postcards from the pug bus
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DUBLIN - U2 frontman, Bono, has been accused by his band mates of leaking the group's new album, No Line on the Horizon, well in advance of its March 3 release date. The charges were leveled as the new album became widely available on BitTorrent and file sharing websites early this week.
"The needy little bugger's done it again," said U2 bassman Adam Clayton. "Every time we make an album he has to go and leak the damn thing because he can't wait for people to hear him sing. What a selfish wanker."
Although Mr. Clayton declined to say how Mr. Bono had arranged the leak, U2 guitarist, The Edge, was not so cautious.
"The little turd's been doing everything he could to leak that sucker," said Mr. Edge. "He's pathetic."
According to Mr. Edge, Mr. Bono first tried to leak No Line on the Horizon last August when he opened the music room windows in his villa in the south of France before blasting four of the album's tracks on his $150,000 home-entertainment system for several hours.
A U2 fan from the Netherlands who was on holiday on the French Riviera heard the songs blaring from Bono's window and recorded them on a mobile phone. The sound quality sucked, and Bono could be heard singing loudly with himself off key, but U2 fans quickly downloaded more than five million copies of the four songs after they had been posted on the Internet.
His band mates' annoyance with their diminutive, fashion-challenged lead singer is understandable because the band went to great lengths to make sure No Line on the Horizon wasn't leaked, as its predecessor, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, had been.
"Bono claimed he had 'accidentally' left a copy of How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in a portable toilet on a photo shoot in the south of France," said drummer, Larry Mullen Jr. "By the time he went back to look for the CD the next day, the damn songs were all over the Internet."
Determined that things were going to be different this time, the other members of U2 voted not to send review copies of No Line on the Horizon to journalists. The band organized a series of by-invitation-only "listening parties" for accredited members of the music press, who were forbidden from taking any electronic devices into the parties.
"That was more lame than Bono's buzz cut," said one Rolling Stone reviewer who asked not to be identified. "I mean, who's got time to travel to Dublin or Paris or wherever the band's living this week to hear their stinking record?
"I was fortunate, my boss (Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner) has his nose so far up Bono's ass that he (Mr. Wenner) was willing to pay my way to Paris. The CD was OK, but I didn't appreciate the strip search afterward. I mean, who's going to smuggle a CD in his butt?"
For all the to-ing and fro-ing that accompanied No Line on the Horizon's premature ejaculation, no one has commented yet on the contents of the album. In the interest of making up for that oversight, Postcards from the Pug Bus offers the following capsule reviews:
"No Line On The Horizon" (4:12): Bono's first try at rap, on which he rhymes "singular" and "testicular" while making arcane references to rumors that he's had plastic surgery.
"Magnificent" (5:24): Over The Edge's chiming guitar and Larry Mullen's marching drums, Bono sings an ode to himself and his instrument.
"Moment of Surrender" (7:24): U2's most overtly sexual song to date, allegedly recorded while Bono was engaged in a sex act with an unidentified person rumored to have been himself.
"Unknown Caller" (6:03): Heavy breathing and Adam Clayton's pelvic-thrusting bass distinguish this giddy celebration of phone sex.
"I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight" (10:14): Pure pop and pure ecstasy. Bono shouts the title over and over during a raucous fade that will stick in your mind like a piece of gristle lodged in a cavity.
"Get On Your Boots" (3:25): If you saw the Grammys, you've already heard this one. If you didn't, you didn't miss much.
"Stand Up Comedy" (3:49): Singing in a Billy Crystal voice, Bono cracks wise about the ills of the world.
"FEZ-Being Born" (5:17): This song—about a hat or about a religious leader named Fez, who is planning a jihad—features a chorus of Bonos wailing like newborn infants.
"White As Snow" (4:41): Cheap sentimentality and Hallmark lyrics turn this snow yellow faster than a pack of sled dogs on a break.
"Breathe" (5:00): U2's first instrumental. Hopefully it will be their last.
"Cedars Of Lebanon" (4:13): A moving contemplation of death and the pros and cons of pre-need burial arrangements.