
July 20 - July 24
July 13 - July 17
July 6 - July 10
June 29 - July 3
June 22 - 26
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June 1 - 5
May 25 - 29
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Jan. 12 - 16
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Dec. 29 - Jan. 2
The Dish Archives - 2008
The Dish Archives - 2007

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