Hardcore fans, though, will be rewarded by being in the presence of one of their icons. The man seems to understand that his target audience isn't "the kids" anymore, but thirty- and early fortysomethings he's helped usher through the past 20 years. He even made a remark about the monied crowd, knowing his ticket price isn't exactly small. CRAIG HLAVATY


Is One Halfway Decent Thanksgiving Pop Song Too Much to Ask?

Tawn P
Tawn P

Not so long ago, Rocks Off was wondering why there has never been a decent pop song about Thanksgiving. Not despairing, just wondering. Apart from all the complete shite, you could fill an entire wing of your iTunes library with quality tunes about Thankgiving's yuletide neighbor. But Turkey Day itself?

Try to name even one memorable, poignant, stirring, meaningful or even amusing popular song about the holiday. True, there's Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song," but one of our closest advisers argued that one doesn't count because it's comedy. We disagree, but nevertheless it's still about the closest thing the United States has ever seen to a Thanksgiving "hit."

Since 1621, when the pilgrims first decided to celebrate surviving the passage from England by eating themselves nearly-comatose, and especially since Congress officially designated the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in 1941, the day has lulled America's songwriters into a creative Tryptophan coma. Maybe they'd simply rather watch football.

This mental debate took place before Rocks Off became aware of one "It's Thanksgiving" by Nicole Westbrook, the Auto-tuned YouTube sensation of the moment at 7 million views and counting.

Now available on iTunes, the song was written and produced by Patrice Wilson, the Nigerian-American who did the same thing for last year's Rebecca Black Internet-earworm "Friday." Wilson's Hitchcockian insistence on making cameos in his videos has sparked more than one To Catch a Predator comment on YouTube. Here, he shows up in a full-size turkey costume.

"It's Thanksgiving" is useful if you have trouble keeping track of the year's major holidays, have ever felt the need to seize a turkey leg to use as a microphone or have a wicked yearning for some mashed potatoes (understandable). Otherwise it is a grating yet trifling bit of soulless, soul-sucking dance-pop fluff that should make any reasonable person over the age of 12 want to stab out their earholes.

So America is still waiting for a decent Thanksgiving pop song. Rocks Off did a little digging, and found exactly one musical giblet not immediately worth throwing out with the table scraps. Sad, sad, sad.

Loudon Wainwright III, "Thanksgiving": OK, this one isn't half bad. Lucy, Rufus and Martha's dad says grace before Thanksgiving dinner, dreading the meal that is to come: "Remind us that we are all grown-up adults, no longer children/ Now it's our kids that spill the milk, and our turn to want to kill them." CHRIS GRAY

Screwston, Texas

Underground Rapper T-Shirts Someone Should Make

Doughbeezy: That's Doughbeezy. You probably know that. Or maybe you don't. If you don't, you (probably) will eventually.

Tawn P: That's Tawn P, of course. She's really very good when she raps. You should listen to any song that she has her name on.

KAB: That's KAB, otherwise known as The Monster. He is one of underground Houston rap's great characters. And, according to rumblings, he has embarked on a sobriety journey, which we are especially excited about. You should listen to a song of his called "Jungle." It is wonderful.

Propain: That's Propain. He's a rattlesnake in Jordans. There are few emcees in town that are as reliably menacing. If you see him out, give him all of your money. He deserves more than you do. SHEA SERRANO

Screwston, Texas

Meet Travis $cott, KANYE's Local G.O.O.D. Music Protege

Asking your typical Houston rap nerd about artists on the verge or in the national spotlight usually circles the same cliched wagon. Normally they'd list off your usual suspects, sprinkle off a couple indie darlings who hang in different sects of the city, all while being very political and not wanting to step on any toes.

Because most rappers in Houston who become known in Houston...usually craft their initial buzz in Houston. Not 19-year-old Travis $cott.

Up until people bought Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music's Cruel Summer LP this fall, Travis $cott only existed to them as a kid who would randomly pop up on hip-hop sites such as ILLROOTS and smaller Texas blogs who knew of the kid. even listed Scott as one of their 10 Houston Artists to Watch this year.

Outside of that, very little has been revealed publicly about the 19-year-old rapper/producer who grew up in Missouri City, went to Elkins and then seemingly got shot out of a damn cannon to link up with Mike Dean and Kanye West. Press-wise, the most engaging thing on him may be his interview with ItsTheReal that even name-dropped Houston's own OG Che$$.

Dollar $ign rappers, I tell you.

Musically, $cott gets picked on for being heavily influenced by West. He'll forthrightly deny such a thing, but there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. West's 808s & Heartbreak album essentially snowballed into giving us Drake, and look how that's turned out.

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