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  • Article

    Cutout Bin: Nick DiFonzo's New Column

    [Ed. Note: This is a new weekly Rocks Off column by Nick DiFonzo, author of Seriously Bad Album Covers and keeper of bizarrerecords.com. Enjoy.] Ratchell, II (Decca, 1972) Fake Band Bio (clockwise from top left): Zach (guitar): Plays well but i...

    @ Rocks Off by Nick DiFonzo on November 12, 2008 @ 2:23 pm
  • Article

    Slideshow: Latin Grammys Pre-Party at House of Blues

    Mark C. Austin Singer Frankie J and many other Texas Latin music luminaries walked the red carpet Tuesday night at the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy's Latin Grammys pre-party at House of Blues. Click here for a slideshow. - Chris Gray

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 12, 2008 @ 1:15 pm
  • Article

    Artist of the Week: Debbie Forrest

    Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to intro...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 12, 2008 @ 11:04 am
  • Article

    Get Lit: The Pitchfork 500

    That Pitchfork chieftains Scott Plagenhof and Ryan Schreiber chose that year is both telling and utterly predictable. Anyone familiar with the Web site knows its authors believe popular music was born that year, with the Velvet Underground serving as...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 12, 2008 @ 10:28 am
  • Article

    R.I.P. Miriam Makeba

    The first song I ever heard Miriam Makeba sing was Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." It was off of a scratchy old album I found at a friend's house and, for me, it was a life-changing experience. I'd never been much of a Dylan fan, but Makeba's so...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 11, 2008 @ 3:17 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: The Revival Tour at Walter's on Washington

    l-r: Tim Barry, Chuck Ragan, Ben Nichols Photos by Craig Hlavaty The Revival Tour is the kind of tour that keeps little beer companies like Texas' own Lone Star in business. And it's no accident that, not even an hour into the show Monday night, th...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 11, 2008 @ 2:15 pm
  • Article

    Tonight: Shontelle at House of Blues

    From Kris "Me and Bobby McGee" Kristofferson through The "Umbrella" Dream, countless artists have begun their careers as songwriters before stepping out into the footlights on their own. Meet the latest: Barbados native Shontelle, whose I'm-a-long-...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 11, 2008 @ 1:23 pm
  • Article

    Slideshow: Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin's Waterloo Park

    Jay Lee Rocks Off sent shutterbug Jay Lee to Houston's far northwestern suburbs last weekend to check out the third annual punk and indie-rock extravaganza Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin's Waterloo Park. Click here for a slideshow. - Chris Gray

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 11, 2008 @ 12:15 pm
  • Article

    A Veterans' Day Montage: Dixie Chicks, the Clash, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Pogues and More

    Ninety years ago today, in a railroad car in Northern France, representatives from Germany and the Allied Powers signed an armistice agreement to cease hostilities in what was then known as the "War to end all wars." That lasted until Hitler's Wehr...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 11, 2008 @ 10:08 am
  • Article

    Tonight: Michael Hardie and Milton Hopkins at Red Cat Jazz Cafe

    It takes a lot of nerve to call your CD Waiting for Perfection, even when the featured guitarist's bona fides are as untouchable as they come. Milton Hopkins has played with Little Richard and Sam Cooke, among many others, spent a decade shoring up...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 10, 2008 @ 4:36 pm
  • Article

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Roasting the Latest Best In Texas

    After watching The Hickoids' instore at Cactus on Saturday, I took my belly full of Saint Arnold's across the street to 59 Diner for a late-afternoon breakfast. Scanning the racks near the door for reading material, I picked up copies of Free Press H...

    @ Rocks Off by William Michael Smith on November 10, 2008 @ 2:18 pm
  • Article

    Turning the Screw: DZA, Trae, Al Sharpton, Common, Beyonce, Akon, Mos Def, Vanilla Ice and a Whole Lotta Obama

    Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won't rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to introducingliston@gmail.com. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: DZA, "Nuthin' 2 a Boss (Remix)" Wire To Wir...

    @ Rocks Off by Shea Serrano on November 10, 2008 @ 10:42 am
  • The Not-So-New Kids on the Block - Still Hangin' Tough?


    The Not-So-New Kids on the Block - Still Hangin' Tough?

    They're baaaaaaack. New Kids on the Block have a new album (The Block), a new hit single ("Single," featuring Ne-Yo) and a reunion tour that croons its way to Toyota Center Thursday. They have a new look, too: late-thirties. Three of the five Kids --...

    by Linda Leseman on October 16, 2008
  • B L A C K I E: Wilderness of North America


    B L A C K I E: Wilderness of North America

    When B L A C K I E showed up on the local indie-rock and underground-rap scenes, Houston was pretty impressed. The MC/producer born Michael LaCour twists the laws of the metronome into abstract beats to back his equally oddly timed lyrics. The formu...

    by Dusti Rhodes on October 16, 2008
  • Northern Soul: Portugal. The Man - Straight outta Sarah Palin country


    Northern Soul: Portugal. The Man - Straight outta Sarah Palin country

    No one would blame John Baldwin Gourley if he never listened to oldies again. That's all the frontman of Portugal. The Man listened to when he was growing up -- at least until he was old enough to drive himself. Despite this oversaturation, the cl...

    by Anthofer, James on October 16, 2008
  • Article

    This One Time at BandCamp

    This is starting to sound like a broken record. But maybe this time it'll be different. Isn't that what they always say? The topic at hand, once again, is how to "fix" Houston's chronically underperforming local music scene, like it's a Ford picku...

    by Chris Gray on October 16, 2008
  • Article

    Opeth, Baroness, High on Fire

    Along with Mastodon, Kylesa and Harvey Milk, Baroness is part of a mini-wave of terrific metal bands currently roaring out of Savannah, Georgia. The band's mix of psychedelia, doom and raw '70s riffage makes it one of the most potent combos in conte...

    by Phil Freeman on October 16, 2008
  • Article

    Ting Tings

    Brit duo Ting Tings' fusion of club culture and hipster-rock seems to have a single purpose: to make KC and the Sunshine Band sound a little dangerous, or maybe just British. With this year's We Started Nothing, Katie White and Jules de Martino weap...

    by Roy Kasten on October 16, 2008
  • Jack's Mannequin


    Jack's Mannequin

    On Jack's Mannequin's optimistic new single "The Resolution," vocalist/pianist/songwriter Andrew McMahon sings, "I'm alive, but I don't need a witness, to know that I survived." The 26-year-old could just as easily be referencing the fact that he's ...

    by Zaleski, Anne on October 16, 2008
  • Article


    In the past decade, a thriving noise scene has emerged in direct aesthetic opposition to the tanned, fake, pretty faces most often associated with the city of Los Angeles. HEALTH burst from that experimental-music maelstrom in 2005 with a vengeance....

    by Tom Murphy on October 16, 2008
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