Everybody is losing their minds over this festival. It’s the culmination of all of the 80’s worshipping that has been going on for the last ten plus years in society. The fact that PiL and Morrissey are on the bill has scared some people off of it, but there is a HUGE issue going on behind the scene that is even more heinous. Philip Anschutz, the man putting this show on, has been donating money to anti-LGBTQ causes: Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council.
The Washington Post broke this story about five years ago, and the Daily Beast three years ago also wrote about it. The Daily Beast story is damning and really dives deep into the issue. When confronted Anschutz claimed that he didn’t know about his money funding those groups and that he would end it. He stated that his company was diverse and that he is for equal rights. Then a year or two after that it was found out, through his tax filings, that he had indeed stopped donating to those three anti-LGBTQ groups. However, he was now donating his money to two other equally problemic groups Dare 2 Share Ministries and Young Life, a youth ministry. On top of that he has been donating millions to conservative and libertarian groups, including ones linked to the Koch family.
I am really disappointed that some groups that I love are playing this show. I won’t stop listening to them, but it makes me wonder whether they actually do care about LGBTQ rights or not. The same thing can be said for all of the people planning to go to this. I think it’s highly hypocritical to go to this while also supporting LGBTQ rights, because they are handing a wad of cash to a man who has been proven to not give a shit about LGBTQ folks. I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this because I know that not everybody has heard about it. However, if they learn about this and still go then I will be questioning who they really are.
Before I begin I would like to state for the record that I know that Bono is an immense egomaniac and that the band hasn’t made a really good album since the 80’s. I only like their music up to and including this album so I am not one of those modern delusional U2 fans who think they can do no wrong.
I’m pretty sure I bought the cassette of this album in late 1985. It was before Joshua Tree was released and before I transferred high schools so it kind of had to have been that specific year. None of the friends that I had at that first high school liked them so I kind of got into them on my own. I remember hearing New Year’s Day on the radio a few years before and seeing that video on MTV as a young teen. By the time the song Pride, which is on this album, came out they were already on my radar and I decided to take the plunge and buy one of their albums. Thank you mom for giving me the money to buy this!
I can in no way overstate how important this album is to me, because it lead me into liking other bands. I remember reading somewhere about members of The Virgin Prunes growing up with the members of U2. So, I bought one of their albums and instantly got hooked. That in turn made me more open towards other ‘weirdo’ bands like Specimen. Also, I got into a lot of Irish post-punk bands, such as Blue In Heaven, that all had connections with one another or with U2.
So musically what makes this album so darn special? The entire album has a very haunting quality to it. There were hints of this on some of their earlier albums, such as New Year’s Day on War, but they went full force into it on this one. I think the pinnacle of this style on the album is the song The Unforgettable Fire. It’s my all time favourite U2 song and it still gives me major goosebumps.
I know that it’s really ‘in’ to hate all of U2’s work these days, which I think is a shame. Their first five albums are post-punk perfection. If it wasn’t for this album I wouldn’t be the mildly dramatic weirdo that I am today. It made me evolve my musical tastes and widen my horizons.
I don’t normally do music reviews, mainly because it’s kind of daunting since there is so much good music being made right now. However, I have decided that I could make it less difficult if I only review albums that I really connect with on a deeper level.
For those of you who don’t know who these two musicians are here is a rundown. They have been friends since childhood and were briefly in a band called Amuse before they set out on their own paths. David Long used to be in the Irish 80’s post-punk band Into Paradise, and Shane O’Neill used to be in the Irish 80’s post-punk band Blue In Heaven. They have collaborated before on the album Supernaught. I can honestly say that Shane is one of the most down to earth musicians I have ever had contact with, and I think its cool as hell that the both of them are still actively making music instead of only relying on their past output. Moving forward instead of living in the past.
When I first listened to this it struck me as sounding ‘dreamy’. Meaning that the guitar, bass and keyboards moved here and there in the songs in a smooth motion instead of in jagged breaks. It instantly reminds me of the more rhythmic albums by Lycia which can only be a good thing. The guitar in the songs tends to have some reverb while the bass is more straight forward and linear. It’s a nice contrast that really works well and it helps bring everything together. Musically this album fits into an indie box, but not strictly as there are definitely some touches of post-punk and even a little bit of ethereal goth thrown in for good measure.
The lyrics on this album are gorgeous. I’ve always been attracted to bands whose lyrics are on a level playing field with their instrumentation, and this album is a good example of that. My favourite lines have to be from the song Far From Home.
You said I was strong, and I would never break It’s not that easy, it’s not a choice that you make That day when the trucks arrived, I knew I had to leave Never saw what life could be and it brought me to my knees Makes me scared for what’s coming Makes me scared for what’s comingnow
I burnt your name on my skin to remind me Walk the roads far from home far behind me Do you still remember me? I’m not sure if i remember you I have got, nothing that I need
Moll & Zeis is available right now on Bandcamp. As an added bonus the lyrics are also on there, which I wish more bands would do.