Twenty Years On: Songs from the Belfry 2003, Part X

I finished The Persistence of Memories in one marathon session on 11 November, having realized I’d started it exactly one year earlier. That’s not something I normally do, but considering that it had been my first novel to be finished in under one year I wanted to see if I could pull it off. It was Veterans Day and I had the day off from work, and if I’m not mistaken it was an extremely lengthy six-hour session (my longest ever to date, with the occasional break for food and whatnot, as well as a few FreeCell games to keep my eyes from crossing).

Thankfully, clearer heads won the day and I didn’t start Book 3 until early January 2004!

Lamb, Between Darkness and Wonder, released 3 November 2003. This duo’s last album before going on an extended hiatus (and not returning until 2011) is a quiet and somber affair, more about contemplation and comfort than their previous experimentations in electronic pop.

P.O.D., Payable On Death, released 4 November 2003. Their follow-up to their mega-selling Satellite may not have been able to reach the same heights, but it certainly had its share of great alt-metal tunes.

Guided By Voices, The Best of Guided By Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates, released 4 November 2003. I’d known about this band for ages thanks to my HMV years but never got around to picking any of their albums up, primarily because they seem to drop four or five records a year! I figured this was a good place to start. And yes, there were a few “oh, that song!” moments upon first listen.

Explosions in the Sky, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, released 4 November 2003. Another post-rock band to add to my collection, this one got some considerable play during my writing sessions when I needed background but not necessarily mood.

Loveless, Gift to the World, released 11 November 2003. A Boston group comprised of singer Jen Trynin and members of Expanding Man and Letters to Cleo, their one album is full of crunchy fun indie pop.

Mixtape, Re:Defined 07, created 16 November 2003. This is an interesting one as it’s more of a ‘favorites so far that didn’t make it to previous mixes’ tape than one of new songs. Still, it’s another one of my favorites.

The Beatles, Let It Be…Naked, released 17 November 2003. An interesting compilation that kind of flew under the wire, it’s pretty much all the major songs from the 1970 original minus most of Phil Spector’s, er, mishandling by overproduction. Mostly released for completists like myself, it also contains a twenty-minute bonus track of chat and soundbites from the sessions.

Blink-182, Blink-182, released 18 November 2003. The meathead-punk band of the 90s seems to have chilled out a bit on this record, writing some surprisingly intelligent and straightforward tracks, a few of which have become radio favorites.

Various Artists, Feedback to the Future, released 25 November 2003. A single-disc collection of shoegaze and Britpop I discovered on the pages of CMJ and had Newbury Comics special order for me. This is only a small sampling but it’s a great mix nonetheless. This one got a lot of play in the Belfry.

+/- (Plus Minus), You Are Here, relesased 25 November 2003. The band follows up their fantastic EP with a full record of twitchy indie rock that’s kind of hard to pin down into one style yet worth multiple listens.

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Next up: End of the year releases and mixtapes!

Twenty Years On: Songs from the Belfry 2003, Part IX

The days at Yankee Candle were already getting busier by October, the sign of Q4 starting with extended hours (aka ‘mandatory overtime’) and larger volume to move. This was the second year with heightened volume thanks to our recent acquisition of Bed Bath & Beyond as a seller. The downside was that YC’s hiring of seasonal help always started a month or so late (they’d come in November when we really needed them earlier), and by then we’d lost one or two members of our team for one reason or another.

And yet at the same time, I was kicking ass writing. I was just about wrapping up The Persistence of Memories and about to start in on Book 3 and I wasn’t about to take any time off in between and lose that momentum. Perhaps that wasn’t the best of ideas in hindsight, but at the time I felt it was better to just keep riding that high while I could.

Mono, One Step More and You Die, released 2 October 2003. This Japanese instrumental post-rock band was a critic favorite from the beginning, and while it took me a bit to warm up to them, I found their music perfect background for writing sessions.

Soundtrack, Lost in Translation, released 3 October 2003. Sofia Coppola’s second movie was a surprise hit and featured quite a few great bands on its quirky and unique soundtrack, including a few rare solo tracks from My Bloody Valentine guitarist Kevin Shields.

Belle and Sebastian, Dear Catastrophe Waitress, released 6 October 2003. These Glaswegians broke out of their bedroom twee sound with this perky and often funny bedsit pop record. The new style fit them really well and they’ve evolved in that direction ever since.

Living Colour, CollideĆøscope, released 7 October 2003. This band returned for their first record after their 1995 split, and while it’s not as heavy and funky as their previous records, it’s just as topical.

Jet, Get Born, released 7 October 2003. “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” was my favorite track of 2003, containing so much power, swagger and energy that was lacking in so many other songs and records of the day. The entire record is full of fun Stones-y rock with even a few forays into Beatlesque psych pop.

Paul Van Dyk, Reflections, released 7 October 2003. A name I knew for ages as a producer and remixer, his fourth album took him in interesting directions, showing that he wasn’t just knowledgeable in electronic music but in full-band rock.

Death Cab for Cutie, Transatlanticism, released 7 October 2003. Their last album for indie Barsuk Records and a few years before their major-label breakthrough Plans, this album paves the way for their well-loved brand of intelligent, slightly quirky alternative rock, and is considered one of their best.

Laika, Wherever I Am I Am What Is Missing, released 7 October 2003. This may have been their last album, but it doesn’t feel like it; instead it feels like what the band’s sound would have evolved into had they kept going. The twitchy electronics are still there but muted to reveal beautiful melodies just underneath.

Mixtape, Re:Defined 06, created 19 October 2003. This mix in particular got a lot of play in my car as well as its previous volume, containing quite a few of my favorite songs at the time.

The Strokes, Room on Fire, released 28 October 2003. I had a love/hate relationship with this band at the time; I thought their music was interesting and kind of fun, but at the same time I disliked the way Julian Casablancas’ voice always sounded tinny and mixed as if with zero bass whatsoever. I’ve come to appreciate their sounds over the ensuing years.

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Next up: one novel down, one more to go

Twenty Years On: Songs from the Belfry 2003, Part VI

Amusingly one memory I have of July 2003 is going to the bookstore on the corner of Brattle Street, just off Harvard Square. That would often be one of the last places I’d hit at the end of my Boston day trips. It was a split-level shop with fiction in the extremely crowded basement and nonfiction upstairs. I’d been going to that store since my college days and always found something interesting there. And in this particular warm evening, I found myself browsing the stacks while the store’s speakers softly played Beck’s Sea Change (which by this time had claimed top position as writing session soundtrack). It was one of those perfect moments of mood and music that has stuck with me ever since. And what did I buy there that evening? The 11th Edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, heh. Which I still have and use frequently, store sticker and all. [Side note: looks like an updated edition came out a few years ago…perhaps I should finally buy it?]

Razed in Black, Damaged, released 1 July 2003. I always enjoyed darkwave but never quite got around to fully involving myself in the style, but this album I liked. “Share This Poison” ended up on a future Re:Defined mix.

Year of the Rabbit, Year of the Rabbit, released 15 July 2003. One of Ken Andrews’ many post-Failure projects after they broke up in the late 90s, this one should have gotten a lot more attention than it did for its excellent songwriting.

Mixtape, Re:Defined 04, created 20 July 2003. The fourth volume in this series got a lot of play in my car that summer between commutes to work and road trips elsewhere. Its cd version even got some play in the Belfry!

311, Evolver, released 22 July 2003. I’ve been a fan since the self-titled 1994 album and I always pick up their albums. They’ve mastered that heavy-yet-fun aspect of funky hard rock and rap and they’re always a refreshing listen. “Creatures (for a While)” is one of my favorites of theirs.

Eve 6, It’s All in Your Head, released 22 July 2003. The third album from this SoCal band didn’t quite impress the label and dropped them soon after because of its experimentation and lack of radio-friendly tunes (aside from the first single “Think Twice”). I kind of like this one though, because it really shows how good they were when they were able to expand their horizons.

Sense Field, Living Outside, released 22 July 2003. It’s a pity this band broke up after this album, because this was such a great one! They kind of reminded me of that 90s alt-rock vibe similar to The Verve Pipe, full of great tunes and songwriting.

Yellowcard, Ocean Avenue, released 22 July 2003. I never actually owned this album, but I remember a few of its singles being everywhere at the time, especially on LaunchCast! All the emo kids loved this record even though the critics didn’t. I wasn’t a big fan of pop-punk at the time but I did enjoy this band.

Ben Folds, Speed Graphic EP, released 22 July 2003. Folds took his time following up his excellent Rockin’ the Suburbs and filled the space with a trio of of EPs over the next year with his signature quirky piano pop. He pulls off a rocking cover of The Cure’s “In Between Days” here.

Jane’s Addiction, Strays, released 22 July 2003. Speaking of bands that took their time…Jane’s finally reunited at the start of the decade (minus bassist Eric Avery) to record their third album and surprised everyone with how slick it sounded. Some fans felt it a bit too slick and missed the sloppy grunge/funk of the first two releases, but it was a fresh sound that worked for the present day. “Just Because” ended up with a lot of airplay on radio, movies and TV.

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Next up: Summer winds down and music winds up!

Twenty Years On: Songs from the Belfry 2003, Part V

I seem to remember that the New England summer of 2003 was extremely warm and humid, which meant that I’d have the garage door open at night when I worked down in the Belfry. This was well before my parents’ house started seeing more surprising wildlife cutting through the yard, by the way, so there was little expectation of a wildcat or a bear walking its way in to see what was going on.

This was also the time of several weekend road trips! I was still heading into Boston every now and again, spending the day hitting my old book and record store haunts, spending some time in Back Bay and on the Common, then taking the Red Line up to Harvard Square where I’d hang out for a good few hours before heading home again. More locally I was still hitting Toadstool Books up in Keene, and the Newbury Comics/Barnes & Noble run in Leominster. (Sometimes both on the same day!)

Speaking of books, it was around this time that I really started reading more voraciously. Before then, I’d pick up the occasional book I was interested in but stuck with comics for the most part, but I’d finally decided that if I was going to be a writer, maybe I should, y’know, do my homework. I soon had a mountain of books next to my bed with both SF/Fantasy and litfic, ready to be opened.

A lot of money spent on shopping and gas, but it was definitely a fun time!

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Stereophonics, You Gotta Go There to Come Back, released 2 June 2003. I’d been a fan of this band since the HMV days, and still am to this day. This album feels more organic than some of their previous records with some genuinely heartfelt tunes like “Maybe Tomorrow”.

Rob Dougan, Furious Angels, released 3 June 2003. The man who brought us the classic Matrix moment with “Clubbed to Death” released exactly one album, and this was it. Half instrumental and half growly vocals, it doesn’t quite measure up to his signature song (which is included here) but it did work perfectly as writing session soundtrack material. He’s done a lot of production and scoring work, however.

Dave Gahan, Paper Monsters, released 3 June 2003. The other lead singer of Depeche Mode finally released his first solo record this year, and you can kind of tell that his songs are chillier and more visceral than Martin Gore’s whose songs tend to have more heart to them. Still, this one’s an interesting record that proved he could go it alone.

Love and Rockets, Sorted! The Best of Love and Rockets, released 3 June 2003. One of my favorite bands of the late 80s finally dropped a greatest hits to tie in with their expanded rereleases of the last couple of years. It’s a simple selection with not that many deep cuts, but it does prove just how great they were!

Soundtrack, The Animatrix – The Album, released 3 June 2003. The two-fer of Matrix movies was supplemented by a third project, an anthology of American-Japanese animation containing in-canon back stories and side stories, many that actually tied in directly with the three movies, and released as a box set with a dvd and a soundtrack.

Radiohead, Hail to the Thief, released 9 June 2003. After their one-two weirdness of Kid A and Amnesiac, the band didn’t quite return to their previous sound but instead chose to find a middle ground between the two styles. This one’s probably my favorite of their later period and there are a lot of deep cuts on this album that I love.

Duran Duran, The Singles 81-85, released 10 June 2003. Finding singles from this band was always an adventure, considering their first few years were filled with alternate versions, dance remixes and odd b-sides, sometimes only available on import. This box set compiles every one of them up to “A View to a Kill”, and it’s a great mix.

Fountains of Wayne, Welcome Interstate Managers, released 10 June 2003. The third record from this band finally saw them get major airplay thanks to the “Stacy’s Mom” single, but the rest of this record is just as fun and quirky, including the fabulous album cut “All Kinds of Time” which is the best song about football I’ve ever heard.

Ambulance LTD, Ambulance LTD EP, released 17 June 2003. This band from NYC only stuck around for a couple of years before vanishing, but what they put out was a couple of records full of wonderfully understated indie rock. They’re definitely one of those ‘oh, that band! I remember them!’ groups, but they’re well worth checking out.

Michelle Branch, Hotel Paper, released 24 June 2003. I didn’t actually own this album, but I did own its lead single “Are You Happy Now” which I thought was an excellent eff-you pop song that wasn’t sung by Alanis Morissette. Definitely a change from her previous poppier singles.

Liz Phair, Liz Phair, released 24 June 2003. You either loved or hated her, and I think I started with indifference (her 90s single “Supernova” got way overplayed on WFNX), but over the years I’d grown to enjoy her work.

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Coming up next: summer songs and mixtapes

Albums I Haven’t Played in Ages: The Downward Spiral

KEXP played Nine Inch Nails’ “March of the Pigs” earlier today and it occurred to me that I have not listened to The Downward Spiral in ages. Which is surprising, considering I used to play the hell out of my taped copy (and later the cd) of it in the mid-90s during my last couple of years in Boston. It was even part of my Belfry writing session playlist for a significant time. I’m sure the main reason I’ve been avoiding it is that it reminds me a little too much of a not-so-happy time in my life. Very broke, very depressed, and very desperate.

I mean, “Closer” was everywhere on MTV and the alternative radio stations for months after it came out. [And I’m 99% sure it was because us Gen Xers were proud of the fact we could get a song with “I want to f*** you like an animal” as a lyric on commercial radio. When in doubt and you want to shock, might as well go all the way, right?] Mind you, it’s actually a step back from NIN’s previous EPs from 1992 (Broken and Fixed), though not by much. All three were extremely nihilistic and pissed off, but Downward Spiral seemed to step back just a little bit from the brink to be just this side of listenable.

I remember having a conversation with my then-girlfriend (the one I co-wrote True Faith with) about this album, how deliberate its production and construction was. It started with unbridled anger and violence with “Mr. Self Destruct” and only going…well, downard from there. The album does have a sense of resolution by its finish, however dire. By the self-titled song (the next to last track) the main focus is desperation and nihilism laid bare…followed by the damaged ascendance of “Hurt” as its final track. We’re not sure if the main character (so to speak) has reached the point of suicide or relief — or both — but it’s certain that the pain has finally gone away, one way or another.

I never got around to seeing Nine Inch Nails live except that one time, back in late 1989 when I won tickets to see them on Landsdowne Street in Boston, before their fame skyrocketed to arenas and music festivals. But by the mid-90s I was far too broke to go see any bands other than the free shows on the Hatch Shell anyway, so I made do with the music I could get cheaply. I followed the band’s progress through the years as I could, but I don’t think I quite connected with them as closely as I did with Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral.

I don’t remember the last time I actively gave this album a full spin, to tell the truth. I remember playing it in the stock room at HMV and in the Belfry when I was deep in writing The Phoenix Effect, but I rarely played it after that. It just struck a little too close to home.

I keep meaning to give it another play one of these days, now that time and age have intervened and the traumas of those years has faded, no longer equating those songs with personal and emotional hells. I can appreciate it as a fan and a listener and audiophile and not just a low chapter in my life.

Twenty Years On: Distance and Time

Back in the spring of 1986, I remember being excited whenever I heard a Beatles song on the radio, especially if it was one of my favorites like “Rain”. (The song in fact does show up on one of my ‘radio tapes’ from summer of the previous year.) Back then, the idea of a song being twenty years old felt like a lifetime ago, its release five years before I’d been born. When you’re growing up, songs like that just seem so…distant.

Here in 2023, the music of twenty years previous was the music I listened to in the basement of my family’s house while I wrote The Persistence of Memories, what made the mixtapes I’d play on my commute to and from the candle warehouse, what cds I’d buy at Newbury Comics in downtown Amherst. This is music that still shows up on my playlists, like Sleeping with Ghosts and Hail to the Thief and Absolution and The Matrix Reloaded.

I think about this a lot, now that I’m older and especially now that the history of rock music has expanded and evolved since its early days in the late 50s (at least when it was starting to be called that, at any rate). I read a lot of music histories and biographies these days and this sort of things slides into the consciousness of my mind.

The fact that I was around and paying attention when so much popular music history was made, from the late 70s onwards. That when I started paying attention to what was being played on the radio as a preteen, FM had finally sprinted past AM as the most popular radio band (around 1978), music videos became more than just a rare specialized form of promotion (late 1981), and so many of its players and originators were still around, still clubbing and still releasing music.

This doesn’t make me feel old, far from it. Quite the opposite. It makes me feel glad and lucky as hell that I’ve been around to witness as much of it as I have.

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this down the road, but for now I’m just going to say that this is partly why I’m still as much of an obsessive music nerd as I am. Not for fear of missing out, but because I’m utterly fascinated by so much of this history as it’s happening. New sounds, new productions, new imagery. As well as the circularity of styles; the resurgence of shoegaze, the evolution of electronic music, the new generations of punk, and everything in between.

I’m always looking forward to what’s coming next.

Current Writing Session Listening: Delerium

It’s been a while since I’ve listened to Delerium. It’s a not-quite side project of Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber of industrial band Front Line Assembly, leaning more towards ambient, almost new-agey electronica, quite the opposite of their harsh and twitchy main project. You might remember them from back in the 90s when they had a surprise hit with Sarah McLachlan and “Silence” — definite a song of its decade, complete with Enigma-esque Gregorian chant, grooving mid-tempo beat and dreamlike keyboards. That song and the album it came from (Karma) did in fact get a lot of play in the Belfry, and “Silence” does make an appearance on the second volume of the Songs from the Eden Cycle mixtapes.

The project is still active, sliding out an album every couple of years in between FLA releases. Their sound has definitely evolved some, but is still firmly anchored in that classic dreamlike new-age/ambient moodscape. The new album Signs, which just dropped earlier this month, is a stellar record that feels like a return to their best forms, with some quite lovely songs that fit perfectly here in Spare Oom and MU4. I’m quite happy to have them back on my Eden Cycle playlist again.

Mixtape: Untitled VIII

This one’s a long one…a three-taper made in late Spring 1998 in the middle of my stint at HMV Records. This was kind of a transitional time for me — purging old personal drama, starting a brand new science fiction novel and writing more songs and poems, working down in the Belfry at night, going on long road trips, learning how to get rid of all that negativity from the first half of the decade. I stopped hiding and started living again, especially now that I could once again afford to do so.

This mixtape got a lot of play in my first car — a 1992 Chevy Cavalier I’d named the Mach V, in which I’d recently had a tape deck installed — and contains a mix from two sources: the current playlist of WFNX which I’d listened to constantly to and from work, and the extreme expansion of promotional copies of cds that I’d begun to acquire at work. Some songs are alt-rock radio standards today (Flagpole Sitta, The Way) while others are loved deep cuts (Playboys, Fall On Tears), Belfry regulars (God Lives Underwater, Superdrag) and soundtrack songs (mostly from Great Expectations, which I listened to on the regular).

Out of most of the multi-tape mixes, I think this one holds up as one of the best. It’s consistent with only one or two filler tracks, and it contains quite a few of my favorite late 90s tracks.

[Only one track missing and not available on Spotify: Foo Fighters’ cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street”, placed between Goldfinger’s “This Lonely Place” and Tonic’s “If You Could Only See”.]

All I wanted was a Pepsi

Conformity is a hell of a drug. I’ve said that before and I still stick by it.

Conservatives drafting up laws outlawing transgender care, targeting LGBT+ people with “Christian”-based hatred disguised as ‘moral concern’, outlawing drag shows, banning books, avoiding major health concerns by lying about them, bending the rules to gather more votes, chasing away the homeless instead of helping them, embracing gun culture to the point of pornography, refusing monetary assistance for those who need it, hating on anyone who isn’t cis and white and rich…need I go on? It’s like the fucking Reagan/Thatcher eighties all over again.

And they won’t listen to anyone telling them otherwise. Not that they can’t, but that they don’t want to.

We’re not asking for special laws. We’re not asking for preferred service. We’re not even asking for special privileges. All we want is the same thing the rest of you have. Just one bit of peace. And you won’t give it to us.

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What the hell does this have to do with my music blog?

I think about this all the time these days. I mean, it’s hard not to, when several media avenues are filled with this bullshit. Again, forty years later. Same shit, different generation.

I’ve often mentioned how college radio opened my eyes and blew my mind when I was fifteen, when it became apparent that I was not going to fit in with the cliques and social circles of my small town. Even then when I encountered a style of music that resonated with me, I didn’t just connect with it, I took a deep dive. I’d obsess over discographies, get familiar with album cuts and b-sides, learn the band’s backgrounds. I read about the bands’ local fanbases, their inspirations and influences, and why they sounded like they did. That led me to other bands, other alternate ways of listening and thinking. I may not have physically latched onto the scene in the same obsessive way, musically or fashionwise, but mentally and emotionally I’d allowed myself a complete immersion.

That is to say, I’m pretty sure that unlike your casual music listener, I swallowed the whole idea of ‘the alternative’ fully and completely. I pretty much stopped trying to connect with the popular or the status quo. I could connect if I wanted to, but only when I wanted or needed to. [I will freely admit that I had to bow to the status quo for a few years in the 90s, mostly out of financial and emotional desperation, but that’s another story.]

I know many people who don’t take the spiteful evangelical right-wing conservative base all that seriously, partly because for a small but annoyingly loud base, they’re mostly all bark and no bite. I try not to take them too seriously myself by remembering that there are so many more people out there whose social mindset is calmer and more compassionate. It’s easy to slip into the feedback loop that there’s a constant WAR! going on (after all, this base prides itself on such hyperbole) that makes one want to fight back with equal vigor. I mean, this is truly a muddy, chaotic battlefield here, if we’re going to roll with the metaphor. Those at the sidelines might not understand how terrible it is in the middle of it all, and those caught in the middle might not notice how peaceful it is at the sidelines.

Over the years I’ve altered my point of view about all of this, partly because I was utterly sick of reacting to it all. Someone says or does something shitty, I respond emotionally, they double down, and so on. The feedback loop continues. It was taking me nowhere. It was physically unhealthy for me, and something had to change.

I had to remember what I’d learned in my youth: conformity is a hell of a drug. Why was I playing right into their emotional mind games? Why was I reacting every single time? I mean, let’s be real: I don’t have to play by their fucking rules. Never mind asking why I’d been doing so in the first place, because that’s not important. What is important is knowing that I don’t owe them the pleasure. I don’t owe them the satisfaction, especially if they’re spending all their time taking mine away.

It took me a fucking long time to figure that out because of so many social niceties and conflict avoidance issues drilled into my head over the years. It’s not only weird to admit I have that clarity now, but that I’d figured all that out decades ago, back when I was a moody-ass teenager with an obsession with alternative music and the lifestyle behind it. And I decided that considering that I already knew the answer, I didn’t have to dwell on the time wasted…I just had to pick up where I left off.

The status quo and the rigid conformity and the hatred and the ignorance and the bigotry will always be there, unfortunately. It’ll come and go, just like any other cycle of life. The most we can do for ourselves is to remember that we don’t have to play by their fucking rules.

Thinking about U2…

I’ve just finished reading Bono’s book Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story and I have to say it was quite enjoyable. He’ll be the very first to admit that he can be honest and compassionate as much as he can be the biggest irritating doofus (in public, no less). I found him to be not just intelligent but quite humorous and a huge dork as well, which only made him more endearing. And that most of his time in between U2 albums has been spent on high-level activism.

Sure, people have polarizing feelings about him. Partly because he’s so flipping ubiquitous at times, but that he and his band have always had Something To Say About Certain Things. And then there was the “forced download” of their Songs of Innocence album that got certain people up in arms (he takes full blame on this in the book, by the way).

Still, it reminded me just how much I love this band. I actually do remember seeing the “I Will Follow” and “Gloria” videos on MTV in its early days and became a fan early on. I fell in love with the Unforgettable Fire album for its unique songs and sounds. I remember so many of my college classmates going apeshit over Achtung, Baby back in 1991. I remember loving Pop even when the label rep told my record store manager it wasn’t all that great. I remember finally getting to see them live for the PopMart tour, even though I’d been wanting to see them since the mid 80s. And yes, I was one of those people who downloaded the $200 iTunes collection The Complete U2 back in 2004.

I’m thinking at some point I should do a deep dive of this band again, revisit their discography and remember why I love the band so much. And yes, I am looking forward to their new release that comes out next month, Songs of Surrender, which revisits forty classics and deep cuts and tries them out in new ways as a tie-in with Bono’s book. [I only found out the other day that there’s also going to be a tv special on Disney+ the same day called Bono & the Edge: A Sort of Homecoming, in which the two tour their native Dublin. Yes, I’m looking forward to that as well.]

So yeah, don’t be surprised if I do a bit of posting about them in the future!