Archive for the ‘U2’ Category

HBD

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Happy Birthday to my life saver, my one true love, my first my last my everything, a river in a time of dryness, a harbour in a tempest.

U2 and why it hurts

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

My lovely Peej from tumblr started a project in which she collects little snippets out of U2 songs, she calls them aphorisms and I call them snippets, because I’m a vulgar. She says

I don’t know if all of these can really be considered aphorisms. To me, some of them are kind of prayerful, some are little epiphanies, and some are bitter observations.

And I’m here for these. I’m so here for these, because this one time, a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) I bought the newly released album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and I listened to it a lot. A LOT. I remember driving around a few nights, crying like a lost child (for matters unrelated to U2) and listening to mostly a song called A Man and A Woman. Yea I know, what a shitty title. There’s a part of the lyric that goes

The only pain is to feel nothing at all
How can I hurt when I’m holding you?

and when you first listen to it (is this a good time to remind you guys that lyrics are the last part of a song that i pay attention to? well) you think oh, that’s nice, he feels so much for her that it’s a ridiculous idea to feel any pain holding her. And that’s what I thought of it, because that’s what the rest of the lyrics imply. Until one sleepless night (one of several, i remember) I sat at my desk, probably reading something stupid or writing something stupid or generally doing something stupid, when it hit me. The other way of reading that bit of lyric. Like it is an actual question, how can I hurt when I’m holding you? How is it possible that I’m hurting when I’m holding you. That other way. And I fucking lost it, I was lying on the floor, holding on to the carpet, trying not to drown in my feels. Because really, have you ever felt so hollow, so numb that you felt nothing? Imagine feeling like that when you hold someone you thought you loved. I mean… fuck.

Anyways, on the first list of Peej’s aphorisms (the one before wasn’t, these are) are a few lines that may or may not end up as tattoos on my toilet wall of a skin. The first one is again from A Man and A Woman. (peej even dedicated this to me, i mean really, how awesome are my internet people? they get me, ya feel me?)

When the soul wants, the soul waits.

This is very personal to me, it hits home so devastatingly hard. I will not in any circumstances tell how or why, but it just does. It’s gut-wrenching and my heart feels like it’s being food-processed, but it’s important to me.

The other that is very particular to me is from City of Blinding Lights (another favourite of mine from How to Dismantle)

I’ve seen you walk unafraid.

It’s really a callout for myself. I used to be so unafraid, I used to be outgoing and social and all that. And I’m not anymore. I’m afraid all of the time that I’m not enough, or that I’m too much. I used to be so unapologetically me, the muppet that I am. But now? It seems like everytime I get excited about things, I’m the only one and I get these dubious looks from everyone (except my internet people) and I find myself wanting to just live as a recluse in my home. When did I start caring? When did I start giving a fuck? I want to see myself walking unafraid again. I need to see myself walking unafraid again.

There are a few other lines, not on her list (not yet at least) that are very, very meaningful to me. One of my absolute favourites is

When I was all messed up
And I had opera in my head
Your love was a light bulb
Hanging over my bed

from Ultra Violet. A lyric that has saved my life from a song that has saved my life from the album that has saved my life. All the darkness that was surrounding me and the one light in there, the one that kept me going, the one that held me through it all.

There’s

I love you ’cause I need to, not because I need you

from Luminous Times and it fucking makes me weep. Once again, very personal on a very core level. It’s a fundamental truth I once realised about myself and that’s all I have to say about that.

And if I could tattoo the feeling that the song The Unforgettable Fire gives me, I would. I can feel my fucking soul ascending hearing that song. It’s hope after despair, it’s a light in the dark, it’s forgiveness after you’ve fucked up everything.

And these are among the reasons that U2 hurts so bad, yet so good. If you’ve never loved a band passionately, you won’t be able to understand this.

But if you have, you do.

Record store

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

When I was about twelve or thirteen, a new record shop was opened in my hometown. Before that we’d had to buy our records from either the supermarket (which had a pitiful variety of music) or go to Sweden, to our neighbouring town of Haparanda, where there was a dedicated store.

So the store opened and the owner was a guy who I already were sort of familiar with, because he was with the local DJ company as a lighting tech. The store was on the basement floor of the mall and the first record I bought there was Maggie Reilly’s album Echoes. It was a start of a wonderful friendship, let me tell you.

When the store moved to ground floor after a couple of years, I started to really hang around in there and got friendly with the owner. I mean I would just go there and talk, not even buy anything. I would listen to a lot of albums and just spend time in there. I wasn’t one of the popular kids, as I’ve told you a million times in a million stories, so I had a lot of time to spend elsewhere than parties and such. By the time I was sixteen, making some money of my own, I was buying a lot of records. Whatever he didn’t have in and I wanted, he would order. I bought a lot of U2 records, the back catalogue that I didn’t have at the time and I made my love for the band so clear that I was nicknamed just U2. I would call the owner and introduce myself as U2 and he would know who I was. I even used my first debit card ever the first time ever there, on purpose and he made it a spectacle to the amusement of not just me and him, but also every other patron in there at the time. He even signed the receipt “U2” so I wouldn’t have to (yes there were times when you had to sign a receipt and not just punch in pincodes, i know, try to understand this was the dark ages with dragons and inquisition).

By the time I was nineteen and still hanging about in the store (i know, i was a complete geek), U2 came out with Pop. The owner ordered in every one of the singles released in every version he could get his hands on, stacking them behind the counter for me to pick up. If I didn’t have money at the moment he would write my purchases down and I would pay him later. I was that frequent of a customer.

It was a magical time and I have only later realized how special of a place it was for me. I miss those days a lot. But they came to an end because people basically stopped buying physical copies of music and instead started downloading it. That was the end of my record store, much like it must’ve been for a lot of record stores in Finland and indeed around the world.

But it was my world, my happy place, my salvation from a lot of gloomy days I would’ve spent on my own.

And I miss it. A lot.

Life saver

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

I was supposed to be telling you (three) a different story alltogether, but this is more urgent.

It’s been at least a few months since I’ve last told you how much U2 means to me. It’s a story told seven trillion times, but it’s relevant again. When I’m having tough times U2 appears, always, until the end of time, to make me understand that living is a viable option.

I can’t tell you how many nights in my twenties I spent lying on the floor crying, trying to hold on to the rug with both hands just to feel something other than crushing pain, trying to feel connected to the world, trying not to just fade away. And in the darkest of hours, there was U2, there was Achtung Baby. And there was Bono.

Telling me to take the cup, to fill it up and to drink it slow, because neither of us could let the other go. Telling me over and over and over again, to light his way (baby, baby, baby). Calling out to me with the same desperation I was calling out to him. And even if I was only holding on to the cliff with one finger anymore, tired of everything, of it all, ready to let go, he would be there with his ‘love, love love’, and I knew I had to hold on. For just a bit longer.

Because it’s always darkest before dawn and the dawn was coming. He promised me that.

And I believed it.

I still believe it.

Song of The Week – Heartland

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

I can’t remember for the life of me when I bought my copy of Rattle and Hum. It was after Achtung Baby, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy what I thought was essentially a live album. Mind you, I wasn’t a die hard fan until PoP was released.

Eventually I did buy it and listened to it and the one song that instantly gained power play from me was Heartland. It’s a song that paints a picture infront of you immediately. It’s like looking through a car window and seeing monumental landscapes pass by. I remember that’s how the song was written and it truly delivers that vibe.

Now, I’ve never been much of a lyrics listener, but with this song they are an integral part of the landscape. Ghostranch hills (where i got my second domain name), Death Valley waters, towers of steel. There’s a landscape that is gruesome, yet beautiful and then you have the delta sun, burning bright and violent.

There have been people who have asked me if I’m in music video business, because I have such strong visions of songs. I’m not. But I should be. Or I should be selecting music for films. Heartland would be the theme song in a Mad Max -type apocalyptic film, where the hero is looking for his fate, traveling through battle-torn country.

But it’s not only the picture the song paints, it’s the feeling of overwhelming loss and hope that springs even when everything seems hopeless. When the song opens, it’s harsh, sad, hopeless, and then, when “dawn changes everything, everything” there is hope, there is the beam of sunlight after devastating storm, the light after a night of terror.

There is dawn that changes everything.

And that’s why Heartland by U2 is song of the week.