Tuesday, March 26, 2013

U2 stars revive €150m Clarence makeover plans

BONO and The Edge have revived their plans to carry out a €150m revamp of Dublin's upmarket Clarence Hotel.

The highly ambitious project was shelved in 2009 as a result of the recession, but it is now back on the table.
It has emerged that the U2 pair, along with developer Paddy McKillen, have sought fresh planning permission.
Documents filed this month with Dublin City Council requests an "extension of duration of planning permission" to build a "new and enlarged Clarence Hotel" by July 2018.
The €150m overhaul would see the Temple Bar hotel significantly enlarged and includes an elliptical, flying saucer-like roof known as a "skycatcher".
The project, which is designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster, will also include a rooftop bar, a restaurant, lounge and 141 guest bedrooms.
The scale of the work will be extensive as the redevelopment involves gutting a series of protected buildings, including the Clarence itself, leaving just the facades.
Speaking during an oral hearing on the proposals in 2008, David Evans, or the Edge, said the group were determined to maintain the property as a hotel.
"If it (the revamp) goes ahead, it will be the ninth different version of a hotel on that site. We want to keep the infrastructure in the city – we don't want it to turn into apartments. We don't want it to be lost," he said.
However, the project is still facing opposition from locals and conservational groups.
The Irish Georgian Society (IGS), which lodged an objection to the project in 2007, said it feared the plans would damage the integrity of the city quay.
"At the time we had two concerns. The Clarence Hotel is recognised in the Register of Protected Structures, and for its architectural interest. The scale of demolition proposed could have compromised the integrity and character of the building.
The second reason was that the structure would have a big impact on the character of the quays.

Hot Press meets U2's Adam Clayton

In a rare interview, U2’s Adam Clayton discuses why battling his own demons has inspired him to help young people with mental health issues – and talks about the upcoming U2 album...

Read it here ---> Full Adam's interview!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

U2.COM : 'Like Lighting Gunpowder...'

The best shows of the tour? 'South America,’ says Adam. ‘The other ones I remember for pure determination were where we had torrential rain – Zurich, Brussels, and one of the Austrian ones where we just had insane rain. The audience, they didn’t give up on it, they stayed there and they went right to the end of the show...'

'From The Ground Up' is the story of U2360 and in our latest edited extract we're in Montreal, near the end of the tour, as writer Dylan Jones asks Adam, Bono and Paul McGuinness how it's been - and what's coming next.  (In our earlier extracts we travel to Glastonbury Festival to find out how Damien Hearst got involved and go backstage in Moscow as the band get ready for showtime.)

'From The Ground Up' is the definitive account of the biggest rock'n'roll tour in history. The special 'U2.com Music Edition' of this essential book adds the soundtrack, Edge's Picks, a 15-track live CD curated by The Edge.

U2.COM : Toward The 'Zero Zone'

Bono’s much-anticipated talk at the recent TED2013 conference is being made available online today in its entirety. 

In the speech he calls on a new generation of evidence-based activists, or “factivists,” to see that the injustice of extreme poverty is brought to an end. He notes that global extreme poverty has already been cut in half over the past 20 years and, if we remain on the current trajectory, could be virtually eliminated by 2030.  Reaching this 'Zero Zone' means that less than 5% of the world’s population will live in extreme poverty. 
Bono also highlights the incredible progress in the treatment of AIDS, the fight against malaria and the stunning reduction in child mortality - all in the last 10 years.  Compared to a decade ago, 7,256 fewer children die every day from preventable, treatable diseases – that’s 2.65 million lives saved every year. 

“Have you read anything, anywhere in the last week that is remotely as important as that number?” he challenges. 

Bono warns the progress we have made is in jeopardy – getting to the ‘Zero Zone’ is not inevitable and gains could be reversed.  He exhorts the audience to fight corruption, inequality, apathy and inertia in the pursuit of empowering the world’s poorest people. 

Addressing the threat of corruption, Bono says open data tools and social networking services are helping to let in the light. "There's a vaccine for that [corruption] too… it's called transparency.” Thanks to open data, Bono says, “It’s getting harder to hide if you're doing bad stuff.”
In the talk, Bono challenges viewers to become “factivists” who share the facts of progress and help campaign for more progress – by joining groups like ONE.  He also urges governments to continue to fund programs successfully combating extreme poverty and disease like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.  

Watch the Bono TED talk and get the transcript

ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 3 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. For more information please visitwww.ONE.org

Saturday, March 9, 2013

U2.COM : Iconic Video

'I never had to push my way into a U2 show, that was a bit of a moment.' (Bono)

Written and recorded during the Abbey Road sessions in London in 2006, Window in the Skies  was one of two new tracks on the 'U218 Singles' compilation. 

As well as becoming a Top 5 hit, the video, directed by Gary Koepke, was touched with genius. A dazzling edit brings together a stellar cast of rock'n'roll icons: Elvis Presley to Marvin Gaye, Patti Smith to Jimi Hendrix, Billie Holiday to Iggy Pop. Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam are lost in the audience. The Washington Post called it 'a triumph of postmodern reconstruction.'

If you missed the video, take another look. Then tell us in the comments below your all-time top three videos for a U2 single.