Wonders Never Cease

Houston promotes its present-day music scene to the national media.

Wait, boobies?! I've been under the impression that this damn song says "groupies." This song is a terrible idea for anyone, ever, but especially for girls young enough to find the Pussycat Dolls tolerable.

Aqua, "Barbie Girl"

Oh, for the love. This effing song is about a Barbie doll; children are bound to be attracted to it. If I can't find a way to make a joke out of the lyrics (which I can't on this one without feeling really awkward), then chances are good that the song is practically begging for a pedo-bear warning. Aqua: raising only the highest class of trophy wives since 1997.

K-Rino's new album, The Maven, will be out this month.
Marco Torres
K-Rino's new album, The Maven, will be out this month.
A recent photo of the Zombies, featuring founders Colin Blunstone (second from left) and Rod Argent (second from right).
A recent photo of the Zombies, featuring founders Colin Blunstone (second from left) and Rod Argent (second from right).

Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom"

This song is responsible for tons of false hope, and that makes it irresponsible. Your teenage boys should be clear that no matter how many times they mow the neighbor's lawn, she's probably not coming out in a towel anytime soon. We don't want any ­misunderstandings.

Ke$ha, "Tik Tok"

(Even typing that name is annoying.) ­Nothing good can come of letting your kids have Ke$ha as a role model, but if they start brushing their teeth with a bottle of Jack Daniel's, you know it may be time to replace it with something less binge-drinky and junk-touchy. Also, my daughter better not ever say the words "Boys try to touch my junk," or there'll be a whole lotta fist-shaking taking place in my house.

The Rocks Off 100

Southside Story
Legendary local MC K-Rino joins our members-only club.

Nathan Smith


K-Rino has been such a longtime fixture of Houston hip-hop that it's hard to imagine the underground without him. The Southside MC has been spitting street poetry for three decades, dating all the way back to his days at Sterling High School, where he battled his lyrical rivals in hallways and on street corners in Houston's gritty South Park neighborhood.

From those early rap battles emerged the South Park Coalition, H-Town's first rap clique, which set the bar high for local independent distribution and work ethic. As co-founder and driving force behind the SPC, K-Rino simply never put the mike down in the intervening ­decades.

Today he has more than 20 albums under his belt and has spread his rapid-fire, streetwise wordplay to every corner of the globe — all without the help of a major record label.

Good War Story

"Probably what's made me proud to be a rapper is just the fact that I've been able to do shows all over the world, going overseas without the backing of a major label," he says. "Just from the underground, I've been able to do a lot of those things that most artists dream of doing and some are never able to do.

"That's probably one of the highlights of my career, just being able to travel the world and perform in front of packed parties, just on the strength of being an underground artist."

Why Do You Stay in Houston?

"Houston is home," the rapper says simply. "I'm not the kind of guy who 'goes Hollywood' and packs up and moves to another city or another state. I think that the foundation of what I represent and what I write about is rooted in this city, rooted from my experiences growing up in this city.

"To leave that would just alter that whole dynamic," K-Rino continues. "It would actually just remove it totally. So, I stay home, stay grounded and stay rooted in what made me who I am right now."

Music Scene Pet Peeves

"I got a couple!" K-Rino says. "My biggest would probably just be the lack of originality. You know, the game has turned pretty much into a copycat industry. People just kind of wait to see what's going to catch on and what's going to get so-called 'hot,' and then they start to pattern themselves and pattern their careers after that.

"I'm from an era where people were not scared to be individuals and not scared to just be who they are, be original," he explains. "And all of those different artists were able to prosper just on the fact that they represented something different. I don't think you see that now."

Classic Rock Corner

Time of the Season
Resurrected British Invasion alumni the Zombies visit Houston.

Bob Ruggiero

In today's pop culture, zombies are hot. Their lumbering, slack-jawed forms are moving (albeit slowly) on TV, in movies and video games, and off the pages of books.

So it's sort of appropriate that — like these monosyllabic, flesh-shedding creatures who get a second chance — the beloved '60s British Invasion group the Zombies ("Time of the Season," "She's Not There," "Tell Her No") should also have a resurrection decades later.

"We were pleasantly surprised — astounded, really — when we started playing together again in 2000 that there was this huge interest in the band, especially since we didn't put out a lot of material," says original vocalist Colin Blunstone from his home in England. "And it's worldwide. People are just fascinated by the band, and we seriously didn't realize that."

The Zombies will play Fitzgerald's on March 17, right after a busy schedule of appearances in Austin at SXSW.

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