Love Plus One

Or five ways to make existing groups that much more super

Van Halen enlists Greg Ginn: Eddie Van Halen is drinking himself to death for the same reason Marlon Brando got fat: no more challenges. There hasn't been a personality strong enough to stand up to Mr. Ed since David Lee Roth wandered off. Greg Ginn is Eddie's dark reflection: The former Black Flag and Gone axeman is just as talented, just as headstrong, and floundering just as much since he removed Henry Rollins from his life. But if Eddie and Greg had each other as foils, the resulting band (Gone Halen?) would be an instrumental juggernaut. Ginn and Van Halen would drive one another to new heights, each trying to outdo the other's solos. Imagine the breakdown in "Panama" replaced by the cascade of noise from "Three Nights." Fuckin' goose bumps.

Nick Cave gets *NSYNC:Even the staunchest Nick Cave fan has to admit there was something wrong with Cave's last album, 2001's No More Shall We Part. It seems the pressure of writing all the material is getting to Cave, who's coming dangerously close to parodying himself, what with all the melancholy and maudlin hand-wringing. Maybe the Australian native should just focus on the singing for a while and let other people do the writing. Imagine Cave replacing Justin Timberlake in *NSYNC: The boy band would immediately be taken more seriously, and Cave could learn to enjoy himself. All the disturbed, dark-dressed teenage girls would have a pinup to call their own, and Cave would finally have a video played on MTV. (Television airtime isn't a goal of his? Just go with us on this.) Imagine Carson Daly having to interview a ridiculously coiffed and dolled-up Nick Cave, while the singer suffers through the worst year of his life. Cave's eventual freakout could only be ruled justifiable homicide. One album and a flashy tour later, he could return to his piano feeling refreshed, refocused, and revitalized -- and he would never write anything as cheesy as "God Is in the House" again, although that song is stilla better listen than Audioslave.

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