In terms of pure variety, the weekend of June 1-3 may be the most stacked weekend of music Houston will see this year, and that's not just because of Summer Fest. In addition to the wide variety of acts playing Eleanor Tinsley Park, there's the regular weekend mass of shows taking place across the city.
It's a weekend that includes a Texas treasure (Willie Nelson), a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer (Bobby Womack) and the world's richest beach bum (Jimmy Buffet); alternative old (Collective Soul) and new (Seether); the universally loved (Snoop Dogg) and often hated (Nickelback). Whether you want to rock, dance, party, get silly or get undressed, there's probably something out there for you.
Now some would look at this abundance of entertainment and fret about not having the time to see it all. Rocks Off has a different fret: all these artists in one place and few if any are going to collaborate. Seems like quite the missed opportunity to us.
That doesn't mean we can't dream, though. Consider all the possibilities, and feel free to suggest your own.
5. Best Coast & Jimmy Buffett: While some see the summer as a form of fiery torture, there are those that thrive in the sun. Best Coast's brand of lo-fi indie pop sounds like the soundtrack to a trip to the beach or a long summer road trip. Jimmy Buffett also writes tunes for a trip to the beach, although one situated in a location more tropical than California.
The sounds of the surf and sun might be the most obvious connection between the two, but let's not forget their other shared passion: getting stoned. Bethany Cosentino mentions weed in different songs, and Buffet was interviewed in the first issue of High Times. We say put them together, tempt them with promises of snack food (but no brownies -- Cosentino has a gluten allergy) and let them work out a summer epic.
4. Diplo & Bush: Maybe it's unfair for us to wish for another set from Diplo this weekend. He's already playing double duty at Summer Fest with a solo set and a set as part of Major Lazer. Still, the man knows his way around a remix, having done them for acts that include The Decemberists, Kanye West and The Beatles.
Bush may be a grunge/alternative act, but they're no strangers to electronic music. Whether it's the electronic elements that seeped into their sound while recording The Science of Things or putting out that remix album with the awesome version of "Mouth," it can be argued they're more interesting when they branch out. Let Diplo pick one of the hits and see what kind of magic he can work out.
3. The Descendents & Fat Tony: We get that it looks like a major styles clash on the surface, but let's take this thing step by step. The Descendents formed in '78, added singer Milo Aukerman in '80 and by '82 had released one of the great punk records of all time. Fat Tony wasn't born until six years after Milo Goes to College was released, but don't hold his age against him: He is a three-time Houston Press Best Underground Hip-Hop Award winner.
He's also a punk rock fan. Among his favorite bands, Tony lists The Ramones, Bad Brains and Black Flag. That last one is worth noting because you know who used to be in Black Flag? Bill Stevenson, who happens to be the drummer in The Descendents.
We don't know what the combo would sound like, but at least it would be interesting. So what if it is a styles clash?
2. The Flaming Lips & Walk Off the Earth: If the name Walk Off the Earth doesn't ring a bell, don't worry. You might not know the name, but there's a chance you've seen their viral video. They're the group that does "Somebody That I Used To Know" cover with five people on one guitar. It was a silly idea, but their brand of whimsy has turned into a full-blown U.S. tour.
The Flaming Lips are, by Wayne Coyne's own admission, a freaky group. It's lead to everything from Coyne rolling on top of his audience in a giant hamster wheel to a box set of four CDs meant to be played at the same time.
Although they might express their weirdness in different ways, the two bands are close to being kindred spirits. They both embody a sense of playfulness and oddity sorely missing in a lot of music today. Although we may never get a team-up from them, we imagine that if we did it would be lighthearted and have an awesome video.
1. Nickelback & Snoop Dogg: Of all the imaginary crossovers we envision, this is the one that seems like it would have the most potential to actually happen.
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Snoop Dogg will go into business with damn near anybody for the right price, be it a legend (like Willie Nelson) or a pop act looking for a little help on the remix (remember the Pussycat Dolls?). While Nickelback may not have a lot of collaborations in their discography, Chad Kroeger has worked with his fair share of artists and has appeared on tracks with Timbaland and Ludacris.
We pointed it out way back at the start of this blog that these two acts exist on two different ends of the popularity spectrum. Snoop is the type of rapper that your grandmother would like if she was into that sort of thing, and rational people start foaming at the mouth at the mention of Nickelback. And that's kind of why we'd like to see them onstage together, because at that point the crowd would have to make a choice: Boo someone they love or cheer someone they hate.