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  • Secret Machines: Secret Machines


    Secret Machines: Secret Machines

    Dallas expatriates the Secret Machines make unapologetically big recordings, with dramatic songwriting and full, wet sounds -- not unlike ...Trail of Dead, a similar band from Texas. Secret Machines seem to better inhabit that aesthetic, though, and...

    by Daniel Mee on December 11, 2008
  • Ice Cube: Raw Footage


    Ice Cube: Raw Footage

    Once upon a time (in the projects, yo), Ice Cube was easily one of the most respected rappers in the world; the prototype for East Coast props and West Coast love, aided by a scowl that spoke volumes without saying a word. Then, the guy who once san...

    by Ex, Kris on December 11, 2008
  • Chatter's Ever-So-HandyAC/DCtionary - Rock Around the Clock


    Chatter's Ever-So-HandyAC/DCtionary - Rock Around the Clock

    Hands down, AC/DC are 2008's comeback kids. The Australian hard-rockers' first album in eight years, the Walmart-exclusive Black Ice, trailed only Lil Wayne in first-week sales. It's the band's best since 1990's The Razor's Edge to boot. Even aft...

    by Chris Gray on December 11, 2008
  • 21 Jump Street - Washington Avenue's newest venue adds cachet by subtracting pretense


    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


    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

    Led Zeppelin Live at the Sam Houston Coliseum

    The UK's Times Online reported today that Led Zeppelin has created its own YouTube channel, with a boatload of footage including this nearly eight-minute clip of the band's concert at the Sam Houston Coliseum in August 1971. Ramble on... ...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 20, 2008 @ 4:54 pm
  • Article

    Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill and the Roots of Alt-Rap

    Today is one of those cosmological coincidences so uncanny it may be no coincidence at all: the Beastie Boys' Mike D and Cypress Hill's Sen Dog were both born this day in 1965. (Scorpios represent!) In the late '80s and early '90s, from opposite side...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 20, 2008 @ 4:09 pm
  • Article

    Tonight: Homopolice on KTRU's Mutant Hardcore Flower Hour

    Expect the leather slaves to start lining up outside the station around 10 p.m. or so in (barely) leashed anticipation. The Homopolice traffic in long noise blasts akin to the Stooges fronted by G.G. Allin, but this stuff would probably make even the...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 20, 2008 @ 2:06 pm
  • Article

    Cutout Bin: Tom Wilson's All American Boy

    Tom Wilson, All American Boy (Aboveground Records, 1982) This album cover is like Wilson's Flickr page. He photographs the minutiae of his daily life in the vain hope someone will be interested. Which picture will get the most views? ...

    @ Rocks Off by Nick DiFonzo on November 20, 2008 @ 1:03 pm
  • Article

    Slideshow: Method Man & Redman at House of Blues

    Craig Hlavaty Craig Hlavaty braved a serious contact-high risk to take some shots of East Coast blunt-lovers Method Man & Redman's Blackout 2 tour at House of Blues last night. Click here for a slideshow. - Chris Gray

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 20, 2008 @ 11:03 am
  • Article

    Metallica for Soccer Moms

    No one else in thrash metal's so-called Original Top 4 (Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Metallica) will ever be as a pleasing to the average pop fan's palate as James Hetfield and pals. Slayer, is well, Slayer. Need we say more? Songs about blood and th...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 20, 2008 @ 9:24 am
  • Article

    Tonight: Danielson at Walter's on Washington

    The career of Daniel Smith, leader and mastermind of Danielson, has a strange irony: his music promotes spiritual healing, oneness and love, but by and large, his audience has been attracted by its joyous perversity. Smith sings exclusively in a hi...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 19, 2008 @ 12:18 pm
  • Article

    Artist of the Week: Room 101

    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 Shea Serrano on November 19, 2008 @ 11:08 am
  • Article

    Aftermath: Coldplay at Toyota Center

    Photos by Mark C. Austin The problem with Chris Martin isn't the fact that the Coldplay frontman writes lyrics that resemble something that might come from the diary of a seventh grader who sniffs magic markers (snow, it turns out, is white after a...

    @ Rocks Off by Brandon K. Hernsberger on November 19, 2008 @ 10:19 am
  • Article

    How Rocks Off Spends a "Night Off"

    [Note: this was written at 1 a.m. this morning while Rocks Off listened to Wilco's A.M. for approximately the 15th time in the last two weeks.] Rocks Off would just like to state for the record how happy he is. Tomorrow I may feel like ...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 19, 2008 @ 9:33 am
  • Article

    Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe Making Progress

    Some very good news out of Galveston, via the Hands Up Houston message board (thanks, Ron). As John Nova Lomax reported back in September, Galveston roots/singer-songwriter venue the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe was ravaged by Hurricane Ike, and owner W...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 18, 2008 @ 1:43 pm
  • Article

    Tonight: Lil Keke Listening Party/CD Release at Venue

    Two years in the making, original Screwed Up Clik member Lil Keke's - whose 1997 hit "South Side" remains a milestone in Houston rap - new LP Loved by Few, Hated by Many is out today on Swishahouse/TF, with distribution by Universal Motown; guests ...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 18, 2008 @ 12:31 pm
  • Article

    The Five Best Bond Themes

    Happily, after Madonna's so-so electro outing "Die Another Day" - one of her wardrobe-change interludes at Sunday's blockbuster concert - and Chris Cornell's Casino Royale trainwreck "You Know My Name," Quantum arrives with the best Bond theme in a d...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 18, 2008 @ 9:35 am
  • Article

    Is Delicious Milk the Best Band In Houston?

    Well, Rocks Off doesn't know about that, but the mysterious Montrose-dwellers certainly are the most persistent, not to mention possibly the most mammary-fixated musicians on the planet. DM has been bugging Rocks Off to post its song "Titties Tonight...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on November 17, 2008 @ 3:39 pm
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