September 27, 2008

Mighty Radical Awesome Power in the Sandbox

One area in which I think the U.S. Army trumps every organization in history is its unmatched skill for employing acronyms. MRAP, MRE, FUBAR- you don't need a fucking English degree to own this language, you just need to strip out all the excess crap. The flip side is of course re-filling the spaces with whatever the hell you need there at the time. Anyway, today the Captain checked in with all of us via the magic of email, and reported on the latest and greatest in sandbox-ride-pimpin':

I just got back from a semi-nice week up in Baghdad doing some MRAP training and thought I would drop you all a line. What the hell is MRAP training you might ask? Well, if you must know it stands for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected and is simply a type of truck. And when I say truck, I mean it is the V shaped hull truck that all the politicians made a bunch of noise about last year. So now they are all over Iraq and they are pretty damn safe which is a nice feature but they are also really freakin' big and ride rough as hell, which are not so nice features.
MRAP Training? Very educational, I'm sure, but just to do some CYA, let's apply theacronym test: MRAP: Massive Reconnaisance Automobile Preparation. Many Repetetive Arrogant Punishments. Mighty Radical Awesome Power? I think that would pretty much cover it, but I've never driven a tank. The Captain has, though. He continues:
The truck is actually a modified dump truck and it drives like one so it isn't exactly a Cadillac. Of course, subject your Coupe De Ville to a large artillery round and it won't be a Cadillac either. So we drove this big dump truck thing in circles for a while until the contractor in charge deemed us ready for the road. I never really thought that as my career as an officer progressed I would acquire neat skills like driving a dump truck but seriously, if things don't work out with the Army at least I have Plan B.
Now, a hybrid tank-dump truck is truly something else. You could take that bastard on a tour of every monster truck rally in the country and stomp everyone flat while making a shitload of money. I mean, would those other guys have on-board artillery? I'm thinking no. If it can take Mesopotamian combat, it can damn well take Anaheim Stadium on Sunday Sunday Sunday. Mark my words, man- once this shit is all over, there will be a surfeit of differently-skilled MRAP drivers looking for work, and who better to snap them right up than the very same contractors who trained you guys how to drive these things?

Ah, who am I kidding; we'd have to clear lots of devious logistical hurdles before deploying this shit on the American monster truck circuit. What's the gas mileage like? I know, I know, you wouldn't think that would matter in the confines of a fenced-in, mud-covered stadium floor, but as any physicist knows, "you need to spend money to make money," and- no no, wait, I remember now- it was actually "objects in motion stay in motion, objects at rest stay at rest." People gave Isaac Newton all manner of shit for celebrating his supposed virginity, but the dude drank mercury and invented calculus (or something like that), so I think as long as we adhere to his "Principia Mathematica" when considering fuel costs, as well as repairs, detailing, munitions, and driver salaries, we'll be okay.

And that, my friends, is where we can finally make use of the Captain's excellent tank-centered band name from three years ago: "Jam Nut Actuator and the Tubeless Regroovers" would walk tall and kick ass every night by backing up our MRAPs with the slipperiest funk grooves this side of Philly. I mean, how many other monster-truck sponsors would retain an entourage worthy of George Clinton himself? Hell, I bet that if we shelled out enough dough- not to mention other enhancements, of course- we could get the Head Parlimentarian on board this crazy gravy train.

Yeah, and never mind the logistics and red tape at that point, man. If we can swing Mr. "Tear the Roof off the Sucker" then we can deal with those scurvy shyster promotion companies, not to mention their cheapjack servants in commercial radio advertising. Hell, we could make millions. So double down on that MRAP training, Captain; make sure you go back and renew your license every year like the law mandates, and don't take any shit about those goddamn smog check requirements. Once you're back here for good, we've got one hell of a niche market to conquer.

September 23, 2008

Random Ventura by Car

View from Grant Park, high above downtown Ventura, looking southeast.

View from Grant Park, looking west this time, over the Avenue, the Ventura river, and the road to Ojai.

An hour from sunset at Surfer's Point

Exploding mushroom cloud trees along Channel Drive, the way I bike to work.

Bridge to nowhere: the 101 freeway overpass above Lemon Street. Same bridge from back in July.

September 22, 2008

Death to East Coast Baseball Snobbery

I've mentioned this before, but my violent prejudice against East Coast baseball teams truly knows no bounds. The sniffling arrogance that gushes westward from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia (and even Baltimore, when they're feeling all Earl Weaver-uppity) is one of the most toxic substances ever created by man, and it's something I will oppose vigorously whenever I come in contact with it:

[The East Coast Baseball Snobbery] quotient is a real phenomenon. While visiting Fenway Park in 2005 (when the Sox failed to make the postseason), my wife and I were subjected to the bubbly smugness of our ditzy 21st-century Fenway staff tour guide, who, when I asked her which teams she liked to see play in Fenway besides the Sox and Yankees, snidely replied "there are no other teams, DUH."
Well, the joke's on her, because the Sox are now the Yankees, and hey, in case you hadn't heard, the House that Ruth Built was finally put out of its misery this weekend. Rob from 6-4-2 offers his condolences to the Bronx:

Is Yankee Stadium Dead Yet?
I have had more than enough of the national media tripping over themselves to tell us how great the old Yankee Stadium is, how it's a kuh-thee-drul, and so on; call me an apostate, call me a heretic, but I could not care less. The evidence is in, though, that the new park is an ATM for a team that scarcely needs it, paid for at public expense and despite the expressed wishes of the people who actually live in the neighborhood. Smaller by almost 10,000 seats, it's hard to imagine why anyone will be happy about the new park unless they have an in with the city.

The wrecking ball can't come fast enough. The rest of us have a postseason to look forward to that, mercifully, doesn't contain the most overfed and annoying team in baseball. Even if it's only for one season, that is an event I've been anticipating for years.
Now, as a Padre fan (Yeah, yeah, the Friars were excrable this year. Boo frickety hoo) I can sort of relate to that stadium boondoggling, but since I don't live in San Diego, I'll never feel the pinch of it. Rob isn't done, though; he then refers us to a blog for Cleveland, Let's Go Tribe! that sports the most ruthless eloquence I've ever seen, a Yankee Stadium obit that is gloriously Mencken-worthy in its vitriol:

Cesspool Scheduled for Demolition
In just seven years, the Yankees took the highest payroll in the sport and tripled it, shattering any illusions of a level playing field and turning the sport into a competitive joke. Once a hated but worthy adversary, the Yankees were transformed from a symbol of American excellence to a symbol of American arrogance, of wretched excess, of unfair advantage, of winning by cheating rather than competing, of performance enhancing drugs and cosmetic surgery, of buying it rather than competing to win. On the field, they were a club that started every inning on third base, and in the stands, their fans thought they'd hit a triple.They attracted fewer fans who were in love with the sport, and more freakishly obsessive front-runners who oozed entitlement like a toxic pus. The overspending Yankees begot the overspending Red Sox, and the putrid Yankees fans begot the incomprehensibly obnoxious Red Sox Nation. You could spend the rest of your life smacking these people, really hard, and it wouldn't be nearly enough.
Read the whole thing. It's viciously excellent. Go Cubs!! Death to East Coast baseball snobbery!!!

September 21, 2008

How Many Barricades Have You Stormed Today?

Seriously, how much have you stuck it to the Man, man? How many gates have you crashed? How exactly have you put your money where your big, fat, opinionated mouth is? How much scratch (that you don't have) have you freely given away to the corporate-whore candidate of your choice? How many low-to-no-information voters have you registered? How much have you phone-banked? How much have you driven a wedge into some poor bastard's life, interrupting their self-important bliss with your do-gooder enthusiasm? How much have you reviewed the legislative track record, or current issue positions, of the candidate of your choice? Have you even, like, chosen a candidate, man? Don't you know that this is the most important election, like, ever? Even more so than the last most important election ever?

You don't want to be uncool, do you? You don't want to, like, become exactly what the chickenhawks always said you were, do you? Just another dirty fucking left-liberal hippie armchair activist who doesn't have the balls to publicly state how much you hate Bush/the Iraq War/Republicans/whatever? Even after the massive (and massively ignored) anti-war protests of 2003? Even after the whitey-frightening brown-power marches of 2006? Because arm-chairing it is, like, so uncool, dude. For serious. I mean, even I know that, and I would never in my wildest nightmares do anything remotely politically active. Registration? Please. I couldn't sell candy bars door-to-door for Little League twenty-five years ago, and I sure as fuck ain't walking around some leafy green neighborhood full of Nice People Who Might Not Hate Me just for the sake of the fucking two-party system, man. And phone-banking? Don't even start. Some days I can't even call for a fucking pizza, okay? Forget it.

I don't fear, though—not even after the century has horribly fallen back on itself, all the way to 1929—because all is never lost. The Boy Scouts said that, I think, and even though they hate the queers, they may be right in this case. See, you'd think that for me, like all self-important sociopolitical assholes, political activism would appeal to my overdeveloped sense of vanity, but you'd be wrong. In terms of pure motivational, get-off-your-ass value, it's basically worthless. Why? Well, terminal narcissism is, for sure, a major slice of my personality, but it is nowhere near as massive as my overwhelming sense of Sloth. For me, sloth trumps vanity every time, which is why true activism, from bomb-throwing to glad-handling, will always, always be out of the question for me, especially in the final insane months of this wretched and foul election year. Even so, I have still made myself useful, in the only way I know how: slacktivism. Not even real slacktivism, either.

That's right, baby. I destroyed all of my remaining credibility in one fell swoop. I cultivated my sense of earnest resolve until it curdled in the sun like so much cheap plonk. I forwarded an email! I signed an online petition! I was soon parted with my money! I lost an argument, and then won the next one! I criticized someone else's commitment and work ethic! Hell, I even slapped a bumper sticker on my car—a tiny, unobtrusive "O"—and even keyed a car w/McCain/Palin on its ass. Not only that, but I RANTED AND RAVED IN ALL CAPS, BITCHES! I trolled a Republican website and called them troglodytic warrior-apes, and fled to friendlier online confines and gloated like a conquering hero. Yeah, and I publicly made a prediction about the election's outcome, which was just as in-depth and analytical as anything you'd get from the radio or TV network/cable news, dude. Like totally. I commented "me too" on a blog so often that I can't even remember what I agreed to.

I bitched and moaned about things beyond my control, and did it in a safe, non-threatening, non-confrontational environment, full of people who agreed with everything I said. And then I posted a diary about it all over Soapbloxia. I wrote an oh-so-clever, hipper-than-thou, politically-themed song lyric, recorded it with my band, and plastered the motherfucker all over YouTube. People even commented on it, and a few of them didn't even hate on it. I became a Facebook supporter of every candidate with a (D) next to their name. Even the semi-Republican Blue Dogs, because hey, you have to give props to people who have the balls to suck just a little less than the fascist elephants, right?

Indeed, and not only that—I learned a lesson. Horror of horrors, I know, but I did, and it is this: to be an activist, a true activist, you must endure all this crap, and much more for the sake of your own self-worth, because you will be called a coward and a cultist and a loooooser by humorless assholes of all political stripes and persuasions. You will be abused mercilessly from the left and the right for having the temerity, the sheer gonzo idiocy, of getting off your ass and committing yourself to a "cause." They'll tar and feather you as a misguided, overenthusiastic, cowardly, America-hating, kool-aid-drinking Sucker. A zombified, suburbanized, willfully ignorant Yahoo. An irredeemably useless shite, all because you decided to do what you could, to Do Something.

So for the true, balls-to-the-wall activists out there, enjoy it if that's your thing, and do not give two shits about true cowards like myself. If all your work pays off, however, and the election swings the right way, remember to keep your cool. Why? Because hubris has crippled far, far greater efforts than your own, that's why. The rules only bend so far, and the laws of time and space are likewise only so forgiving. That's all I've come to say. I know we're kin, but I got to do fer me and mine. Vaya/Mahalo/Selah/Coldplay Sucks/Go Cubs! and all that.

Cross-posted: dkos, mlw, dd, fsz

September 20, 2008

Requiem for a Music Geek: It Began with a Book, and Died with a Film

The horrible realization was galvanized, as it had been so often before, with a novel. A sick, terribly brutal narrative that simultaneously blew apart my confidence and showed me the way back out of oblivious ignorance. It's a vile, simplistic, and treacly little story, but Nick Hornby's High Fidelity was a singularly destructive force when I first ingested it at 22. Naturally, it came far too late in the game; I'd been an incorrigible music nerd for as long as I could remember, foredoomed by genetics, gender, socio-economic class, environment, and every other possible predisposition for hopeless geekdom. Recovery was out of the question, even after a catalyst of that magnitude.

Oh sure, a slight anti-geek reversal had already begun in my head, however imperceptive—there's no better therapy than having your own songs by your own band viciously dismissed ("you guys SUCK!") and callously ignored ("wait, you're in a band?")—but that hadn't really kicked into high gear yet, and I wasn't that far removed from my sordid history in music journalism, so Hornby's book served up a wake-up call that was about as subtle as a knee in the groin. Come to think of it, Emily gave it to me, and it doesn't take too much hindsight to read plenty of hints into that. All for my own good, presumably, but what can I say—she was right yet again, and that happens so often that it's not really news.

Anyway, I identified way, way too much with those petty squabbles of the three snobby, judgmental little bastards in the story, and it wasn't too long before I began to burn with shame and became unable to look at my own reflection in the mirror. I mean, I was relieved to know that, thanks to playing bass in the Mojo Wire, I'd already been unconsciously shedding the trappings of terminal appreciation; foisting my opinions on the world without actually creating anything in the field on which I spewed was only one of my deadly sins at the time, but it was the easiest to recognize, and the most gratifying to destroy.

Even so, the effort took a while, and took a lot out of me. It totally obliterated my unadulterated enthusiasm for new and exciting albums, for instance—Radiohead's OK Computer was the last CD that I fell completely, childishly head over heels for, and most everything afterward only got a cool, detached approval: "Hmm, that's quite good, that one," or "Most impressive, wouldn't you say?" Absolutely out of character, and definitely a worse pose from the previous unbridled rock obsession, but many other people have overcompensated for much greater transgressions in the universe, so I pretended to be mellow, and poured the effort into my own songs. That would also prove to be a destructive impulse too\, but I was gleefully ignorant of that at the time, and kept at it.

My friends and bandmates had no idea what the hell my problem was, and happily gushed, argued, and fought over albums and bands to their hearts' content. And why not? It was fun, and with a few exceptions, it never got personal or out of hand, which had always been the risk during our teens, when the practice of bitching about superficial crap was elevated to an art form. Besides, people grew out of that sort of thing eventually, didn't they? The girls I knew at the time weren't still in screaming, sopping fevers over aural bilge like New Kids on the Block, were they?

Hell no. They patiently indulged our less-intense flights of geekdom, and the most empathetic women in our lives were always ready to gently apply the brakes should we get too far out there, and if that failed, other less-subtle methods of distraction were made available (description of which shall be withheld until certain statues of limitations expire). Yes, those babes were, and are, geniuses, and their efforts were not wasted or unappreciated.

All of that's just the long way of introducing a new topic for me to bloviate on these days. And yeah, that means that the novel's progress will be delayed yet again, but I haven't written about music for a long, long time—other people's music, that is, and it feels like there's a lot of ground to re-cover. Personally, I blame it on Bryn; if it weren't for my brother's random email throw-down of his favorite songs, and our Honey White bandmates' responses, I wouldn't have dreamed of re-evaluating my musical nerdiness. So thanks, bro.

My friend Mia once said, however, that "if you can't geek out about at least one thing, your life has been wasted." As always, the women are right, and when their wisdom intersects with the glorious enthusiasms of the boys, it cannot be ignored. So watch this space on weekends. Autumn in an election year is always a hotbed of insanity, but hopefully I'll be able to ignore it enough to barf out some more half-assed music memoirs. Stay tuned.

September 14, 2008

Unprofessional Noise Never Sounded So Good

Regular readers of this blog (yes, all three of you) know that this summer I engaged in a spastic fit of shameless revisionism, stretching it out over three months and eleven egomaniacally self-analytical posts concerning my decade-plus of writing. Well, what you may not know is that I did the same thing in 2007, but with audio samples, for a series on my band blog called Audio Archives. I put up lots of Mojo Wire and Honey White streaming audio and blathered on about it to my heart's content. It went a little something like this:

01: It Crawled from the Vault 3.1.07
Honey White's show at Red's in Santa Barbara, August 2005.

02: Nostalgia is Death 3.14.07
The Mojo Wire's backyard gig from April 2001, and Honey White's UCSB show from January 2003.

03: The Elusive Singles Chart 3.22.07
Collection of B-sides from non-existent singles for Honey White's How Far is the Fall album (2005).

04: Electric Kool-Aid Battery Acid 3.31.07
The Mojo Wire's debut album Battery Acid Blues, with rare bonus tracks.

05: Drunk and Freezing on Del Playa 4.5.07
Honey White's Del Playa show from November 2002.

06: Rocket Fuel Lounge Music 4.14.07
Honey White live at the Wildcat in Santa Barbara (2003) and the Mojo Wire's second album, Rocket Fuel Malt Liquor, with rare bonus tracks.

07: Behind the Orange Curtain 4.21.07
Honey White's show in Dana Point (2006) and the first volume of super-rare, long-lost Mojo Wire recordings (1996-1998).

08: Isla Vista Uber Alles 4.29.07
Honey White's "I.V. Live" show (2005) and the Mojo Wire's third album, Seaside Hamlet Skids, with rare bonus tracks.

09: Quick and Dirty Edition 5.5.07
Honey White's Ventura show (2005) and the Mojo Wire's fourth album, You're On Your Own, with rare bonus tracks.

10: It's Over when We Say It's Over 6.10.07
Honey White's third Giovanni's show (2004) and the second volume of super-rare, long-lost Mojo Wire recordings (1999-2001).

11: Honey White Rehearsal Tapes, Vol. 1 6.16.07
Noteworthy recordings from Honey White practices, 2002-2004.

12. Honey White Rehearsal Tapes, Vol. 2 6.20.07
Some real gems here: recordings from Honey White practices, 2005-2007.

13: Low Tide Edition 1.16.08
Debut E.P. from Keir's semi-solo side project, Low Tide's Dive disc (1999).

14: Bryn Goes Solo Edition 1.23.08
Bryn posts about his solo instrumental album from 2000, My Second Shipwreck, on which he played basically everything.

UPDATE I-IV: The new ones are up...
15: Best Seven Grand We Ever Spent, Vol. 1 9.19.08
First of two new posts showcasing the original '04 studio takes of Honey White's How Far is the Fall album (2005).

16: Best Seven Grand We Ever Spent, Vol. 2 9.27.08
Second of two about the original '04 studio takes of Honey White's How Far is the Fall album (2005).

17: Quick and Dirty Edition, Part 2 10.5.08
Here's one for the original '02 studio takes of Honey White's My Band Rocks E.P.

18: And Then We Became a Jam Band 10.19.08
In which I expose Honey White's secret history of noodly improvisation.

UPDATE V: The Latest
19: The Biggest Balls in Keir's Canon 11.1.08
Because tomorrow's my birthday, that's why.

20: Rude and Crude Edition 11.11.08
A dangerous trawl through the wild world of Mojo Wire B-sides and outtakes.

21: Alone and Bored Edition 12.29.08
Bryn talks about some covers and originals he recorded in the garage back in 2000.

22: We've Got You Covered Edition 9.13.09
Quick survey of cover tunes by the Mojo Wire and Honey White.

23: Keir's Demos & Outtakes 2005-2008 9.18.09
Keir talks about some unfinished Honey White demos and Low Tide outtakes.
The My Band Rocks blog also has two other interesting series on it: my History Mix essays (already anthologized via Shameless Revisionism) on each Mojo Wire and Honey White album, and the current Unrepetant Fanboys series, in which each Honey Whiter—Bryn, Brian, Bill, and me—gets nerdy about our favorite tunes. Head on over and have a look. I dare you.

September 09, 2008

Conquering the World, One Nation at a Time

That's right: Honey White, your favorite California epic-garage-rock-whatever band continues our glacially-paced campaign of global takeover, this time thanks to Krista of Oceanaria in the Dominion of Canada. Her new Honey White CDs were put through a rigorous International Customs inspection process, as you can see from the evidence photographed below:

Thanks very much, Krista. Now, the Great White North is of course a fine place, but it is not the first locale outside of the U.S. to endure the virtual rockitude of a Honey White merch item (or items). Bryn himself made a personal visit to Europe back in 2003, busking his way through the Old Country and the Mediterranean like a good American post-grad should do. Our rabidly enthusiastic Austrian and Polish fanbase did not exactly begin during that trip, but their loyalty is never in question, and is always appreciated.

Bryn in Venice:

Other Honey White artefacts have slowly made their way to other exotic locations: Jeff Ross, the Sailing Mechanic, wore a Honey White "My Band Rocks!" t-shirt each and every day of his extended New Zealand odyssey in 2004, and Sean Blaschke, he of "Sean Goes to Africa" fame, ran his own "HW" shirt ragged on a trek through not one, not two, but eighteen African countries during 2005.

Jeff in New Zealand:

Sean in Africa (clockwise)--Senegal, Namibia, the Gambia, and Angola:

That's four continents right there--also counting Bryn's acoustic-strumming visits to tiny Mexican villages in 2005 and 2007--so don't be fooled by our humble, do-it-yourself ways: Honey White is a World-Conquering Force of Nature, unencumbered by silly logistics like time and space.

Cross-posted at the My Band Rocks! blog.

September 08, 2008

John McCain is Doomed, and it's Bono's Fault

Rock and roll stops the traffic indeed, boyo. I'd totally forgotten about this piece of bizarre trivia, but if the stars align with it, America's most famous POW will go down to overwhelming electoral defeat. See, everyone's favorite uber-corporate band of musical flyweights had been all ready to release a new album this fall, handily coinciding with the omnipotent Holiday Shopping Season, but apparently it's "not ready." This has major, major potential for putting Senator Obama over the top. @U2 Grand Poobah Matt McGee lays out the logic, and amazingly, it's nowhere near as twisted as a Dublin pub-crawl with Shane McGowan:

Aside from U2 fans having to wait a few more months for new U2 music, do you know what this delay means? Do you realize the potential impact this has on U.S. politics? I'm serious. Reader Vic C. reminded me about this crazy piece of trivia. Check it out: Every time U2 has released a new album in a U.S. presidential election year, the Republican candidate has gone on to win the election.

Seriously, it goes back to 1980 when Boy was released and Ronald Reagan won the election. In 1984, we got The Unforgettable Fire, and Reagan won again. In 1988, it was Rattle and Hum and George H. W. Bush. U2 didn't release a new album in 1992 or 1996. In 2000, it was All That You Can't Leave Behind and George W. Bush. And in 2004, it was Bush winning again and How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb hitting store shelves.

So, all Obama supporters reading this ought to be thanking your lucky stars for this album delay. A McCain victory was all but assured if the album came out on schedule this year. (In fact, I would've liked U2 to claim that this was the reason for the delay. How funny would that be?)
Very funny indeed, Matthew. Not quite as funny as the Emergency Broadcast System's Poppy Bush version of "We Will Rock You," and nowhere near as riotous as candidate Clinton slithering his way onto "Rockline" to kiss royal Irish rock ass back in 1992. Of course, gullible U2 geeks like me have heard this "the album is delayed" bullshit many times before. Spoiled as we were by the miraculously quick six-month gestation of 1993's Zooropa disc, the prolonged births of the three subsequent U2 albums came as progressively nasty, debilitating shocks, and I'm not just talking about the recordings themselves.

But come to think of it, perhaps we should follow this intriguing tangent to to its logical conclusion. Hell yes, let's take the thing on tour, baby. Get a better sample size, as it were. Now, as any U2 nerd knows, the band had been touring like bastards for every year of their career until 1991, when they played exactly zero (0) shows, anywhere in the world. So that 1976-1990 data is useless for these purposes. However, we can study every tour conducted after that aberrant break in gigs—Zoo TV (1992/93), PopMart (1997/8), Elevation (2001), and Vertigo (2005/06). On the face of that specific evidence, then, we may have to call the 2008 election for Barack Obama after all.

It's a close call, though—not a slam dunk, but enough to seal McCain's fate. 1992's Zoo TV was a ball-breaker for Poppy Bush; not only was he mocked in the video intro, but Bono also got very chummy with the White House phone operators, calling them every night from the stage to try to get his message of bogus blarney across. Bush tried to fight back, but comparing Bono to Boy George wasn't that apt (yet). Poppy didn't stand a chance against a combination of the "Rockline" thing and the U2-Clinton summit at a Bears game in Chicago, and the Democrats were swept into the White House that November.

1997's Eurodisco-sprinkled PopMart tour was unfairly derided by humorless killjoys everywhere, but it seemed to have saved Bill Clinton's soggy bacon by carrying over into 1998, his Year of Shame. We all know what happened then: despite his unflappably idiotic inability to keep his zipper closed, Clinton evaded full impeachment by the Senate, and his hated rival (and maniacal Speaker of the House) Newt Gingrich was himself ousted from his post by his own party. And there was much rejoicing.

Likewise, by 2001 we had a new president, and Bono knew he had to get on George W. Bush's good side, or else the deranged cowboy would refuse to fork over all that money for African AIDS victims, no matter how many repentant tears were shed by Jesse Helms. So U2's Elevation tour stopped before it reached 2002, and the hapless Democrats were massacred in the midterm elections—so badly that the Republicans held majorities in both houses of Congress for the next four years.

That's right—their bloated glory didn't last long, because despite the '00 and '04 releases of their studio albums that threw the elections to Bush, U2's 2005 Vertigo tour sprawled across the wide world, deep into 2006. Republicans wept bitterly, and cursed the four vile Irishmen for extending their rockitude to Latin America and Australia, because they knew that spelled their electoral demise. Lo and behold, the Dems recaptured both houses, sort of, and installed their own corporate rock giants, Pelosi and Reed, in the Big Chairs.

Now, by the album theory, this year was all set to be locked up for Crash McCain, what with plenty of substantiated rumors about a new U2 album looming in the fall. However, it seems that someone in the U2 camp—be it the nefarious Edge, the sullen Mullen, the libertine Clayton, or the socio-capitalist manager McGuinness—has overruled Yer Man Bono, and forcibly delayed the new release to 2009. One could argue that Obama has already telegraphed this, what with his make-it-stop overuse of U2's recent single "City of Blinding Lights" during the eternal Democratic primary, but I don't think so.

No, BHO's not as big of a U2-booster as the Big Dog, but he probably does realize that the universe is now aligning a bit more in his favor. Yeah, you only think he had a bad week. Whatever, man. We're ready for the laughing gas. We're ready for what's next.

Cross-posted: dkos, bt, mlw, dd, fsz

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