The New Sasha Fierce

Houston is "Crazy In Love" with drag performer Tyoncé Moore.

"We need to work together to stop these negative aspects of life," Bun says to the meeting attendees and media gathered at the event. He continues to express the need to achieve a society free of hate and violence, with equality and diversity as the foundation of a peaceful society.

The symphony plans to play the works of several composers at the event, from Aaron Copland to John Lennon. Without giving away the surprise, Bun says that he will perform a popular and beloved song complete with original lyrics in tribute to four prominent Houstonians: Esther Campos, Michael Feinberg, Dr. Thomas Freeman and Carol Shattuck.

"It's more than a concert; it's a celebration of what we stand for," Bun tells the crowd. "Of what we believe in, of the values we share. And it's a first for Houston."

After the media interviews and announcement, Rocks Off follows Bun and his manager, Anzel Jennings, to the restaurant's bar for a break from the day's commotion. The rapper confides that the scope of this collaboration is immense.

"This is my most important venture to date," he says. "I mean, for the first time in its history, a hip-hop artist will perform with the symphony. How awesome is that? I'm not rapping, I'm giving a performance. This isn't rap; this is about striving for excellence through hip-hop."

This will also be the first show in his 20-year career that his mother will attend.

"I've never been comfortable with her coming to any of my shows until now," he says.

Trill in a tux. Amazing.

We Want the Airwaves

Houston's Best Internet Radio Stations
Rip off the knob and start clicking.

Chris Gray

Much like newspapers, radio has been irrevocably changed by the rise of the Internet. With broadband broadly available, there are fewer and fewer reasons to flip on the dial, so even giants like Clear Channel have added Web-based platforms like iHeartRadio to replace lost terrestrial listeners, offer more variety, gobble up even more ­revenue, or most likely some combination of the three.

Earlier this month, Apple took it even further by introducing streaming radio to its latest iTunes upgrade, and a few days before that, the somewhat awkwardly named station Musicradio Bop '70s signed on as the newest member of the Houston-based Bop Radio family. Since it's an Internet station, though — no air breaks, no local ads — you might never know it was based in Houston. Naturally that got us thinking that it might be a good time to see how many other Internet stations we have in our midst.



Platforms: WinAmp, Windows Media, iTunes, RealPlayer

Format: Various

No. of Channels: Five: Ampz Adult, Ampz Country, Ampz Hits, Ampz Classic Rock, Ampz Edge

Extra Features: Online store if you feel the need for Ampz mouse pads or coffee mugs.

Specialty Programs? Not as such, but jocks seem to have at least some input into the playlist.

Sweepers/Ads?* Sweepers, but not that many

*Note: "Sweepers" is radio lingo for sound bites announcing a station's ID and a quick slogan.

Live DJs? Mostly. The jocks on Ampz Adult are especially entertaining.

In-Studio Concerts? Not that we heard

Mobile App? No

Local Accent: Only on-the-air breaks

Grade: B-plus. Careful clicking on some links, but overall Ampz runs pretty smoothly. Within the individual channels, the rotation is much deeper than a comparable format on commercial radio would be, but just as up-to-date. We love Ampz Adult, which has much more variety than the others (and cuss words).



Platforms: On-site, iTunes,

Format: Free-form

Sample Artists: LCD Soundsystem, New Pornographers, Houston rapper Preemo

No. of Channels: One

Extra Features: blog with music videos, show recaps (Raekwon), album reviews, music news

Specialty Programs? Abundant

Ads/Sweepers? Not so much

Live DJs? Most of the time. Real students, too.

In-Studio Concerts? Yes

Mobile App? Coming soon, they say

Local Accent: Heavy, heavy, heavy. Coog Radio just celebrated its third birthday. Salud!

Grade: B. Site is a little buggy, but the music is solid. Feels like an old-school college ­radio ­station.



Platforms: iTunes, Windows Media, VLC

Format: Defiantly free-form, plus Rice sporting events

Sample Artists: B L A C K I E, Tame Impala, Indonesian popular music, Cookie Monster (yes, the Sesame Street character)

No. of Channels: One

Extra Features: Top 35 playlists; KTRU ­Instagram

Specialty Programs? A bundle

Sweepers/Ads? Are you kidding? On KTRU?

Live DJs? Oh yes

In-Studio Concerts? Occasionally. "The Local Show" airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays.

Mobile App? Yes

Local Accent: KTRU seems to be doing fine, notwithstanding all that drama a few years back when U of H yanked it off the air after buying its FM frequency and signal tower. Instant karma's gonna get you.

Grade: A-minus



Platforms: Winamp, Windows Media

Format: Free-form

Sample Artists: Robin Kirby, FLCON FCKER, Days N Daze, Peekaboo Theory, Devil Killing Moth

No. of Channels: One

Extra Features: Small archive of specialty shows and in-studio performances

Specialty Programs? A few

Sweepers/Ads? No

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