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  • Article

    X, with the Detroit Cobras

    X are celebrating their 31st year in show biz, and while 31 might seem like an odd number to mark an anniversary, it makes some sense when you consider the triskaidekaphiliac band's longtime fascination with and superstition of all things relating t...

    by Falling James on May 29, 2008
  • Article

    Augustana, with Paddy Casey and Wild Sweet Orange

    The growing number of television series that employ mid-tempo rock songs and plaintive ballads to pump up the emotion in major scenes has resulted in a proliferation of bands eager to provide the same -- and San Diego's Augustana, which appears on t...

    by Michael Roberts on May 29, 2008
  • Article

    The BellRays and Architects, with Vice and Deadbird

    California soul-rockers the BellRays have a lot of things going for them: hard riffs, solid records, a wild live show. But nothing tops frontwoman Lisa Kekaula, whose super-high 'fro and extra-short dresses make her quite a sight onstage. The title ...

    by Michael Gallucci on May 29, 2008
  • The Dresden Dolls, with Smoosh

    Article

    The Dresden Dolls, with Smoosh

    Imagine Marlene Dietrich at Burning Man. That's what singer/pianist Amanda Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione deliver with the Dresden Dolls, who are touring in promotion of No, Virginia, their third studio album. This compilation of previously unrel...

    by Linda Leseman on May 29, 2008
  • Matt Costa: Unfamiliar Faces

    Article

    Matt Costa: Unfamiliar Faces

    Despite the name, the faces on this SoCal singer-songwriter's sophomore disc aren't exactly unfamiliar: There's the Shins, there's Josh Rouse and, perhaps most of all, there's Jack Johnson, who signed Matt Costa to his Brushfire label and has had Co...

    by Mikael Wood on May 29, 2008
  • Al Green: Lay It Down

    Article

    Al Green: Lay It Down

    Most producers who supervise reclamation projects for aging stars make the mistake of trying to contemporize the artist's sound -- the equivalent of dressing your eightysomething Uncle Jake like a 21st-century club kid. Not so Roots drummer Amir "?u...

    by Michael Roberts on May 29, 2008
  • The Mother Truckers: Let's All Go to Bed

    Article

    The Mother Truckers: Let's All Go to Bed

    A slight consonant shift in The Mother Truckers' name yields Them Other Truckers, and where the Austin quartet's 2006 debut Broke, Not Broken sagged in spots, Let's All Go to Bed exudes a feisty confidence that recalls, well, them other Truckers. (D...

    by Chris Gray on May 29, 2008
  • Robyn: Robyn

    Article

    Robyn: Robyn

    Way back in 1996, Robyn reached the Top 10 with "Do You Know (What It Takes)." She followed it up a year later with another big hit, "Show Me Love." Then she disappeared. This comeback album by the thin-voiced but spunky singer, who's now 28, was or...

    by Michael Gallucci on May 29, 2008
  • Banda meets ska meets the Smiths in the sound of Pistolera - Pistolas y Corazón

    Article

    Banda meets ska meets the Smiths in the sound of Pistolera - Pistolas y Corazn

    Writers hear all kinds of reasons -- some plausible, many contrived -- why bands spring to life. Few match that of Pistolera, perhaps New York's only fusion of the Smiths and Banda El Recodo, among many other trans-Rio Grande, trans-Atlantic fusions....

    by William Michael Smith on May 29, 2008
  • Staying Cool at Joe Carmouche's Legends Jazz Cafe - Houston's new downtown jazz digs

    Article

    Staying Cool at Joe Carmouche's Legends Jazz Cafe - Houston's new downtown jazz digs

    On the official list of Things That Are Cool, playing a mean jazz guitar is right near the top. Specifically, it's directly above "catching a rattlesnake with your bare hands" and directly below "punching a guy in the face who's been acting like a do...

    by Shea Serrano on May 29, 2008
  • Article

    Bun B's II Trill

    Back in 1987, when Chad Butler and Bernard Freeman were first writing the rhymes that would become their debut cassette The Southern Way, neither one of them ever would have dreamed that their music would one day echo off the walls of a Louis Vuitton...

    by John Nova Lomax on May 29, 2008
  • Article

    The Science of Pop - Do we really need a formula for perfect music?

    A few years ago, a psychology lecturer at a British college came up with the formula for the "perfect" mood-lifting pop song. Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic posited a certain equation involving pitch, positive lyrics and serotonin levels that, when twea...

    by Jason Ferguson on May 29, 2008
  • Sizing up the summer's classic-rock scorecard - Season in the Sun

    Article

    Sizing up the summer's classic-rock scorecard - Season in the Sun

    Deciding which classic rock shows to attend this summer might be as frustrating as enduring a drum solo by Yes's Alan White, but Wack is here to help. So far, 13 are headed this way in May and June alone, with five coming this weekend. We'll keep...

    by Chris Gray on May 29, 2008
  • Dr. Roger Wood's Matagorda Island Discs

    Article

    Dr. Roger Wood's Matagorda Island Discs

    This week's installment comes courtesy of Dr. Roger Wood, a one-time Press contributor and the author of Down in Houston: Bayou City Blues and Texas Zydeco. Wood apologized for what he termed the conventionality of his list, but says if he tried to ...

    on May 29, 2008
  • Article

    Tonight: Hollywood Black EP Release at Walter's

    I knew I was forgetting something yesterday. Tonight at Walter's on Washington, Houston's Hollywood Black releases their Crooked Shepherd EP, the latest from the folks at Mia Kat Empire, who brought you Buxton's A Family Light earlier this year. Tamb...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on June 28, 2008 @ 8:07 am
  • Article

    Aftermath: Matt and Kim, the Death Set and Team Robespierre at Walter's on Washington

    Photos by Alex Begley Not many bands play at ground level, and fewer still invite audience members to sit in on drums. These were just a few of the many unexpected actions taken at Thursday's Matt and Kim/Death Set/Team Robespierre at Walter's. Dur...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on June 28, 2008 @ 2:01 am
  • Article

    Remembering Houston's '60s Psych Clubs

    That makes it an ideal weekend to point your browser at the past and brush up on some Houston music history. The Houston archives at 1960's Texas Music are an excellent place to start, whether you were a regular at the Catacombs or just bought your f...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on June 27, 2008 @ 4:52 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: Islands at Walter's on Washington

    Photos by Brigitte B. Zabak Islands, a sextet of indie rockers from Montreal, Quebec, didn't always have it quite so together. The last couple of years have been an unstable buoy upon which lead singer/songwriter Nicholas Thorburn flo...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on June 26, 2008 @ 2:15 pm
  • Article

    Aftermath: Shinyribs at Under the Volcano

    Photos by Barbara Misto Better Than: Unshiny ribs. Download: The Gourds' classic cover of Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice." In fact, just watch this: Former Houstonian and Gourds frontman Kevin Russell is one of the few performers who seems al...

    @ Rocks Off by William Michael Smith on June 26, 2008 @ 1:15 pm
  • Article

    Can a Houston Texan outrap Shaq?

    Anyway, this morning, when they weren't talking about the whole Shawn Chacon meltdown or announcing Craig Ackerman as the new Rockets radio guy, they were talking about athletes who enjoy busting a rhyme or two. Of course the impetus was Shaquille O'...

    @ Rocks Off by clampdown on June 26, 2008 @ 12:30 pm
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