As mentioned in Nathan Smith's "Bummer, Dude: The 10 Big Musical Disappointments of 2011", Lulu, the not-at-all-anticipated-by-me aural abortion resulting from the un-Godly union of The Progenitor of All Things Cool, Three Insufferable Man-Children & Kirk Hammett, SUCKED. This was crushing for me on so many fronts, mainly because Lou Reed is a personal deity, but also because Metallica. These guys are just the living worst. Before you say "but April, Master of Puppets, Kill 'em All, ...And Justice For All, etc!" I've got one sentence for you "My lifestyle determines my deathstyle." Also, I've got another sentence for you, "Chide the lightening." which sounds really hilarious in my head but I can't work it into this article as anything other than a non sequitur.
But back to Lou Reed.
Lou Reed (I will be calling him by his entire name out of respect) led The Velvet Underground, in my opinion, the most important band ever. Oh, The Beatles did acid and got all crazy, but Lou Reed jammed the spike of a million filthy lives into the collapsed vein of rock & roll and shit got weird. And every time any band in the last forty years did something cool and crazy it was more often than not because of him. With his list of followers who have built upon his foundations and created classic pieces of arty or experimental rock music he could have chosen anyone else in the world. These are 5 of the artists that I really wish he had considered before releasing this meaty chud and hoping people wouldn't notice it wasn't a record instead of excrement comprised entirely of vanity.
5. Dinosaur, Jr
Can't you just imagine it!? In 2009 they released one of their best albums, not only after reforming, but of their entire career. What better way to enshrine their standing as indie rock heavyweights than to enter into this union? Lou Reed and J. Mascis are both masters of guitar-driven, pop-skewing songwriting and both are uniquely clever lyricists. And hearing those voices in unison would be such a dream compared to what we got instead, "The View" sounds like a schizophrenic street preacher lecturing a gravel-voiced chronic masturbator. I HATE IT.
4. Sonic Youth
I mean this is a total doy bomb, right? There is absolutely no question the debt that the Youth owe the Velvets, compound that with the fact that they're probably the two most important noise/experimental rock bands in like EVER and you can say the same about both bands' contribution to the pantheon of "New York Cool". And who knows, maybe it might have kept Kim and Thurston together. Forget about Lulu, think about Coco!
3. Arcade Fire
Riding high off of their Grammy win, this could have been mind-blowing. They no doubt have the instrumental muscle to create an outright masterpiece. Win Butler's laments of suburban ennui butting heads with Lou Reed's gritty city stories would have created a pants-ruining symphony of contradictions. And I'd take Richard Parry's helmet thwacking over that move Robert Trujillo does where it looks like he's trying to pick a wedgie without using his hands any day of the week.
Singer, Brian Molko doesn't own a mirror, he just has the cover of Transformer hanging over his bathroom sink. If they joined forces with Lou Reed there's a chance that they could write the most perfect song about heroin EVER. Instead we have Lou Reed insisting that this cacophony of narcissism is "for literate people".
1. The Strokes
I feel that Nathan overlooked their 2011 release Angles on his list of disappointments. It was a huge letdown for me, but I can see how a middling fourth album by a distracted outfit wouldn't be a huge deal for most people. At the time I joked that this was the result of five talented individuals hearing a lackluster song idea and then agreeing that it was a good idea to pursue it to its mediocre end. Later I found out that they were barely even in the same room together with ideas being phoned in (or rather emailed in) left and right. But how might it have changed our record collections and possibly the history of rock and roll if we could have gotten The Strokes in the studio with Lou Reed? Instead of two albums swarming the cut-out bins in the following years we might have had a match made in the Lower East Side (I would have paid The Strokes cab fare from Manhattan myself).
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