This Sunday, Craig's Hlist embarks on one of the most dangerous adventures of his music-journalism career, covering BuzzFest XXIV out at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. It will be our first go-round at the bi-annual modern-rock radio festival. This year's line-up was the first one that made us leap to our feet and beg to get assigned. Actually, we ran into the Rocks Off HQ office and threatened to quit if we weren't sent to the veritable Afghanistan of rock journalism. [Ed. Note: That's not quite how we remember it, but better him than us.] Why? Limp Bizkit, for one. The past 12 months we have placed ourselves directly in the path of a cavalcade of some of the most reviled artists in music history, with varying results: Creed, Yanni, Nickelback, John Mayer, Justin Bieber, Jonas Brothers, Kenny G, and the Insane Clown Posse all in the past year. We will be damned if Fred Durst and the reformed and beloved L-I-M-P [Ed. Note: "Discover"] will be deter us from getting a bomb-ass tan up north on Sunday with enough brosephery to choke the Fill-In-the-Blank-Indie-Band-from-L.A.-or-Brooklyn.
Fred Durst is a goon and a spectacle, and we can't pass up goons and spectacles. We actually would prefer seeing Limp Bizkit to most other modern-rock shows for that very fact. Nickelback isn't a show, it's a jukebox. Durst is a showman, even if his songs don't rattle our throttle the way other bands do. It's a way of inoculating ourselves against future aural illnesses. If something is so bad, we want to see it up close and breathe it in. That's why people visit shark cages and watch Schindler's List so they can remind themselves what real dangers exist in the world and what atrocities men can commit on each other. We aren't saying a memorial to the fans that bought Limp Bizkit's 1999 album Significant Other should be erected in Washington D.C., but you get the idea. Deftones are also on the bill early in the day. For our part, those guys have always been a stellar live act and deserve to be headlining or co-headlining with Bizkit. Their influence is still felt in modern metal, with most bands these days admitting to cutting their musical teeth on 2000's White Pony. You can't shake a stick at many metal or technical guitarists these days who don't bow to the throne of that album. The band has been down bassist Chi Cheng since a November 2008 car accident left him in a semi-comatose state. He is currently being looked after by family at his home and slowly but surely making improvements with each day. There are other band's playing Buzzfest, of course: 30 Seconds to Mars, actor Jared Leto's strange vanity project; the interchangeable Three Days Grace and Seether; and the slumming Metric and 10 Years. (The latter's music has less flavor than distilled water, by the way.) All told, it's kind of a vanilla list aside from Bizkit and the Deftones. But we can stand this bill much better than we could say, seeing a gaggle of white-boy reggae bands. Sorry, that's where we draw the line on the lawn of Cynthia Woods. But alas, we have no problem seeing bands that we shouldn't be standing in front of. It's part of our job, and you never know some band is going to tickle our fancy, as it were, and turn into a sick, sick pleasure* we don't tell anyone about until we write a blog like this. *Incubus Here are five songs we don't want to hear at Buzzfest. We were told to include only one Bizkit song, but we could only think of one that we overtly hate. The others might as well be the jingle for Totino's Pizza Rolls. We really have deadened all hatred we have for bad music in lieu of learning new ways to love music instead. Seether, "Careless Whisper"
We have nothing specific against Seether; we just wish they wouldn't have covered this George Michael song out of everything in his solo and Wham! catalog. We could have enjoyed "Father Figure" or even "I Want Your Sex." Three Days Grace, "Pain" Pain has never sounded so boring. Pain is supposed to be wellspring of creative fuel, but somehow Three Days Grace lost the plot. It uses the same one-syllable keywords as most other modern-rock radio bands use these days: Numb, trust, love, rough, hurt, work, hand and of course, pain. Sick Puppies, "You're Going Down"
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We only know this song after Buxton's Chris Wise clued us in to the lyrics. It's about having a real knock-down, drag-out fight with someone - over what, we can only guess from the lyrics. We aren't sure if it's fighting a dude or a chick, but it's hilarious and reminds us of every Friday night we spent working the door at Texas Wings in Pearland. Limp Bizkit "Rollin'" This song encompasses everything people hate about Limp Bizkit, and marks the end of the band's golden age for many people, if such a thing was possible. It's got the inane yet catchy chorus, and Durst doing almost every single voice from his bag of tricks. When it came out at the end of MTV's pop-culture reign, the music video was on almost every five minutes and featured Ben Stiller for some reason. 30 Seconds to Mars, "The Fantasy"
Funny story about Jared Leto, the lead singer of 30 Seconds To Mars and the vaginally-acclaimed co-star of ABC's My So-Called Life. In 2002, Craig's Hlist and some buddies were in Austin for SXSW for a few days. We found ourselves walking down Sixth Street one night, when Leto comes up behind and asks if he could bum our lighter for his cigarette. So we oblige him and just kind of stare at him in this weird way we can't quite pin down as he lights his smoke. He asks where we are going and we point at the Black Cat, which has long since burned down, a few doors down. "What's the vibe like?" Leto says. "Straight-up punk rock, bro," we counter, our spiky hair poking out of our baseball cap. "Well, fuck yeah," Leto says as he exhales smoke. And with that, we somehow ended up seeing Austin's Black Star Brigade with "Angel Face" from Fight Club. He even bought us a beer.