Thursday, January 22, 2009

U2 and the inauguration

This was a big week for U2 fans. Starting out on Sunday with U2 performing at the "We Are One" concert on the Mall in Washington DC. HBO convinced the major cable providers to allow people without an HBO subscription to watch the broadcast, which was great. AT&T U-Verse actually opened up all of their premium channels for the entire weekend. We stocked our DVR full of movies!

Other performers included James Taylor, John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger, and John Mellencamp. Other than U2's performance, the highlight for me was Bettye LaVette and Jon Bon Jovi's duet on Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." Herbie Hancock,, and Sheryl Crow's take on Bob Marley's "one Love" was also memorable.

U2 were the last performers before President-Elect Obama took the stage. The played "Pride (in the Name of Love)", which was very poignant given the concert was the day before the MLK holiday and the Lincoln Memorial was the location of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and "City of Blinding Lights", which had been used by the Obama campaign last year. Bono cheesed it up a little, performing partly seated, giving a mock political speech at the podium and singing directly into the camera as he's known to do. At the end of "Pride," Bono told the crowd that Dr. King's dream is "not just an American dream, also an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream, an Israeli dream, and also a Palestinian dream." Bono's not one to mince words, even in front of the Pres-dent-Elect.

Watch the full broadcast on

Bono speaking about his experience in Washington.

On Monday, Will.I.Am premiered another patriotic/inspirational song, called "America's Song", on Oprah. It's a pretty pedestrian song, but Bono is featured on it, so I had to check it out. :) Other performers are Will.I.Am, Seal, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, and co-composer David Foster.


Then Tuesday, fans get to hear "Get On Your Boots" for the first time. More later.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Details emerge about new U2 album

U2 finally released details on their new album, No Line on the Horizon, today. This is their 13th album in 28 years and their first since 2004's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. It's due out March 3rd, the day after my birthday. the first single, "Get on your Boots" should hit the radio early next week. I'm stoked! Still trying to decide which of the 3 deluxe formats I'm going to buy. Normally, I'd buy the "most deluxe" version with the hardcover book, DVD, and poster, but $95 is pretty steep!

From Billboard:

U2 Reveals New Album Track List
January 16, 2009 12:01 AM ET
Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

U2 has unveiled the track list for its new album, "No Line on the Horizon," due March 3 from Interscope. The 11-song set is led by the single "Get on Your Boots," which premieres Monday (Jan. 19) on Dublin's 2FM. It will be released digitally Feb. 15 and physically the following day.

The new album blends such classic U2 rockers as "I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" and "Get on Your Boots" with more experimental fare like the seven-minute "Moment of Surrender" and "Fez -- Being Born." The former is an electro-leaning track with an Eastern-inspired scale in the chorus, making it one of the weirder U2 tracks in decades.

Sources say U2 recorded enough material with producers Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite for an entire separate album, but it is unknown if any of it will see the light of day.

As previously reported, "No Line on the Horizon" will be available in five different incarnations. Japanese artist/photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto shot the album cover, viewable by clicking here.

U2 is expected to tour this summer, its first outing since signing a multi-rights deal with Live Nation last March. The group will perform "Get on Your Boots" Feb. 18 at the BRIT Awards ceremony in London.

Track Listing:

  1. No Line on the Horizon
  2. Magnificent
  3. Moment of Surrender
  4. Unknown Caller
  5. I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
  6. Get On Your Boots
  7. Stand Up Comedy
  8. Fez -- Being Born
  9. White As Snow
  10. Breathe
  11. Cedars of Lebanon

Planning meets primetime!

Fans of Greg Daniels, Amy Poehler, SNL, The Office, and surprisingly city planning and the Hoosier state have something to look forward to! Speculation has been all over the boards about Amy Poehler's TV show since she left SNL. It was originally slated to be a spin-off of The Office. Looks like they are keeping the mockumentary type concept, but situating it in a City Hall in fictional Pawnee, Indiana. One of the characters is supposed to be "charismatic city planner Mark Brendanawicz, whose outlook has been soured by 15 years of public service." Hey, that could be me! I'm looking for a contact name and number at NBC to try to get on as a consultant! Maybe my 10 years of small town Indiana government work is valuable in Hollywood?! Anyone have any leads? They say California is the place you outta be! I'm guess this will be must see TV in our house.

From e-online:

Amy Poehler Show Details Finally Revealed!

Thu., Jan. 15, 2009 4:42 PM PST by Kristin Dos Santos

The Untitled Amy Poehler Show, one of the most highly anticipated new shows of the season, still doesn't have a real title, but it does have scoop! For example, Amy Poehler says of the show, set against the backdrop of small-town government, "There is a scene in the show when they are trying to come up with a name for their council, and they say the name is crucial." Hee!

Seriously, though, we just heard from Poeher, her costars and producers, and here's what this show is all about...

The documentary cameras follow Leslie Knope (Poehler), a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. In an attempt to beautify her town—and advance her career—Leslie takes on what should be a fairly simple project: help local nurse Ann Logan (Rashida Jones) turn an abandoned construction pit into a community park. Opposing them are defensive bureaucrats, selfish neighbors, real estate developers and single-issue fanatics—whose weapons are lawsuits, the jumble of city codes and the very democratic process that Leslie loves so much.

Leslie is alternately helped and undermined by her colleague, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), who cheerfully exploits his government position for personal gain. She is also thwarted by her boss Ron Swanson, who is philosophically opposed to government in any form.

If they can pull it off, Leslie hopes that she also will have inspired her uninterested college intern April (Aubrey Plaza) and April's whole generation—all while moving one step closer to her ultimate goal: becoming the first female president of the United States.

Amy Poehler for president? Hell yes. But don't be fooled. According to cocreator Greg Daniels, this is not a grandiose enterprise: "If the setting is very ordinary, the characters can shine against that. I'm interested in doing character comedy. We're keeping the background really plain so the humor of the actors is set off nicely."

Indeed, it sounds like there's a definite Tracy Flick thing going on with Leslie:

According to Amy, "I think in most comedies the lead character suffers from not being self-aware. Leslie is an optimist, and she's really ambitious, she's hoping the place she is now is not that place she is going to stay. I think we're supposed to like her, but I do think she decides, she wants to run with the big boys, and you have to take the hits. It's going to be very easy to humiliate and be mean to me on this show. It's going to make you feel good. You'll see people be mean to me, you'll be satisfied."

No word yet on other actors or castmembers for those open roles, but I can tell you one star who won't be appearing. Amy's husband, Will Arnett, told us exclusively on Tuesday, "I will not do a guest spot on their show until they get a title. I will not do an untitled show! Sorry, that's just me, but you know, get a title, OK? Get a title! Disgusting."

Right? What should they call the show? Post your suggestions in the comments!

—Additional reporting by Natalie Abrams and Jennifer Godwin

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Obama Inauguration on Hulu

Watch Barack Obama's inauguration as the 44th President streaming live on Hulu on Tuesday, January 20th, Noon EST! Now, if I can just find a way to watch the WE ARE ONE inauguration celebration featuring U2, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, among others, on Sunday. Unfortunately, it looks like this is just being broadcast on HBO.

UPDATE; Looks like this will be broadcast on an open channel, so people who don't normally subscribe to HBO can watch! I hope AT&T U-verse has this set up correctly!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Wilco meets Radiohead

This made me smile the other day. Jeff Tweedy and John Stirratt from Wilco, performing Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" along with members of Radiohead. This is part of Crowded House frontman Neil Finn's "7 Worlds Collide" project to benefit Oxfam International. Oxfam is a confederation of 13 organizations working to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. The project includes 3 concerts in New Zealand and a future CD and DVD. Participants include the already mentioned Tweedy and Stirratt, plus Glen Kotche and Pat Sansone from Wilco; Johnny Marr from The Smiths and Modest Mouse; Ed O'Brien and Phil Selway from Radiohead; Sebastian Steinberg formerly of Soul Coughing; former John Mellencamp fiddle player and Hoosier Lisa Germano; Neil Finn's son Liam Finn; Scottish singer/songwriter KT Tunstall; and Kiwi singer/songwriters Don McGlashan and Bic Runga. I'm really looking forward to hearing the results of this collaboration!

From the same series of shows, here's KT Tunstall's take on the vocals: