Coffee Thoughts

U2 X Radio

By
on
23 July 2020

Achtung y’all. Long post ahead. Maybe the longest I have ever posted actually.

You might feel a bit numb after reading it.

Just so you know.


Do you remember Rock’n’Roll radio ? 

Rock’n, rock ‘n’ roll radio, let’s go ? 

Ha. Nevermind. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but there’s one hell of a rock’n’roll radio that I want to talk about today : U2 X Radio. 

Those first sound waves crashed on us with all their might on July,1 – one way or another – and that’s something we’re not about to forget so soon. But let’s rewind just a bit – Remember having to rewind too ? Ha. HA. (we’re old) – and go back where it all started.

Back in 2018, the most beautiful sound we ever heard got caught up on a little satellite and gave birth to a new baby radio station on Sirius XM : The U2 Experience. Music was flowing, fans were happy, but then one day, as it’s usually the rule with good things – it all stopped. Of course we all knew it was just a temporary channel, but what can I say… U2 fans tend to dream out loud or something like that.

Being on the other side of the Atlantic, and at a time when I realized that I had given birth to a mountain goat rather than an actual human baby, I didn’t really follow the whole shenanigans that ensued. But there was noise about it. Not loud deafening voices – think megaphone Bono – but more of a steady constant humming – think Larry grumbling. And kudos to those hummingbirds because it apparently worked. Two years later, we got an announcement that our lads would have a permanent channel on the air. An announcement that thrilled most fans in North America, and sent to their room sulking the rest of the world.

But that’s probably because the whole timing was very, very, very wrong….

 

So wrong… and yet, so beautiful.

U2 X radio. Oh oh. U2 X radio Tokyo !

WE’RE GETTING A U2 RADIO! HOLY BANANAS! BEST DAY EVER ! FU….

Don’t freak. DON’T FREAK.

Wait a second. 

Wait for it. 

Oh right. That’s the catch. We are not. Well at least not on that side of the ocean. Or on the other side of that other ocean. Or.. Wait what the hell is that ?

That’s pretty much how that glorious announcement went – and I’m not even gonna mention the whole spamming debacle on U2’s official twitter account. Get a captcha guys. You’re not a robot. Learn from us !

Don’t start throwing bananas at me just yet. I know. Whiny whiny fans we are. Don’t underestimate me though, I also know how to see the bigger picture. Yes the timing was awful, but when you think about it did they have much of a choice about that ? – Chance, dance, dismiss, apologize.

I can’t even start imagining how much adulting those guys have been doing and how many miles of paper they had to sign to get that thing up. They should have known better than to fill out any forms. In an ideal world, they would have made the announcement during the North American leg. Something that big, and gosh guys it’s HUGE, means contracts, and deadlines, and that crap I can’t even deal with on my mere mortal level so we can’t blame them for that. They had to announce the radio, and at that moment, they, too, were on the wrong side of the ocean. #IFeelYourPain 

Since I am in a whiny mood, I’ll also mention a little thing that seemed to go pretty much unnoticed at the time. And still does apparently, since it seems I am the only one obsessing about this – oh wait, not obsessed. Dedicated #ThanksEdgey. And that’s all about how they did it.

They also proved with that announcement that they could actually do live streams. Like proper high quality streams. And I’m sure it took every woman and man onboard and it was the kind of complicated shit that even Edge doesn’t understand but still. I mean, seriously, can you imagine watching Adam Clayton swaying around on Sunday Bloody Sunday in HD ? …. Ok. Maybe that’s not a good idea. There are things we can’t unsee. Thank you Meerkat. 

I’m just suggesting, not expecting, that if you want to find new ways to get all our money U2, that’s probably an interesting way to go… And don’t be worried about us not going to actual shows if that ever happens. It’s like Guinness. When you’re desperate, you get a can, but there will never be anything like a poured pint.

Am I rambling again ? Probably. Don’t try and make sense, and just go on with the flow guys. No?  Let’s fast forward then – I have to stop doing that. Someone stop me please.

We’re back to our post lockdown, shitty pandemic world guys, sorry. 

By the end of June, we had a little something to look forward to, the actual U2 X Radio launch. Definite rendez vous was fixed, channel saved and the whole U2 community was holding their breath in feverish expectation (Keep your needle away, that’s just U2 induced). That’s when that teaser started on loop. It felt like a bit of Zoo Tv’s communication got lost in space for the last 30 years and crashed into that shiny new satellite. That was enough to get me from “I’m kinda excited about this thing I guess” to “HOLY BANANAS GIVE ME WHAT I WANT NOW OMFG” – and no Edge, there is no spectrum for this kind of madness.

 

 

And soon enough the thoughts in my head started swirling around like mad. We were hearing that unfuckinbelievable sound only because of the good will and RTs of the online community. I spent the whole day oscillating from excitement to despair. Declaring into the void my unconditional love for that band, to blunt cries to the universe of you-can-just-fuck-off-I-dont-even-care-and-im-mad. You teasing little brats. I love you so. 

Ugh. Hopping from hope to hopelessness, I ended up my day completely exhausted and guilt ridden by the kick in the arse I’d totally deserve, drifting away to sleep ready to accept our fate. Don’t think . Don’t worry. Everything’s just fine

Or not. 

D-Day! 

On the first of July of the year 2020. Early morning – we set sail out in the ocean and a little bunch of us connected to Sirius satellite MacGyver style – because we’re resourceful like that. All that was left was asking the captain to turn it up loud. And wait. A long time. Damn time zones. 

And so we waited in silence for a few hours, the wind slapping our piratey faces and our body bruised and shivering. The things we do for this band seriously. Desperate times. 

Ok. Fine. I might have made that part up, but even if our boat (that rocked) was only virtual, we had to find a way. We could have cried our hearts out singing Let us in the sound!, it wouldn’t have made much difference at that point. So yes. We did what we do best. We found a way. 

Now now, don’t @ me U2 – you’re the ones who brought up pirate radios first, and also Stand up to rockstars. But also don’t listen to the band… and…and… We love you ? #SorryNotSorry #OkTadBitSorry 

Anyways, you’re very welcome to come kick my arse if you want to – seriously i’ve got fresh beers and iced green tea in the fridge – because it was all so worth it. 

Even those first 10 seconds were all worth it. Bono, my man, you sure know how to make a countdown. I have no idea how that didn’t blow up the damn satellite right away. 

 

Probably blew out a few minds and hearts and… Shut up Jo.

 

The rock n roll gods must have been listening to our prayers because a little something happened for us folks outside of North America – or at least some of us – and I don’t really believe in miracles but that sure sounded like one. Turns out the damn thing can broadcast across the ocean after all – Or was it all you Edge playing with your gizmos on a boat ? – and we were granted access to the free period that came with the launch of the radio. 

My memories of that week are a bit of a blur. I don’t know if it was the joy and the emotions that listening brought, or just sleep deprivation. Oh yes. I didn’t sleep much that week. I knew it wouldn’t last forever and I wanted to enjoy every single second of it. Radio is air you can be on ? Well I certainly was on that and did nothing else with my life during that time. I mean yeah sure, I was at work ,and doing usual adulting crap all day long but like a master shaolin monk, my mind was elsewhere. Riding those waves and reaching nirvana – you know which one right ? I didn’t die and went straight to Kurt . Or maybe I did because hell, it was heaven.

What to say about it all ? Where to start ? This article is getting longer than I thought it would be and it feels like I haven’t even started yet. Just play another chord if you feel you’re getting bored. Most of you have probably stopped reading by now anyways. Don’t lie now. I know y’all still listening to that Bono countdown on a loop. Because how could you not ?

Don’t try, he said. Well, don’t listen to the band AGAIN. I will try.

To be completely honest with you, I didn’t think much of that whole radio thing at first. U2 songs 24 hours a day? Ha. Sorry Larry, still not siding with you. It’s not boring at all. It’s just that I already do that  on my own. I thought that radio was a cool thing back in the days, when your pockets were too small to carry all your tapes or CDs – god bless the 90’s and baggy pants – but now? In 2020? You can basically make up your own radio on streaming platforms. Your own playlists depending on your mood (keep that in mind. I might be prepping a little something on that). But as usual, guess who was proved wrong ? Ha. HA.

I didn’t anticipate the shows and how brilliant they would be. I didn’t anticipate the transitions that would make my heart skip a beat. I actually didn’t even anticipate the joy of hearing those voices we know so well. I’m not even going to start on the enhanced sexiness of said voices by the radio sound or I’ll never finish that damn post. Let me just sum it up quickly : Uff. *Sigh*. UFF. No idea what I’m talking about ? Go back to your room and Countdown Bono. Now. 

This radio is everything I could have dreamed of, and I wasn’t even aware of it. The songs’ order is perfectly thought out and it works so well. If you’re an addict of streaming music like I am, you must notice the difference too. It just makes sense. Like a never-ending perfect setlist. And the fact that it’s only disturbed by our guys’ voices makes it all the more special. 

The shows ! Oh sweet baby bananas… The shows ! Did I mention it all felt like a dream already ? That’s specifically why. The different shows cover all your basic U2 fans need. From a much needed inspiration with Elevation, to getting Closer to the Edge because why the hell not, Bono reclaiming his rightful ASMR king title with his fan letters, and of course Discotheque turning any given day into a freaking party – because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dancing on your own table in the middle of the afternoon. I know, there’s more, but I’m not supposed to be listening remember ? So what the hell do I know ? You got clickbait people. All I know is that those shows are more than worth that subscription. Interesting, relevant and all those participants are exactly who we need to hear right now – Don’t worry Bono, you’re still the one I like listening to the most. 

 

Ha. Stahp it ya.

 

Seriously. You Northern Americans are lucky people. 

Ha. Ha…. You really thought I wouldn’t write about that ? Do you know me at all ? Of course I haven’t forgotten. 

The Fans’ show ! Holy bananas ! That’s probably my favorite part of the radio. What a surprise to have so many of your friends sharing their thoughts and love for those songs. Guys, seriously, you were amazing and I could listen to you all day long – now you can start worrying Bono. 

Know your fans, know your community – we’re one but not the same, and well worth discovering. The diversity of our tribe is what makes it so interesting. All ages, all nationalities, all opinions – as long as you’re not a total asshat, or at least acting like one (wear your damn mask seriously).

I really hope they will develop that part in the future. This is the best band in the world, but that’s also the best community of fans in the world – and that’s a fact, #UltimateMusicFandomPoll settled that once and for all. Plus, if you take the time to look for it for like a millisecond, there’s already a ton of exploitable material made by fans ready to be used – hint : U2 podcasters *wink wink*.

See? Awesome. I swear that wee radio station is the exact definition of awesome by my book.

There’s another thing about that programming that we need to discuss. I don’t want to theorize, realize, polarize, but seriously. It’s worth mentioning. And also it’s driving me slightly insane and i need to get it out of my system to stop suggesting and expecting.

If you caught all references to Numb on that post, you should have a pretty decent idea of how much it’s been played on the channel. I feel numb of Numb. And I just can’t stop to imply, detain, explain and just start again. What the hell is up with that song ?! I am not sure of the why, but I think we know who’s in charge of that thing – Don’t ask. Not that I’m complaining. I love hearing Edge’s voice even more than he does. Supposedly. Too much is not enough right?

Well, sometimes too much is too much. And not enough – starting to feel very numb. And this post is quite frankly draining all life force out of me (plus 6 full cups of coffee) and I’m not looking forward to this bit. Let’s make it quick. Band aid style. Now off to the dark side of the satellite…

As you can see, I have quite a lot to say for something I am not supposed to listen to. I am not a Sirius XM subscriber – and god knows i’d be willing to give them all my money if I could. I am not in North America. I’m just in the smart cookie jar of U2 fans. Maybe not that smart when LMJ stumbles upon this post and comes to kick my arse but you get my point. Did I listen to the free trial? Yes. Have I listened since then? You’ll never know. What bothers me with the fact of being a U2 fan cookie is that I’m pretty much stuck between two coffee mugs. I’m more than happy for the ones who can listen, and I totally get the frustration of those who can’t. And you can top that with the fact that I love this band and respect them and their work so damn much. I want to play by the rules. I don’t want to be a pirate anymore – I’m so seasick of this.

 

Arrrr… Ahem.

 

When the U2 X Radio launched, I was expecting a full riot from the community outside of North America. But it didn’t happen. Not right away at least. It was more a feeling of being let down, abandoned, forgotten… And seriously, that broke my heart – freaking empath that I am. But I got it. It made sense on a level I could totally understand.

What I can’t understand though – and that’s side 2 of the cookie – is the fact that some fans just lashed out on the band about it. What the fuck is wrong with you people ? What has the band to do with any of that? Do you really think Edge has a secret satellite stashed in his back garden or something? That’s Sirius’ system. And I get that it’s maddening that this system apparently works in other places than advertised, but why take it on your heroes? Something ain’t right there.  

I’m pretty sure that if they had had the opportunity to make this thing work worldwide, they would have. Because they don’t let us down like that. Setting up  such a huge channel must be a copyright nightmare with the whole catalogue, unreleased songs, guests etc… Try to look at the bigger picture people. Seriously. And I was the one feeling numb….

I know that  there’s a part of you that wants me to riot – but I am not going to. Not now. They are doing what they can, I am more than certain about that. You know why? Because that was said the very day the radio launched. On the U2com news : “Don’t live in the US or Canada?  Details still to be confirmed but a monthly highlights show will bring the best of the channel to listeners in the rest of the world. More news as soon as we get it.”

Let’s hope for the best eh? Don’t expect, suggest. But don’t forget to protect. This is the band we all love. Let’s treat them accordingly and give them the benefit of a doubt for a while.

So of course I get your point. But I’m definitely numb and time will tell. And I promise I’ll go sulk too if they let us down.

There’s one last thing I want to talk about briefly and I promise you can go back to listening to Countdown Bono.

The one thing that kinda pushed the community further into a brooding mood. The whole “Text the Edge” thing.

I have got to say, it is freaking brilliant. Like shiny fluffy bunnies farting rainbows brilliant. That was an amazing call. Don’t tell my OH but Adam’s voicemail has been rocking me to sleep these past few weeks. And I am perfectly fine with that thing being NOT for the rest of the world. Again. 

I mean, I’m okay with not texting the Edge. Or maybe just trying and being told that he’s very sorry but I can fuck off for now (basically). Really, I’m fine with the whole thing. Everything’s fine. Just fine. I wouldn’t trust myself with sending emojis directly to the band anyway.  

 

Oopsie. That was supposed to be a guitar… Maybe.

 

But Bono’s leaving voice texts now? Seriously? He’s watching ?! Well watch that Sir Fuckin Bono – you can read that as it pleases you the best. Might be influenced by your geographic location.

Ha. I’m only messing with you all. I won’t be feeding the green monster over that  (as long as he doesn’t start sending pics. NOT THOSE PICS. Pervs). I’m not the jealous type really. Plus, I’ve got friends sending me all those texts over. See? I’ve got friends. You have Bono. Why would I be jealous ?…. (*grunts*)

Damn. That was a long post. I’m very sorry about wasting your time like that, but what can I say… Love is bigger than any radio on its way.


If you don’t mind, since I can’t text any U2 members (feel free to text me guys), I’ll just leave this here then :

Dear U2, I would love to have access to the X radio. The X often marks the spot, and damn you sure have quite a treasure there. But it’s okay, I get it. The decision ain’t yours. All in all, I’m the good kid more than the annoying brat. I’m patient, not jealous. Maybe we can settle this thing right? You don’t need to hack no satellite of love or brave every breaking wave on that pirate boat. Just you with a boombox under my windows will do. *insert kinda guitar shaped emojis*

Many thanks.

Much love as always x

 

I am not sure which one is gonna kick my butt first…

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
Achtoon Baby!

25 November 2020

Beautiful Day

17 October 2020

#U244 – Party this way!

22 September 2020

LEAVE A COMMENT

Jo D
Zooropa

Music lover, heavy dreamer, bit of a nutter. I like to think that the world would be a better place to live in if people smiled up a bit more often. Forever stuck in the intro of 'Streets', I keep bouncing through life and try to escape a boring reality using my very own sense of silliness. Some people think I’m crazy, and thank god they’re right. But the truth is that in the end, I’m just a U2 fan who drinks too much coffee

Twitter @madfl3a
Recent posts
Recent comments