Tuesday, April 19, 2011

10 Bands Who Never Should Have Reunited

Ten? How about all of them? From OnlineDegree.net. Huh? Exactly.


Creed sucks. They rode a pseudo-grunge sound to success in the mid-1990s by courting disaffected teens and a Christian youth market eager for a band that could mix religion with industrial angst. My Own Prison went platinum six times over, but with the release of Human Clay, the group's bombast began to outweigh their music. Despite their radio hits, critics hated the group, and their reputation took more hits when frontman Scott Stapp turned out to be a tool. At a 2002 show, Stapp was so wasted that a group of attendees filed suit on behalf of the entire crowd and asked for a refund. In 2004, it was announced that the group had been disbanded. This could have been the end of our long national nightmare, but alas, as if desperate to write his own resurrection story, Stapp and the band came back in 2009. They put out a new album that fall and resumed touring. An acoustic album is also in the works, if you're a glutton for punishment.


The Eagles were a rock-solid, hit-making machine in the 1970s, churning out easy adult rock with vague country leanings in a formula that led to huge album sales and three consecutive No. 1 albums. They had a staggering number of successful singles in the 1970s; the opening strains of "Hotel California" are probably playing in your head right now. But the tensions of fame soon pushed them to the breaking point, and Glenn Frey and Don Felder spent the bulk of a July 1980 show making physical threats against each other. Frey and Don Henley also stopped speaking, so the band's contractually obligated live record, Eagles Live, was completed by the men working on opposite sides of the country. And that was enough, really. They'd become one of the biggest bands of all time and put out some great music. We didn't need more. But in 1994, the band reunited for Hell Freezes Over and the subsequent tour. They've put out some new tunes, but nothing remotely as strong as their earlier work. In 2001, Felder was fired from the group and turned around and sued them. At this point, they're a reconstituted oldies act.


The weird thing about the Pixies reunion is that it only served to prove how great they were in their prime. On one level, fans were happy to have the band officially back together, but the group wasn't putting out new music, just releasing live albums as a tie-in with their reunion tour. The Pixies were a hugely influential indie-rock band during their original 1986-1993 run; their highest charting hit was "Here Comes Your Man". Front man Black Francis called off the group in 1993 during a BBC radio interview, which was a surprise to the rest of the group; two of the members got a fax saying the show was over. It was a suitably enigmatic end to a band that defied convention, and it would've been the perfect end to their story. Maybe we can all pretend it still is.


When Chris Rock hosted the MTV Video Music Awards in 1999, he scolded the Backstreet Boys with, "Didn't you see New Kids on the Block? Don't you know how this movie's gonna end?" The joke worked at the time because New Kids officially disbanded in 1994 after a surprising 10 years together. They'd had huge pop hits in the late 1980s and early '90s, but by '94, mainstream tastes had swung decidedly toward harder acts like Pearl Jam, and there wasn't any room at the table for energetic kids with rat-tails who just wanted to break-dance. But by 2008, things were different. It's not that New Kids on the Block suddenly got good; rather, it's that they became ironically good, celebrated by women (and a few men) who had liked the group when they were kids and who now had the discretionary income to see NKOTB do a reunion tour that capitalized on that nostalgia. The New Kids put out a new single and started touring, announcing that they'd be hitting the road with -- wait for it -- Backstreet Boys in summer 2011. The circle of life is funny like that.

See the rest here, and, while you're at it, find out how you can get your online degree.

Google Street View Project Of The Day

From artist Jon Rafman:

Two years ago, Google sent out an army of hybrid electric automobiles, each one bearing nine cameras on a single pole. Armed with a GPS and three laser range scanners, this fleet of cars began an endless quest to photograph every highway and byway in the free world.

Every ten to twenty meters, the nine cameras automatically capture whatever moves through their frame. Computer software stitches the photos together to create panoramic images. To prevent identification of individuals and vehicles, faces and license plates are blurred.

One year ago, I started collecting screen captures of Google Street Views from a range of Street View blogs and through my own hunting. This essay illustrates how my Street View collections reflect the excitement of exploring this new, virtual world.

A few of my favorites follow. Many, many more here, with much larger (and better) views.

(I guess that's one way to rock the house. Thank yewww!)


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