Here’s a great way to learn about U2 and many of the other great rock acts of all time in Jason Hanley’s new book, Music Lab: We Rock! This “Fun Family Guide for Exploring Rock Music History” has 52 labs — one for each week of the year — and concludes, most appropriately, with U2.
Each lab, or lesson, includes a brief story about the artist with special mention of their historical context or social connections, an essential playlist, a “song fact” about a greatest hit (“Where The Streets Have No Name” for U2), and then a “Try This At Home” activity or call to action for the whole family. Companion online playlists for each lab are on Spotify and Songza.
A cool Listening Guide explains the musical sounds and compositional elements of one greatest hits song, with time and structure marks during the song. For example, in “Streets,” at 2:18, Verse 2, Hanley points out, “The drums start to play a backbeat using the snare drum.”
The whole book is colorful, rich with information in a great format for learning, and covers all the main styles of rock, pop, soul, dance, and punk. Jason Hanley, Ph.D., is Director of Education at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and a friend of the U2 Conference. It’s no wonder, then, that this book is so awesome!