Happy St. Patrick’s Day

You know what that means.

The one day a year (ya right…also…not my chair, not my problem) that I can unabashedly talk about U2. You know, the whole Irish thing.

So…some of you have already skipped this post. But there really, really is a reason that some of us love them so. And it’s called melody and ache. Melodies that, in the words of Bono, need to feel inevitable. And I don’t think those melodies are possible unless they come from somewhere inside; rather than ‘trying to write a song.’ (Which, incidentally, I think was the problem with the latest U2 album…their first one not to strike me since October.) And somewhere inside, I think we all have ache. That ache varies from person to person; but I personally believe there is a core ache in all of us…for something more. And I don’t think that will ever be completely quenched this side of Heaven. Embracing that, is what it seems most great art stems from.

Anyway, enough esoteric nonsense…here’s that ache in practice; and with some lesser known songs from the band that invented love. And delay. Mutually inclusive. And if you cite examples of Jimmy Page using delay before Edge was in junior high, I will ignore them. ;) As I will any examples of love prior to 1978. Also, there is a little tribute towards the bottom that I promised myself I would not post. But it is St. Patrick’s Day. And up it goes.

Edge’s Solo Album (or, more aptly, Edge, Michael Brook, and Sinead O’Conner’s album…which is how music should just always be):

Not sure how you can improve on Joshua Tree, but I’ve always felt this song would’ve fit perfectly right before One Tree Hill:

More from the solo album. Loveliness:

Boots, as it should have been:

And of course, Passengers:

And, how can a post about U2 go on without these three:

I promise you, if you’ve never seen this, it’s worth waiting through the ad:

And lastly…scared to post this, but I think the community is strong enough here that you’ll all be kind. lol ;) Been gone a tad…my girlfriend (who is also my wife ;) ), completely surprised me and took me to Las Vegas for a few days for my birthday. She planned out everything, paid for everything herself, found us what is basically a vegan, nature-based Coldstone, and even watched and made fun of with me the movie Eraser…which we now know to be seventeen hundred hours long. Sorry, but I really, really had to brag about my gal for a little bit there.

She also helped me find an alley off Fremont Street and sang the choir part to Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for, in honor of the most glorious music video of all time and St. Patrick’s Day, as well as Adam Clayton’s birthday last Saturday. (I mean, I don’t know that.) And then before we could even start filming the best tribute ever, that was gonna make us the next stars of whenever U2 gets desperate enough to be on Glee, we saw this wacko in the same alley! So we filmed him anyway. ;)

This video is the reason I play guitar. And key everything 800 steps lower when I need to sing. But I did it for love. I did it for U2. Hey man, I grab life by the throat and live it! (Or, by the strained vocal chords, more likely.) Oh, and how awesome is my wife? Best ever. That’s the answer to that question I just asked even though I’m the only one who has the password to sign in and post here. hehe And if you don’t know what’s going on, it’s the worst version ever of this:

(And look at that! They just disabled embedding for that video. Whew! Good thing you have mine. ;) )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSv-lKwOQvE

So…even if you don’t like U2 (and if you don’t, not sure if you’d even make it to this part), there is something to be said for melody. Not style, not effects, not even harmonic structure. That stuff’s all important; but used to enhance an ‘inevitable’ melody, not to replace it or to distract from a sub-par one. And those melodies need to come from someplace real, and from someplace deep. If they can’t, don’t fake it. Come back and write the next day. And for those of you writing to display some attribute of God…not faking it for us is of even more importance; and for some reason, amongst those circles, it seems to get faked more often. If it’s not real for you yet, make it real. Not the song, but your life.

Melodies must come from love, and love comes from U2. That’s pretty much the point of this post.

Splendid.
Karl.

P.S. Just got an email from Mr. Robert Dixon, saying he was painting Irish green on my guitar on St. Patrick’s Day. That pretty much makes the whole guitar being broken thing worth it right there. :D Absolutely awesome.

29 thoughts on “Happy St. Patrick’s Day

  1. “So…even if you don’t like U2 (and if you don’t, not sure if you’d even make it to this part), there is something to be said for melody. Not style, not effects, not even harmonic structure. That stuff’s all important; but used to enhance an ‘inevitable’ melody, not to replace it or to distract from a sub-par one. And those melodies need to come from someplace real, and from someplace deep. If they can’t, don’t fake it. Come back and write the next day. And for those of you writing to display some attribute of God…not faking it for us is of even more importance; and for some reason, amongst those circles, it seems to get faked more often. If it’s not real for you yet, make it real. Not the song, but your life. ”

    This is the second life changing reminder I have had in as many days.

  2. Sam–thanks, bro. It’s a reminder for me too, actually. :)

    Spencer–ya!! Right on…comment #2. Wasn’t sure anyone would get that reference!!

    Justin–hey, sounds great, bro. :)

  3. I submit the Live In Paris of the Joshua Tree DVD version of ‘with or without you/love will tear us apart.’ Best version, period.

    You can really feel the ache when he sings “my hands are tied, my body bruised”. So much passion, and the slight growl in his voice…

    That song live makes me either want to grab my guitar and play for hours, or set it down and walk away forever (maybe allow myself to stare at it from a distance or something), because nothing after that recording will ever be as good. Ever.

  4. This will probably be my last post here, as I think my IP address is about to be banned. I’ve never been a U2 fan. There – I said it. All the elements of their music are great. The emotion, melodies, rhythms, bass, lyrics, voice and, of course, the delay. Its like a really artsy Italian film, I appreciate it and recognize its greatness and importance, but no one got kicked in the groin so I probably won’t buy the Blu-Ray.

    I did, however, mange to make all the way through the entire blog post and every video, even the one where Bono was clearly have a low blood sugar episode, to the gem of the blog.

    There is iron in your words of melody for all musicians to see (Josy Wales incorporation). Theory can’t capture emotion, it just can’t. It has to be there to begin with. In making music, U2 are a great example of what TO DO (on most of their albums anyway). To keep from alienating myself any further, I won’t list the bands in my NOT TO DO column. But there would be a couple from the KLOVE rotation that I could single out. Hearing a formula Country-Pop style song on a Christian station has to be one of the saddest things in the world to me. In other genres, I understand its just people trying to sell records, and they can’t all be the greatest thing ever recorded ever. But if the music is meant to Glorify God, at some point we should ask ourselves if it actually does.

    I feel like I kind of dumped on your blog so I’m going to make myself listen to Zooropa while I take my daily walk – as punishment. ( I just realized that probably didn’t work in my favor)

  5. Hate to say it, but they already covered “With or Without You” on Glee. Also, major kudos for having an awesome spouse and for posting that riveting music video :)

  6. Patrick–absolutely! :)

    Mike–beautiful comment! I totally agree with you, and I love those songs that actually inspire us to play and write. And man, I forgot about the Live in Paris dvd! I have it sitting around here somewhere…but ya, I love the minimal production on it, and that raw quality. :)

    Sal–a little U2 never hurt anybody, right? ;)

    Rhoy–lol me either. Moment of weakness, I suppose. If it disappears today, you’ll know why. hehehe

    Jeff–haha Surprisingly enough, there are a good many folks on here who don’t particularly care for U2. They’re wrong, but that’s another story. ;) ;) ;)

    As for what you said about Christian bands, I most definitely agree with you. I don’t want to question hearts or motives, but I will say that from an outsider’s perspective, I would expect a little more heart and a little less formula.

    As for Zooropa, do it some justice and skip Babyface, Numb, and The Wanderer. ;) That’s such an odd album for me because half the songs feel like the best songs ever written, and the other half feel like, ‘Huh?’ hehe

    Hsiedy–noooooo!!!

    That’s it, U2 is officially irrelevant. Either that, or Glee actually is relevant, and I’m the last dude in the corner still resisting the downfall of society as we know it. I mean… ;) hehe And my wife is awesome…much more awesome than me. hehe As the video obviously shows. ;)

  7. I love you ’cause I need to
    Not because I need you
    I love you ’cause I understand
    That God has given me your hand
    He holds me in a tiny fist
    And still I need your kiss

    Not your kiss specifically Karl, I’ll just clear that up now.
    One of the best songs ever, came up as I was riding home from work yesterday, and I stood up and pedaled even harder when that part came on!


  8. jeff:

    To keep from alienating myself any further, I won’t list the bands in my NOT TO DO column. But there would be a couple from the KLOVE rotation that I could single out. Hearing a formula Country-Pop style song on a Christian station has to be one of the saddest things in the world to me. In other genres, I understand its just people trying to sell records, and they can’t all be the greatest thing ever recorded ever. But if the music is meant to Glorify God, at some point we should ask ourselves if it actually does.
    I feel like I kind of dumped on your blog so I’m going to make myself listen to Zooropa while I take my daily walk – as punishment. ( I just realized that probably didn’t work in my favor)

    I can’t stand “Christian” radio for that exact reason. It just all seems like the same song, over and over and again. There are rare gems that seem to sneek through every-so-often but, on the whole…bad (and not the “Bad” that is one of, if not THE most excellent examples of the use of delay in modern music…just plain old bad…)

  9. Kenrick–that is beautiful. Especially the part about it not being my kiss that made you pedal faster. ;)

    KennyG–unfortunately…it kind of does; I agree with ya. I love that people are being reached through it, but for me personally…it doesn’t do much.

  10. Yes, I certainly feel that it has it’s place. However, that place is not on my dial. I actually don’t listen to much radio at all. I think the secular stations suffer from the same problem just, to a slightly smaller degree.

  11. haha So funny you mentioned that! I was listening to a radio show I like yesterday, and they played a lineup of songs from Sublime, Nirvana, and Foo Fighters that I have literally heard on that station in that exact order since I was in junior high. Then I realized it wasn’t those bands, but bands that sound just like them. (Well, it actually was Sublime. They love that song.)

    Maybe the percentages of non-original music to original music are the same, whether Christian or secular, but it’s just that since Christian music is a smaller overall market, that it’s harder to find the more original stuff there? I don’t know.

    And for me personally, I’d actually be okay with hearing the same 3 chords, delay, and compressed vocals, if it felt like the song originated from somewhere besides ‘we want to make it as a band’ or ‘we need new blood for our label to stay current, but we need them squished into this proven homogenized sound.’

  12. Karl.. the Wanderer?? brilliance! such great lyrics and perfect for the cash…

    I stopped outside a church house
    Where the citizens like to sit
    They say they want the kingdom
    But they don’t want God in it

    They are such a good description of our society – they want the blessings, the kingdom, but they dont want God in it… so much stuff to agree with or not in that song!

  13. Wow. That last video…my gosh. I’m not a U2 fan either. And, I kind of loath delay. And for the trifecta, most Christian music is terrible (except for John Mark McMillian). But, luckily, Karl, I think I found your problem. Eat a piece of cheese man, it might level you out.

  14. Cam–great point, bro! And ya, great lyrics to that song. It’s just that for me, that song suffers from the ‘U2-time-period’ it was written in. In the 90′s, they made everything sound like Achtung Baby/Zooropa, which is a great thing! Except when you invite Johnny Cash in; if they had allowed the song to be a little more roots-ish, and to sound a little more like some of the stuff on Rattle and Hum, I think I would’ve liked it a lot better. But for me, it falls into the same category as the ZooTV live version of Desire with the flanger. haha As good as the ’90′s were for U2 music, I don’t think absolutely evey song needed to be ZooTV’d.

    Or maybe it’s just Adam’s atrocious bassline in that song. ;) hehehe But hey, a lot of folks dig the song, and it does have good lyrics, so…

    Jonathan–wow!! How have you kept reading here?! If I didn’t like delay or U2, I have a feeling I would find this blog more than a little annoying. ;) hehe Oh, but you don’t like most of Christian music…that might be a reason to stay here. (Although I’m not a huge McMillan fan.) Honestly, though, it’s great that guys like you have chosen to stay, as it balances the rest of us (i.e. me) out. :)

    Oh, and for the record, I no longer put things into my body that came out of the pink hangy thing under a cow. ;) You know how all your life, you kind of force yourself not to think about that? Well, one day I actually did think about it, and then all was lost.

  15. Matthew–haha Especially the part with the straining cackle sound. :)

    Brandon–If I were ever going to deny it, I can’t now. hehe

    I haven’t listened to much Leeland…and this was a few years ago. I should give a listen to the newer stuff.

    Nater2d–you are officially my new favorite person.

  16. Yeah, Leeland is awesome…their CDs are very good, but they are even better in concert! I have seen them 2x. The first time was when they were brand new…the second when they just released their album “Love is On the Move”.

    I highly recommend them!

  17. Karl- Zooropa – wow, that thing is all over the place. Parts were very good. Other parts sound like they were channeling the Thompson Twins or even Cameo. I found it very odd the hear a band sounding so much like the music that they were the ‘alternative’ to 10 years prior. Interesting.

    I’m really curious about the fuzz effect on Some Days. That is just crazy goodness. Over all I think Zooropa definitely qualifies more as a collection (possibly random) of songs than an album. I liked First Time and Dirty Day as far as U2 songs go. I liked Zooropa the best for the 1993 interpretation of U2 and the guitar sounds.

    I didn’t hate the Wanderer either. Then again, I could probably listen to Johnny Cash read the ingredients list off a pack of hot dogs and I’d still want to eat one.

  18. Brandon–cool! And ya, I just log in to my site and comment like everyone else. I don’t have any of the comments sent to my email.

    Jeff–cool thoughts! Ya, it might just be the bassline on The Wanderer that gets me. The First Time is also one of my all-time favorite U2 songs. As is Zooropa. Lemon is too, but that one took me a while. And Stay is rad, but you almost have to hear the live acoustic version from the Elevation tour in order to appreciate that studio version.

    As for the fuzz on Some Days, I need to listen to that again. To be honest, I haven’t heard that song in a while, because I made my own version of Zooropa that cuts out the ‘bad’ songs, and replaces them with the really good songs from U2′s The Passengers album. It’s what I think Zooropa would’ve sounded like if they’d waited a little longer to put it out and spent more time on it.

    Wow, sorry for all the U2 info to a guy who doesn’t even particularly like them! lol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>