Monday, May 12, 2008

Know Your Enemy: The "BuzzCuts" 2-CD Alternative Music Compilation

Watching TV the other night, Girlfriend and I were assaulted... that's right, assaulted... by a loud, smelly commercial touting a 2-CD compilation of "the biggest alternative rock hits of all time." It goes by the name "BuzzCuts," which is the hippest name on the planet according to the 40 year old marketing executives that read a study about being with-it during the last financial quarter. Say it a few times and see if your tongue doesn't frost over from the coolness. The ad went on to say, that, "If you're a lover of alt rock then this CD is a definite must have." It also referred to said collection as being full of "blazin' tunes."

Lies. All of it. Okay... maybe it's true that some of these songs were hits, but who cares? Having a hit record in this day and age is like winning a "Best Pants-Shitter" competition at a summer camp for fat kids who've never heard of love. You won and you got a trophy and that's great... but in the end, all you've really produced is shit.

So, in an effort to help you Know Your Enemy, I've taken the time out of my busy schedule (of drinking!) to write out for you a detailed list of why this 2-CD compilation will aide in your demise, should you mistakenly purchase it of your own free will. Now, yes, there are a couple of exceptions... a few songs scattered across this particular auditory landscape that aren't that bad; good, even, provided your idea of "good" is warped and gruesome. These are traps... these are the candy held out by strangers to lure innocent children into the unmarked van of horrors that is the "BuzzCuts." Beware, kiddos, and heed my words.

Take heart these lessons, for one day they may save your life. Or, you know, save you $26.99 plus shipping and handling.

Disc One

"Kryptonite" by Three Doors Down - For about two months, this song was on every morning at 7:36am as I drove from my apartment in South Austin to my early classes during my first year of college. It talks about Superman and some other stuff and it's basically the root of why it took me forever to finish school; having this song stuck in my head for so long killed off a part of my brain that made it difficult for me to learn. Also, every member of Three Doors Down looks like a guy that would try to sell you speakers out the back of a van so they could pay back a drug dealer for some skunk weed.

"Fat Lip" by Sum 41 - They're punk, but in quotes. Like they heard of punk... not the actual music, just the concept... then they made an album that they think would probably sound like that, or at least like the way it was explained to them during 6th period gym by this one guy with a pierced eyebrow.

"I Miss You" by Blink 182 - If you have to listen to a Blink-182 song, it might as well be this one. Granted, that's like choosing from a selection of guns the specific one you'd like to have placed against your temple and fired until the only sound is a chorus of dry clicks and dripping blood, but still... you might as well go with the gun that's the least obnoxious.

"Blurry" by Puddle of Mudd
- I've heard it said that if you plow into a group of school children at exactly 63mph, the sound of the impact is precisely the baseline to this song. Spooky! Puddle of Mudd are in league with whatever minion of the Devil handles shitty music!

"I'd Do Anything" by Simple Plan - I don't know this song, but I do know the band. Parenthetically, I've never seen the mangled bodies of all the hookers that Jack the Ripper killed, but I know enough about him to assume they sounded just awful.

"Celebrity Skin" by Hole - What a desperate need for fame and attention sounds like.

"Sour Girl" by Stone Temple Pilots
- I liked STP as much as the next dude that was a teenager during their heyday, but this song isn't exactly a good representation of their work. It's like a guy trying to convince you he's a doctor by putting a Band-Aid on skinned knee. At least take out my appendix or play "Interstate Love Song" or something.

"Last Resort" by Papa Roach - During my heavy frat party attendance days, there was always some big fat guy called Bear or Oink or Hoss or Ox or The Fart that would stand on a coffee table and sing along with this song with such conviction, it wouldn't have surprised anyone if his head had exploded in a shower of meat and Budweiser. Those were pretty good times, generally, but having to watch that sad display every weekend was a bummer on par with a swift kick to the kneecap right before a nice walk on a sunny day.

"Running Away" by Hoobastank - They could play music that sounded like Jimi Hendrix and Elvis and John Lennon formed a power trio called "Your Awesomness Delivered" and their music would still suck llama nards because they have the worst band name ever in the history of musicians deciding to call themselves whatever lame, inside joke is currently making them laugh through the drug haze.

"Hanging Around" by Counting Crows - Adam Duritz is kind of a douche (cue sound of Girlfriend hitting me with a rolled up magazine), but this song is catchy. It gets a pass, but remember what I said earlier... TRAP!!!

"Lakini's Juice" by Live - I have no problem with the band... they're a little overwrought, but "Lightning Crashes" was okay... but this song is just awful. Like they were having a really bad day in the studio but were up against a deadline and just went, "Whatever, just take this. Now who's up for IHOP?" And they went to IHOP and had a lot of good pancakes and then suddenly this song is a minor hit and it occurred to them that they don't have try and next time you see them, they're performing on American Idol and you can just make out the scarring on the back of their necks where the soul was removed.

"Hanging By A Moment" by Lifehouse
- This is your favorite song if you have no idea what kind of music you like. It's pleasant enough, or at least not offensive, and you just heard it on the radio so... yeah... that's your favorite song. And your favorite movie is whatever Will Ferrell is in right now.

"The Way" by Fastball - I saw them at some sort of festival show in Dallas like ten years ago and believe me when I say there's a reason they flogged the ever-lovin' shit out of this song. It is literally the only decent one they can play. Like, this is it. All their other stuff sounds like The Wallflowers got thrown in a garbage compacter with a stabbed cat who can't play guitar.

"What It is To Burn" by Finch - No one has any idea who this band is or where they came from. This song just showed up on the album one day after the "BuzzCuts" staff played a round of Bloody Mary in the men's room on their lunch break.

"The Chemicals Between Us" by Bush - "Sixteen Stone" was the only halfway-decent album Bush ever put out, so if we have to have a Bush song on this thing, let's not pick one from that. We have standards, people, but in the opposite direction from what's normal.

"Smooth Criminal" by Alien Ant Farm - This song, the video, the band itself... they're like that one time you were hanging out with friends and this one guy's little brother did something retarded and you all laughed about it for a week and then forgot about it and then, like two months later, someone brought it up again and you all collectively go,"Yeah, why was that so funny? Just seems stupid and kinda lame now." I'd like to believe that somewhere, somehow, Alien Ant Farm is reading this analogy and slowly nodding their heads before heading off to the liquor store.

Disc Two

"Higher" by Creed - The worst thing to happen to music since the day Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens all died in that plane crash.

"Meant To Live" by Switchfoot
- It's good to keep a few Switchfoot albums around the house, just in case you decided to end the evening with some date rape. Makes for excellent background music... like, it's not going to be too distracting while you're date-raping, but it makes the whole affair a little more atmospheric and easy. Like really the ideal situation for date rape, which is sometimes a hard balance to hit.

"Butterfly" by Crazytown - These guys got kicked off of the Ozzfest tour a few years ago. Ha! What do you have to do to get kicked off of the fucking Ozzfest tour?!?! What...? Oh, you have to do a lot of heroin. Yeah, I guess that would do it. So let me get this straight: These guys are junkies that sing about butterflies? That's like a parody of the sadness wrapped around music that makes deaf people cringe.

"Hemorrhage (In My Hands)" by Fuel - What's ironic is that, whenever Fuel sings this song, elderly people within a 500 yard radius die instantly from a brain hemorrhage. Which is why Fuel concerts look like Dr. Kevorkian's waiting room the day after Christmas.

"My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit - Girlfriend really likes this song, and even can play it on the guitar, so I'll give it a pass. Begrudgingly, but that's what you do for love.

"I Will Buy You A New Life" by Everclear - Like the band, like the beverage. Odd coincidence: I was really into this song at exactly the same time in my life that I was really into floating an inch of Everclear on the top of all my drinks. Isn't that an odd coincidence? I think so. I think it's also why I can't remember phone numbers anymore and I still have to do math on my fingers.

"Amber" by 311 - An old roommate of mine was so into 311, I thought about killing her in her sleep as an act of kindness like when you shoot a horse with a broken leg. I didn't go through with it because I'm a weak, weak man and now I've got this regret hanging around my neck like bling made of concrete. Because 311 is just the worst, you guys. They're everything that's wrong with everything. Even stuff that doesn't have anything to do with music. If your car won't start or your Dad dies all of a sudden, it's more than likely 311's fault.

"Somewhere Out There" by Our Lady Peace - Putting the ballad from An American Tale on the "BuzzCuts" album was an interesting choice, but it's nice that they're getting outside their comfort zone and trying new things.

"Bodies" by Drowning Pool - Obviously this song is annoying and worthless, but it's also kind of funny because it's been used on every other action movie trailer since the day it hit the charts. It's like the point where shitty music and shitty movies cross each other, which from a historical perspective is rather interesting. I mean, culturally it means we're fucked as a species, but still... historically of note.

"I Hate Everything About You" by Three Days Grace - No, no, Three Days Grace. It's US that hates everything about YOU. But nice try, writing a song that tries to flip the situation. That's like telling everyone that you hate Becky because you know Becky is about to spread rumors about you because she saw you buying hemorrhoid cream at the drugstore. Way to act like a sixteen year old girl, Three Days Grace.

"Inside Out" by Eve 6 - Eh. They had a couple of songs, including this one, that were alright. Not a band I'd rush to defend if a critic was making fun of their mothers or anything, but I don't pray for a car wreck if they happen to come on the radio while I'm driving. A wash, really, which is more than you can say for most of the bands on this list.

"Send The Pain Below" by Chevelle - You... named yourself... after a crappy, early-70's muscle car? I just spray-painted the word "Oooookay" on the side of goat and then chained it to a pole in Jurassic Park so a T-Rex could it eat and die from an acute case of "WTF????"

"Where Ever You Will Go" by The Calling - This is sort of the same thing as that Lifehouse tune from the first disc, but this is way worse because I think they're supposed to be all Jesus-y or something. Or maybe it's Lifehouse that's all Jesus-y. Whatever, they both blow convicts in the prison showers of popular music, so it doesn't really matter. One of them will be praying while they gag and one won't.

"Fly" by Sugar Ray feat. SuperCat - A good song the first 100 times I heard it. Then it slowly took the form of a surgical scalpel and every time it came on the radio, it removed another chuck of my flesh. So now I look like the Hollow Man about halfway through his transformation from Kevin Bacon to an invisible guy. Thanks, Sugar Ray. Your inoffensive radio pop has flayed me alive. And SuperCat... you can just die because your name is SuperCat. Gross, for real.


Blogger Lioux said...


"BuzzCuts®™©™" was going to be the name of my band Sister Kisser®™©™'s up and coming Compact Disc.

[Due out this fall].

11:01 AM  
Blogger brookLyn gaL said...

Hilarious that you compared "Wherever you will go" to "Hanging by a Moment" because when you first mentioned "Hanging by a Moment", I thought to myself, wasn't that song by The Calling? And now I have to ask... aren't they really the exact same song?

11:19 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Lioux... You're better off without. Sister Kisser is above that name.

Brooklyn... I think it's actually just the same band wearing different outfits. They're trying to get twice the paychecks because they know they're going to get fired soon. For being shitty.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Lioux said...

Yea. We're pretty much over it now.

Sister Kisser®™©™'s new CD is now going to be called "Kidz Bop".

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Amie said...

Wow. They managed to take just about every bad, overplayed "alternative" song of the 90's and cram them together in a two-disc set. That in itself is an almost impressive feat. I'm not willing to give a single one of these a pass. They're all pretty much crap.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

I know, right? The only one I'd actively defend is the Everclear song, but otherwise... yeah it's just crap upon crap upon crap.

1:45 PM  
Blogger stew said...

I have not heard of most of these songs. I feel lucky.

I will say that one of these bands is playing an event I have to go to and for six months, all I've heard is excitement over the fact that they are coming and over and over, I just go 'who?????' so now if I go to the event, I can meet them and have them sign my copy of "BuzzCuts" which I am totally now ordering. NICE VIRAL MARKETING, ZFS!

1:52 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...




i'm surprised it wasn't spelled...

2:53 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Stew... I'm ain't viral marketing nothin' until I see some sweet, sweet cash.

Jason... There's a marketing exec out there smacking his forhead and saying, "Dammit, we missed a Z!!!"

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Just Saying said...

I had Everclear last night. The drink not the band!

5:04 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

I saw that commercial the other night and immediately felt old. Lots of memories associated with those songs. In retrospect, the memories are much better then the songs.

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to read this at work without laughing was a feat that required effort of Olympian proportions.


2:57 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Just Saying... Nice.

Todd... I would hope so. Though admittedly that wouldn't be hard.

Phoenix... Thank! You win the Gold!!! In fencing, oddly enough.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Big Daddy said...

Hoobastank, hooba-stinks.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the alternative music and this cd is the best one because has a good compilation of many excellent bands and singers.I woul like to buy it online but ny father have blocked the account because He bougth a lot of viagraonline

12:52 PM  

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