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  • Britney Spears: Circus


    Britney Spears: Circus

    In pop music, audacity pays the bills. Britney Spears knows that much, but her reach is often more awkward than it is effective. Take "If U Seek Amy," the most talked-about three minutes from her new album, Circus. What begins as a rare third-person...

    by Andrew Stout on January 8, 2009
  • Common: Universal Mind Control


    Common: Universal Mind Control

    Despite his status as a happy, respected old-timer, Common has to rap about something, and his eighth album, Universal Mind Control, is a hodgepodge effort. It contains would-be club bangers full of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo such as the title track (...

    by Ben Westhoff on January 8, 2009
  • Article

    Single File

    Evan Miller, "Or from a Tree Descending": Miller's electro-acoustic guitar strums out a thoughtful, or one might say inquisitive, pattern: several quick discursive paces that result in a brainstorm flourish. "Descending" doubles as a clinic on these...

    by Ray Cummings on January 8, 2009
  • A Musical Guide to Navigating the Economic Crisis - Down Payment Blues


    A Musical Guide to Navigating the Economic Crisis - Down Payment Blues

    These are tough economic times, what with the housing-crisis-driven recession and skyrocketing unemployment. In such a climate, it's damn near impossible to enjoy or even splurge on our hobbies and passions. Who can afford those New Kids on the Block...

    by Cole Haddon on January 8, 2009
  • The Gourds land a real Haymaker! - Dead to Rights


    The Gourds land a real Haymaker! - Dead to Rights

    "Literate roots party music" is how Kevin "Shinyribs" Russell describes the Gourds: "We're Bill Burroughs meets Jerry Lee Lewis at the funeral of Robert Johnson on the Millennium Falcon piloted by Joe Strummer and Neil Young." The Gourds have been...

    by William Michael Smith on January 8, 2009
  • Pretty Poison Girl - Montrose's hippest hangout draws bohemians and their admirers


    Pretty Poison Girl - Montrose's hippest hangout draws bohemians and their admirers

    If for some reason you're young, Houstonian and not familiar with Poison Girl (1641 Westheimer), know this: It's not a titty bar. That's the gist of a cell-phone conversation Nightfly intended to butt in on because, as everyone knows, anytime the ...

    by Shea Serrano on January 8, 2009
  • Article

    Huntzville's School-Shooting Song Raises an Even More Disturbing Issue

    Hard to believe it's been 20 years since gangsta rap went overground with N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, which riled the powers that be enough for the FBI to send the L.A. rappers and their record company a letter advising them they were under surv...

    by Chris Gray on January 8, 2009
  • Article

    Knowles Sisters' Ike Benefit Cancelled

    Next Tuesday's "Hope for the Holidays" concert with Beyonce and Solange Knowles, which was going to be taped to air December 21 on the cable music network Fuse, with proceeds benefiting the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund, has been cancelled. No further i...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 4, 2008 @ 5:02 pm
  • Article

    SugarHill Goes Live on the Web

    Houston's own legendary SugarHill Recording Studios is making the leap into the world of live Internet broadcasting 7 p.m. tonight at http://www.ecslive.com. The first musical gues is Benjamin Wesley of Tha Fucking Transmissions, Robert Ellis, Grandf...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 4, 2008 @ 3:04 pm
  • Article

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Gwil Owen's Gravy

    Gravy www.gwilowen.com Here's another good record that fell through my cracks this year but deserves to be mentioned. Gwil Owen lives in Nashville and can write to the country form anytime he wants to - or his checking account tells him he needs ...

    @ Rocks Off by William Michael Smith on December 4, 2008 @ 2:51 pm
  • Article

    Texans Score 30 Grammy Nominations

    Texas artists landed 30 nominations in 20 categories when the contenders for the 51st annual Grammy Awards were announced today, including all five nominees for Best Tejano Album and four of the five Best Norteno Album contenders. All of this year's ...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 4, 2008 @ 1:37 pm
  • Article

    Cutout Bin: Sharon Pillack's A Fisherman's Dream

    So there I was, just walking down the edge of the creek from my favorite fishing hole. The largemouth weren't biting and my pole seemed limp in my hands. I rounded the bend, and there she was: a bleached-blonde beauty with bobbers and a tackle box a ...

    @ Rocks Off by Nick DiFonzo on December 4, 2008 @ 12:05 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: Deerhunter at Warehouse Live

    You know the feeling of putting on a homemade scarf just woven by your 90-year old great-grandma? That scarf is Deerhunter; only now two of your seventh-grade bullies are standing on either side of you pulling it as tightly as they can if only to cho...

    @ Rocks Off by Brandon K. Hernsberger on December 4, 2008 @ 10:39 am
  • Article

    Tonight: Tejas Brothers at Greenspoint Mall

    If you're looking for a poster band for the Texican thing, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than Fort Worth's Tejas Brothers. Currently gaining momentum due to heavy play on Sirius/XM's Outlaw Country station, the Brothers sound like a simp...

    @ Rocks Off by William Michael Smith on December 4, 2008 @ 8:30 am
  • Article

    Tonight: Pimp C Tribute on KPFT's "Damage Control"

    Tonight on KPFT's "Damage Control" (90.1 FM, 12-3 a.m.), Pimp's former UGK partner Bun B and HoustonSoReal/AustinSurreal blogman Matt Sonzala will join host DJ Chill for a three-hour tribute to the late Southern rap icon. Stream the show at kpft.org....

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 3, 2008 @ 3:27 pm
  • Article

    Heroes Hip Hip Hurray: Was Tina Turner Right?

    www.heroeshiphiphooray.com In rock and roll, the concept of a "hero" has always been lyrical fodder. John Lennon and David Bowie both voiced our yearnings for fearless ones who fight injustice in the open or just suffered quietly in their own futil...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 3, 2008 @ 2:39 pm
  • Article

    Art Rock: Radio Birdman at Meridian

    [Inspired by Rocks Off's trip to Sugar Hill yesterday, the one and only Rosa Guerrero sent over a few shots from Radio Birdman's June 2007 show at Meridian. Enjoy.]

    @ Rocks Off by Rosa Guerrero on December 3, 2008 @ 12:27 pm
  • Article

    Tonight: Wilderness at the Mink

    Anyone who thought Wilderness fell into a slump with Vessel States, the year-after follow-up to 2005's arresting self-titled debut, will be glad to hear that the cryptic Baltimore band has altered its approach somewhat on the new (k)no(w)here. Born a...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 3, 2008 @ 12:00 pm
  • Article

    Artist of the Week: Peekaboo Theory

    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 intr...

    @ Rocks Off by Shea Serrano on December 3, 2008 @ 10:20 am
  • Article

    A SugarHill Supergroup of Sorts

    Photos by Chris Gray Watching musicians in the studio is like watching meat processors make sausage: it's tedious and there's lots of blood. But it's worth it to watch the innards of one of the all-time classic Houston psychedelic songs, Fever Tree...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 3, 2008 @ 7:04 am
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