a word on the new U2 album…

a word on the new U2 album…

Starting to notice U2 is getting some backlash for releasing their new album “Songs of Innocence” as a free gift to iTunes users. If you have an iTunes account the album is already available in your purchased music page or in the cloud if you store your music there.

I’m not the biggest U2 fan out there, but I do enjoy and respect their work. I haven’t listened to the new record yet, but I have to say I think it is so crazy backwards people are starting to complain about getting something for free from one of the biggest bands of all time. Whether you are a fan or not, you were just given a gift and it’s something to appreciate and say “thank you” for. You don’t hand back gifts to your friends and family and say “Um, not a fan of this, I didn’t ask for it, and how could you even dare think I would want this!?” No, no you don’t. You politely smile and say “Thank you so much! I really appreciate this.”

I think it’s hilariously sad that people want to remove the album from their library and/or iCloud account, and that Apple is now having to handle these requests… as if it’s taking up some kind of physical space in their home environment. U2 didn’t deliver a giant ugly couch to your house. They gave you the gift of music. Did we forget that anything digital doesn’t even physically exist? Nor does “The Cloud” – Yep, for the unaware it’s actually just a big floating “nothing” out there in infinite space where all our digital “nothings” are stored. It couldn’t possibly intrude on your life other than the unbearably action of having to see an album in your music library that you’ll have to scroll past when you come across it in your library (likely to happen every now and again). I can only imagine the horror of “Oh no, there’s that damn U2 album again! Gotta flick my thumb on the screen one more time so I don’t have to see it!” I mean dang, Apple & U2, how could you do that to people?!?

There are those reviewing and critiquing the album with a certain pompous tone, again with “I didn’t ask for this, so let me dissect and try to destroy it with my very special and very valuable opinion.” The truth is it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of the album, even if you are the biggest U2 fan who ends up not liking it. You know why? It was a gift, it was free. The band wasn’t trying to sell you on buying the album and you have no personal investment in it. It was a piece of work they deemed worthy of sharing at no expense to their fans.

There are also those acting shocked, as if their privacy has been invaded, pretending to be angry that iTunes “hacked” into their iTunes account to give them something for (dare I say it again?) FREE. Oh, please… your privacy is invaded every second online, don’t act surprised or creeped out that a U2 album magically appeared on your computer one day (Nickelback, maybe). Personally, I think these guys who are upset about invasion of privacy are the same guys that rock out to Pantera but are afraid somebody will find out there’s a Celine Dion track in their music library… NOBODY CAN KNOW!!

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment and say I think it’s pretty cool one of the biggest bands ever has made this move. If we all went out to our mailboxes today and U2 sent us a physical CD of their new album we’d probably all be like “Hey, that’s pretty cool!” Instead, paranoid and irrational internet is taking over this generous situation and has begun to over analyze and destroy it. That being said, just remember that musical tastes change over time, and even if you don’t enjoy the album today, or you might not be a fan of U2 at this very moment, down the road you may want this record, and heck, you may even really appreciate it.

– Brad

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Better With You 10th Anniversary

 Ten years ago tonight while numerous children were knocking at my parents door requesting tricks and treats I was upstairs in my room writing songs on my guitar. Sheltered away from the Halloween festivities, by the evening’s end I had completed a song titled “Better With You.” Late that night I recorded a demo of it and the next day began sharing it online with friends and anyone else who was willing to listen. I was really proud of the song and thought “there’s something special to this one” — not really being able to put a finger on why, it was just a little gut feeling, I guess.

Well, about a year later, by result of a lot of hard work and other fateful circumstances, the song was featured on a (then) new reality series on MTV called Laguna Beach. The exposure was grand and certainly propelled my budding career forward quicker than I could have ever hoped for. A year after that more Five Times August songs found their way into other popular TV shows and the momentum continued to build. I began to tour the country, play in larger venues, record in awesome studios and work with talented musicians I could never have dreamed of playing with. It also afforded me the luxury of, come full circle, answering the door tonight for little trick or treaters in my very own home while my son is upstairs in his bedroom. He’s too young to write songs on his guitar right now, but his beautiful mom is probably singing him to sleep anyway.

So, as I think back on where I was ten years ago tonight and all the things that have happened since then, I have to say I’m so very thankful, and so very lucky. It’s not all just because of the one song, but it definitely moved things a long.

“Better With You” is usually most new fans introduction to Five Times August. It’s also the one that seems to resonate the most and embed itself into their life the way a songwriter could only hope their music could do for people. It’s been used in weddings, quoted in vows, gotten people through tough times, and has inspired want-to-be musicians to pick up the guitar for the first time. When I’m told that kind of stuff by you it blows my mind. It reminds me why I love music, and why I am a songwriter. Those things, beyond all, drive me to keep going. So thank you for adopting my music and making it your own.

I don’t really have a direction with where this little entry is going, other than I felt this 10 year anniversary warranted some retrospect and perspective, if for no one’s sake other than my own.

I released a special E.P. for “Better With You” today to celebrate the occasion, it’s available exclusively on Bandcamp.com and features 6 different versions of the song, including a previously unreleased live acoustic version, plus bonus downloads of the official music video and a PDF file of the guitar tablature if you always wanted to learn how to play it. I hope you enjoy the collection.

Download it here: https://fivetimesaugust.bandcamp.com/album/better-with-you-10th-anniversary-e-p

Happy Halloween friends,
– Brad w/ Five Times August

why, hello again…

Welcome to the new Five Times August blog, which I’ve subtitled “Anatomy of a Songwriter” for a few reasons; 1.) I’m a songwriter, so there, and 2.) I plan to use this area to offer some insight as to what makes me function as an artist. This will include stories from my life, thoughts on my favorite music, thoughts on my own music, people that inspire me, opinions on topical subjects, and from time to time I may sprinkle in some advice for aspiring artists as well. Sometimes I’ll be stupid and funny, sometimes I’ll be sad and depressing. There may be a time or two when I don’t make any sense at all and moments you don’t exactly agree with me, but hey, that’s okay. Really, I’d just like this to be a place of transparency and honesty. I don’t think we get that enough these days. So, make sure you follow the blog and check in often… I might just write something worth your time (I make no guarantees). Also, feel free to comment at any time to say hello and ask me a question.

With that said, I think now is a good time to announce that I’ve decided to make a new Five Times August album. There’s not much to report yet, just know it’s going to happen. Hopefully that excites you because it excites me. Truthfully, I had no plans to record another album any time soon. However, I have a collection of new and unfinished songs accumulating and I should probably start doing something with them, right? [This is where you respond with “RIGHT!”]

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce you to my new space in the “blogosphere.” Take your shoes off and get cozy. We’re going to have a good time.

Talk to you soon,

Brad

P.S. Make sure you stop by the official website make sure you’re connected on all the networks listed!