Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Four good bands that need to break up

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 1:49 PM

click to enlarge The ice is getting thinner, Death Cab for Cutie.
  • The ice is getting thinner, Death Cab for Cutie.

A Seattle man is infamously hoping to get Weezer to break up by offering the band 10 million dollars in exchange for never making a record again. (After seeing the way Weezer has sold out to PacSun, can you really blame him?) 


We don't think Weezer is the only one that needs to call it quits. Everyone already agrees that the Rolling Stones - though rock royalty - really need to usher their bony asses off the stage, for good. (That goes for you, too, Aerosmith.) But what about the modern rock acts that we once loved? Isn't there a time to bow out gracefully for them, too?
Here's a list of four good modern rock acts that the world may be better off without.

Death Cab for Cutie

As much as it pains us to admit it, Death Cab for Cutie's time has passed. 2008's Narrow Stairs possessed a mere shadow of the lyrical clout that Ben Gibbard used to wield, and the band's nice-guy earnestness - once charming, when paired with Gibbard's unflinchingly honest, dryly-delivered observations - has become a bit too cloying for the band's own good. Would one more vaguely aching, sort-of-melodic album from Gibbard and co. kill us? Probably not. But the chances of the band creating a work that isn't coasting off of earlier inertia is pretty slim. (Besides, if Death Cab breaks up, Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel can obliterate the Starbucks CD rack together -- we're thinking the project can be called His & Hers -- and M. Ward can go back to being a brilliant solo artist.)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Karen O is a raging monster of a frontwoman, and she cannot be tamed. This is an incontrovertible fact, and this is why we have loved the Yeah Yeah Yeahs since it's ramshackle, punky inception in 2000, when Karen O first croaked that it's our time. Last year's trip down the disco rabbit-hole with It's Blitz yielded mixed reviews; but, that's not why the YYYs need to call it quits. It's because Karen O is a rare and undeniable talent and she needs to spread her wings and fly, dammit. She wrote the eerie, chanting refrains for Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are, and they had a resonant, child-like wonder that most artists simply aren't capable of capturing. Let her go, man!

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs

MGMT

Commercially speaking, MGMT fucked up. After releasing the electro-pop catnip of Oracular Spectacular, MGMT followed up with the dense psychedelia of Congratulations this April, and the blogosphere congealed into one gigantic, burbling WTF? Though Congratulations actually proved to be quite listenable -- and even thoughtful! -- the art of the record was largely lost on the band's mainstream fan base, and the album fizzled. Now, the band is back in the studio and working on a more poppy record, which Andrew VanWyngarden describes as "super-satirical pop music, more along the lines of what we used to do when we first started out. Almost like Karaoke." MGMT, you earned points for not selling out the first time. Quit while you're ahead.

Arcade Fire

Win Butler has already acknowledged to Spin Magazine that his band won't continue forever, and seems to be currently mulling over retirement. Actually, this might be a good thing. Arcade Fire has created a perfect triptych in its three albums, Funeral, Neon Bible and The Suburbs. If Funeral spoke to the wild-eyed passion and ambition of youth cruising suburban streets in hopes of love, sex, and adventure, then Neon Bible catapulted that naivete into a grander scheme of Important Themes, like the government, the military, and justice. (It's Arcade Fire, gone to college.) The Suburbs finds our old familiar allies -- "the kids" -- back in the neighborhoods they once sought to escape from, settling down to families, and moving past the feeling. Arcade Fire shouldn't break up because they're not brilliant, or even because they aren't capable of making another incredible album. It's that they've run out of space. The band's career is a perfect arc, and it's beautiful, just as it is.

Arcade Fire
  • Arcade Fire

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