Radiohead’s “The King of Limbs”: Conquering Computers with Computers

February 20, 2011

Listening to The King of Limbs for the first time was truly a communal experience, wasn’t it?  I’m not sure I know a single person who didn’t have a go at Radiohead’s latest when it was surprise-released this past Friday.

With the Web allowing us quick and easy access to information from everywhere, all you had to do was follow Twitter trending or read an article response thread to get an idea of how people around the world were feeling about the record as they listened to it, without the interference of hindsight or judgment from the critical ” elite”.

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U2 Stand By Africa

February 19, 2011

U2 wowed South Africa for a second night, this time in Cape Town. Local personality Dan Nicholl (@dannicholl) tweeted, “Not sure I can ever watch another concert. Breathtaking night out with U2. In total awe.” Not only were Capetonians treated to a special, African-tinged show, U2.com made the surprise announcement that the show would be streamed live online for fans worldwide.

The band entered to a remix of “Get On Your Boots” followed by Bono singing, “Africa!” and rolling into “Beautiful Day.”

Those in attendance and tuning in were treated to duets of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Stand By Me” with Bono and local singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Another, rare surprise was the unreleased song “North Star.” It only has been played at a handful of shows.

Those paying especially close attention to the show were teased with prerecorded cuts from “Fez/Being Born” and “Zooropa” in an extended intro to “City Of Blinding Lights.” Both U2 songs are especially rare live, with “Fez” never having been played at a concert previously (live or recorded). These snippets have fueled speculation for more possible setlist changes for the upcoming South American and North American tour legs.

The U2 360 Tour continues on March 25 in Santiago, Chile.

18 February 2011

Cape Town Stadium, South Africa

Setlist

Beautiful Day

I Will Follow

Get On Your Boots

Magnificent

Mysterious Ways

Elevation

Until The End Of The World / Anthem (snippet)

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Stand By Me

North Star

Pride (In The Name Of Love)

In A Little While

Miss Sarajevo

City Of Blinding Lights

Vertigo

Crazy Tonight (Remix) / Relax (snippet) / Two Tribes (snippet)

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Scarlet

Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)
-Encore-

One

Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name / All You Need Is Love (snippet)

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

With Or Without You

Moment of Surrender

Thank you to U2Gigs.com and atu2.com for the info. Photos by shafiektassiem and Craig Newborn. Video by FlySoHighWithLove

Iron and Wine’s Kiss Us Clean Receives Kiss of Approval

February 15, 2011

Iron and Wine’s new album Kiss Us Clean is one of the most chilled-out collections of tracks I’ve heard, while remaining exciting with unexpected trumpet and flute ensembles mixed in. Part playful, part somber, this album suits many moods.

It is impossible to choose a favorite song from Kiss Us Clean. While “Godless Brother In Love” gives me chills, the first track “Walking Far From Home” offers a simplistic beauty within its chords. With its haunting lyrics, this song easily paints a picture in the listener’s mind. This track, like most on this album, makes it sound as if Sam Beam’s song writing comes as effortlessly as conversation.

Track 8, “Big Burned Hand”, caught me by surprise. There is an element of funk I have never heard before in the lo-fi tunes of Iron and Wine. It includes vocals and a saxophone solo. The mellow-vibe is still there in Kiss Us Clean as in previous albums, however the introduction of a new influence is definitely positive and only adds to the magic.

This five-star album is smooth and soul soothing as well but it keeps you guessing. Anyone who was a fan before of Iron and Wine will be even more of one after hearing this album. There is something for nearly everyone’s taste within these 10 tracks.


Sarah Townsend

Kiss Us Clean came out on January 25, 2011 on Warner Bros. For tour information and tickets visit www.ironandwine.com.

“Madiba”: U2 in South Africa In The Name of Freedom and Love

February 14, 2011

Tribute to “Madiba” – Nelson Mandela – during “Pride” and a guest appearance by legendary trumpeter Hugh Masekela for “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” were among many of the highlights for what by all accounts was a joyous, love-filled celebration on “hallowed ground” for U2’s first South African show in more than a decade on Sunday, February 13, 2011 when the 360 tour hit Johannesburg.

Here are two eye-witness excerpts, culled from the South African media.

“U2 in Johannesburg – The real greatest show on earth.”  By STYLI CHARALAMBOUS for The Daily Maverick

Once the bland starters had been concluded, the group notorious for impressive grandeur of their stages and live performances were in no mood to let down their adoring fans. The stage was like something out of a Jules Verne novel, that looked like some kind of massive spider, with a upright protruding phallus. The stage almost stole the show as the moving visual displays and booming sound kept even the seated sections on their feet. A 360° display meant every one of the 100,000 strong crowd never felt disconnected from any part of the fanfare. Bono, slightly less vivacious than years gone by, still managed to swing from a neon lit microphone as he belted out hit after crowd-joining hit.

I had fully expected to use my leftover Fifa World Cup vuvuzela ear plugs when Bono’s inevitable save-the-world-and-all-its-political-prisoners’ soliloquy was being delivered. But I was so caught up in the moment and joy of the occasion I would have even bought a Steve Hofmeyr album right then if he’d told us to. While booze, drugs and groupies remain the driving force for many of the great bands from yesteryear, I will not begrudge them if campaigning and activism is one of the motivating factors that allow U2 to continue putting us in raptures with their magic and talent.

As entertainers extraordinaire, U2 certainly know how to play to the crowd, with gratuitous use of images and sound bites of Madiba and the Arch. By the time Hugh Masekela was introduced as a guest performer on stage, any controversy surrounding the “shoot the boer” hullabaloo was quickly erased from memory.

It seemed as though the show was over in a flash. Of lights and superlative sound, that is. The day had passed so briskly, as all pleasurable occasions do and not even the prospect of two-hour road scrum to get home could dampen the mood of the multitude that had just witnessed the greatest show on earth.

In early 2000, Bono famously stated that U2 were reapplying for the title of best band in the world after the album flop that was “Pop”. Anyone in attendance at Sunday night’s performance will agree that no other band need apply. Position filled, and I suspect for a long time to come.

Reposted from: http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/article/2011-02-14-u2-in-johannesburg-the-real-greatest-show-on-earth

“On this Valentine’s Monday, love makes the world go round: a full 360 degrees!” by Dianne Broodryk

U2 was part of my awakening. I started listening to their music at a time when I started to think for myself: about life, love, the world we live in. It was just after the Joshua Tree album and around the Rattle and Hum when I started to understand that our society was pretty divided and not at all fair. U2 sang about this and the Rattle and Hum album was banned in South Africa, especially because of the “Silver and Gold” track. This appealed tremendously to my rebellious streak at the time and asked the same questions as I did. It also appealed to my sense of adventure to sneak a copy from a friend who was overseas and to listen to the banned music: loud and proud on the way to class in my little Fiat. Then there’s Sunday Bloody Sunday: still one of my favorite songs of all times. It reminds me of our headbanging-days at the “Fridge”, and the metal band concerts my now husband was involved with. Those were carefree days when possibilities, beer and energy were endless. And then there is the fact that U2 has improved with age, as we all hope to be able to do. They’re just an all out pro outfit, who make memorable, fantastic music together. Their live shows are spectacular to see: from design, lighting and sound to the songs and performance.

So, here I am … the morning after the night before … on Valentine’s Monday: was it all worth it?

…. a thousand times YES!

We got home at 1 am … not bad considering that it took half an hour to get out of the stadium. Then, we also stopped for a sausage roll and a cappuccino at a garage shop because we were famished and sick of the taste of beer. The reason: we couldn’t buy anything else – no food, water, cool drink – just beer. No shirts, no caps … I’m seriously disappointed in stadium management.

The concert started five minutes before the scheduled 9:30 pm and lasted two fleeting hours. Bono was his magnificent self. The Edge was beyond words (his sound was excellent – more so than the rest of the band, including Bono), Larry Mullen jr. sat on his perch and did his thing brilliantly and Adam Clayton wore an extremely gay top. Together, they put up a show that had me in actual tears four times: When our own Hugh Masekela took to the stage in “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”, when Bono only said “Madiba” before going into “In the name of love”, then when our own Arch, Desmond Tutu addressed the crowd in a pre-recorded bit before “One” – also the name of Bono’s effort against diseases like Aids and Malaria – and then at the end when Bono invited all to switch on our phones, to create a milky way for Madiba.

U2 played all the favorites and some new stuff (Beautiful Day, Mysterious Ways, Vertigo, With or Without You), one lucky girl got pulled on stage (like Bono always does) and the “claw” did all sorts of amazing things throughout the performance. It didn’t turn 360 like I imagined it would, but it didn’t matter — we were on front facing side of the stage, so it was just magnificent. The moon hovered over the Calabash like a guardian angel — hallowed ground as Bono described it — and I felt blessed.

Reposted from http://www.jacarandafm.com/kagiso/content/en/jacaranda/jacaranda-blogs-j-blog?oid=1080926&sn=Detail&pid=75296&On-this-Valentine%E2%80%99s-Monday–love-makes-the-world-go-round–a-full-360-degrees-

Setlist:

Beautiful Day

I Will Follow

Get On Your Boots

Magnificent

Mysterious Ways

Elevation

Until The End Of The World

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

North Star

Pride (In The Name Of Love)

In A Little While

Miss Sarajevo

City Of Blinding Lights

Vertigo

Crazy Tonight / Two Tribes (snippet) / Relax (snippet)

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Scarlet

Walk On / You’ll Never Walk Alone (snippet)

Encore(s):

One

Amazing Grace (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me

With Or Without You

Moment of Surrender

LCD Soundsystem Splits, Capping Rough Week for Alternative Music Fans… But Gorillaz are NOT Breaking Up

February 7, 2011

By some accounts, it takes a full year beyond the one with the “zero” in it for a new decade to actually begin… or, depending on how you look at it, for the prior decade to actually end.

For lovers of Alternative and so-called “Indie” music, these last few days certainly have felt like the end of a decade, if not the end of a generation itself.

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