Listening Party provides feedback to NOLO


"No Line on the Horizon"

Larry really shines here; pay close attention to the intricate tom-tom fills appearing in the right channel at 1:13-1:52. He later shifts to a nice, military-style snare fill (that time in the Artane Boys Band was well spent), also in the right channel, at 3:33-3:48.

"Magnificent"

Several details in this one. Hand claps in the right channel and tambourine in the left at 0:46-1:09, and beautiful interaction amongst Larry's hi-hat (right channel) and Adam's bass (center) at 1:15-1:51. Edge double-tracked his main riff in left and right channels, and the result is spectacular. Edge also differentiates the parts at 2:25-2:59, where he's playing some subtle melodic stuff in the left channel and rhythm guitar in the right (unless of course he's playing with Lanois, in which case it's anybody's guess who's playing what). Bono lends some lovely light vocal support to the keyboard part at 4:12-4:27.

"Moment of Surrender"

There's a nice organ in the left channel and piano in the right at 0:47-1:14. Adam has a wonderful bass wind-down to the song at 6:41-7:14.

"Unknown Caller"

There's a sound collage at 0:21-0:58 composed of several instruments that almost seems like animals waking up. There's even what sounds like a high-pitched processed guitar sound reminiscent of a "digital butterfly" flitting by in the left channel at 0:38-0:41 and again at 4:35.

"I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"

Hear the rising whirr from 0:00-0:02, very much like the intro to "I Will Follow" -- perhaps intentional, perhaps not. Interesting rhythmic acoustic guitar parts are in the right channel at 0:12-1:02; could be Lanois. The double-tracked guitar part at 3:03-3:19 is a nice surprise.

"Get On Your Boots"

Listen for percussive electric guitar bursts from Edge in the right channel at 0:20-0:25, 0:39-0:48, and 1:27-1:35, and for cool, double-bass kick drum work from Larry at 2:31-2:36.

"Stand Up Comedy"

There's wonderful variation in parts on this one. Adam's bass is a real treat in the verses. Edge appears to have unleashed what could only be called a "giant wasp attack" at 2:47-2:58. (I now can't hear this part without imagining him running around the studio in a bee costume singing the rare Who b-side "Wasp Man" at the top of his lungs.)

"Fez - Being Born"

It begins with market sounds and some hand drums, and at 0:19-0:22 two different voices appear in the right channel, speaking in what sounds like an Arabic language. (Can someone out there translate?) Larry plays a variation of his "No Line" drum part at 1:03-1:34. At 1:45-1:53, an odd cross between a moped engine and a sitar crosses from left to right, and appears again at 2:55-3:02. A classic Eno synthesizer break -- very reminiscent of his '70s solo work -- appears at 3:06-3:26. Eno again interjects with some nice variations at 4:26-4:50. Edge adds some nice, mellow riffing in the right channel at 4:53-5:12.

"White As Snow"

There are backwards guitar loops in the left channel from 0:00-0:25. A fingerpicked guitar in the left channel starts at 0:31, with another alternating-bass style guitar part in the right channel; an educated guess tells me it's Lanois on the left and Edge on the right. A gorgeous, eerie mandolin part arrives in your right ear at 2:28-2:52 and, at least for me, really strengthens the emotional tenor of the song. Hear the beautiful two-part harmony vocals at 3:56-4:23.

"Breathe"

There are lots of harmony vocal overdubs all over the song. Mixed low at 2:22-2:33 is some nice, Elton John-style piano chording in the right channel. There are massed background vocals at 3:54-4:12. There are some slurred cello parts throughout the song in the right channel, a la "I Am the Walrus."

"Cedars of Lebanon"

This begins with a sample of Eno's and Harold Budd's "Against the Sky" from their wonderful record, The Pearl, and then builds on it with hip-hop snare shuffles from Larry, fingerpicked arpeggios from Edge in the left channel, and even some infinite guitar at 2:51-3:07. (Has it really been 22 years since "With or Without You"?) A vocal sample appears throughout the song, maybe in an Arabic language again?

I do hope this has given you a nice taste of "active listening" and an enhanced experience of one of U2's most creatively and sonically diverse records. In the 28 years I've been listening to this band's recorded work, No Line on the Horizon stands out as a wonderful surprise that blossoms under scrutiny and repeated listening. It is well worth the time to sit back, relax, and soak up the sounds in a distraction-free environment such as the darkened room I mentioned before. Enjoy!

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Now playing: U2 - Magnificent
via FoxyTunes

The First Major City Welcomes in 2009

A stunning firework display in Auckland, New Zealand, marked the first passing of midnight in a major city at 11am British time.

It was preceded by Kiritimati, or Christmas Island, in the Pacific Ocean, the first inhabited place on Earth to celebrate the new year, which passed midnight at 10am British time.

"I sincerely hope that 2009 will be a year of peace and progress."

My New Year Resolutions

1. I resolve to work with neglected children. (my own).
2. I will answer my snail mail with the same enthusiasm with which I answer my e-mail.
3. When I hear a funny joke I will not reply, "LOL... LOL!"
4. I will not ring the stewardess button on airplanes just to get her phone number.
5. I will balance my checkbook. (on my nose).
6. I will think of a password for my computer other than "password."
7. I will try to figure out why I "really" need 11 e-mail addresses.
8. I will go into McDonald''s and order a McSpreader
9. I will go into McDonald''s and order a McSlurry
10. I will find out why the correspondence course on "Mail Fraud" that I purchased never showed up.

Your Best Year Yet!: A Proven Method for Making the Next Twelve Months the Most Successful Ever

So I have something to say - Starting in 2009

Starting in 2009, I will be posting some of my crap on this blog to try to open up my mind to the possible solutions around the global that I am unaware of. Also to release some crap that I know out on to the world. Some of it, is just that crap and some of it could be very interesting for some of you. Ether way its a place for me to just throw up, out and on everything that I have been holding back on.

Yes, we have sponsors for this crap. Hard to believe that anyone would sponsor my thoughts, however I have loads of them down the side of the page as you will see. Hey do me a favor will you buy something from one of those Great MF'ers hell if they agreed to sponsor my BS prior to reading it, who am I to not push them off on you.

On topics, sure you can suggest something, that means nothing to me. I will either use it or not. Yea so you may see your name in lights because I used your idea, its not going to win you an award or anything close to a pat on the back. So feel the need to share, bring it on.

Last item, yea I may even comment about the following items:

Xwifes,
Girl Friends
Children
Dogs
Music
Sex
Politics *(wait a minute Superman takes office soon)
Life on the beach
Life in a box
Sports

and last item: Whatever I feel like SCREAMING about !

Peace and See ya later 2008- You sure sucked big time -