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San Antonio Roses

Please welcome Girl In a Coma as our HPMA showcase's special guest.

HPMA

Rocks Off is proud to announce that we have signed on Girl In a Coma as our special guest for the Houston Press Music Awards showcase this Sunday.

The San Antonio trio is no stranger to these parts, mostly because it seems like they're here all the time. In the past year or two, GIAC has played Fitzgerald's, House of Blues, Discovery Green and Cactus Music, and that's just what we can think of offhand. They'll be playing at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, after all the other HPMA showcasers have finished and everyone is (hopefully) all crowded into House of Blues' Music Hall.

Girl In a Coma might seem a little young to have already put out four albums, but that's because drummer Phanie Diaz and Jenn Alva started their band nearly a decade ago and recruited Nina Diaz (Phanie's little sister) to sing lead when she was all of 13. The threesome's hair-raising blend of '90s riot-grrrl punk, Texas roots and jangly alt-pop has caught the fancy of none other than Joan Jett, who signed the Texans to her Blackheart Records in 2007.

Their fourth album for the label, Exits & All the Rest, came out in late 2012 and has recently been getting some radio play for the shimmering single "Smart." You also might have heard them in Robert Rodriguez's bodacious 2011 border B-movie Machete.

Tickets for the showcase are still only a ridiculous $10 until Sunday, when the day-of price jumps to $15. Buy them at HPMusicAwards.com, and see our special HPMA showcase guide elsewhere in this week's issue.
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Pop Life

Difference of Opinion
Five "classic" albums we happen to hate.

Rocks Off

For a variety of reasons, certain albums have come to be regarded as "classics," critically untouchable works that not only enriched the coffers of their creators but overall made the world a nicer, more beautiful place to be.

Of course that's a load of horse pucky. Recently Rocks Off asked several of our writers to give us a few albums that everybody seems to love but them.

Queen, A Night at the Opera

Queen was a consummate singles band, but the closest thing they've got to a "classic" LP is A Night at the Opera: a strange mishmash of tastefully constructed filler surrounding "Bohemian Rhapsody," one of the few Queen hits that live on outside of sporting events (thanks, Wayne's World!).

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is an exceedingly silly bit of fluff that rocks out for approximately 30 seconds in between broad stretches of completely nonsensical lyricism deployed in a grating, faux-operatic vocal style. If you're the sort of jerk who enjoys playing this song on the jukebox and loudly singing along, please resume taking your prescribed medication. NATHAN SMITH

The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead

I should have loved this album. I was squarely in the target demographic: 20 years old, relatively well-read and prone to existential gloominess. And I'm Mexican-American. To many of us, Morrissey is just Vicente Fernandez with a different accent and no charro suit. Good music. Thoughtful lyrics. So what's the problem?

I find The Queen Is Dead boring. It evokes no feeling in me, not even hate. It's so lukewarm I can barely work up any ire over it now. I know The Smiths poured everything into their work, but all I got was a droplet. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A.

Bruce Springsteen is "The Boss" to a lot of people. I often feel like the only one who doesn't like him. Look, I tried, but I just don't get Springsteen. Of course, he is playing what's labeled "heartland rock," and my patriotism lasts as long as "The Star-Spangled Banner" at a sporting event.

I'm also not a fan of Springsteen's voice. For good measure, I tried listening to artists who take after him, such as Gaslight Anthem, to see if they could bridge the gap that stands between me and the rest of America. But that sound is not for me. ALYSSA DUPREE

U2, The Joshua Tree

Yes, I know The Joshua Tree has three very famous songs on it, three critically revered fan favorites that people adore. But that's all it's got. In reality, "Where the Streets Have No Name," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "With or Without You" are all interchangeable, full of bloated music and cheesy religious metaphors. And as redundant as they are, those songs are the best you'll get from the album. ­ANGELICA LEICHT

The Who, Quadrophenia

Sorry, but never has a band been so completely, frustratingly lost up its own ass wading through pretentious garbage, and Quadrophenia has to be The Who's nadir. Yet another "rock opera," it drones on for four fucking sides before it reaches its solitary enjoyable moment with "Love Reign O'er Me," a song I do love but that absolutely does not make up for the pseudointellectual hell that precedes it. Face it: These guys had about two good songs per album. The rest was Townshend wanking off and waxing philosophical. Gag. COREY DEITERMAN
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Ask Willie D

Kids These Days
Teenagers' shocking language has one reader seeking advice.

Dear Willie D:

Not long ago, I was at a department store trying on clothes and overheard two girls in the dressing room next to me using the most foul language imaginable. When I walked out, I was shocked to see they couldn't have been more than 13 years old. The fact that they were in the presence of an adult had no effect on their choice of words since they looked at me and continued to spew out expletives.

The way young people talk, dress and decorate their bodies with piercings and tattoos is baffling. They can't even attend school without fear of being shot by their classmates.

I follow your Facebook postings religiously, and you seem to be a staunch supporter of young people and their purpose in society. Unfortunately, I don't share your viewpoint. The youth of today are lost and I don't know what can be done to help them find their way.

Shocked:

I agree with you that great numbers of young people are lost, but I'm optimistic because many young people are respectful, have clear goals and know exactly where they're going in life. While it's important to support the ones who have found their way, we also have to help those who may be lost because they are also the future. The youth didn't just wake up one day and find themselves lost. The generation before them blindly led them and ran off without leaving a life compass.

Not saying it's applicable to you, but I find it odd that people who complain most about the condition of our youth are the ones who are least involved in mentoring, coaching, teaching and supporting them. When someone is lost and you're in the car, you don't roll down the window, stick your head out and start screaming to people on the street that the person is lost. You do what you can to help him get on the right path to where he's going.

The youth are drivers of the future; everybody else is riding shotgun. If you're not going to help drive or provide navigation assistance, the least you can do is shut up and not be a distraction.

Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.

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