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.
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.