Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paul McGuinness: Google isn't doing enough to fight piracy

Google has been making "encouraging noises" about restricting access to sites hosting pirated content, but it needs to take action, said U2's manager Paul McGuinness speaking on a panel at Midem(Marché International du Disque et de l' Edition Musicale)
McGuinness was talking about Google's promise to downgrade sites that host copyright-infringing content in its search engines. He said that he didn't want to engage in "Google-bashing" but that there was a sense of unease across Europe towards the search giant.
He then proceeded to bash Google for not applying itself properly.McGuinness admitted that Google has brought "so much to civilisation" in terms of spreading knowledge. "We all know they're ingenious, but they are making money from directing people to piracy sites." He called for Google executives to "apply themselves" to developing a system of microtransactions that could remunerate artists when someone listens to their music over the web. However, he believes that "they're not really doing what they could be doing in this space".
Michael Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, was keen to point out that he was firm on tackling piracy in addition to reforming copyright legislation. He called copyright an "essential driver" in the creative process, but said that if that right is not respected it is of little use. He showed particular disdain for those sites making money from advertising from hosting pirated content. "Is it acceptable to tolerate advertising revenues being gobbled up by service providers who foster the free sharing of illegal music files?" he asked.
He went on to criticise the fragmented nature of the European market, but was keen to point out that the situation had improved over the last three years. "But there are some istances of restrictions which Europeans have to suffer; the availability of music and unavailability of some websites is still uneven between member states. It's incomprehensible that Europeans are still facing obstacles on the internet that we've faced in the physical world for the last fifty years."
When the conversation moved to legal streaming services such as Spotify, McGuinness felt that the artist revenues were quite trivial even for huge stars. "You could say that these services are mainly a promotional medium," he said.
You can watch all of the Midem panels online. Or you can read Midem's liveblog of the session here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

David Gray, Bono’s Sunglasses and Me

In his particularly funny and entertaining way of writing, Neil Mc Cormick tells us how tiresome and difficult it is to run a charity event.

From The Telegraph:

Neil McCormick's son Finn wearing Bono's sunglasses

On Wednesday March 6, I am presenting a charity concert at the Islington Assembly Hall in London, featuring David Gray, The Magic Numbers, Gabriella Cilmi, David Ford, Bo Bruce and a few other musical friends and associates. Please buy a ticket and prevent an out-of-depth rock critic’s nervous breakdown.
I was not cut out for the life of a promoter. Indeed, I’m not sure anyone is. I was in bands for long enough in my younger years to know how fretful staging a gig can be, involving a huge advance effort in getting musicians, equipment and venue ready, with no guarantee that anyone will turn up and make it worthwhile. “Why do you think all promoters look permanently stressed?” a band manager sympathetically said to me, before adding, “You’re looking a bit peeky yourself, mate.”
I’m doing it for love. Well, specifically for my wife. She is an acupuncturist involved in a small charity, Moxafrica, who run a research project in universities in Uganda and South Africa, investigating the treatment of TB with Chinese medicine. It is not an obviously appealing cause, like food for the starving. Yet Moxafrica is having results with potentially wide ranging implications for the developing world, where drug resistant TB is epidemic (it kills someone every 20 seconds in Africa). Although the sums required to support Moxafrica seem small in the grand scheme of things (£16,000 would keep them going another year), it is a tough time for all charities right now and Moxafrica is in danger of coming to a premature end. I listened to lots of conversations about little schemes to raise small amounts as the clock kept ticking, until, almost against my own better judgment, I uttered the fateful line, “You know you could raise that in one go with a gig.”
And so I have entered into another world, of promoters, managers and agents. I have been spending time in empty venues, looking out from empty stages on to empty floors and empty seats, the most beautiful concert halls and lavishly appointed clubs all taking on a strangely bereft atmosphere without the throb of humanity that brings them to life. “An empty venue is of no use to anyone,” is an oft-repeated line, and I have been offered top night spots on attractive terms.
“The money’s on the popcorn,” is another much repeated phrase, meaning, if I could guarantee a certain number of people through the doors, the venue would make its real profit behind the bar.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bill and Bono: best friends forever

Bono with Bill and Melinda Gates

They've been dubbed the odd couple – one a publicity-shy techno geek who is the second richest man in the world; the other an ageing rock star who wants to change it. But Bono and Bill Gates's shared plan for the planet has forged such a bond between them that they're fast becoming best friends.
This week, U2's frontman welcomed the Microsoft tycoon to Dublin as part of their ongoing tour to shore up support for foreign aid, and convince European leaders that even in tough times wealthier countries have a moral obligation to provide financial help to ones that are poor.
Gates met Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore to discuss overseas aid, the EU budget and the campaign to end polio. He also met the Taoiseach and President Higgins as part of a visit to a number of European countries ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Growing scepticism among recession-hit western powers and economists about whether aid actually eases poverty or too often ends up in the wrong hands, has strengthened the friendship between Gates and Bono and made them critically aware of the benefits of presenting a joint front in public.
They know the cameras can't resist the sight of them together on the international stage shaking hands with presidents and policy-makers, and that ensures their agenda makes the headlines.
But it is the depth of their relationship away from the limelight which is even more interesting. Their shared sense of impatient optimism and messianic drive to change the world has given them a common purpose, but, in the process, they have discovered other similarities in everything from religion to parenting.
When Bono is on the West Coast of America, he stays at Gates's home, a $150m lakeside mansion in Washington state, which features a swimming pool with underwater sound system, a trampoline room, and a library which holds Bill's pride and joy – the Codex Leicester, one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, which he bought in 1994 for $30.8m.
Not so long ago, there were rumours that the pair were planning to buy a 65-acre island off the coast of Mayo, where they could hammer out ideas and rekindle their long-distance friendship.
But their friendship didn't start out so well.
When the singer first tried to recruit Gates to his poverty crusade more than a decade ago, the socially awkward software guru wasn't exactly pro-Bono in his response. In fact, he dismissed the idea.
Nancy Gibbs, a reporter with Time magazine, described how "the nature of Bono's fame is that just about everyone in the world wants to meet him – except for the richest man in the world, who thought it would be a waste of time".
"World health is immensely complicated," said Gates, recalling that first encounter in 2002. "It doesn't really boil down to a 'Let's be nice' analysis. So I thought a meeting wouldn't be all that valuable."
But he had a sudden change of heart when he did eventually accept the invitation.
"It took about three minutes with Bono for Gates to change his mind," Gibbs said. "Bill and his wife Melinda, another computer nerd turned poverty warrior, love facts and data with a tenderness most people reserve for their children, and Bono was hurling metrics across the table as fast as they could keep up.
"He was every bit the geek that we are," said Gates Foundation chief Patty Stonesifer, who helped broker that first summit. "He just happens to be a geek who is a fantastic musician."
Since then, their unlikely alliance has grown closer, verging on the sycophantic at times. During concerts, Bono has taken to celebrating Gates on stage, bursting into a round of 'Happy Birthday' for him on one occasion, and describing how meeting him was a 'life-changing experience' on others.
The Microsoft billionaire, who stepped down from the company four years ago to become a full-time philanthropist, is equally gushing about his pop-star pal.
"I get to hang out with a lot of very cool and inspiring people, but none more so than Bono. I first met him a decade ago, and we've worked together a lot since. But people are still curious about our connection. I guess we might seem like a strange pair. We are. Melinda and I have many friends, allies and valued partners in our philanthropic work, but few as creative, energetic and inspiring as Bono."
In 2005, the trio were pictured on the cover of Time magazine when they were voted People of the Year for their humanitarian work. Dubbed "The Good Samaritans", Bono picked up the title for "charming, bullying and morally blackmailing the leaders of the world's richest countries into forgiving $40bn in debt owed by the poorest"; Bill and Melinda Gates for "building the world's biggest charity and giving more money away faster than anyone else ever has". The latest figures show that he has so far given away $28bn via his charitable foundation.
Having Gates beside him on the global platform has given Bono gravitas at a time when he is seen by some critics as a faux expert who should keep his nose out of the world economy.
Once such detractor is William Easterly, a celebrated professor of economics at New York University, who spent most of his career at the World Bank.
He has spoken scathingly of Bono, describing him as a "ridiculous celebrity wonk" who does not challenge power but embraces it.
"He is more likely to appear in photo ops with international political leaders," he says, "or to travel through Africa with a treasury secretary than he is to call them out in a meaningful way."
Easterly's iconoclastic book The White Man's Burden argues that the $2.3 trillion of foreign aid spent by the West in the last five decades has failed to lift the poorest countries of the world out of poverty or stimulate economic growth.
Gates said he hated the book, sniping back that success can be measured in things beyond economics, such as literacy and life-saving vaccines.
Another critic of celebrity philanthropy is Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo who believes it is wrong that famous westerners have become "inadvertently or manipulatively spokespeople for the African continent".
The Harvard academic believes foreign aid has largely resulted in holding Africa back.
"You get the corruption. Historically, leaders have stolen the money without penalty, and you get the dependency, which kills entrepreneurship," she says.
Despite the critics, Bono is convinced that Gates has the power and determination to bring about real change. "Bill wants to know where every penny goes," he said.
"Not because those pennies mean so much to him, but because he's demanding efficiency.
"When an Irish rock star starts talking about it, people go, yeah, you're paid to be indulged and have these ideas. But when Bill Gates says you can fix malaria in 10 years, they know he's done a few spreadsheets."
As both men approach 60, and a dawning realisation that they are mortal, they have become more vocal about their spiritual beliefs. While fans of Bono are well used to him quoting passages from scripture and wearing his Christianity on his sleeve, Gates, who typically avoids talk of religion in public, said this week that he no longer had any need for money and that he was now doing the "work of God".
But as fathers of teenagers, they are still busily engaged in the business of parenthood. too, and share common tactics to try and shelter their children from the mindboggling wealth in their lives.
Bono's 21-year-old daughter Eve said recently that she was banned from her parent's multi-million penthouse in Manhattan when she was studying there, and had to share a small apartment with a friend instead.
Gates has vowed his three children will inherit no more than a slither of his $56bn fortune – "enough to let them do anything but not enough to let them do nothing".
His plan is to have most of it spent before he dies, an ambition his new best friend is only too happy to help him fulfil.
Originally published in

Bono Promised Help to Mali’s Festival au Désert

Bono and Ali at the Festival du Art in Timbuktu, Mali, 2012

Last year Bono and Ali attended the Festival du Art in Timbuktu, Mali. This year with the  French military intervention in Mali , the organisers of the landmark music festival, Festival au Désert, were still adamant they would go ahead with this year’s edition ’in-exile’, having being forced out from their stricken native land.
Founded in 2001 by a collective of North Malian Touareg musicians, the festival’s thirteenth edition this year was to seek refuge in the community’s nomadic roots as its home, in the south Saharan city of Timbuktu, has come under the control of various coalitions of Jihadists and armed rebel militias since early last year (2012).
Planning to travel thousands of Kilometres, Festival au Désert looked to tour in February/March 2013 across Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Algeria in two separate caravans of artists, activists and fans, whose routes would eventually cross in Southern Mali.
Instead, the 2013 Rendez-Vous in exile will take the festival’s banner of non-violence and cultural struggle elsewhere around the rest of the globe, but most unlikely not around the Sahel. Over the next twelve months, a network of international supporters in partnership with the original production team will be running “in exile” events and caravans across the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the US.
In the light of current events and in an increasingly volatile region, this year’s edition is very unlikely to cruise around the Sahel as initially conceived, but cultural activists and festival organisers behind Festival au Désert will undoubtedly rise in defiance once again. It is a story of peaceful resistance whose message isn’t about Touaregs, ‘blue people’, nomads and myths of geographically-remote places echoed by colonial narratives and wreathed in orientalist whims. As Manny Ansar, founder and director of Festival au Désert, told Ceasefire in the course of this interview, “Festival au Désert is unwaveringly standing in solidarity with Timbuktu and vowing to extend Northern Mali’s tradition of tolerance to world populations in similar distress”.
Ceasefire has posted a long interview to Manny Ansar, founder and director of Festival au Désert. He mentions Bono`s help in the course of the dialogue:

CF: Historically, Festival au Désert has attracted many worldwide music icons such as Robert Plant of the Led Zeppelin. Is the festival still receiving support from international artists in the west?
MA: As for financing, this year there has been very little. Nothing confirmed so far. The Irish star Bono has promised to help after his surprise visit and stage appearance in last year’s edition. He often sends sympathetic messages of moral support. Bono is more involved and committed to the global caravan. He is in charge of this initiative, along with big names in the American cinema and media. At this stage, they are studying the feasibility of the project in different countries across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and elsewhere in Africa. The first event in this world tour is expected in April. It is aimed at raising awareness of the conflict and helping to alleviate the suffering of refugees.

To read the complete interview, click here.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bono: Micro Bill is my biggest idol

Jennifer O`Brien with Bono

ROCK God Bono reckons Bill Gates has changed the entire world TWICE.

He showed tycoon pal Bill around Dublin this week — and was full of praise for the billionaire’s giving nature.
Bono said: “Bill didn’t just change the world once with Microsoft. He’s changed it twice, because what they are doing with vaccinations is a giant thing if you live in certain parts of the world — saving countless lives.”
Bono and Bill enjoyed a few late night tipples at the plush Westbury hotel, with the U2 frontman revealing: “He’s a good friend and it was terrific to have him here in Ireland.”
The rock star appeared alongside Bill and his wife Melinda on the cover of Time when the trio were named the magazine’s People of the Year in 2005.
Bono added: “There’s now 160 people working in two charity organisations I am involved with — Red and One — and that’s because of Bill and Melinda.”
Bono and his wife Ali, accompanied by The Edge and his wife Morleigh, supported pal Guggi at the launch of his latest exhibition in Dublin on Thursday.
The Edge revealed U2’s new album is well on its way. He said: “We’re looking at having it out around the end of the summer.”

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bono and Edge at Guggi's New Exhibition

Bono and his wife Ali Hewson with artist and long-time friend Guggi and his wife Sibylle
Bono and his wife Ali Hewson with artist and long-time friend Guggi and his wife Sibylle

A HOST of famous friends have gathered together to celebrate internationally acclaimed artist Guggi's first exhibition in Ireland in four years – and leading the way was best friend Bono.

There was a glowing turnout as Guggi unveiled his latest collection at the Kerlin Gallery in Dublin last night.

Showing his continued support for the creative visionary, the U2 frontman, who arrived with wife Ali Hewson, told the Irish Independent of his delight to see his close friend's work come to fruition.

"Normally I get to enjoy a preview of the pieces beforehand in the studio, but things have been so busy this time I didn't get a chance. He's just getting better and better every time, we're all so proud of him. He's extraordinary."

The superstar said he'll definitely consider adding to his growing collection by purchasing a painting.

Bono and Hewson were accompanied by The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg.

Edge and wife Morleigh

Adam Clayton 

While he has shown in the UK, US and Argentina in recent months, guest of honour Guggi told the Irish Independent that it was particularly special to see his 21 pieces hang on the walls in Dublin again.

"This is my home town, I come from here and it's always particularly special when an exhibition is here.

"I'm surprised and flattered by the turnout, it's fantastic. It means everything to have my friends and family here."

It was also a family occasion for Guggi, who arrived with his wife, Sibylle, and their four boys, Noah, Eliah, Caleb and Gideon.

- Laura Butler

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bono kept me up a little late, says Bill Gates

MICROSOFT founder Bill Gates held separate meetings with the Taoiseach and the Tanaiste today – but he also found time to catch up with old friends.
Mr Gates, who topped Forbes magazine’s rich list last year with an estimated fortune of €50 billion, flew into Dublin last night – but still found time to catch up with some friends.
“Bono kept me up a little late last night,” he told the Taoiseach as he arrived in Government Buildings.
The billionaire and the U2 singer have been friends for almost a decade – Bono appeared alongside Bill Gates and his wife Melinda on the cover of Time when the trio were named the magazine’s People of the Year in 2005 for their charity work.
After an hour-long breakfast meeting on overseas development aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore described the billionaire philanthropist as “very much a friend of Ireland”.
The Tánaiste said they had also discussed Ireland’s economy.
“I took the opportunity of briefing him on what we have been doing to stabilise the public finances, to attract inward investment," he said.
"He had encouraging things to say to me about Ireland’s recovery and he expressed very strong hope that Ireland would recover and expressed a confidence in that."
Mr Gates also had a meeting with the Taoiseach in Government Buildings, before travelling to the Aras to call on President Higgins.
Ireland is one of several countries being visited by Mr Gates who is en route to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
According to the Tánaiste, the discussion also centred on the negotiations over the European Union budget which are continuing under the Irish presidency of the EU. He said that “there is concern which Bill Gates shares” over the EU budget in terms of development aid.
“I briefed him on where the discussions are at the moment. I told him the objective at this stage is to try and agree a budget in early February”.
- Lise Hand

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Moxafrica is a charitable organisation set up to investigate the use of moxibustion therapy for the treatment of tuberculosis, particularly in resource-poor environments in the twenty first century.
On Wednesday, 6 March 2013 at 19.00 -20.30 at Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, London, UK there will be a fundraiser event , hosted by Neil Mc Cormick 

An amazing night in prospect!

David Gray

The Magic Numbers

Gabriella Cilmi

David Ford

Bo Bruce

Buckshot Soup

(with special guests to be announced....)

..and a rock'n'roll raffle of - amongst other things - a pair of Bono's shades!

if you want help this potentially immensely important project to progress, click on DONATE!

The Unforgettable Tribute: MLK, U2, and the Making of “Pride (In the Name of Love)”

With his voice alone, Martin Luther King, Jr. made music.

MLK, among so many other things, was music.

With his voice alone, Martin Luther King, Jr. made music.
The rhythm and melody that permeated Martin Luther King, Jr. was evident not only in the way that he moved and spoke, but in the way that he inspired musicality in others. One of the greatest orators of our time – or any other – King’s mastery of language made his speeches lyrical as well as life-affirming.
In his non-violent pursuit of civil rights equality, an a cappella delivery of MLK’s words were sufficient to stir deep passions – he didn’t sound like bagpipes or a cavalry bugle, but hearing his voice makes you immediately electrified, and once more strong for the fight.
It was an instrument that rightly won him the Nobel Peace Prize, and helped solidify his legacy as an intellectual leader for the ages via landmark speeches like “I Have a Dream”, and so many more.

Pride” – An Emotional Ride

It’s no surprise, then, that his influence is imprinted within what people traditionally refer to as music – songs with singers, guitars, beats, bass, and keyboards. On the sampling front from Michael Jackson to Paul McCartney and Common, the Orb to Linkin Park and scores of others, MLK has served as a powerful sound source.
Arguably, one of the greatest-ever musical tributes to MLK stands out in the form of “Pride (In the Name of Love)”, U2’s masterpiece from the 1984 album The Unforgettable Fire. Riveting from Moment One, “Pride” is one of those cosmic confluences that defines a classic: the beautifully rhythmic  guitar work of the Edge, drummer Larry Mullen, Jr.’s big beat is simultaneously complex and simply satisfying, Adam Clayton’s musing bass foundation. And then Bono’s incomparable voice comes, starting off in the verse’s quiet awe before soaring to the hair-raising heights of the chorus.
“Pride” is a structurally simple song, and this upward spiraling cycle gets broken only by the bridge. At the 1:40 mark appears what is certainly the most uncomplicated guitar solo arrangement ever recorded in the history of rock: eight consecutive repetitions of the same single note, exquisitely energized by the Edge’s unique battery of delay pedals and other effects.
If “Pride” is up your alley, then your experience of the song is 3:49 of perfection. Anywhere your ears land at any moment – vocals, guitar, bass drums – what you hear is deeply moving, and builds momentum as the song surges forward. The gang vocals that appear in the third chorus are the perfectly imperfect element that somehow takes “Pride” even higher, connecting band and listeners to the song’s history-changing hero – a campfire singalong where 1,000,000 people can easily join hands.
As did MLK himself, the song accomplishes so much in such a short span of time. And in yet another parallel, rather than diminishing, the power of “Pride” only grows with repeated exposure.

View from the Studio

Engineer/mixer Kevin Killen was there — and then some — for the recording of “Pride”.
One person with a unique perspective on U2’s musical monument to MLK is the New York City-based engineer/mixer Kevin Killen. Working alongside The Unforgettable Fire co-producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois in his native Ireland, Killen was present for the numerous recording sessions that brought the song together.
As part of the engineering team that had recorded U2’s War record and Under a Blood Red Sky mini-LP live album, Killen had already been treated to a front-row seat of the band’s considerable capabilities. As is well-documented, The Unforgettable Fire’s first set of sessions took place at County Meath’s picturesque Slane Castle, enabled by a portable 24-track recording system supplied by Randy Ezratty’s mobile recording company Effanel Music. After a month of work at Slane, U2 and the rest of their crew relocated to the more controlled conditions of Dublin’s Windmill Lane Studios to finish the record.
Before it could reach the pristine state we hear today, Killen reminds that “Pride” had to overcome some serious struggles before its completion at Windmill Lane. “There were two issues,” Killen recalls, taking a break from a mix session at Ezratty’s studio in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood. “Bono hadn’t settled on finished lyrics for the song, and so we were constantly looking at the arrangement to see if there was something about it that was preventing him from getting the words finalized. And Larry’s drum part was proving to be tricky, especially getting the roll right going into the chorus.
“But then Bono was finally able to get the lyrics the way he wanted, and execute the track. It wasn’t one particular word that was a problem, so much as he was just trying to get the exact sentiment to express. He knew what he was trying to say, but he was challenged just trying to get the right thing.”
The gestalt moment – when Bono found what he was looking for – was instantly apparent to everyone at Windmill Lane. “The first time he sang the finished lyrics everyone in the control room looked at each other and said, ‘That was definitely it,’” says Killen. “It was so obvious that he felt comfortable singing that lyric.”
The poetic final lines had arrived. They were written about the great Martin Luther King, Jr., but they could have been said by him just as easily (and indeed three of them were), in one of his unforgettable speeches: “Early morning, April 4/Shot rings out in the Memphis sky/Free at last, they took your life/They could not take your pride.”
Much of “Pride” had already been recorded to that point – suddenly the moment had arrived to launch it to the next level. An AKG C12 mic was waiting for Bono, connected to the preamp of an SSL E Series console with an LA-2A compressor inserted across the buss output.
As the singer was approaching the mic in the live room, Killen stepped up to the proverbial plate in the control room, one hand at the ready on the remote for the Otari MTR 90 tape machine – the young engineer was poised to pop a punch-in that he’d never forget.
“He sang it in one take,” Killen says. “I remember punching it in on the tape machine: Every hair on my body stood up. It was such a spine-tingling moment. He said something so concisely, so perfectly, about MLK’s life.”

Lasting Impact

Killen had the extreme privilege that only an engineer, producer, and an artist’s bandmates can experience: to be there for the magic moments of a classic song’s studio recording, getting the very first listen of a sound that will reach millions of ears for years upon years.
And, of course, Killen wasn’t the only one whose spine tingled at the sound of “Pride (In the name of Love)”. Released as the lead single for The Unforgettable Fire in September 1984, it was the biggest hit yet for U2, breaking the top 5 in the U.K. and the Top 40 in the U.S. While its peak position on the Billboard Hot 100 was only #33, “Pride” was inexorably connected to turning U2 in what it is now – a very, very, very big rock group.

“Pride (In the Name of Love” was released in September, 1984.

“When the band got here in 1984,” says Killen, “there was a very positive reaction to that track. And that was a very special period, stemming from the fact that the band were trying to do something different from their previous three releases.
“On that tour, they went from playing small 2,500-seat theaters to 4,000-seat theaters. Six months after that, they were playing arenas, so U2 saw their own career take off from that album release, up to a different level. And when you see them play ‘Pride’ live, you realize that it’s bass, drums, guitars, vocals, and no embellishments. It just works very well — very powerful, and very emotional.”
Being There
When great leaders emerge, their power to inspire action and art is a gift uniquely theirs to give the world. Growing up in Ireland, it’s reasonable to expect that Kevin Killen had no inkling that the life of Martin Luther King would help fulfill the aspiration held by so many in the music industry – to have a role in the making of a timeless song.
“At the time that we work on them, most engineers hope for songs to become classics,” says Killen, whose GRAMMY-winning career continues on, with hit records for clients including Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, Jewel, Bon Jovi, Shawn Colvin, Shakira, Sugarland, Bryan Ferry, and Duncan Sheik. “When you get to be a part of one of them, or a number of them, it becomes pivotal in your career. You’re forever associated with the project, and that can never be taken away from you. Whether your participation was large or small, you’re always connected to it.
“When I sit and listen to ‘Pride’,” he continues, “I can remember that pivotal sequence of events that occurred when the song went from being difficult to record, to being realized. You look around the room, and realize you’ve captured a very special moment. That moment stays with you forever.”
Engineers and producers who crave that sensation need no small amount of luck to be in that right place, at the right time. But Kevin Killen knows that audio pros who are focused on the music can also turn their quest for a classic into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“Obviously, we all want to work with an artist that has something to say,” he points out. “Our job is to somehow set the stage so they can truly express themselves in that environment, without judgment, and convey what they’re trying to get out there. If you can be a part of that process, it can be incredibly rewarding not just for yourself, but for the artist.”

Sound Out

In a magic case of things coming full circle, one light that made MLK shine so brightly was that he enabled many millions to express who they truly were, as well.
Equipped with his voice and views – and often aided by a microphone – Martin Luther King, Jr. engineered a movement that unequivocally impacted the world. U2 were among the many who have heard his call. They went on to reflect that spirit forever in a song.
No matter what your walk of life, the chance to somehow have a hand in a timeless work — or even an Earth-changing attitude — may be closer than you think. You too may create something that qualifies. All of us should certainly try.

– David Weiss

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Edge backs music course to create next generation of stars

The Edge admires 10 year old Chris Farrell's  beanie hat at the Department of Education this morning at the announcement of a funding initiative by the Department of Education, the U2 and Ireland Funds, supported by National Music Education Programme for Music Generation to develop music education in Ireland.
The Edge admires 10 year old Chris Farrell's beanie hat at the Department of Education  at the announcement of a funding initiative by the Department of Education, the U2 and Ireland Funds, supported by National Music Education Programme for Music Generation to develop music education in Ireland.

U2 guitar legend The Edge has praised the work of education programme Music Generation for making music a must among young people.

The Edge said: "Over the years, there has been a tendency for music not to be the top priority, but the great thing about Music Generation is that it's putting it back where it needs to be."

Explaining why he chose to help when U2 rarely its name publicly to such initiatives, "I think we felt this was something that would be enhanced by the association. In most cases it isn't, so it's not appropriate, in this case we really wanted to put our name to it, we feel strongly about this."
The Edge pictured with Siofra Marum (9) from Portlaoise at the Department of Education this morning at the announcement of a funding initiative by the Department of Education, the U2 and Ireland Funds, supported by National Music Education Programme for Music Generation to develop music education in Ireland
The Edge pictured with Siofra Marum (9) from Portlaoise at the Department of Education  at the announcement of a funding initiative by the Department of Education, the U2 and Ireland Funds, supported by National Music Education Programme for Music Generation to develop music education in Ireland
He was launching 'Developing Diversity in Music Education in Ireland' - a new two-year partnership between St Patrick's College, and Music Generation, which is the national music education programme funded by U2 and the Ireland Funds and local agencies).

Based at the Music Department of St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, under the principal investigator Dr Patricia Flynn, the new research programme will provide valuable information about music eduction in Ireland in order to address a knowledge gap in this area.

Tony O'Dalaigh, chairman of Music Generation, said: "The initiation of the research partnership marks and important milestones in the evolution of Music Generation, the impact of which will inform and shape long-term development and sustainability."
Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, and U2 manager, Paul McGuinness and The Edge pictured with from left, Aisling Page (13) from Portlaoise, 14 year old Kgomotso Ngwenya from Portlaoise, Siofra Marum (9), Portlaoise and Tiernan Marum (10) from Portlaoise at the Department of Education this morning at the announcement of a funding initiative by the Department of Education, the U2 and Ireland Funds, supported by National Music Education Programme for Music
Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, and U2 manager, Paul McGuinness and The Edge pictured with from left, Aisling Page (13) from Portlaoise, 14 year old Kgomotso Ngwenya from Portlaoise, Siofra Marum (9), Portlaoise and Tiernan Marum (10) from Portlaoise at the Department of Education  at the announcement of a funding initiative by the Department of Education, the U2 and Ireland Funds, supported by National Music Education Programme for Music
Established in 2009, Music Ireland helps young people and children access high-quality subsidised music education in their area.

- Ken Sweeney

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bono, The Edge and Paul McGuinness in "Lincoln" Premier in Dublin

Bono and Ali
Edge and Morleigh
Kathy and Paul McGuinness with Bono and Ali Hewson

Liz's Lunch for Chernobyl Children

Ali Hewson, Liz O Donnell and Adi Roche

Over 170 supporters of Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International (CCI) came out in force, to support an annual fundraising event organised by and director of Chernobyl Children International (and former Minister of State for Overseas Development) Liz O’Donnell at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin.

Along with Adi Roche, founder & CEO of CCI, and Ali Hewson fellow board member Liz greeted the many guests who represented the arts and culture, government and commercial sectors.  The monies raised from ‘Liz’s Lunch’ will go to support CCI’s Medical Care Programme, including life-saving cardiac surgeries for children on critical waiting lists in the Chernobyl regions.

A glittering array of raffle items on offer included an exquisite Chloe Townsend piece of jewellery, kindly donated by Loulerie Jewellers, a shearling collar piece donated by the well-known designer Yasmin Velloza, Dr Dre Beats generously donated by Ali Hewson, luxurious weekend breaks as well as several sets of hot concert tickets courtesy of Caroline Desmond of MCD.

Speaking at the event, Liz O’Donnell said, “The effects of Chernobyl are still being felt in the form of high levels of genetic birth defects, in particular the rise of the heart defect, commonly known as ‘Chernobyl Heart’. Waiting lists for urgent surgeries are growing and we need to help even more children.”

JOSHUA TREE: New spider species honors U2′s Bono

A new species of trapdoor spider, A. bonoi, was named for singer Bono to honor U2's "The Joshua Tree" album.

A new species of trapdoor spider, A. bonoi, was named for singer Bono to honor U2′s “The Joshua Tree” album.

Nearly three dozen new species of the cleverly named trapdoor spider, which hides from prey beneath a self-made hatch, have been identified, three of them from Joshua Tree National Park.
Taxonomist Jason Bond, director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History in Auburn, Ala., documented 33 new species of the genus Aptostichus, a spider found in California, Arizona and Nevada.
All but three of the new species were found in California.
One of the perks of identifying a new species is getting to name it, and Bond has had some fun with the task.
Two of the new Joshua Tree species were named for Native American tribes: A. chemehuevi and A. serrano. The third is A. bonoi, named for Bono, lead singer of U2, to honor the group’s 1987 album “The Joshua Tree,” which has a picture of the namesake tree on the cover.

Friday, January 18, 2013

From Bardot to Bono: Terry O'Neill is home after clicking with stars

He has captured some of the most iconic showbusiness images, including this one of U2 frontman Bono. Now legendary photographer Terry O'Neill is holding an exhibition in his family homeplace of Cork
He has captured some of the most iconic showbusiness images, including this one of U2 frontman Bono. Now legendary photographer Terry O'Neill is holding an exhibition in his family homeplace of Cork

HIS lens has captured some of the most famous faces in rock music. Now after 65 years the world-renowned photographer Terry O'Neill is returning to his family home of Cork.

London-born O'Neill (74), whose father hailed from Cork city, has captured images of some of the biggest names in entertainment in a career spanning more than six decades.

He will open a major exhibition of his work in Cork next week and the Rolling Stones, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn and Bruce Springsteen will feature in the collection.

Images of Sean Connery on a 'James Bond' set and of French screen siren Brigitte Bardot smoking a cigar are among the other captivating portraits going on show.

Pictures of The Beatles, Elizabeth Taylor, and tragic singer Amy Winehouse will also be on display.

They will all go on public display at the CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery and at Cork City Hall. It will be the first time the legendary photographer has exhibited in Cork, but his father grew up on Blarney Street and O'Neill always felt the city was a home from home. O'Neill said he was delighted to be coming back to Cork, where he spent many happy summer holidays as a child.

"My parents took me there for every summer holiday. We used to stay at the top of Wyse's Hill and I used to look forward to it each year," he said. "They were fantastic holidays. I've always longed to go back and at last I have the chance."

O'Neill began his career in London as a press photographer in the 1960s.

He later worked in Hollywood where his subjects included Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman and Ava Gardner.

Recalling the Brigitte Bardot picture, which was shot on location in Spain in 1971, he said: "That was the last frame in a roll of 35 millimetre.

"The wind blew and I took the picture . . . I only had one crack at it and it turned out to be a stunner."

O'Neill has also photographed U2 frontman Bono, who he described as "truly fascinating".

He will attend the opening of the exhibition on January 24 at CIT Wandesford Quay Gallery and will host a book signing there on January 25.

- Georgina O'Halloran

Herbert Grönemeyer "I Walk Concert"

Last August Bono made a surprise appearance   on Herbert Gronemeyer´s show at the Metropolis Hall in Potsdam,Germany. Now the German artist has posted the video of the performance in his Facebook account.

Edun promotes auction for the victims of Hurricane Sandy

Ali Hewson

EDUN , Bono and Ali Hewson`s clothing brand participates in the creation of a platform for charities RE/CREATE New York to help victims of Hurricane Sandy, in the United States. 
EDUN joined efforts with artists and celebrities  like Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, Anne Hathaway, Dita Von Tese, Donna Karan,  Michael Stipe,  Roman Coppola, among other to donate items such as clothes, perfumes, shoes, books, auction them in benefit of the victims of the hurricane.
All proceeds of the auction will be donated to New York Cares.
 EDUN participates with  a Mudcloth Heavy Twill & Denim Parka


Aboubakar Fofana specializes in the dyeing techniques of West Africa in Mali, using natural indigo dyes and minerals to create beautiful and unique textile designs. Foufana lends his stunning work to EDUN’s SS13 collection, including this one of a kind Mudcloth Parka see on the runway. In preserving the indigo plants of West Africa, he keeps the traditional Malian practice alive while protecting Africa’s rich continent through his sustainable practices.

 "This is a perfect protective piece for the indeflatable New Yorker - a rough exterior and a soft underside. Panels of mud cloth from Mali complete the exterior for a look that has an element of global influence, but yet is distinctly urban - like New Yorkers."
Ali Hewson

Bid on  e-bay 
Donate through NY Cares

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Another Band Returns! U2 New Album Sessions Started Months Ago

U2 performing live

They never could keep out of the limelight for very long. With David Bowie announcing a shock return, Irish rockers U2 have opted to steal some of the returning legend's thunder by revealing to The Sun that they themselves are also back in the studio with a new album on the way. The multi-million selling group haven't been away for nearly as long as the Thin White Duke, or even pop stars Destiny's Child and Justin Timberlake, both who revealed their long-awaited comebacks last week. Their last album was 2009's No Line On The Horizon, whilst the group were touring as recently as 2011.

Nevertheless, the announcement that they're to return will provide yet more fuel for a 2013 that's musical year is already ablaze with anticipation. “U2 have been back and they’re really in fine fettle" the group's front man Bono told The Sun. "They’re mad for it at the moment and they really want to make a new record. And they don’t care if it takes ten years – they don’t care if it never happens again, they just want to get it right." So that wasn't a definite on whether their new album - the group's 13th - would see the light of day this year, but it certainly sounds like they're getting on with it.

For many fans of the band, it'll be a relief to see Bono back behind the microphone doing his day job, with many getting increasingly exasperated at the singer's move into the political arena. The band have also faced accusations of tax evasion in recent years, though it's something that they've always vehemently denied.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Rolling Stones and Bono Celebrate 'Muscle Shoals' Premiere

The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon and Wilson Pickett are just a few of the artists who traveled to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, during the 1960s and early 1970s to record. In that small town, a handful of studios were changing the sound of soul and rock & roll. Now you can check out the trailer for the new documentary Muscle Shoals, from director Greg "Freddy" Camalier, which is set to premiere this year at Sundance.

Bono, Greg Allman, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and othere talk about the  magnetism y mystery of "Muscle Shoals", and why it`s still influential.

Filled with interviews with a wide array of artists and never-before-seen footage, Muscle Shoals tells the story of this Northern Alabama town and the many hits that came out of its legendary recording spaces: Rick Hall's FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, which was started by FAME's former rhythm section, the Swampers. "Being there does inspire you to do it slightly differently," says Mick Jagger in the trailer. "It was really funky; you know, that was the whole idea of it."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Busking for Simon : 2012

Last Christmas, Bono, Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, Sinéad O’Connor, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Declan O’Rourke, Gavin Glass, Steve Wall and many more join in a busking Christmas celebration on Grafton Street to raise money for homeless charities The Simon Community and the Peter McVerry Trust.

Director and documetarist Myles O'Reilly  made a documentary of that moment called "Busking for Simon :: 2012"

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Readers' Poll: The 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

Rolling Stone magazine asked their readers to vote on their most anticipated album of 2013.These are the results:

We warned that it's very hard to look forward in the music business; albums tend to appear almost out of nowhere, and long-planned albums can get delayed for years.
With that said, we do know that many superstars (including U2BeyoncéArcade FireLady GagaEminem and Black Sabbath) are planning to put out new music sometime this year. 

U2`s album is the most anticipated album of 2013.

1. U2 - Title Unknown

Most bands would see No Line on the Horizon as a hugely successful album. It sold millions of copies and the supporting tour was the single biggest tour of all time. But U2 aren't most bands. It didn't generate any real hit singles, and they saw the sales as highly disappointing. (In hindsight, "Get On Your Boots" shouldn't have been the first single.) The fact it hit right around the time Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was going through just about the worst press beating in Broadway history didn't help matters. Even in the midst of a sold-out stadium tour, U2 seemed like they were in free-fall. In the past, U2 have responded to a "failure" by "dreaming it all up again." That meant the club-ready sounds of Achtung Baby after the rootsy Rattle and Hum, and it meant the back to basics approach of All That You Can't Leave Behind after the electronic sounds of Pop
This time around, it seems like their move is to dump their longtime producing team of Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite in favor of Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. He helped the Black Keys score huge hits in a market that has very little interest in rock & roll, and U2 clearly hope he can use that same magic on them. U2 has been working feverishly on this material ever since the 360 tour ended in the summer of 2011, and not a single note has leaked out. Nobody knows what it sounds like. When asked about the project, Bono merely says, "U2's gotta do something very special to have a reason to exist right now." We're excited to hear what they come up with.