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  • 21 Jump Street - Washington Avenue's newest venue adds cachet by subtracting pretense

    Article

    21 Jump Street - Washington Avenue's newest venue adds cachet by subtracting pretense

    Block 21 (2420 Washington), Washington Avenue's latest would-be nightlife king, is cool. Understand "cool" is a relative term, vulnerable to interpretation. At most places, "cool" has a dress code. Cool in Midtown (big collars, $160 Diesel jeans)...

    by Shea Serrano on December 11, 2008
  • Afropop Arrives - Motherland music hit a fever pitch with U.S. bands this year

    Article

    Afropop Arrives - Motherland music hit a fever pitch with U.S. bands this year

    Who knew back in January, when Vampire Weekend tinkered with soukous's guitar-driven dance rhythms on its self-titled debut, the band would set the tone for the next 12 months? In many ways, 2008 was the year Afropop fully cracked the American mus...

    by Ryan Foley on December 11, 2008
  • Article

    Making Sense of a Trying Year

    Although it seems like it, Noise doesn't listen to music all the time. Sometimes he watches DVDs. His immediate past viewing includes both bang-bang seasons of NBC's 30 Rock and Runnin' Down a Dream, Peter Bogdanovich's four-hour documentary abou...

    by Chris Gray on December 11, 2008
  • Article

    Paola Mayorga's Latin Grammy Journal

    [Ed. Note: Paola Mayorga is a 21-year-old Missouri City woman who won a contest sponsored by Reliant Energy for a trip to the Latin Grammys, including backstage and green carpet access and accomodations at the Four Seasons. Rocks Off asked her to wri...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 14, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: Latin Grammys at Toyota Center, Pt. 2

    The woman of the hour Thursday night was unquestionably 2008 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Gloria Estefan, whose "Mi Tierra" was big, brassy, jazzy, horn-heavy and as Cuban as a fine Cohiba cigar. So was "Oye Mi Canto," a sprightly cumbi...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 14, 2008 @ 3:00 pm
  • Article

    Latin Grammys Backstage Report

    The night's big winner was, of course, Juanes, who took home five awards, making him the winner of the most Latin Grammys ever with 17. For being the big man of the ceremonies, he was very low-key: "I feel happy, very grateful to the music, to God...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 14, 2008 @ 2:22 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: Latin Grammys at Toyota Center, Pt. 1

    Is music really the universal language? There was no better place to test that ragged old saw than at Thursday's Latin Grammys at Toyota Center. As one of the few (if not the only) non-Spanish-speakers in the building, Aftermath had a unique opportu...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 14, 2008 @ 1:23 pm
  • Article

    Jenni Rivera's Tough Latin Grammy Luck

    Last night's Latin Grammys biggest loser was Jenni Rivera - not because she didn't take home any trophies but because her performances were so dismal. (Amalia Mendoza started spinning in her grave as soon as Rivera hit the first few notes of "Sufri...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 14, 2008 @ 11:44 am
  • Article

    This Just In: Notsuoh For Sale?

    If you happened to have read the latest post on Notsouh's MySpace blog, you may be hysterics right about now. It seems owner/curator Jim Pirtle fielded an offer this morning from a wealthy investment banker to buy the venerable downtown landmark fo...

    @ Rocks Off by Houston Press on November 13, 2008 @ 4:11 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: Of Montreal at Warehouse Live

    Seeing Of Montreal is the feeling I'd imagine having if I were to walk inside a kaleidoscope after having smoked way too much mescaline laced with crushed-up diet pills from a bottle of unicorn blood. We are the polka-dots. From the looks and sound...

    @ Rocks Off by Brandon K. Hernsberger on November 13, 2008 @ 3:02 pm
  • Article

    This Just In: Making Faces Again

    Fans of the rooster haircut and pub rock, rejoice! London's The Mirror is reporting this afternoon that the surviving Faces are gearing up for rehearsals next week with a reunion tour to follow in the summer. All original living members are said to...

    @ Rocks Off by Houston Press on November 13, 2008 @ 2:42 pm
  • Article

    R.I.P. Mitch Mitchell

    The Jimi Hendrix Experience (l-r): Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell and Hendrix Drummer Mitch Mitchell, the last surviving member of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead Wednesday morning in his Portland, Oregon, hotel room, Billboard reported t...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 13, 2008 @ 12:31 pm
  • Article

    Happy Birthday, Shakey

    Young is also one of the few rock stars sued by his own label for turning in music executives deemed "unrepresentative" of his work - 1982's Trans, which grew out of Young investigating synthesizers, vocoders and other electronic instruments in the h...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 12, 2008 @ 3:36 pm
  • 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
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