Skip to main content

Dreams So Real

In the latest issue of Spin (September 2004; Pixies on the cover), my pal Chuck Klosterman issues a challenge. The challenge is to build your ideal rock band within these limitations: 1) You must have a singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer, and wild card, 2) You can only have one person who's currently active in a band, and 3) You can't pick Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, John Bonham, or Animal from the Muppet show for your band.

Klosterman's ideal band would be called Doomed Honeymoon, and have the following line-up:

Guitar: Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
Bass: Bootsy Collins (Parliament-Funkadelic)
Drums: Tommy Lee (Motley Crue)
Wild-card: Prince
Lead Singer: Karen Carpenter

Damn him for picking those last two!

Of course I found this to be an extremely fun exercise, so I started making my own list. I used Klosterman's rules, but also added that everyone should still be alive, just so the idea that this band could actually get together is not as far-fetched. Anyway, I went through three drafts, as follows. My first instinct was this line-up:

Guitar: Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac)
Bass: Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Drums: ?uestlove (The Roots)
Wild card: Jon Brion (producer/songwriter)
Lead Singer: Kylie Minogue

I would call them Pop Culture and they would be a monstrous force! Could you imagine that rhythm section with Brion and Buckingham's songs and Kylie's voice? It would kill! The problem is that this violates Klosterman's second rule. Buckingham, Flea, and ?uestlove are all working with their current bands.

So I took a second try and ended up with this:

Guitar: Eliot Easton (The Cars)
Bass: Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads)
Drums: Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
Wild Card: Elton John
Lead Singer: Ronnie Milsap

This line-up would be intriguing, but the problem here is songwriting. Elton and Grohl can write, we know that, but would their songs suit the band? Probably not. Anyway, their name would have been The Thank-Yous.

Finally, I hit on the perfect mix. They're called Zen Garden.

Guitar: Johnny Marr (The Smiths)
Bass: Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole, Smashing Pumpkins)
Drums: Andy Sturmer (Jellyfish)
Wild Card: Carole King
Lead Singer: David Bowie

This band would be pop heaven! While I see Sturmer and King writing most of the music with Bowie providing lyrics, don't forget that Marr can write too (and his guitar tone cannot be matched). In Bowie you have a charismatic frontman who can adapt his style however he sees fit. I would worship this band, and none of them are currently with other groups, so let's get them together!

Now, if you are so inclined, it's your turn. Take some time to think about it, then use that seldom-touched "comments" link down below and tell about me your band. Don't forget to follow the rules and give them a cool-sounding name!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

12 by Weezer

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... I decided to take an unconventional route for this 12 by, and pretend Weezer have already released a "greatest hits." Here's what I think that would look like:  1) "Buddy Holly", 2) "Undone - the Sweater Song", 3) "My Name Is Jonas", 4) "The Good Life", 5) "El Scorcho", 6) "Hash Pipe", 7) "Island in the Sun", 8) "Dope Nose", 9) "Keep Fishin'", 10) "Beverly Hills", 11) "We Are All On Drugs", 12) "Pork and Beans".  Here's a different take: 1. " Say It Ain't So"  (from Weezer , 1994)  A little bit heavy, a little bit catchy, quiet-loud dynamics. So basically, it's Pixies lite. The song is interesting lyrically because it's basically nonsense until the "Dear daddy..." bridge, which lets out a t

12 by Jenny Lewis

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... Completely separate from Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis has put together an impressive oeuvre that is very difficult to winnow down to just 12 songs (if you include her work with Rilo Kiley, fuhgeddaboudit). But I've made what I feel is a valiant attempt. Because I admire Jenny's lyrics so much, I'm going to limit my commentary to a favorite couplet from the song. (If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen along here .) 1. "Rise Up With Fists!!!" (from Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "But you can wake up younger, under the knife / And you can wake up sounder, if you get analyzed." 2. "Melt Your Heart" (from  Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "It's like a valentine from your mother / It's bound to melt your heart." 3. "Born Secular" (from Rabbit Fur Coat , 2005) "God works in mysterious ways / And God give

12 by Vicious Vicious

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... If you need a reference point for the work of Vicious Vicious mastermind Erik Appelwick, the most appropriate would be Beck. Like Mr. Hansen, Minnesota-based Appelwick has the ability to navigate between making you laugh and making you cry and making you want to dance, and embraces genres from country to R& B to folk to pop.  I've included songs from the two albums Appelwick did under the name Tropical Depression, because honestly there's not a lot of difference between that and Vicious Vicious.  I very literally  wrote the book  on Appelwick, so please feel confident you are hearing from an authority here.  If you have Amazon Music Unlimited, you can listen to an alternate version of list here  (sadly, not all of VV's music is on the service). 1. "Shake That Ass on the Dance Floor" (from Blood + Clover , 2003) A loungy, laconic come-on