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"The thing that's most oppressive in our era is celebrity. And that's why people want to burn my house down. Celebrity is ugly. What it does is belittle real life. Which is where real heroism is." — Bono

Week In Review: April 7, 2020

Stay-At-Home Coping Strategies from The Edge; Plus will.i.am and A Tribute from Dublin's Casual Choir

Week In Review Header

Life is a bit bleak and uncertain at the moment, and it’s all too easy to give in to fear and sadness. So we are fortunate to have the biggest, kindest and warmest rock band from the Northside of Dublin to fall back on.

 

The Edge Invites Us To Share His “Splendid Isolation”

On Thursday, U2 fans got a pleasant surprise from The Edge, who answered a few questions for UK publication The Telegraph’s series, “My Splendid Isolation.” 

What has Edge been watching while self-isolating? “The news, obvs. But trying to avoid obsessing, which I find is quite panic-inducing.” He is also catching up on TV series that he missed while U2 were on tour, such as “Homeland,” “Babylon Berlin” and “The Americans.” In a display of excellent taste, he added, “The TV series ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is a good laugh.”

Unsurprisingly, Edge’s isolation playlist is eclectic. Standouts include: Lizzo’s “Juice” (“what a guitar riff!”), Noel Gallagher’s “Come On Outside,” Inhaler’s “We Have To Move On,” and U2 producer Jacknife Lee’s “Made It Weird”—soon to be remixed by Edge’s son Levi, who goes by the name Muttlee. Edge called We Fall Together, the debut album by Irish duo St Francis Hotel, “expansive and ambitious…[it] wears its heart on its sleeve. It’s a great album for these times.” Also in rotation: “loads of old gospel” and “plenty of Van Morrison.”

Not a fan of the light beach-read, Edge is currently making his way through “The Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan’s monumental new history of the world.” Edge claims to have merely skimmed David J.C. MacKay’s Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air. (Hopefully there won’t be a quiz.)

Edge finds yard work therapeutic. “My wife Morleigh and I spent yesterday sweeping and clearing, and it occurred to me what a genius invention the yard brush is. Zero carbon emissions. No built-in obsolescence. Fully biodegradable. No software updates. No cookies or data protection issues. Also sweeping sounds amazing.”

Post-pandemic, Edge looks forward to “a pint of plain in Finnegan’s.” “I also hope that this crisis will expose how our values can be rebooted,” he said. “I’m personally taking stock about what’s important. The speed of life masks many important things, because inevitably, urgent things get priority. Slowing down is certainly a silver lining for me.”

Check out the Telegraph’s ongoing My Splendid Isolation series for interviews with other famous folks.

 

#SING4LIFE: will.i.am Discusses The Evolution of “Let Your Love Be Known”

On March 17, Bono shared what he called “a little postcard from Bubblin’ Dublin” on U2’s Instagram. “Let Your Love Be Known” was a song “for the Italians who inspired it… for the Irish…for ANYONE who this St. Patrick’s day is in a tight spot and still singing. For the doctors, nurses, carers on the front line.”

A week later, an updated version of the song appeared on social media, with additional lyrics and vocals by will.i.am, Jennifer Hudson and Japanese singer Yoshiki. In an interview with PBS’ Christiane Amanpour, will.i.am explained how this came about.

“Marc Benioff [CEO of Salesforce.com] has an amazing thread that I’m honored to be on […] and Bono is on that thread. Bono and his son were playing this song and […] Bono shared it with us on our thread [and] put it on his Instagram page. I answered some of the sentences that he [sang and] shared it back on the thread.”

It seems that Benioff then encouraged will.i.am to complete the song. will.i.am in turn asked Jennifer Hudson and Yoshiki to collaborate as well

“We all made it on our phones while we are isolated at home, to inspire folks to stay creative, keep their spirits up and to reflect on how they want to enter the world once [the pandemic] is all done,” will.i.am said. “Because creativity and optimism is important right now.”

 

Casual Choir Helps Us Carry Each Other

Dublin’s Casual Choir usually meets every two weeks to sing together. They don’t hold auditions or turn away anyone who wants to join. Members came together last week to record a virtual “sofa session” of U2’s “One.” Singers from around the world joined in to thank “everyone who is keeping us safe.” U2 gave the video their own seal of approval with a retweet.

 

Want to stay connected to AtU2 during your own “splendid isolation?” Enjoy our latest podcast! It’s like watching “U2: EXPERIENCE + INNOCENCE Live In Berlin” with three of your closest friends. And for a quick, light read, check out Dear BAE to find out how Fake Bono really feels about smoke machines.

 

© @U2/DeGenaro, 2020