to eleven

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.

To Eleven

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:

Pumping Blood:

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

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.”

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.

“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.


Mash-up Monday: The Ting Tings vs. Metallica vs. The Beastie Boys-“Shut Up Brooklyn Sandman” by jason
August 16, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , , ,

Yet another mash-up by DJ Schmolli. Now, I’m not saying that Schmolli improved upon the Beastie Boys by adding the Ting Tings and Metallica. I would never say that.

Mash-up Monday: Grandmaster Flash vs. Metallica-“Wherever This Message May Roam” by jason
August 16, 2010, 11:40 am
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , ,

DJ M.i.F. mashed up Grandmaster Flash and Metallica. This is just as great as it sounds like it would be. I suppose I should aalso credit YouTube user MIXESSSS for this one and the last one.

New Releases by jason

It’s another slow week for new releases.

Arcade Fire-Suburbs. Merge, 2010.

I wasn’t a big fan of Funeral. I liked Neon Bible after a few listens. That said, everything I’ve heard from this one sounds good. I’m not about to run out and buy it, but if I got a chance to listen to it, I might think about buying it. I guess I’m trying to say that I have no opinion of Arcade Fire.

Lady GaGa-The Cherrytree Sessions EP. Interscope, 2010.
I really have no interest in this, but every time we mention GaGa, we get hits. And I’m a hit-whore.

Lady GaGa-The Remix. Interscope, 2010.

Cha-ching, bitches!

Metallica-Reload. WB, 2010. Reissue.

Metallica’s Reload is being rereleased as a double LP AND as a 4-disc, 180 gram vinyl, 45rpm edition. So, if this is your favorite Metallica album, I but you’re pretty happy right now. OK…show of hands: who likes this? I mean, who is buying it? People who really like the blood-and-semen artwork and want it full-album sized? To quote Jayson, “There is basically zero reason for that shit to exist.” I concur.

Some observations.

This was another day for vinyl rereleases. It really feels like a bunch of bands trying to squeeze more money out of their back-catalogues. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but it irritates me. Even when the National does it.

Bun B released the third in his Trill series, called Trill O.G. Get it? It’s a pun! I guess those are cool again!

The list I look at for new releases, the New Music Tip Sheet, also lists some DVDs. Today, The Real Ghostbusters, vol. 3, comes out. I am more excited about this than I am about any other release today.


Mash-up Monday: Metallica vs. Bryan Adams-“Enter You” by jason
July 26, 2010, 5:17 pm
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , ,

Here’s another Metallica mash-up, this time courtesy Wax Audio.

Mash-up Monday: Britney Spears vs Metallica – “Enter Toxman” by jason
July 26, 2010, 1:56 pm
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: , ,

This one is by DJ Faroff. Usually, I don’t like when the music has to change pitch to mash well, but this works.

Grim. by Jayson
June 29, 2010, 9:59 am
Filed under: Metal | Tags: , , , , ,

So this happened. Matt actually sent me this link, saying that it was both kinda awesome and kinda funny.

I had a bad reaction to this really. I’m pretty distant from the source here. I didn’t listen to any of these bands until 1995, and that was after all of them had done their best stuff. Still, with the exception of Megadeth, these guys all did stuff I still like. I just don’t have that innate sense of worship the fans they made at their peak have; the thing that filters the objectivity out of anything these guys do.

My observations as follows:

This is exactly like the punk revival in 96. Music starts, has period of vibrancy and relevancy. Bands proliferate to the point of saturation. Music changes and many disband, some hang on by changing their sound or accepting diminished fan response. A decade passes. New bands playing same music revive interest, bands reunite, old bands change sound back. Everyone is quick to tour before the bubble bursts. Old fans bitch. Diehards line up. It is kind of embarrassing.

Motorhead never did this. Now Motorhead were pretty much never as popular as the Big Four, but they never had that embarrassing period of trying to ‘change with the times.’ We don’t have anything from Motorhead’s alternative/grunge years because they never did that.

I know this is the end of Metallica’s set, but you don’t do a thing like this without planning. The whole thing with drummers is like ‘Hi, I’m Lars Ulrich, World’s Most Important Drummer. Anyone who is not Lars Ulrich can bang on a snare.” They could have put kits on risers and wheeled them out.

If you still love these guys, it doesn’t matter. Look at that crowd.

– Jayson

Mashup Monday: Metal Sucks ripoff edition. by Jayson
March 15, 2010, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: ,

My internet is a bit crap today. I don’t know if it’s because my new router isn’t routing or it’s raining out. Regardless it’s “spring break” and I’m having a good time saying inside and being lazy and indifferent since it’s still basically winter outside.

I did manage to stop watching Kelly’s Heroes long enough to check in on Metal Sucks today and they’re ripping us off. Posting a mash up. On Monday. We are the only blog doing that. The bastards.

Anyway, I’m ripping off their ripoff, so there.

Actually, this is shit, really. Technically a proficient mix, but not as fun as that Ludacris/hair metal thing.

Original post here.

– Jayson

Mash-up Monday: Metallica vs. Michael Jackson by jason
March 15, 2010, 9:36 am
Filed under: Mash Up Monday | Tags: ,

Yo might say that Michael Jackson and Metallica can not go well together. You are wrong. Sorry.
ElectroSound And Guttorm put this together. If you like it, go to YouTube and tell them you saw it here!