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Now in our sixth calendar year
PCR #286  (Vol. 6, No. 37) This edition is for the week of September 12--18, 2005.

Current Events From The World of "La Floridiana"
 by William Moriaty
"Lord of War"
 by Mike Smith
Couch Potato Fall TV Preview
 by Vinnie Blesi
U2 is Once Again Amongst the Dregs....So the Box Office is Dead, Huh?
 by Andy Lalino
Hurricane Katrina....Mother Nature...."The Brothers Grimm"
 by John Lewis
When Real Life and the Web Collide....Masters of Horror Poll....Birthday Home Boy....Bushwhaking....Laura Bush "Disgusted" at Criticism of "W"
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Don't Forget To Donate....Not A Long Time Enough....Time For Sports....Andrew, Don't Read This....It's A Conspiracy....Movie Notes....A Great One Gone....Jaws: The Story, Part 33
 by Mike Smith
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Andy Lalino
Oddservations by Andy Lalino

U2 is Once Again Amongst the Dregs
This brave columnist once again risks being the recipient of finger-pointing and being labeled "insensitive" by noting that for what is at least the third time in recent years, the band U2 has performed at a charity concert where they are amongst highly questionable "talent" and are totally out of their element as a New Wave superband.

Allow me to back up my argument with a brief trip back in time:

For those youngsters who were born in the 1980's, let me fill you in on a few facts. Back in the day, New Wave ruled the roost. It was a brief 6-year window (1981-1986) when MTV paired up with what then seemed to be a never-ending avalanche of art-rock talent from across the pond.

Of course, there were deep divisions. There were those of us (cool) teenagers that listened to U2, Echo & the Bunnymen, Talking Heads, Gary Numan, Shriekback, and so on; and the chuckleheads who gyrated to Madonna, Michael Jackson, etc. To be perfectly frank, the New Wavers seethingly detested the top 40 crowd, and did everything we could to discourage the mainstream-at-large from purchasing Cameo, Don Johnson, and Madonna LP's and cassettes. Judging from the fact the '80s are now known as the New Wave decade, I'd say our efforts were wholly successful.

New Wave bands themselves were highly selective (and rightfully so) about who they would associate with. The hip art-rock stars of the 2nd British Invasion largely evaded any and all mingling with mainstream acts, a policy which we, the fans, supported and enjoyed the fruits of. I mean, what New Waver wanted to see The Thompson Twins open up for M.C. Hammah?

So here we are 20 years later, and times of course have changed (for the worse). New Wave subsided as a forceful movement in 1986, eclipsed by rap, then grunge, then the bubble-gum pop of the late '90s and now (Devo was right; de-evolution is real). I, and millions of people all over the world, still love New Wave (both classic and current), and still feel strongly about how a New Wave act presents themselves and in what venue.

Let me go on record as stating that I genuinely give a nod to the concept of helping out victims of hurricane Katrina, but I do not support - at all - U2's decision to play the benefit concert. They simply don't belong. They're too damned cool and good. No New Waver wants to see U2 perform along with acts like Mariah Carey(!) and others of her ilk. It's like placing a pearl in a lump of dogshit. Do the producers really expect me to sit through 'Kanye West' in order to see a brief 5 minute U2 performance?!? I don't think so. U2 were the victims of two previous boners, 'Live Eight' and Tribute to America', which also had the poor band immersed in a sea of mediocre mainstream warblers.

Please, Bono, Edge, Larry & Adam: for your next charity act please have the foresight to perform only in London, Dublin, or Glasgow - and for crying out loud, play amongst your peers. Surround yourself with those New Wave bands still in existence: Simple Minds, Erasure, Sting (ah, maybe not...), Annie Lennox/The Eurythmics, Billy Idol, The B-52's, The Psych Furs, New Order, etc. That's the only way this old New Waver will tune in for the entire 2 hour show, and I would more than likely give a donation to boot.

So the Box Office is Dead, Huh?
I wanted to point out the horror film/courtroom drama(!) "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" performed well at the B.O. over the weekend, taking in over $30 million. Lousy, salivating newspaper reporters are all-too-willing to promote the death-knell of the movie theater experience and horror/sci-fi films in general. I hope this news puts fans' minds at ease and shuts the pens and typing digits of reporters the world over.

"Oddservations" is ©2005 by Andy Lalino.  The Oddservations banner is a creation of Andy Lalino. All other graphics are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.