Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Spectacle - Bono & The Edge: Get On Your Roots

I covered much of this episode already in my preview, but watching it again after seeing some of the other upcoming episodes, I'm struck by how much space Costello allows Bono & The Edge to work in conversation. A lot of it has to do with editing, but upcoming episodes can feel a bit claustrophobic in comparison, thanks to a parade of artists rolling through in some episodes, with little time to spend in each one.

In part, I think it's a reaction to what didn't work last season, namely the hour-long episodes dedicated to the likes of James Taylor, Renee Fleming and even Tony Bennett. Instead, full episodes are only going to the big boys, U2 & Bruce Springsteen (The Boss actually gets two!), while the 'b-team' time gets divied up.
"You're right to say our thing came from nowhere" - Bono
I always love to hear artists name their influences, and the Krautrock mention (Neu, Kraftwerk sort of undermines "come from nowhere" bit, as that movement might be a rare blindspot for Costello. Unlike the other UK mentions: The Banshees and Echo & the Bunnymen (Crocodiles).

Aside from the Sinatra story, the 'lack of roots' bit that the band had to build after already making it was the most fascinating thing brought up. U2 was a band trying to capture the sound in their head, which isn't traditional songwriting. That they essentially started over at one point, to get 'roots' and take a more traditional approach to songwriting, is probably what kept them from recycling their initial outputs. It also cost them some earlier fans were more excited by the tightrope act. I admit, it was more thrilling when they were reaching, but we're all getting older, right? Weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals everywhere I go....

Miscellaneous debris:
"I think intimacy is the new punk rock, myself." - Bono
"The enemies became more interesting in the 90's... you turned on yourself... and that became a more interesting enemy." - Bono
One of next week's featured guests, Ron Sexsmith, got a bit of face time.

Playlist: Spectacle - Episode 2.02 (U2)
1. "Mysterious Ways" - U2 (performed by Elvis Costello & the Imposters as intro)
2. "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out of" - U2 (performed with Elvis Costello & the Imposters)
3. "Stay (Faraway, So Close)" - U2
4. "Two Shots Of Happy, One Shot Of Sad" - U2 (written for Frank Sinatra, ended being performed by Nancy Sinatra)
5. "Pump it Up" / "Get On Your Boots" / "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (mash-up performed by U2, Elvis Costello & the Imposters)

Previously: Ear on TV calendar (preview of episode)

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