Monday, May 10, 2010

The Top Ten Bands That Should Reunite

Nostalgia is sweeping the nation like herpes. Everybody's got it, it sucks, and nobody can get rid of it. The only special cream to get rid of this malady is to go see old bands reunited in concert and listen to whatever new music they come up with. It's happening with EVERYBODY. Bands you NEVER thought would come back like Faith No More and Pavement are back. Bands you never WANTED to come back like Limp Bizkit and Creed are, sadly, back (like a bad herpes flare-up! I will not stop using this metaphor...). Of course, being an American, I always want more, more, more (Billy Idol back on tour now too!). So with that said, here's ten bands I think need to come back before it's too late.

10. Bright Eyes

Conor Oberst has all but retired his old Bright Eyes monicker for the reason of people having certain expectations of that name. Maybe he means good music. His last two projects (the Mystic Valley Band and Monsters of Folk) were utter disappointments. The best thing to come from him in the last few years were the few unreleased Bright Eyes songs on this year's re-release of the old One Jug of Wine, Two Vessels split EP with Neva Dinova. It's an omen, Conor, and it means "don't give up on Bright Eyes yet."

9. John Reis and Rick Froberg

Look, I don't really care what these guys call themselves. Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, even a completely new name. They literally can do no wrong together. Their track record apart is firmly mediocre, though at least somewhat enjoyable. But they need each other to really hit upon the magic. The sooner they get back together, the better.

8. The Mathletes

Like Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes, this is less a band than just one man, Joe Mathlete, but unlike Conor, Joe hasn't been sucking it up in his other projects. His other bands, Ghormeh Sabzi and Wife, are perfectly fine, but he's playing bass, not being the frontman. It's time for him to step back in the spotlight. I think he knows that, since he's finally playing another solo show this Saturday night (May 8th) at Mango's Cafe, but apparently it's only the Mathletes for this one show, then it continues under a new, different name. Who knows what it will be like, but I'm still holding out to hear "Pinnochiobot" live again one day.

7. The Smiths

Morrissey is an amazing lyricist and singer. He is not an amazing person. Actually, he's something like a world renowned prick and a total primadonna. Most likely this is why it has been twenty years without one reunion with the rest of the band, despite constant rumors. Well Moz, you're getting pretty damn old. It's now or never. Bury the hatchet with Johnny Marr and give the people what they want. I loved seeing Morrissey solo in concert as I also love his solo albums, but everyone wants a Smiths reunion. That's just too big a thing to NEVER happen (even if it only sustains itself for one-off shows like the Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd reunions).

6. Fugazi

In 2002, Fugazi went on hiatus and then... nothing. For eight years, not one peep out of them. They're not even particularly active in any side-projects. It's about time they do SOMETHING again. At this point, I would settle for side-projects to be completely honest. Fugazi being Fugazi, I suggest they just hold free shows at random clubs in cities around America with little warning or notice. Then just watch the places fill to capacity.

5. OutKast/Andre 3000

Has anybody seen Andre 3000 lately? I've begun to worry about his well-being. Since that dumb cartoon got cancelled, the man seems to have dropped off the face of the Earth. Big Boi assures everyone he's making a solo album and they're going to return as OutKast soon, but I'm beginning to suspect this may be a PR move. For all we know, Andre could be dead. Andre, if you read this, please, come back to us. OutKast, solo album, I don't care, just come back! Let us know you're ok!

4. Sleater-Kinney

They've been teasing this reunion for a while and it is much anticipated. Sleater-Kinney achieved perfection with their last album, The Woods, then they went on tour and quietly went on the dreaded "hiatus." None of them have done anything since, which is a serious shame. We've gotten tons of solo album rumors that never come to fruition and now rumors of a reunion in the next few years. In the next few years? Why not now, girls?

3. David Bowie

David Bowie used to be a workaholic. So much of a workaholic, he had a heart attack. Instead of just slowing down though, he stopped, right in the middle of a serious career revival. Since then, he's made a few guest appearances live and nothing more. One can't really blame him. All those years of heavy cocaine abuse have probably left him with a pretty damaged heart. That being said, I still dream of a day when he might be well enough to make a return, for a one-off show, for an album, even one song! For a former workaholic, you have to believe that he's made some kind of music in the past seven years that just hasn't seen the light of day. Well, let's hear it! I don't want to wait until he's dead for some depressing posthumous compilation bullshit.

2. The Blood Brothers

A group of psychotic teenagers recording a conglomeration of about a hundred influences to create a truly disturbing post-hardcore band. The Blood Brothers were magic. At some point, the magic died and they went their separate ways. Now they waste their time in Past Lives (mediocre art rock) and Jaguar Love (fucking awful dance pop). The fact that their talents are going to this stuff now is truly depressing. Even if they aren't into making music like the Blood Brothers anymore, they could still play it! Somebody get these guys back together before they can't hit the highs anymore.

1. At the Drive-In

Did anyone expect any different from me? This is my favorite band ever we're talking about. I love what they've all done apart as well, but there's something about At the Drive-In that they can't ever approach. Sparta tried and failed. The Mars Volta, to their credit, did something completely different and incredible in its own right. But just once, I want to see these guys up on stage together and with TMV in a state of disarray, Sparta dead, and Sleepercar a failure, it just feels right to do it now. Even just a one-off in El Paso would be amazing and of course I'd be front row, no question.

In conclusion, bands, musicians, get over whatever petty hang-ups you have and jump on the gravy train. Get your asses back in gear and start raking on the dough from nostalgia-happy Americans like me. Just be sure not to overstay your welcome like some reunited bands and end up playing to thirty people at a race track. Then people will be begging for the zovirax (I WON'T LET THIS METAPHOR DIE!).


  1. Agreed on Bowie and The Smiths. Others either don't care for or never heard.

  2. Very nice list overall(especially BB at #2). Where would these bands fall on your list if it were extended?

    Neutral Milk Hotel

  3. Damn man, I didn't know Mineral or Verse. You're schooling me on my own shit. As for NMH, I want it, but I can live with them being broken up. I really can't imagine them being particularly relevant anymore if they hadn't broken up to be honest. For some reason, breaking up at their peak has led to a sort of legacy that other bands of their time don't have. Built to Spill kind of embodies this. They'd probably be revered much more if they hadn't made a lot of mediocre albums after their initially acclaimed ones. And Refused is the one band I NEVER want to get back together. These reunions are all capitalism driven sell-outs in effect. Take a look at Frank Black's statement on the what drives the Pixies to keep playing (it ain't the art). With Refused, it would be a direct contradiction of their own ideals to do a grandiose reunion tour. I might be able to live with it if they used my Fugazi idea and played free shows with little promotion at tiny venues, but it's just too much of a betrayal of the final statement they issued as a band for them to start profiting off the Refused cash cow again now.

  4. I agree with your opinion on Refused. I think that a NMH reunion wouldn't harm them though. Their legacy and influence is pretty much cemented at this point and a show by the band or Jeff wouldn't really harm it.

    What are your thoughts on Jawbreaker, Lifetime, and The Promise Ring?

    And Mineral's album The Power of Failing is the best 90's emo album. You should check it out.

  5. Are you pulling these off some Internet list man? Haha, I don't know Lifetime or the Promise Ring either. It would be nice to see Jawbreaker though.

  6. Haha nope. I just know my classics :O

  7. Since Fugazi went on hiatus:

    Joe Lally has released two solo albums.

    Ian Mackaye has released two albums with the Evens and continued to run Dischord.

    Guy Picciotto has brought a number of Fugazi live albums to release, along with producing albums by Vic Chesnutt, the Gossip, Blonde Redhead, and the Blood Brothers, among others.

    Brendan Canty has produced all of the Burn to Shine videos, along with albums by a variety of bands, including Ted Leo and the Thermals.

    So, seems like they've been keeping busy to me.

  8. Three years since Lally released an album, four since the Evens put anything out, and production jobs aren't really what I'm looking for. I'm not saying they're not busy, but they're not really very prolific with touring or music in any case.