January 2008 Archives

Adam Sherwin, Times Online Media Correspondent

Music fans who indulge in widespread illegal file-sharing should have their web connections cut off by internet service providers, the manager of U2 said.

Paul McGuinness, who has guided the Irish group to 150 million album sales during their 30-year career, said companies such as Yahoo! and AOL should be prosecuted if they fail to prevent illegal file-sharing.

Speaking at the Midem music industry convention in Cannes, Mr McGuinness said: "A simple three strikes and you are out enforcement process will see all serial illegal uploaders who resist the law face a stark choice: change or lose your ISP subscription.

"In the UK, the Gowers report made it clear that legislation should be considered if voluntary talks with ISPs failed to produce a commitment to disconnect file-sharers. I'd like to see the UK Government act promptly on this recommendation."


DAVOS, Switzerland - Rock star Bono bowed deeply and gave Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda an iPod at the start of a meeting Saturday to try to get more Japanese support for the fight against poverty in Africa.

The gift broke the ice as Fukuda sat down with Bono, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other major supporters of more aid for Africa.

Photos are courtesy of Stefan Wermuth, Remy Steinegger, Wolfgang Rattay, Denis Balibouse (Reuters); Michel Euler, Peter Dejong (AP).

U2 3D (IMAX)

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Review by Brian Orndorf

While the subject of countless concert videos and films over their 30-year history, U2's most iconic performances can be boiled down to three endeavors. 1983's "Under a Blood Red Sky" showcased U2's hunger, their youthful idealism, and a raw sound just finding its balance. 1988's "Rattle and Hum" captured the band getting used to their newfound world dominance, while also presenting an unstoppable live act gearing up for the best years of their lives. And now "U2 3D" has been added to the list.

Comfortable in their rock overlord boots, U2 puts on a mighty display of confidence in this swirly concert film. Shot in 2006 on various stops of the worldwide "Vertigo Tour," "3D" is an experience that will overwhelm the faithful and enchant the newcomers. It's U2 larger than life; a perspective they've been after for years and now can achieve through this mighty IMAX presentation and set list of hits galore. There's a surefire magic in watching Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., and Adam Clayton perform that "3D" appreciates; it slaps the audience in the front row for a well-rehearsed corker of a show that hits all the U2 basics while providing unsettling intimacy far beyond the limitation of previous cinematic concert efforts.

Eliot Van Buskirk, Wired

As I left the Imax theater after seeing U2 3D, a man asked me, "So, what did you think?" Using my best Larry David impression, I responded, "Pretty good. Pretty... pretty good."

I was lying. The film I had just seen -- the world's first three-dimensional live-action concert film -- was astounding. I just didn't want to tell him that, because he was one of U2 3D's producers. What if I changed my mind before writing this review? Better to form an opinion after my post-show elation had worn off, I figured.

Photos are courtesy of Fred Prouser (Reuters); Amy Sancetta, George Pimentel, Fred Hayes, Kevin Mazur (AP).

Brenda Clemons, Staff Writer

The Hard Rock Cafe has just launched a Bono designed tee shirt with proceeds going to charity. The cost of the shirt is $26.00 (US Dollars) and comes in both women and men's sizes. The women's tee is white with a blue design and the men's tee is black with red design.

Both tees picture a fish with the words,"fish can fly". According to Hard Rock, "Fish can fly is more than just a phase on a t-shirt. Its a message that tomorrow can be better than today. And that change is happening right before your eyes."

A percentage of the price of the tee shirts will go to benefit The Wildlife Conservation Society's "Conservation Cotton Initiative". The Wildlife Conservation Society aims to save wildlife and wild lands through science, international conservation, and education. The Conservation Cotton Initiative hopes to educate African cotton farmers about alternatives to pesticide use, and to educate them about organic cultivation while protecting wildlife habitats. The tee shirt is available through the Hard Rock Cafe website at www.hardrock.com.


Rock star Bono pressed French leader Nicolas Sarkozy to live up to pledges to increase development aid during a "feisty" meeting at the Elysee presidential palace, the aid advocacy group DATA said.

The organisation, co-founded by Bono, front man of the U2 rock group, has chastised France for lagging in fulfilling in a promise to raise development assistance to 0.7 per cent of gross national income by 2012. In 2006, French aid stood at 0.31 percent of gross national income, DATA said.

"The president admitted it would be very, very hard, but France would keep her word," the statement quoted Bono as saying following the meeting, which he described as "feisty" and "factual."

"The president knows the details and moves fast," Bono said, adding Sarkozy pledged to restore 20 million euros ($A33.58 million) to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The French leader also "said he would send through a plan to restore promised French aid trajectories in the next few weeks," Bono was quoted as saying.

DATA's statement cites an October parliamentary report showing France's estimated overseas development assistance would be 0.35 per cent of gross national income in 2007 and would remain at 0.35 per cent in 2008.

by Steve Baltin, Spinner

Twenty years ago, producer Daniel Lanois teamed with U2 on the band's landmark album, 'The Joshua Tree.' Two decades later, Lanois is back in the studio with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, working on their forthcoming album, due this year.

"I'm doing some writing with [Brian] Eno and U2," Lanois tells Spinner of the effort. "We're gonna knock out another record that's promising to be a fantastically innovative collection of songs. I'm excited about that."

As for what the new songs will offer, Lanois says that some hints may be gleaned from the music they've been listening to of late. "We've been referencing Jimi Hendrix records recently," Lanois says. "I was interested in the drum feels and that track 'Crosstown Traffic' has an incredible drum performance. When [we were] working a couple of weeks back, we wanted to hear some of that Mitch Mitchell drumming."

Lanois also revels in his collaboration with Eno, also a former U2 collaborator and who appears in Lanois' film, 'Here Is What Is.' "I play really well with Eno," Lanois says. "In a manner of minutes we've got something happening in the room that's special -- even without talking about it. We just pick up our instruments and we're there. I might have an idea, Eno might have an idea, somebody else has an idea, and as we jockey them around, momentum builds up and there's some kind of a whirlwind. We just thank our lucky stars that we have that chemistry within us."

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