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An Open Letter to 2011 by jason

Dear 2011,

You know what? You weren’t half bad. I often look at each new year as a chance for things to get better, but as far as years have gone, you were fairly decent. I mean, sure, we lost some musicians like Amy Winehouse, Heavy D, Warren G, but you know what? To quote a British Sit Com: “Death isn’t the handicap it used to be.” Just ask Tupac and Elliott Smith.

We also had some bland pop music, like that one song with the autotuned guy bragging about his car and asking a girl to come back to his place. You know the one I’m talking about, right? But every year has bland pop music.

However, we had some really good music, too, as my top 10 list and Jayson’s top best of list will attest. And even the bad music, such as Loutallica’s Lola, was entertainingly bad. “Hallucinaaaaaaation! Hallucinaaaaaaaation! I thought you were listening!” Heh.

And in 2012, we’re planning on moving the site over to a different server, getting another writer or two, and generally shaking things up at both To Eleven North and To Eleven South. This all means that we may look back at 2011 as “The year before shit got all fucked up.” That is, unless the 2012 apocalypse is the real one and we die before John Cusack can save us. Or, you know, if SOPA passes. Or that kid in North Korea launches nukes.

Damn. 2012 is looking worse and worse, isn’t it.

It is with this in mind that I say, “Don’t leave us, 2011.”

When the ball drops in Times Square, I sincerely hope the numbers light up to say “2011” again. We could really stand to have another one of you.

So stay if you will, but go if you must, and know that you were a good year.

-jason
To Eleven

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Review: Lou Reed & Metallica- Lulu (Reviewed as I listened to it!) by jason
October 21, 2011, 9:00 am
Filed under: Review | Tags: , ,


Lou Reed & Metallica-Lulu. Warner Bros., 2011.

OK. This Lou Reed/Metallica concept album just sounds bad on paper, and it would be easy to make a joke out of the whole thing. However, here at the To Eleven Institute of Sound, we take music pretty seriously. It would be unfair to mock Lulu without a listen. Since it’s streaming on the album’s website, I figured this would be a great opportunity to give it the careful, nuanced review that these two legendary acts deserve.

Without further ado, here is a track-by-track review of the album, as I listen to it.

Brandenburg Gate: OK…this starts off good. Acoustic guitar, Lou Reed sounding kind of old, talking about cutting himself up. Not to weird, not too bad. Then, Metallica’s sound comes in. This is alri-
What? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

The View:
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Pumping Blood:
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Mistress Dread:
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.
OK. I think I’ve recovered from the initial…shock? Confusion? Oh, wait.
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Iced Honey:
uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. OK, in that last song, he was shouting “I am you’re little girl. Spit in my mouth.” Like, I never want to hear Lou Reed say this again. However, this current song, “Iced Honey,” isn’t terrible.

Cheat on Me:
OK. This song is a minute of OK instrumental stuff, followed by 10 minutes of crap. “Why do I cheat on me?” he asks. Over and over.It’s clever the first time, even if it’s awkward. But after the 100th time, it’s like “Duuuude. Get over it. Move on.”

Frustration:
OK. Lou’s not even trying on this one. At least when James sings, he sounds like he really believes in this project. Lou knows this is shit; you can tell by his tuneless, unfeeling vocals. I’m not sure which of the two I respect more.

Little Dog:
This song sounds exactly like what my high school friends would play in their band when they were stoned.

Dragon:
“Hallucinaaaaaaation! Hallucinaaaaaaaation! I thought you were listening!” Unfortunately, I was.

Junior Dad:
Honestly, I like this song, but it could stand to be 15 minutes shorter.

So, this is apparently a concept album, and the concept is two aging musical acts try to get together to make something both edgy and groundbreaking, but succeed in neither. Like, this is mind-numbingly bad, and that’s an objective statement. It’s a fact; you can’t dispute it. I’ve never been a Metallica fan, but I don’t think I actually hated them until now. And Lou Reed? Man…you’ve done some pretty harsh stuff in the past, but this is rough.

Anyway, Lulu hits the States on November 1st. Get to a shelter before then.

-jason



Mash-up Monday: Zappateer1- “Mashup Five” by jason

This is one of those mega-mix mash-ups, the kind of which I am not a big fan. However, it is the only mash-up I’ve ever found that used The Mountain Goats, so props to Zappateer1 for this.

This might be the first post where the tags read longer than the actual post.

It’s pretty good, too!