Sunday, March 15, 2009

RUHtf: Negativland's U2: These guys are from England and who gives a shit??

This was a great controversy stirrer. The new U2 album is out, and there's no denying I'm a fan...but I also love Negativland. The two crossed the most unlikeliest of paths in the following track (both colliding with the most unlikeliest of elements, straight-laced top 40 count-downer (and industry tool) Casey Kasem). Somehow, a bag of tapes containing outtakes of Casey Kasem going on tirades and cursing like a sailor "magically" appeared on reappropriated sound collagists Negativland's door one day. Feeling the need to put these tapes to use, and provide a public service, Negativland took the greatest of these outtakes (featuring tirades and bloopers about U2 and a long distance dedication to a dead dog named Snuggles) and spliced on samples from U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" from it's original recording, and a kazooed version...all in the name of "high art" and stretching the bounds of Fair Use. Lawyers were acquired, cease and desist orders were handed, and record companys (Negativland's SST) and the band itself were financially hit hard. The history of the song is outlined in the book/magazine Fair Use and in the film Sonic Outlaws. Finally, you can purchase the song here.

Meanwhile, listen here:

The a Capella version:

The extended radio edit:

Read Negativland's guerilla interview with Edge, posing as Mondo 2000 reporters getting him to admit even U2 utilized Fair Use on their ZooTV tour.

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