20 August 2006

5 baby, baby, baby

"ultraviolet" is my favorite u2 song. i know this but sometimes forget why.

but for years and years it's been there. when sleep wouldn't come, when the words weren't there, when that stupid 50 mph drive down the nachez trace to starkville wouldn't end.

sometimes- the really crap, restless times- it's all i can listen to. for an hour, a day, a week, a month. however long need be.

if you know me, you know "ultraviolet." you've been repeatedly exposed to it if not actually become its friend (excepting the dread pirate and croftie who have yet to go on a road trip and therefore yet to open the Dread Pirate Dougo's Chest of Road Trip Treasures). this is the song that made me weep from joy at the u2 cover band.

in essence, it's the song where achtung baby slips from the exhillaration and deceptions of the night to the pain and beauty of the day. without "ultraviolet," AB would be an entirely different album. it would hinge upon a phone call from a man in hell. it would be darker, scarier and- after the third track- largely without hope. and i'm for hope.

i hadn't listened to "ultraviolet" in awhile. but last week, in memphis, i drove home from the Big Event during an incredible electrical storm. no rain. no thunder. just tendrils of light- like electrical fingers (think The Emperor in return of the jedi)- darting across the sky. the air smelled like river and azaleas. the ipod was hellbent on playing new order and art brut but only u2 would do.

because there are some storms that are like heaven and some songs that are like prayers.


Clark "not so effen hardcore" Price said...

I got in a convo tonight about U2 and how most people only know the Joshua Tree. I told them that Achtung Baby was a Magnum Opus. They gave me looks of skepticism. It's sad that it took me so long to appreciate that cd. I really was a dummer Kopf back then.

oline said...

so i have this theory- that if you really love u2 then you love both these albums. it's not an either/or because they're completely different yet complimentary. they flow right into one another. if you listen to them back-to-back, it's like the band just caught a flight from argentina to find themselves shuffling, disoriented, about a subway station in berlin. as though they've returned from a grand tour of america to discover that their relationships have fallen apart back home. anyway, that's my thought.

please say you're mad for pop now. that album could have been made last year and blown people away. uneven, yes, but so avant garde.

Clark "not so effen hardcore" Price said...

Oh girl, I love Pop. It's one of my favorite driving cds. I get so much pleasure riding down a highway belting out the words to Please. I always that cd when I hear people say that they don't like U2. I watch them headbob a little bit and then they ask who they are listening to, and I surprise them with the answer of U2. Great cd. I still listen to the one you burned for me.

I like to think that U2 grew up with Actung Baby. That is when they realized the culmination of love. It's like on the previous albums they had an "Idea" of love but they didn't actually "know" until they experienced loss. Maybe I'm just silly.

Anonymous said...


I stumbled on you in the city,(and therefore JBB), by hitting next blog button one day. It was before your new template was installed... I have been checking in from time to time, and I have become somewhat of a fan of yours.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for this post. I appreciate your writting most days. You have yet to fail to make me laugh... but today you sort of made me cry.. for joy.

Keep doing what your doing... stay your bad bad self...

JD Davis

PS: I think Rattle & Hum is U2's alltime best... maybe I'm just old school... Bullet the Blue Sky Live, is the essence...

oline said...

yay for my first "somewhat fan"! glad my silliness and JBB's brilliance are making smiles.

there really is very little from u2 that isn't their alltime best, is there?! and BTBS is always awesome live. speaking of r & h, the version of "exit" on that bootleg is one of the best live versions of anything i've ever heard from them. don't know why they left it off the album.