The Week In Music: Bono Is The Sweet Hitch-Hiker
So you're driving down the road with your girlfriend when you see a hitchhiker. "Hey, that's Bono," you say. Come on, who hasn't pulled that one on their girlfriend? But this time it really was Bono, and the drivers were Edmonton Oilers hockey player Gilbert Brule and his girlfriend, Kelsey Nichols. They turned the car around and picked up Bono and his assistant, who had been caught in the rain on a walk in Vancouver, British Columbia. U2 was heading for a June 1 Edmonton, Alberta, date on their 360° tour. "I like ice hockey because people who like ice hockey are the kind of people who pick up hitchhikers," Bono told the Edmonton crowd. He also said he wanted to be Brule, while describing Adam Clayton as U2's Grant Fuhr, Larry Mullen Jr. as Mark Messier, and the Edge as akin to "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky. How does a rock superstar get lost in the rain? Sometimes that's the problem when there's no line on the horizon.
While AC/DC may drive an arena full of rock fans to pump their fists in the air and bang their heads back and forth, the band is reportedly causing a lot less ruckus out in the great blue ocean. According to Australian boat operator Matt Waller, great white sharks find a soothing therapy in "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)," a cut from the band's 1979 hit album Highway To Hell. "The [sharks'] behavior was more investigative, more inquisitive and a lot less aggressive," said Waller. "They actually came past [on] a couple of occasions when we had the speaker in the water and rubbed their face along the speaker, which was bizarre." But don't fear, you won't find a great white at an AC/DC show anytime soon. "Sharks don't have ears," Waller noted. "They don't have long hair, and they don't headbang past the cage doing the air guitar." With summer on the horizon, beachgoers may want to consider throwing in some classic rock along with their beach towels and sunscreen.
Like kids, sometimes musicians say the darndest things, and this week was rich with quotable moments. First, electronica artist Moby told Spinner.com that music by the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, Ke$ha and Britney Spears isn't music. "It's manufactured," said Moby. "I appreciate it as pop culture phenomenon and some of the songs I like if I hear them in a shopping mall or something, but it doesn't function as music for me. It's advertising for ringtones." Next up was rocker Avril Lavigne, who chose the Tampa Bay Rays' Tropicana Field for a profanity-laced tirade after fans booed her set because of technical problems, which seemed a little off the mark in front of the Rays' family-oriented fans. But Lady Gaga may have dropped the biggest bomb when she uttered the a-word to The Wall Street Journal. "No. I absolutely do not," responded Gaga when asked if she thought her new album Born This Way was worth more than the 99 cents Amazon.com sold it for on May 23 and again on May 26. "Especially for MP3s and digital music," she continued. "It's invisible. It's in space." Maybe her response wasn't a surprise at all for those who saw her proclaim "I hate money…." during her recent live HBO concert special. Hey Lady G, we're happy to take some off your hands.
With Gaga selling a whopping 1.1 million albums this past week, a few new releases were bound to get lost in the monster shuffle. Such may be the case for classic rockers Journey, who released their latest studio album, Eclipse, on May 24. But fans looking for songs reminiscent of classics "Don't Stop Believin'," "Open Arms" and "Faithfully" may be in for quite a surprise. "It's an album that is not a one-listen record. You need to listen through it a few times," said longtime keyboardist Jonathan Cain. "It's very complex musically." Cain also described the creative process in writing the album's songs with guitarist Neal Schon, with themes exploring "physical, spiritual and metaphysical ideas which go really deep, without being too 'heavy' about it. I said, 'This is what we should be singing about, not about chasing women around,'" said Cain. Metaphysical ideas seem a long way from lyrics such as "Just a small-town girl/Living in a lonely world." Will fans be up for this new spiritual Journey? Eclipse debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 and fans will be able to get a taste of the new songs live when Journey hits the road in the States with Foreigner and Night Ranger starting in July.
If you didn't make it out to the Southern California desert this year for the annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, don't worry — your chances of scoring a pass will be doubled for the 2012 extravaganza. After the festival pulled in a record attendance in April, concert promoter Goldenvoice announced the extraordinarily popular festival will take place over the course of two weekends next year, starting April 13–15 and concluding April 20–22. "We will attempt to produce two identical festival weekends," the company said via a statement. "That means same lineup, same art, same place, different people." Tickets for this year's three-day festival in April at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., sold out in a record six days with 75,000 paid attendees, grossing $23 million, up from $21.7 million last year. Will Coachella organizers be able to match a robust attendance for both weekends? While that remains to be seen, the good news is if Morrissey decides he doesn't want to sing because he smells burgers cooking, he can always come back the next weekend.
For some, the name Tower Records may be synonymous with the Leaning Tower of Pisa — you've heard a lot about it (especially when news of the store's shuttering broke in 2006), but maybe you've never been. But for others, Tower Records was (as film director Colin Hanks puts it) "'the place' to escape for a few hours; a sanctuary, a haven." Whichever category you fall into, you can help bring to fruition a film that will tell the story of the once venerable music retailer. The son of actor/producer Tom Hanks is soliciting donations via Kickstarter.com to help fund his directorial debut, All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records. For a pledge of just $5, you'll get a special "thank you" in the film credits, and for the big spenders who make a donation upward of $500, you'll travel to Sacramento, Calif., for the world premiere. "We feel that there's no one better suited to help bring this documentary to life than the people that loved and cared for the company the most," said Colin Hanks. What does daddy have to say? Tom Hanks responded via Twitter, "This will make a great docu, and I'm a fan of the filmmaker! Do U miss LP's? I do." Yes Tom, we do. Almost as much as we miss your walking piano scene in Big.
Adele's "Rolling In The Deep" is tops on both the Billboard Hot 100 and iTunes singles chart.
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