|Photo by: Kathleen O'Leary (illustration)|
In the world of love, there’s always that one person that no matter how much time has passed, how many tears you’ve shed, letters you’ve burned, gifts you’ve returned and pints of Ben & Jerry’s you’ve consumed, you just won’t ever get over. Whether it is a first love or a worst love, there is a spot for them permanently reserved in your heart.
Similarly, in the world of music there’s always that one group that will never cease to tear us apart because they’ve called it quits. While they may no longer be making music, devoted fans will forever mourn their loss from the music world and reminisce the days of their beloved bands’ existence in the form of worn-out CDs and desperate hope for a reunion tour.
Check out what we here at ACRN have to say about the artists that will always be breakin’ our hearts. -Brooke Bunce
If the band David Byrne cites in “Heaven” as playing his favorite song (and playing it all night long,) is anything like my favorite band, they must resemble what the Talking Heads were before egos tore the art school kids apart in the early '90s.
Byrne served as a delightfully twitchy front man, spurting lyrics about buildings with every convenience, situational comedy writers, and people like John Goodman. Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Chris Harrison patiently wrote and performed razor-sharp art-punk that was more writhing and alive than nearly any band before or since.
Someday I may find myself living in a shot gun shack, in another part of the world, or maybe even behind the wheel of a large automobile, but none of that will matter because the Talking Heads will always be the sort of miraculous blend of creativity and raw talent that only comes around once in a lifetime.
And the track that makes it hardest to move on: “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)” from Speaking In Tongues.
-Emily Votaw, Staff Writer
If you haven't gotten the “Led” out, then you haven't been exposed to rock 'n' roll in its purest form. Although the members of Led Zeppelin are living legends, they would not have gotten their recognition if it wasn't for their imminent pairing, ignited by the hammer of the gods, in 1968.
The passing of their beloved drummer John Bonham in 1980 was the ultimate cause of the unanimous decision to break up the classic folk metal ensemble. Although I wasn't present on this earth when this supergroup was in business, the band's brilliant knowledge of songwriting and instrumentation lives on in my parent's collector's edition A-tracks and remastered CDs, where I first discovered them.
Since the breakup, vocalist Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page have gone their separate ways to become successful solo artists in addition to joining forces in reunions over the past three decades. Led Zeppelin continues to inspire and intrigue all, especially us musicians. "Dreams of you," Led Zeppelin, are still "all through my head."
-Capri Ciulla, Staff Writer
Upon hearing Voxtrot’s first EP, I knew that they would possess a key to my heart. While never achieving mega-stardom, these were definitely some incredibly talented dudes whose catchy indie-pop camp won me over instantly. Also, it didn’t hurt that lead singer Ramesh Srivastava’s voice was deliciously swoon-worthy.
For me, it’s impossible to put on a Vox-tune and not boogie around, singing along loud ‘n’ proud to every word. My passion for these boys is borderline embarrassing, but I’ve realized that I just can’t help myself — especially when their tune “The Start of Something” comes on. Its fuzzy quality and cutesy high-school-mixtape-y vibes easily solidified it as one of the songs that made me fall head-over-heels in love. And when that reverberating violin comes in mid-song? Ah!
Sadly, Voxtrot decided to call it quits in 2010 after the hitting a creative block, and embarked on their “Goodbye, Cruel World” Tour. In my heart of hearts I’ll never believe that Voxtrot ran out of good music to share with the world, but I think these musicians admirably parted ways on a high note. And while I will never stop kicking myself for missing their last tour, it’s as their song goes: “Is this the end or just the start of something really, really beautiful?”
My fingers will always be crossed in hopes of the latter.
-Rachel Haas, Staff Writer
I originally listened to Morrissey, introduced to me by my dad. I loved his music, and I became attached to Steven Morrissey’s voice as it reminded me of my childhood.
When the movie 500 Days of Summer came out, there were many references to a band called The Smiths. I became curious, so I listened to some of their music and realized the lead singer was Morrissey! I continued listening to the band and became obsessed. The song, “There Is a Light That Never Goes Off” particularly spoke to me, and I often play it on repeat.
The Smiths are one of those '80s bands that I could never get sick of. Although they were popular in the '80s and broke up before I was born, the band getting back together would be a dream come true.
-Nadia Kurtz, Contributor
When you put out one of the quintessential indie rock releases of our time, it necessarily follows that a fairly large amount of people are going to be clamoring for more. So, what did Jeff Mangum and company do after releasing In the Aeroplane Over the Sea? Aside from a year of touring behind the album, nothing. And while Mangum has picked up his public appearances in recent months, talk of an NMH reunion from the horse's mouth has been absent for quite some time.
Of course, the band remains pervasive in two ways: the acclaim of its final album and the influence it has had on a number of 2000s musicians. But does Mangum even have it in him to write another NMH album? Think of the pressure he would be under--following up arguably one of the greatest indie rock releases of all time.
Perhaps it's better this way. Maybe upholding the now-mythical feel of Neutral Milk Hotel is better than tarnishing it with a record that, quite simply, will never live up to the expectations anyone would set forth, should such a release happen. So, it's a matter of what we want. Certainly, some will get past the fact that a reunion will not feature an In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Part Deux, but face the truth--most will not.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the band's breakup (or, really, hiatus, as they never formally broke apart) was nothing to be happy about. But in the context of 2012, and after the band's myth has risen so prominently, maybe breaking up, albeit tough to swallow, was for the best.
One thing's for certain: we'll always love you, Mr. Mangum. Off-kilter enunciation and all.
-Kevin Rutherford, Editorial Director
We live in a world where almost every great classic rock band has disintegrated into a handful of memorable albums and a legacy. Most of those bands called it quits because of the death of a key member. But the most frustrating thing in the world is seeing a band break up because the bunch of cantankerous old fools can’t stand the sight of each other.
Such was the fate of Pink Floyd. Though the breakup was mostly due to Roger Waters and his huge, almost cartoonish ego, I’m still a huge fan of Waters-led Floyd. The Wall will always be my favorite album of all time, and anything after The Final Cut just doesn’t cut it.
I had the incredible opportunity to see Roger Waters perform The Wall live, and that was almost enough to get me through the ache of a Floyd-less future. Now that Roger and David Gilmour are on “amicable terms,” part of me expects a reunion tour (but everyone knows that will never happen). Until my wildest dreams come true, I’m left to listen to “Hey You” alone in my room, cursing cruel Fate and her desire to tear bands apart.
-Sam Boyer, Staff Writer
It wasn't necessarily a shock to fans when LA indie rockers officially called it quits last year. The band, who had released four full length albums between 2001 and 2007 at relatively regular intervals, hadn't released anything in over four years. Frontwoman Jenny Lewis had moved onto a project with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice, and there were rumors that things in the band had gotten tense.
And those rumors proved to be true, when in July 2011, guitarist Blake Sennett said that the band had officially broken up in an interview with Spinner, saying, "I just felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things I don't really want to submit myself to."
Though what really happened in the band was never really clarified, and that Sennett still claimed to be friends with the band, the message was heard loud and clear: the band known as Rilo Kiley was no more, greatly disappointing fans online who would greatly miss their twang-induced indie pop.
To deal with the loss, fans can only take in the words of Lewis herself: "With every broken heart, we should become more adventurous."
Remember the good ole' times with one of Rilo Kiley's best tunes: "Does He Love You?"
-Carolyn Menyes, Interviews & Live Reviews Editor
If I had to name what I thought was the “heaviest” band of all time, it would undoubtedly be Strapping Young Lad. They were the epitome of power, led by their mastermind Devin Townsend and featuring a selection of astonishingly technical musicians who were devoted to creating the most extreme music of all time.
Strapping Young Lad was a serious band in many senses, but they also had a satirical sense of humor that added a unique flavor to each album and to each live performance. Every time I listen to “Oh My F***ing God,” I can’t help but think what a travesty it is that they’ve broken up. It’s a timeless metal masterpiece that will always remain one of my personal favorite songs. Townsend ended the band on a high point in their career in an attempt to create a memorable legacy for the band, which I think was a respectable move.
Even though I agree with the band’s decision to split, I will always be heartbroken that I will never get to hear another album from them. To me, no act will ever be more extreme and more intense than Strapping Young Lad.
-Justin Silk, Staff Writer
The image is still burned into my memory: Geoff Rickly of Thursday, drenched through in sweat and singing his heart out, eyes closed, face twisted with the emotion of his words, exerting energy to the last in the 90-plus-degree atmosphere of Bogart’s in Cincinnati last July.
I had turned to my friend after that performance and yelled, “Thursday are legends.” Not only because that performance was great, but because of everything they did for post-hardcore of the early 2000s—something that, unfortunately, seems to get overlooked.
For legions of dedicated fans, Thursday has been a voice of comfort, an echo of anger and pain, a reminder to “stay true” and pure working-class philosophy of the disenfranchised since the late '90s.
It came as a terrible shock when, in November, the day after Thrice announced their hiatus, that Thursday did as well, leaving a gaping hole in a music community and in the hearts of listeners.
Thursday, come back. We need your purity. We need your honesty. We… man, we just need you back.
-Cassie Whitt, Blogs Editor
Trap is the genre of electronic dance music that took the world by storm in 2012. Will it fizzle out in a few months, or will it sustain itself for years to come?
Election Day in America is quickly approaching. This playlist of 10 songs is surely going to get you pumped to cast your ballot, no matter who it's for.
ACRN staff members talk about the songs that make them want to wear their favorite fall sweaters.
A look at the impact of art and a beloved music festival on Nelsonville, Ohio.
This year celebrates the ninth year of ACRN's summer festival Lobsterfest. The festival has come a long way since its creation. This is its history.
Is physical appearance taking over the music industry while actual talent gets put under the radar?
ACRN offers up a history of Record Store Days, as well as a rundown of things you can expect from local record stores for RSD 2012.
The ACRN Editorial staff share their favorite TV show theme songs and why they've "stuck" after all this time.
The ACRN Editorial staff share some of their favorite visual moments in music.
Part review of The Black Keys Columbus show on March 4, 2012, part think piece on the pros and cons of arena rock concerts.