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Column: off the record..., vol. 14-608

@U2, March 02, 2014
By: Matt McGee


off the record, from @U2

Well, that stunk, didn't it?

Okay, the Oscar results stunk. U2's performance was pretty darn good and the Oscars show itself was pretty good (albeit interminably long, like it always is). But after all the time and effort that U2 put into promoting "Ordinary Love" around Hollywood the past couple months, I'm disappointed for them that the song lost. It's one of the few awards U2 hasn't won, and Bono hasn't made a secret of the fact that they'd love to have an Oscar.

This mattered to them, I think. And the thing is, that's not the kind of award that you get nominated for on a regular basis. Maybe you do if you're Randy Newman, but not if you're U2. They may not get another chance to win an Oscar. They may not get many more offers to do original soundtrack songs. They -- or maybe 1-2 of the band members -- might decide that they're not interested in the several months of campaigning and promoting that it takesif they do get another offer. Who knows. It's not like they've had a lousy career just because they don't have an Oscar. In the grand scheme of things, it's really not terribly important.

But it still stinks that "Let It Go" won, doesn't it? :-)

It may surprise you to learn that tonight was the first time I've heard any of the other nominated songs. Seriously. I haven't seen any of the movies they were in, and if any of those songs have been played on local radio, I'd never know. Our radio stations around here are beyond awful and I can't listen to them. Well, I listen to the sports radio station in the car. But if I'm listening to music, it'll be from my iPhone or via Spotify.

So based on what I heard tonight, "Ordinary Love" sounded just as deserving as any of them to win. It's nowhere near one of U2's best songs, but compared to those other songs, it was my favorite of the bunch. (What else would you expect to read on a U2 site?)

What I'd love to know is whether U2 always planned to do the song acoustically at the Oscars, or did they decide to do it that way after the hugely positive reaction to the acoustic version they did on The Tonight Show last month?

The best news to come out of the Oscars is this: It's over. U2's commitments to promoting "Ordinary Love" are finished. Now they can focus on that new album ... or new albums, as the case may be.

That comment Bono made Friday about having two albums is just ... crazy, right? We all know he can be full of BS when it comes to describing the songs and album and all that, but why would you suddenly tell someone -- with a video camera rolling -- that you're working on two albums unless it was true? And then when the other guy from Broken Bells also mentions that Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) is working with U2 on "the first album" ... why would he by lying about that?

What I'm having trouble wrapping my head around is why they'd do two albums, and what would the timing be? Two albums released at the same time? Or would they be separated by a few weeks or months? A full year? The mind races.

Either way, whether it's one album or two, I'm ready. Bring it on.

I'm not much of a podcast listener, but based on the volume of emails we got this past week about a certain new podcast, I feel obliged to let you know about it, too.

Actors Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang! Bang!) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) have started a podcast called U Talkin' U2 To Me?, which is apparently going to be a series of 13 individuals U2-themed shows. The first one is online now. One of the emails we got about it said the show is "a bit dirty at times, but really funny." So there you go.

That's all for now ... see you next time.

(c) @U2, 2014.

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