Today in “Ways in Which Ellie is Lamer than She Wants You to Think” I will confess to what I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past two weeks (although, the very fact that I’m putting this on a public forum could be construed as evidence of the fact that I want people to know how lame I am. This whole internet-voluntarily-forgoing-privacy-age is such a confusing time). I’ll wait while you guess. Like Jeopardy, your answer only counts if you say it out loud. The answer isn’t necessarily surprising just, you know, kind of lame: the soundtrack for the reviled Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, with music by Bono and The Edge.
When I first heard about it I thought it could be kind of awesome. I’m not a huge Spiderman fan, but I look forward to every U2-related project with the same faithful enthusiasm and while I am sometimes disappointed, mostly I am not. But, as time passed, and all I read about were all the problems that plagued the musical, I kind of assumed it couldn’t be good and figured I’d never listen to it. Then I saw Carney open for U2, and I found out their frontman plays Spiderman in the musical, and then I saw the video for the single, and I was bored one night, so I got the soundtrack and had a listen.
It’s pretty standard musical theater stuff. I don’t know anything about the plot aside from it being the usual Spiderman origin story. Because of that, some of the songs make little sense to me, like the green goblin singing that he’s a “65 millions dollar circus tragedy” and then going on about all the widows in the world being in New York. Anyway, the cool thing is that most of the songs totally have the U2 sound, and very Bono lyrics, and both Bono and Edge sing on the some of the tracks (Edge singing is a dig deal. He hasn't been lead on a U2 song since the early 90s). So, it simultaneously satisfies the part of me that loves musicals and the part of me that responds to U2 music. Two, I assume adjacent, parts of my brain that have never been happy at the same time before. It’s quite remarkable, and addictive. It’s quite awesome to have those two things combined.
So, now I think there needs to be more cross-over in the things I love or otherwise enjoy. I’m thinking of a musical with lyrics by Douglas Coupland and music by Bono & Edge. It’s about The Doctor time/space traveling in the TARDIS with Charles Darwin and Joss Whedon as his companions, starring the cast of Arrested Development, liberally peppered with references about how awesome fish are. It would have a niche audience, but I think I would die of happiness listening to it (if I had Photoshop I would totally make a picture of this musical, but you'll just have to use your imagination).