Tesoro, Duran Duran and the latest from U2

Hi kids!

Just a general re-cap this time of various musical goings-on the last few months.

I caught Tesoro (finally!) in September at Crossroads Park. For those of you not familiar, Tesoro is a local band that describe themselves as Latin Gypsy pop. (Think Gipsy Kings). They did a 90 minute set for about 200 of us that fortunately didn't get rained out. Great music, talented guys, and a great look too. (And I'll just add that I've harbored a crush on the bass player for some time.)

All You Need Is Now

I also caught Duran Duran at the Loft in September as well. Not in person, mind you, but a concert film directed by the one and only David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, etc.) Hmmm, not exactly impressed. I think part of the issue is that this was filmed in 2011 and at least for me, already seems dated. Some other people in the audience apparently thought so as well because I heard someone say, "How old is this?" Much of the film consisted of material from an album they released in 2011, All You Need Is Now, and I think most of the audience were not familiar with the songs. Of course, the film also had some of their hits, such as "Hungry Like The Wolf", "Girls On Film", "Ordinary World" "Rio", and a nice re-imagining of "A View To A Kill", probably the best part of the set. The film was entirely in black and white, and much of the time the band members were obscured with various images that Lynch superimposed on the film. Terribly distracting at first but I guess I got used to it as the film went on. They also had several guest stars sing with them, including Kelis and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, which again, gave the film a dated feel. To be blunt, not worth my time. Duran Duran are WAY better in person.

I can't NOT mention the latest U2 offering, Songs Of Innocence. I've been a long time fan (since way before The Joshua Tree, and yes, that means I'm a U2 snob). I knew something was in the works to be released before the end of the year, and then on September 9 my phone started going off with various emails and texts from friends alerting me to the news that the new U2 album was available for free on i-Tunes. I won't get into a discussion here on whether or not releasing the new album for free and automatically putting it into people's i-Tunes libraries was a good choice or not; I'll discuss the actual music instead. Songs of Innocence is the first new U2 album in over five years. Was it worth the wait?  Kinda. It's growing on me the more I listen to it, but I stick to my original gut reaction. There's something timid about most of it, as if the band held back because they didn't want to go too far with what I'm calling the "trippy" element. Bono had talked in recent years about wanting to make a dance record, and I can hear elements of that sound on certain songs ("Iris", "Volcano") but it just doesn't go far enough for me. My favorite tracks on the album are "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight", "This Is Where You Can Reach Me Now", and "The Troubles", all songs with the "trippy" element I mentioned earlier. I would have been thrilled if the closing of "Sleep Like A Baby Tonight" had been extended a good 10 minutes. For those of you wanting a more "classic" U2 sound, "Every Breaking Wave" and "California" are good choices. I will say I think I like this album more than the last one, No Line On The Horizon. I found most of that one kind of depressing, although I wouldn't say Songs Of Innocence comes off much happier. (I think it's an Irish thing.) Word is that U2 will have a sequel to Songs Of Innocence out soon, titled Songs Of Experience. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Until next time,