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"A lot of my early memories of teenage years were of violence, and the sheer fear of leaving the house, going to catch the bus," frontman says

by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone

Bono and the Edge broke down U2's songwriting process and recalled the rough North Dublin roots that inspired the Songs of Innocence cut, "Cedarwood Road," in a revealing interview for Song Exploder.

The song gets its name and story from the street Bono grew up on, but it began -- like many U2 tracks -- with a guitar riff the Edge came up with at home. In speaking about these initial steps, the Edge noted he sketches songs on GarageBand and works with drum loops Larry Mullen Jr. recorded for the demo process.

"My job is to find a way to inspire Adam and Larry and Bono, so I don't often care to finish out a piece fully," the Edge said. "I just want to get something down that I think is a great starting point and then I know that whatever I come up with, they'll come up with something better. So I just need to get it going where its identity is clear and it's got some kind of vitality and point of view that's interesting."

by Jon Bream, Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Rolling Stones vs. U2. Mick vs. Bono. Keef vs. the Edge.

Who is the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band? Baby boomers might argue the Stones. Gen Xers might advocate for U2.

Last week, this baby boomer had the rare opportunity to see these iconic bands on back-to-back nights: the Stones on Tuesday in Milwaukee, U2 on Wednesday in Chicago.

How were the shows? Outstanding. Was one better? Yes. Which band was the greatest? I'll answer that later. First, impressions and experiences.

Just given their ages, the four Stones, 68 to 74, have to be in the autumn of their 53-year career. U2, a quartet ages 53 to 55, are in midcareer -- year 39, to be exact -- sort of like the Stones in the mid-1980s. U2 is coming off two slow-selling, hits-devoid albums, the latter of which, "Songs of Innocence," resulted in bad karma because it was sent for free last year to hundreds of millions of iTunes users, some of whom saw it as unwanted spam.

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by Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Montreal -- Bono and Adam Clayton are sitting on a couch in a downtown hotel last week after a U2 concert, talking T-shirts. Suddenly they're 17 years old again hanging out at punk clubs in their hometown of Dublin, circa 1977.

"The Ramones, the Clash, the Buzzcocks," says Clayton, the band's bassist, reminiscing about the bands that he, Bono and the other future members of U2 -- guitarist the Edge and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. -- witnessed and drew inspiration from as teenagers.

"The Buzzcocks -- the melodies were so great," Bono says, mimicking Pete Shelley furiously strumming a guitar. "What was their drummer's name (John Maher)? Larry used one of his parts on one of our songs."

"I took a few things from (the Stranglers') JJ Burnel - a great bass player," Clayton adds.

U2, Meerkat team up on streaming for tour

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by Jon Swartz, USA TODAY

SAN FRANCISCO -- U2's tech-rich tour keeps getting richer and richer.

The legendary rock band, which christened its U.S. tour in San Jose, Calif., last month with a high-tech spectacle of immersive video and sound, has partnered with Meerkat to live stream in each show.

The streams are distributed on Twitter and Facebook, as well as displayed at the venue.

The arrangement started during shows in Phoenix and Los Angeles, and has continued.

The live-streaming experience, filmed by a fan onstage with the band, is projected on a gigantic oblong screen at the show and is available to anyone who uses the Meerkat app.

Rock star, currently touring with his band, will be in Ottawa to discuss African aid initiatives with NGOs

CBC News

U2 rock star and philanthropist Bono will meet with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau following a session with several non-profit organizations in Ottawa on Monday.

Stuart Hickox, founder of the non-profit "social marketing" organization One Change, confirmed Bono is coming to the capital for talks focused on aid in Africa, and is expected to attend question period following that meeting.

The Prime Minister's Office confirmed the meeting between Harper and Bono will take place Monday afternoon. Harper is expected to discuss his maternal and child health initiative, which he has previously discussed before the United Nations General Assembly.

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by Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times

The rattling and humming has ended, at least for now.

U2 wrapped up its extended stay in Los Angeles on Wednesday night with a sold-out show at the Forum, the band's fifth at the Inglewood arena before its Innocence and Experience tour heads east, to Denver and beyond.

Wednesday's concert was actually the last of six in L.A., including U2's visit last week to the comparatively minuscule Roxy. But sustained exposure to his fans' adoration has never satisfied Bono's appetite for more, of course. So Wednesday the frontman sauntered onstage with the Forum's house lights still on, the better to see 17,000-something Angelenos cheer his arrival once more.

"The most beautiful sound in the world," he said. "It's you!"

Here are five thoughts from the show.

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Innocence + Experience Tour pauses for a rare club show

By Steve Appleford, Rolling Stone

Bono knows how to work a room, only for decades he's been working arenas and stadiums, offering sweeping gestures on the most epic stages. Last night at the Roxy Theatre on L.A.'s Sunset Strip, U2 showed they could still dial things down to the most intimate level, playing a thrilling set for 500 ecstatic fans.

The band is currently in the middle of five shows at the 17,000-capacity Forum. Their Innocence + Experience tour is high-tech and high-concept, but here they seemed excited to deliver a straight-ahead rock show of passion and drive with a set list that included four songs from their 1980 debut, Boy. Even the band's first L.A. show in 1981 was at the old Country Club in suburban Reseda - a venue with about twice the capacity of the Roxy.

Things kicked off with the post-punk swirl of "The Ocean" before the Edge's slicing guitar signaled the transition to "11 O'Clock Tick Tock." Bono stood centerstage in black motorcycle jacket and shades, leaning into a forest of hands aiming cell phone cameras at his face. He was soon splashing water into the crowd as the band dove into U2's explosive first U.S. hit single, "I Will Follow."

Check out this crazy fan video of Bono briefly crowdsurfing as U2 perform "Vertigo" in front of 500 people at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles on May 28, 2015. For all of you Adam Clayton lovers, the fan who shot this video was literally inches away from Adam while he was playing the bass guitar.

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by Mesfin Fekadu, AP Music Writer

For more than three decades, U2's beloved tour manager, Dennis Sheehan, kept the band running on time. Sheehan died early Wednesday, just a few hours after U2 kicked off its latest tour. But promoters vowed the shows would go on in his memory, and they'd be on schedule.

"Dennis always got the band on stage, pretty much on time. We're going to make sure we do that tonight, in his memory," Live Nation's Arthur Fogel said Wednesday. "It is absolutely what he would have wanted."

Sheehan, in his late 60s, died at a Sunset Strip hotel in West Hollywood on Wednesday, a day after the band kicked off a five-night stint in the Los Angeles area.

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