she liked Imaginary Men best of all

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Band Dynamic Documentaries

Tonight VH1 is premiering the Backstreet Boys documentary Show em What You’re Made Of and I think you should watch it. I say this not as a BSB fan but as a fan of anything that involves uncovering the fascinating world of band dynamics.

I recently read Mick Fleetwood’s autobiography Play On: Now, Then and Fleetwood Mac because for my money there is no band with more incredibly complex, deranged inter-band dynamics then Fleetwood Mac. Marriage between members? Check. Affairs between members? Check. Break-ups between members who then make the person they dumped sing songs about how awful their break-up was on-stage to thousands of fans? CHECK. Their episode of Behind the Music is well worth 45 minutes of your life.

Less romantically tangled but just as fascinating to this U2 fanatic is the near destruction of the band pre-Achtung Baby detailed in Bill Flanagan’s U2: At the End of the World and explored further in the band’s own documentary on the experience in From the Sky Down. Coming off of a decade of unparalleled success the members find themselves on opposing sides when it comes time to define themselves for the 90’s and nearly fall apart until they stumble into One.

And the king of all band dynamic documentaries is surely Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster which details abrupt departures, rehab stints, long buried animosities, and the band partaking in some of the craziest “group therapy” you’ll ever see. I am not a Metallica fan but I was enraptured by this film and the exploration of the complexities of being in a band and staying in a band, sharing your life, livelihood, emotions and talents with multiple other people who may not always have the same agenda or investment.

Which brings me back to the Backstreet Boys and their documentary detailing the making of their latest album In a World Like This and the subsequent tour. I watched it on VOD when it as released a few months ago and it hits all the sweet spots of a good band dynamic documentary: the camaraderie and frictions, the long-standing tensions and love for each other and the music. There was always a lot of backstage drama with BSB – the contract lawsuits, Brian’s heart problems, AJ’s addictions, Nick’s arrests – they were basically a documentary waiting to happen. The group visits to each member’s childhood home reveals a lot about each guy not just to the audience but to their other band members (the one to Nick Carter’s elementary school and his reunion with a teacher who supported him is heartbreaking as Nick’s very raw breakdown at the memory of what a lonely little boy he was and what kindness and faith this woman showed him is difficult to watch.)

So I don’t think you have to be a fan of a particular band to find their story and their relationships interesting. In some cases seeing the non-glossy, not-so-glamorous reality of what being in a band is actually like makes me appreciate them in a way I wouldn’t have if it was just about listening to their music. Check out any of these docs I’ve mentioned and you can start tonight on VH1 🙂


Mullen Monday: Best Skirts EVER!!

This summer I stopped by a local music festival with The World’s Best Boyfriend and while he was snapping some pics, I strolled over to browse the arts and crafty area. The very first thing that caught my eye was this:

Um yes THAT IS A U2 SKIRT!! And not just any U2 skirt but one from the Achtung Baby era which is of course only my FAVORITE U2 ALBUM EVER!!!!

This masterpiece is the creation of Sardine Clothing Company and it’s called a “T-Skirt” because it’s made out of old t-shirts and it’s just as comfortable as one! Their creator Maryanne is also a U2 fan and had some other tour shirts in her stash so she created this one for me to give to the Awesome Jill for her birthday:


That one has TWICE the U2 and Jill was absolutely thrilled. Maryanne also does custom orders – you just send her the shirts – so don’t think I haven’t been going through my tour shirt collection to figure out the perfect creation 😉

My only disappointment is that there is no U2 tour coming up for me to twirl around in this because let me tell you, anytime I wear it I get plenty of compliments and attention because It. Is. Awesome.



Mullen Monday: Under a Blood Red Sky edition

Before there were fly shades and skullcaps, before Bad and Streets, before Hats and Haircuts, before saving the world and Achtung – there were four Irish boys on the side of a mountain in a rain storm making their mark:

Any time I hear this song – and mind you, I’ve heard this song a TON – I still, still blast it and scream it and feel the same thrill and joy as if I was experiencing it for the first time! How powerful is that??

U2 Live at Red Rocks is such an energetic show of the band just at the very cusp of what they were about to become. And they are such babies, my GOD! (also the Fangirl in me never stops swooning over how goddamn gorgeous Larry was in this era!)

Can't you just hear my Inner 11-year-old squealing??!



“AHK-Toong BAY-Bi Covered”

So the full track listing for the U2 Achtung Baby covers album is out. And it’s a pretty intriguing pairing of songs and artists:

  1. Nine Inch Nails – Zoo Station (interesting – this was U2’s first “industrial” sound and that’s what NIN do so very well)
  2. U2 (Jacques Lu Cont Mix) – Even Better Than The Real Thing (he did a fabulous remix of Mr. Brightside)
  3. Damien Rice – One (He should bring the proper amount of poignance to this)
  4. Patti Smith – Until The End Of The World (this was my second choice for The Killers)
  5. Garbage – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (I love Shirley Manson! And you don’t often hear females covering U2)
  6. Depeche Mode – So Cruel (Oooooohhhh)
  7. Snow Patrol – Mysterious Ways (I like them, and they seemed to have a semi-permanent gig as 360 Tour opening act)
  8. The Fray – Trying To Throw Your Arms Around The World (Say WHAT? One of these things is NOT like the others!!)
  9. Gavin Friday – The Fly (Bono’s BFF. I think he IS The Fly)
  11. Glasvegas – Acrobat (We saw them open for U2 in Dublin. Hope they do this powerful song justice)
  12. Jack White – Love Is Blindness (Hmmmm, could be interesting – especially if he goes a little more country with it)
While I wait for the release and my Fabulous Fangirl Felicity in England to supply me with my own copy, here’s U2 doing their newer take on EBTTRT which is a much tighter, sexier version of the original:


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Brandon, Brandon, Brandon light my way (c’mon!)

A few weeks ago it was revealed that Q Magazine in the UK would be releasing a “tribute CD” of artists covering songs from U2’s epically amazing Achtung Baby for the album’s 20th anniversary.

I got it in my head that The Killers should definitely be part of this project because, 1. They love U2, 2. They do great U2 covers (ok this is just Brandon, but still!) and 3. It would make my life to hear my favorite band cover my favorite band on my favorite album.

Then I decided they should cover Ultraviolet (Light My Way.) And after listening to AB I came up with a Killers Cover Achtung Baby Wishlist that started with Ultraviolet and ended with Tryin’ to Throw Your Arms Around the World, but really I would have been happy with whichever song they did (I would have been happiest if they were the only band covering the whole damn thing!)

BTW this was all despite the fact that there was NO CONFIRMATION that they had anything to do with it!

But then, oh joy!! It was confirmed that they would be included. And just this week a little Twitter told me that they’ll be covering (…drumroll please…) ULTRAVIOLET!!!!!!

As I said on FB:

I don’t think there are enough CAPITAL LETTERS AND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OR 🙂 to express JUST HOW EXCITED I AM ABOUT THIS!!!!!! 🙂

Brandon is going to KILL this in the vocals, then he’s going to kill ME when I hear it. Seriously guys – if there was a Holy Grail of my Fangirldom, this may be it!


Mullen Monday: We get to carry each other edition

Look what’s coming to Showtime next month!!:

For the record, Achtung Baby is my favorite U2 album. I have listened to it, on average, probably about a hundred million times 😉 While it was the album that brought the band back from the brink of a break-up, it is also one that brought me back into the heart of my U2 fandom. In the years between initially falling in love with them at 11 and AB – a lot had happened: High school, boyfriends, college – typical distractions at that age.

Of course it was my Awesome Mama who first introduced me to U2, who gave them back to me by leaving AB under the 1991 Christmas tree. I heard it and fell head over heels for them all over again, and I’ve never again wavered in my appreciation, adoration and absolute gratitude for their entire existence and how integral it has been in my life.

I will probably have to buy Showtime for the month of October and watch this a good hundred million times too 😉