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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

    An Hour in Sunny 99.1's Holiday Hell

    Most people I know hate Sunny 99.1, but not me. And I should really hate it. Any radio station supported by the American Dental Association has to suck. But every time I listen to it, I either hear something so corny and half-baked that I can't turn ...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 2, 2008 @ 4:32 pm
  • Article

    Duran Duran Still On... for Now

    Although Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor is battling a pernicious ear infection that makes travel impossible, forcing the '80s icons to cancel last night's show in San Antonio and tonight's in Dallas, the band's publicist says Friday's show at Veriz...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 2, 2008 @ 12:54 pm
  • Article

    It's Britney, Bitches!

    (the ninth of her decade-long career) and set a new record for first-week downloads with 286,000. Personally, Rocks Off hasn't enjoyed a Spears song this much since, hell, at least "Toxic." Spears was on the ABC morning show to announce her "The Ci...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 2, 2008 @ 10:01 am
  • Article

    Get Lit: Beatles for Sale by John Blaney

    Well... no. And as long as interest in the band continues to flower - and pass along to new generations - Ye Olde Beatles Bookshelf will continue to groan under the accumulated weight of its tomes. Beatles for Sale, though, is the first one to make a...

    @ Rocks Off by Bob Ruggiero on December 2, 2008 @ 8:02 am
  • Article

    SXSW 09 Imminent Already? Aaaarrrgh!

    The 2009 South By Southwest Music Festival is still nearly four months away (March 18-22), but the first performers are already being announced. When Rocks Off saw this list on Friday, after we had been gorged senseless the day before, we shuddered. ...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 1, 2008 @ 3:53 pm
  • Article

    Turning the Screw: G.R.I.T. Boys, Scarface, Lil Wayne, The Kanye, Jay-Z, Shawty Lo, Superhead, Serius Jones and More

    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: G.R.I.T. Boys, "One Night Stand" Wire To ...

    @ Rocks Off by Shea Serrano on December 1, 2008 @ 10:09 am
  • Article

    Today: Swishahouse Hip Hop Health & Wellness Workshop

    Today, Swishahouse Records and the Changing Communities Movement Foundation are sponsoring another wellness workshop, with free HIV/STD testing and counseling courtesy of Planned Parenthood, at the Alief Community Center (11903 Bellaire Blvd) from 3-...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on December 1, 2008 @ 9:37 am
  • Article

    The Best Christmas Gift Idea Evar

    Hard Rock already offers "Runway Barbie," with "retro, revival-inspired attire," which it might as well have just named "Beyonce Barbie." What's next? "Emo Barbie," with razor blades, extra eyeliner and mini-laptop for easy access to LiveJournal? "Bo...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 28, 2008 @ 3:56 pm
  • Article

    Something Fierce Readying New Album

    The album will drop December 19, with a release show at Walter's that night; a month later, SF heads out on a national tour. Garcia says normally the band would've released the album at the tour kick-off, but he was in a personal race to beat the new...

    @ Rocks Off by Dusti Rhodes on November 28, 2008 @ 3:43 pm
  • Article

    A Black Friday Soundtrack

    You wake up the next morning at 3 a.m. to go to your local mall or big-box store to fight people for a cheap plasma television. It's come to be called Black Friday, by shoppers and merchants alike. It's like Hurricane Ike all over again, but this tim...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 28, 2008 @ 11:30 am
  • Article

    Five Spot: Axl Rose is Not Impressed by Dr Pepper's Fun and Games

    Welcome back to Five Spot. Every week, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and list five reasons why it's either brilliant or dumb-assed. Send tips to introducingliston@gmail.com. Back in March, Dr Pepper (easily one of our favorite d...

    @ Rocks Off by Shea Serrano on November 28, 2008 @ 9:50 am
  • Article

    Happy Thanksgiving: A Totally Different Kind of Turkey

    This is Ajda Pekkan, who, although she looks more like Suzanne Somers, is sort of like the Cher of Turkey. This song is called "Bambaska Biri" - the words may not be familiar, but Rocks Off thinks you might just recognize the tune. - Chris Gray...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 27, 2008 @ 3:04 pm
  • Article

    Cutout Bin: Stryken's First Strike

    There's the kind of album cover that is so obviously bad, it has to be a joke. Then there's the kind that's so much worse, it couldn't possibly be a joke. First Strike falls into the latter category. Stryken was a Christian metal band from Austin...

    @ Rocks Off by Nick DiFonzo on November 27, 2008 @ 12:00 pm
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