I saw the Purple Rain Tour in Atlanta. First time I saw security descend upon and beat down someone in the audience who snuck in a camera. Credentials are good for your health.
By Chris Gray
By Corey Deiterman
By Jef With One F
By Chris Gray
By Rocks Off
By Rocks Off
This is a guy who claims that the Internet is a dead medium and chooses to release his albums in newspapers, then somehow manages to keep making money and staying relevant whenever he chooses. Clearly he knows something we don't.
Axl Rose: Like Prince, Axl Rose rarely chooses to speak to the media, but we all lap it up when he does choose to come down and bestow upon us some kind of words of wisdom. He's elusive, he's possibly nuts, he's possibly a genius and he's possibly an asshole, which is why we're all so damned captivated by him all the time.
Kanye West: Anytime Kanye West opens his mouth, it's a show. The man oozes controversy with every word he speaks. He's also just damned entertaining to listen to. He's been in the music industry on both sides of the pop world as it stands today, performer and producer, and has remained on the cutting edge through a few musical evolutions.
So not only would Kanye probably have some interesting insights into the state of the music industry, he would also be edgy and unpredictable. You also never know when he's just going to pop off with a "George Bush doesn't care about black people" comment or a strange comparison between himself and Hitler, and that's what makes him so much fun to listen to.
Bob Dylan: This could potentially be amazing as long as we can understand a word he says. Dylan's words of wisdom in recent years have been just as cynical and entertaining as they always have. He's the same old Bob: Still bitter, still salty, just now an actual old and grizzled veteran.
He may not have many insights into the record industry, though. After all, this is a guy who for the most part still seems to rely on the tried and true way of releasing music. But even if he just spoke on songwriting for an hour and a half or so, I think we'd all be elated to hear whatever he has to say.
THE ROCKS OFF 100
Paige Mann, House of Blues' Box-Office Diva
By Chris Gray
Who? A former sales manager at doomed Houston record distributors Southwest Wholesale, Paige Mann has been House of Blues' No. 1 "Box Office Diva/Dream Crusher" since the Houston Pavilions venue opened in September 2008. The Austin native says, "Houston is 100 percent home" and she's been in the local scene for "many, many moons."
Home Base: When not at the box-office window, Mann says her haunts include The Davenport, Absinthe and El Gran Malo, and "not often enough" at Dirt Bar across the street from HOB.
Good War Story: Mann's story is pretty recent and, she says, has an "odd ending." It's about the Garbage show this past April (almost) and then October (for real).
"Having to postpone out a sold-out Garbage show in April roughly three hours before doors due to an emergency in a band member's family [is] never an easy thing to pull off on short notice, and [it's] certainly no fun putting 1,700-plus people instantly in the bummer tent!" Mann opens.
"The upside was that since the band had just recently begun touring again and were also early in their tour schedule, they used the Music Hall as a big ol' rehearsal studio and ran their entire set list that afternoon...for about ten of us," she says. "I'm still fairly certain that the people who were arriving for the now-postponed show were wondering why we were playing so much Garbage music inside. Little did they know..."
Why Do You Stay in Houston? "Because I really, really effin' love it!" Mann says. "Friendly people, no work on 'snow days,' great museums, restaurants out the wazoo, the Texans, a 45-minute drive to the coast, and two airports to get me the hell outta here when I need a break!"
Cypress Hill Sounds Off Before a Loco Scout Bar Show
By Marco Torres
Amidst the cacophony of talented rappers and rap crews who have emerged from the West Coast, one group has been breaking barriers with a distinct style and voice for more than 20 years. Cypress Hill, with their hyperrealistic street poetry and smoke-filled party records, continues to speak to the weedheads, the Lowriders, the Latinos and anyone else within earshot of their rhymes.
Rocks Off spoke with MCs B-Real and Sen Dog on a surprisingly smoke-free tour bus prior to their November 19 show at Scout Bar.
Rocks Off: Throughout your career, your sound has been constantly evolving, from straight-up OG West Coast rap to rock, psychedelic/hardcore, Latin and now dubstep. Can you explain why this is necessary for your success?
Sen Dog: We don't worry too much about labels or formats. We are who we are as a band. We try our best to cross lines and transcend with the music and rhymes. At the end of the day, we're hip-hoppers...and always will be.
B-Real: We can't afford to discriminate on our music anymore. It's not the '90s, when everyone pretty much stayed in their clique or circle and did the same thing over and over. Nowadays, you need to listen to a lot of different stuff and stay current.