Tag Archives: Bono

The S&R Interview: 22 questions with Danielle Kimak Stauss of Rabbit Velvet

Lilac, lovelace / remind me of / your true grace

About four years ago I tripped across a band called The Lost Patrol. Since then I’ve noted their work a number of times: they made my best CDs for 2007 and 2008 reviews; their music served as a key element in a piece on the nonlinearity of influence; and they were the subject of a TunesDay post on the band’s “epic retro-futurism.”

Their lead singer when I found them was one Danielle Kimak Stauss, a woman whose hypnotic vocals haunted Steven Masucci’s vast, empty musical landscapes with an ice-cold passion that bordered on the transcendent. After 2007’s superb Launch & Landing Stauss and the band parted ways, and while LP has produced two wonderful CDs in the interim (featuring new singer Mollie Israel), Danielle was nowhere to be heard. Read more

The Best CDs of 2009, pt. 2: the Platinum LPs

Best-CDs-of-2k9In Part 1 we had a look at some very good 2009 releases, and in other years some of those CDs might have made a run at a Platinum LP. As I said, though, this was maybe the best year for new music since Jimmy Carter was president. So please, give these recipients of the S&R/Lullaby Pit Platinum LP a listen.

The Platinum LPs

Antony & the JohnsonsThe Crying Light
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of in-between where Antony Hegarty is concerned. Listeners either get it or they don’t, and while I’m in the “he’s brilliant” camp, I do understand why some find his music hard to access. In a nutshell, it’s probably some of the most painful stuff I’ve ever heard – pure, distilled essence of anguish at times. Read more

The Best CDs of 2009, pt. 1: the Gold LPs

Best-CDs-of-2k92009 was arguably the best year for new music since 1979, and that’s saying a lot, even if I’m wrong. For whatever reason, this year was just packed with incredibly great CDs from bands we knew were great, bands we didn’t know were this good, bands we hadn’t heard from in a long time and bands we’d never heard of, period. The result – it was all I could do to keep up, and I fully expect to spend the next couple of years tripping over even more awesome releases from 2009 that I missed this year. So in advance, apologies to those artists I didn’t find my way to in 2k9.

So here’s the format. There are usually three tiers: Gold LP, Platinum LP and CD of the Year. (The LP is taken from my personal site, Lullaby Pit, which is where this annual tradition started several years ago. And the fact that albums used to be LPs. Get it?) This year the glut of outstanding CDs have necessitated the addition of a new level – SuperPlatinum – because a few of those platinum discs are a notch above the rest. Over the next few days, then, the Scholars & Rogues/Lullaby Pit Best CDs of 2009 will be rolled out in four installments.

Up first, in roughly alphabetical order… Read more

TunesDay: Are The Killers the greatest band in the world? We find out today…

A lot of bands have released pretty good debut records, only to follow them up with less-than-spectacular careers. The rule used to be (before the FCC, the recording industry and the radio industry conspired to destroy all music) that you learned what you needed to know about a band with its third album. Given how things worked, you often saw a pattern that looked something like this:

  • Debut: Band (or solo artist) has been on the road for awhile, writing and building an audience and developing as a creative and performing force. Read more

Even better than the real thing: mass media and manufactured beauty

Give me one last dance
We’ll slide down the surface of things

You’re the real thing
Yeah the real thing
You’re the real thing
Even better than the real thing

I figured out a long time ago, even before I began encountering grad-level feminist critiques, that our media’s stylized construction and portrayal of female beauty was problematic. It’s bad enough that unattractive people don’t appear in movies, on TV or in magazines unless the narrative expressly requires someone unattractive, and sometimes even that isn’t enough. I mean, the star of Ugly Betty isn’t really ugly.

But it goes beyond this. Read more

Tax Justice Network article on Bono: legit indictment or cynical hit job?

An organization calling itself “Tax Justice Network USA” has launched a rather nasty shot at U2 front man Bono (Paul Hewson), calling him a “draft dodger.” I’m all for tax fairness – whatever that may be – but this has the look, smell and texture of a hit job, and if I take what they’re telling me at face value, you’re a draft dodger, too, if you work to claim every deduction and break legally available to you.

But let’s examine the article a bit, because there are issues I need addressed:

1. Is Bono breaking any laws or is he merely taking best advantage of the laws as they’re currently constructed? Read more

Shelley the Republican fears S&R

I doubt we’ll get the comment approved. But here’s what I submitted to the God’s Hitlist page at Shelley the Republican:

Seriously, this is all pretty offensive. I’ve turned this godforsaken site inside-out and can’t find a single mention of either me or Scholars & Rogues, and I promise you, God hates us a lot worse than he does some of the fence-straddlers on your list.

StR needs to get with the program. Not only are we going to Hell, we might be in charge of the place by the time Bono gets there.

“The Fly” on the Stage: Readings and Misreadings of the “New” U2

A Paper Presented to the Music Area of The Popular Culture Association
April 13, 1995

Samuel R. Smith
Center for Mass Media Research
University of Colorado

Up through The Unforgettable Fire (1984) U2 were generally regarded as relentless critics of political repression and religious/ethnic violence, especially as practiced by warring Protestant and Catholic factions in Northern Ireland. They had established themselves by this point as arguably the most socially-conscious band in rock history. Their human rights sympathies found expression in affiliation with groups like Band-Aid and Amnesty International; their enthusiastic participation (along with like-minded “message” rockers Sting and Peter Gabriel) was key to the success of Amnesty International’s mid-1980s promotional tours. They were also enthusiastic participants in other politically- oriented projects – Live Aid and Little Steven’s Artists Against Apartheid are two which spring immediately to mind. Read more