(Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon of The Good The Bad and The Queen at Coachella '07)
Musical collaborations have always been a way to keep the artistic process fresh. Whether it's Aerosmith and Run/DMC proving rock and rap can co-exist, Temple of the Dog (Pearl Jam and Soundgarden) paying tribute to a fallen comrade (Mother Love Bone's Andrew Wood), David Byrne and Dirty Projectors following through on their cross-generational, musical crush on one another, or Foster The People, Kimbra, and A-Trak shilling for Converse, it's always a thrill to see what comes out of such collaborative processes. Of course busy schedules and competing priorities make these kinds of creative get-togethers difficult. Still, we can dream right? And in those dreams we see some pretty spectacular partnerships coming together. Have a look at a few of the artists we'd give anything to see get together in the studio or on stage.
1. Foster the People and Damon Albarn Foster the People proved they are more than capable of moving beyond the crazy, crossover success of their debut album, Torches when they covered The Beach Boys at this year's Grammy Awards. So why not raise the ante just a bit and team 'em up with one of music's most exciting shape-shifters? Damon Albarn has a long list of achievements, including bands like Blur, Gorillaz, and The Good The Bad and The Queen. Most recently he put together an Afro-folk opera about a 16th century mathematician named Dr. Dee. Neat! We'd love to see the talented musician, producer, composer, and all around music god mix things up with one of pop music's most promising bands...we're hearing endless possibilities.
2. Blur and The Clash Sticking with Albarn for a moment... We know he and The Clash's Paul Simonon mixed things up on The Good The Bad and The Queen. But wouldn't it be sweet if Blur teamed up with the remaining members of The Clash? After all, most bands that dabble in punk and alternative music can cite both bands as major influences. Why not get 'em both together...perhaps when Blur plays several shows this summer in London in support of the 2012 Olympics?
"Beetlebum" by Blur:
3. The National and Leonard Cohen The National might play music that borders on "Dad Rock", but it's hard to argue against the power of their 2010 release, High Violet. It was an absolute attention grabber...even for some of those who had previously written the band off. The band's most distinguished characteristic, Matt Berninger's baritone vocals and sorrowful lyrics, would fit perfectly in duet with, I don't know...say Leonard Cohen? The timeless singer-songwriter knows his way around just about any instrument or lyrical topic. Paired with The National's gorgeous instrumental backdrop, and Berniger's similar vocal style, we're thinking the results would be pretty stunning.
"Apartment Story" by The National:
4. Bloc Party and Robert Smith/The Cure Bloc Party are gearing up to release their first record in what feels like a decade (actually it's only four years, but, you know...it's felt much longer). Having been gone so long, Kele and the boys have some making up to do. How about coaxing The Cure's Robert Smith to join 'em on stage sometime? Smith's doom and gloom would get a peppy, indie pick me up. And Smith could easily lead the rest of the band into slow jam territory. Or they could just do nothing but Joy Division covers. Either way, the partnership would drop jaws.
"Hunting for Witches" by Bloc Party
5. Childish Gambino and Travis Barker Travis Barker somehow found himself wandering into the world of hip-hop after Blink 182 called it quits. We're still not sure how he got there exactly, but his solo album Give the Drummer Some proves he belongs. Now imagine adding hipster/comedian/actor turned hip hop artist Childish Gambino to the mix. Donald Glover, the man responsible for Childish Gambino, gained popularity through his remix of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" and his song "Freaks and Geeks". Camp has been a favorite around these parts. Take all off Gambino's pop culture references and throw in Barkers commanding drum lines and you'd really have something. For his part, Barker has already proved his adaptability with drum covers and remixes of popular songs like Drake's "Forever". I'd like to see his take of Gambino's Camp. Make it happen boys!