Author Topic: HTDAAB Challenge  (Read 4118 times)

Between Two Worlds

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HTDAAB Challenge
« on: February 14, 2005, 02:50:36 PM »
Every year we've got a skills auction at our college in benefit of a college in Uganda. I'm thinking about offering an intro to HTDAAB and to U2 and wonder whether anyone would like to help me planning this...

The idea (at the moment - and it may prove too ambitious) is to go through HTDAAB and pair each song with an earlier song from the U2 catalogue, ideally in such a way that at the end of the day (evening), participants will have heard a good range of songs spanning the whole career of U2.

Feel free to give me a complete list but don't feel you have to. Something like I'd play Zooropa alongside Vertigo for this or that reason would also help.

If there are any video clips or live performances that are an absolute must in your view, I'd love to hear of those as well - or indeed, any idea of how you would go about introducing U2 to a group of friends...



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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2005, 10:54:54 AM »
Very interesting post.  Here's my take.

1) Vertigo - Elevation
I'd say that lyrically, neither song is terribly strong.  But I get the sense that Elevation and Vertigo could both be describing the same scene, just at different time periods.  For example, Elevation could be the beginning of a party, when everything is still going well and everything feels good...  and Vertigo could be the party at the end of the night, where the drinks have started to kick in and the place is getting a little bit seedy.  Maybe I just have a wacky imagination.

Alternatively, one could pair Vertigo with 11 O'Clock Tick Tock.  I guess maybe those two songs are thematically similar, and as you'll see from what follows, I pair more songs with ATYCLB than anything else.  Trying to avoid that.

2) Miracle Drug - When I Look at the World
If you know what Miracle Drug is about, this pairing makes more sense than it would otherwise.  See for a transcript of Bono's explanation of MD from the free Brooklyn Bridge concert.  WILATW refers more directly to what God is seeing, and how he reacts... but I think a connection could be argued for the paralyzed boy as well.

3) Sometimes You Can't Make it on your Own - Kite
I think this connection is pretty clear.  Moving on...

4) Love and Peace or Else - Like a Song
Both show clear anti-war seniments, both have a hard and driving force in the music, both call for hearts to be cleansed; to start anew.  Like a Song is more straightforward, I suppose, but both songs share the same goal.

5) City of Blinding Lights - Where the Streets Have No Name
Probably an obvious connection; the song is written specifically with the Elevation New York City show on 10/24/01 in mind; even more specifically, how the crowd looked when the floodlights were turned on during WTSHNN.  I was there that night.  Unreal.

6) All Because of You - Gloria
I haven't quite figured out yet if I think this song is about Bono's mother, or God, or whoever else.  If one contends that ABOY is about God, than Gloria pairs up nicely with it.  Both songs praise the entity in question.  "Only in you I'm complete."  And so on.

7) A Man and a Woman - All I Want is You
Ugh, I got nothin' for this one.  It doesn't help that I don't like AMAAW, either.  *shrug*

8) Crumbs from Your Table - One
As much as I'd like to pair CFYT with Walk On (because CFYT is ruined for me due to how similar the chorus is to parts of Walk On), I'll go with One.  I mean, if you're introducing U2 to people, you damn well better include One.  And both songs tell a type of "we get to carry each other" story.

9) One Step Closer - The First Time
Besides being similar sonically, One Step Closer could be looked at as kind of a "Part 2" to The First Time.  Here's my girlfriend's take:  "TFT is about the Prodigal Son willfully leaving his father's house and all the love and riches therein. OSC is that Son returning after many years to find... what? The house fallen down? His father dead? Or dying, maybe. In any case, the Son is older and sadder, and things aren't as he left them.

10) Original of the Species - Shadows and Tall Trees
I see OOTS as talking to a teenager.  I see SATT as an angsty teenager talking.  "Do you feel in me / Anything redeeming / Any worthwhile feeling / Is love like a tightrope / Hanging from the ceiling?"  Whine, whine, whine!  ;-)  Alternatively, you could probably match OOTS with some other songs off of Boy.

11) Yahweh - Wake Up Dead Man
"Yahweh, tell me now / Why the dark before the dawn", etc.  Two songs that ask God "what's going on?"  Both songs have the singer waiting for the proverbial dawn.  WUDM is just more insistant.

As for songs that are necessities in any introduction to U2...  if I had to shave the list to ten songs:

Mysterious Ways
Walk On
Sunday Bloody Sunday
I Will Follow

Video clips and live performances...  I could write a book.  =P


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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2005, 01:38:58 AM »
Sounds like a dream class to teach to me!

How long would this class go? One nite only, 2-3 hrs.?
Who will be in the class? General public or students?
I read in your intro that you are a tutor. Is that one-on-one teaching or do you teach a class? Tutor here in the US means one on one.

I  taught classical music history to conservatory college freshman for 3 years so I learned a bit the hard way. It was a required class for them and it required a lot of showmanship to keep their attention. Being passionate about your topic certainly helps.

Before that I was an assistant for a professor who ran a 700 student class in general music appreciation. This guy was one of the best lecturers I've ever seen. He was chairman of his dept. He knew all the tricks to get his points across while still keeping the paper airplanes from flying in the back rows. I rolled out the old record player and ran the slideshow. I was jeered loudly whenever a record skipped or a slide was wrong. Gack.

Your approach should be determined by all these factors. How long do you have, the nature of your audience, what you hope they'll take away from your class.
Give me more specifics and I'll be glad to make some suggestions. I'm more "qualified" to help in your general approach than in actual U2 knowledge. I stick around here for that. Crumbs from their table, eh?

Between Two Worlds

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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2005, 06:51:38 AM »
I would not be doing it in my professional capacity, so to speak, but as an evening event. I only have the R&H and Slane Castle DVDs (apart from the Vertigo and SYC'TMIOYO singles) - I would have to rely on the material for other videos, if I wanted to show any, which means it could only be a handful of people (the videos don't lend themselves to projected wide-screen ;-)

Professionally, I am a lecturer at a theological college and teach classes of four to fifty-four students. Unfortunately, offering a U2 module (course) is not an option - I don't have time and it does not fall in my department (Old Testament and Hebrew)...


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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2005, 02:28:38 AM »
I'd start by trying to find out how many in your audience are familiar with U2. Maybe they've heard Vertigo or seen the video.

The Vertigo-Elevation  matchup would be a great hook. I would not play anything on a pc monitor. After a projector it would be very underwhelming.

Limit your comments and let the band work their magic. Even with "just" R&H and Slane you got plenty.

Limit your topic. If you tried to discuss something like U2Rob's list I fear you'd go over their heads.  You might want to pick just some of those matchups. If things go well you could fly Rob over for the guest lecturer post doc seminar no.2  And it seems his girlfriend as well. LOL

If you've got an audience of people who are interested in the Old Testamnet why not play to your strength and work in something from the link Carl posted to U2sermons? By way of explaining Yahweh-Wake Up Dead Man and ABOY- Gloria. Those are great matchups. Also One Step Closer-The First Time.

Then you could get the Boston DVD, play the Bad-40-Streets sequence and pass the plate. That's what got me converted.

Between Two Worlds

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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2005, 12:48:59 PM »
I finally get around to thank Rob - and now Slaneman for their comments. I thought that one or two might enjoy the challenge.

There are so many interesting connections, it seems churlish to single out any one but I was intrigued by the pairing of OOTS (which I loved from the first time I heard it) with Shadows. I like the idea of an occasional contrast (and I can hear OOTS as talking to a teenager as well, although it can be used in other ways as well).

In fact, a fair number work by way of contrast as well as parallel: Crumbs from Your Table (which I hear as addressed to a self-centred, self-satisfied and self-serving church) contrasts well with the less church-focused vision of One and so on... You've given me plenty to work on - thanks again, Rob.

Trouble is, of course, the more you think about it, the more it becomes impossible... My students can be pushed a long way when it comes to discussion (most are training for ministry and come with a university degree and some professional experience, or sometimes even a PhD, already in their pockets) but there is only so much one can do. I may need to focus thematically - it's not possible to play the new album, the top ten U2 songs and representative B-sides (Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad, Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle of Milk, or for some imaginative but truthful theology: LNOE (First Night in Hell Mix) and so on) all in one evening.

Slaneman is definitely right: none of those QuickTime videos after a proper DVD showing, maybe the other way round - but I won't be getting the Boston DVD until I know whether or not we get a DVD Box set in the shops in May...

[Edited on 20-2-2005 by Between Two Worlds]