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"[M]usic has lost the personality of human beings and musicians. It's got so shiny that it's as if there's a surface of Formica over it. And it's something that doesn't let you in."

-- Edge, 2003

@U2 home page

Column: off the record..., vol. 12-520

@U2, June 24, 2012
By: Sherry Lawrence


off the record, from @U2

It's been a busy news week for the members of U2, hasn't it? Between Bono's globe-hopping with his new BFF, Aung San Suu Kyi, Edge's failed attempt -- once again -- to develop property he owns in Malibu, Adam's testimony in the trial against his former assistant, and Larry ... well, he's managed to stay off the radar as usual. While most of the news coverage made it onto the @U2 site, some of it was only passed along via our email news list and our Twitter feed. For example, one news item that was only tweeted was a June 18 report from's Ray Waddell about the one-year anniversary of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which stated that producer Michael Cohl may be looking at the show touring arenas 18 months from now.

@U2's Donal Murphy attended the Electric Burma concert on June 18 and he passed along to us that there was a strict no photograph policy in the venue. He also noticed that no one had cell phone reception. He figured this was deliberate. There were multiple cameras recording the event, which according to the Toast To Freedom Facebook page was for a future DVD release. No release date is available yet, but be on the lookout for it soon.

U22 is now in the hands of fans on almost every continent, although our friends in Dublin are still awaiting their copies. (Ironic, isn't it?) The feedback about the fan club release continues to be overly positive. However more and more reports are coming in that despite updating their address on in February and March, some U22s haven't gone to the correct address. Even our own M2 had his sent to the wrong address. If you're having issues receiving your U22, you are encouraged to post in the paid area of Zootopia on as well as to contact Live Nation directly by using the phone number listed in your membership confirmation email. Have all your membership information available. Good luck.

For those who are wondering, yes, U22 is fetching good prices on eBay. Recent auctions saw U22 going for $70.05, $76.99 and as high as $152.50.

For several years now, I have found myself subscribing to music streaming services. I'm one of the rare Zune owners and quite enjoyed the Zune Marketplace's monthly subscription service. It allowed me to test out music and discover new artists prior to investing in purchasing the music I enjoyed. I now subscribe to Sirius XM for the ability to bounce between stations to hear music that the local radio channels will not play. I am really tired of the stations that only play the same two hours of music day after day.

It was interesting to read on about the shift to music renting in place of music buying. Being a member of Generation X, I value owning a copy of the song so I can access it without the worry of where or how I can listen to it. While services like Pandora,, Spotify and Grooveshark are the more widely known streaming services, they are by no means the only ones on the scene. Recently, an intern at National Public Radio (NPR) wrote a mea culpa on the station's blog that she never paid for the majority of the music she listens to. As you'd expect, there was quite an outpouring from all sides about her message. What I found refreshing was the thoughtful, detailed and eye-opening response written by the folks at Trichordist, whose mission is to highlight ethics on the Internet with a spotlight on artists. Their explanation broke down how artist royalties are paid, how the record industry takes risks on artists, how it's not really the government's responsibility and what the trickle-down effect really means when people do not pay for the music. The Trichordist's blog post went viral almost as quickly as the NPR blog post. It's my feeling that, if this type of open dialogue happened years ago instead of the way the RIAA issued lawsuits against a handful of offenders, the cultural shift might have happened long ago. I also believe that if the Trichordist author's explanation was taught in schools across this country and reinforced by parents we might see that shift happen more quickly.

Anyone want to venture a guess on when Paul McGuinness will once again chime in on this topic?

And finally ... Saturday, June 30 is the third anniversary of the start of the U2 360 Tour in Barcelona. In honor of the occasion, here is the show courtesy of fans' uploads on YouTube:

"Breathe" / "No Line On The Horizon" / "Get On Your Boots" / "Magnificent" / "Beautiful Day" / "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For" / "Angel Of Harlem" / "In A Little While" / "Unknown Caller" / "The Unforgettable Fire" / "City Of Blinding Lights" / "Vertigo" / "I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight" (remix) / "Sunday Bloody Sunday" / "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" / "MLK" / "Walk On" / "Where The Streets Have No Name" / "One" / "Ultra Violet (Light My Way)" / "With Or Without You" / "Moment Of Surrender"

Have a great week!

© @U2/Lawrence, 2012.

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