News & Views For Thursday, February 19

U2 leak, Grammy sales bump, Phil Spector retrial and the recession viewed through the eyes of the concert industry in News. Mötley Crüe, Afro-Cuban Allstars, Ben Lee and Medeski Martin & Wood in Views.

News …

U2’s new album, No Line On The Horizon, goes on sale online in Australia before it’s officially released. But is it an accident or a marketing ploy? – Forbes

Photo: Phil Bonyata /
Bono gets up on The Edge as U2 tears up Milwaukee’s Bradley Center.

Has the recession hit the concert biz? Depends on who you ask – Hartford Courant

The Grammy sales bump – fantasy or reality? – The New York Times

It’s road trip day for the Phil Spector jury as the 12 wise people go to the scene of the alleged crime – Associated Press

Views …

Mötley Crüe in the Twin Cities – “Of course, Neil still cussed out the crowd, but in a good way.” – Minneapolis – St. Paul Star-Tribune

Afro-Cuban Allstars in Seattle – “It was a great night and after the band finished, took a bow, and exited the stage, the whole theater shouted “otro, otro” (which is Spanish for, bring your asses back out and make us dance) and the group obliged.” – Seattle Weekly / Reverb

Ben Lee in Los Angeles – “He punctuated nearly every song with some hint of self-awareness, whether shooting smirks in the direction of his lead guitarist during an indulgent knob-twiddling solo or changing forgotten lyrics to Largo-centric favorites.” – Los Angeles Times

Medeski Martin & Wood in New York City – ” … the evening was an occasion for listening, however strong the inducement to move.” – The New York Times

They Say It’s Their Birthday … (Or so says Associated Press)

Smokey Robinson is 69

Photo: AP Photo / The Times-Picayune
The legendary Smokey Robinson serenades the crowd during the Essence Music at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

Bobby Rogers (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles) is 69
Lou Christie is 66
Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell) is 61
Dave Wakeling is 53
Seal is 46
Ralph McCauley (Wild Horses) is 45
Jon Fishman (Phish) is 44
Daniel Adair is 34
Haylie Duff is 24.