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  • Billion Dollar Babies - Rappers and their ten-figure dreams

    Article

    Billion Dollar Babies - Rappers and their ten-figure dreams

    Irrational exuberance is so widespread in hip-hop right now that Alan Greenspan might freak out -- provided he understands rap lyrics at all, that is. There's no two ways about it: Hip-hop sales stink. Album sales dropped 30 percent in 2007, a fi...

    by Ben Westhoff on January 31, 2008
  • Article

    Local Motion at Sound Exchange

    Sound Exchange 1846 Richmond, 713-666-5555 1. Cat Power, Jukebox (LP/CD) 2. Robert Wyatt, Comic Opera (LP) 3. Horna, Sotahuuto (CD) 4. Various Artists, Thrashing Like a Maniac (CD) 5. Six Organs of Admittance, Shelter From the...

    by Chris Gray on January 31, 2008
  • Article

    Navigating MySpace's Musical Wilderness

    I resisted MySpace like I resisted the World Wide Web, seat belts, unleaded gas, Barry Goldwater... but I digress. Since familiarizing myself with MySpace's vast musical wilderness, I've become addicted to the surprises it reveals. Sometimes you disc...

    @ Rocks Off by William Michael Smith on December 28, 2007 @ 6:06 am
  • Article

    Best Non-2007 Music of 2007

    U2, The Joshua Tree (20th Anniversary Edition): Besides a slick remastering job that renders Edge's guitar even more clarion than before, any opportunity to revisit the thundering "Bullet the Blue Sky" and crystalline "In God's Country," and even und...

    @ Rocks Off by Houston Press on December 27, 2007 @ 6:06 am
  • Article

    Drenched in Blog: Nick Cave Digs Lazarus

    2008 is but a week away, but it's already sounding brutal. Next year we can expect new releases from the Mars Volta, a Flight of the Conchords studio record, and a Rick Rubin-helmed Metallica disc. Plus a new Eagles of Death Metal record that I will ...

    @ Rocks Off by Houston Press on December 26, 2007 @ 12:26 pm
  • Plump : I Like the Idea of Chance

    Article

    Plump : I Like the Idea of Chance

    On I Like the Idea of Chance, their third album, Houston quintet Plump mixes funk, rock, reggae and a thick slice of humor for a sound as groovy as it is dripping with Southern comfort. Songs like "Varmint Poontang" and "The Governor" encapsulate th...

    by Linda Leseman on January 24, 2008
  • Hueston Independent Spit District - An evening with Houston's other, better-rapping H.I.S.D.

    Article

    Hueston Independent Spit District - An evening with Houston's other, better-rapping H.I.S.D.

    Remember when hip-hop was exciting, back before its braggadocio became banal, its lyrics repurposed and watered down? Wouldn't it be great if, say, eight guys got together and made a conscious effort to produce an LP that steered away from the tales...

    by Shea Serrano on January 24, 2008
  • Blues Clues at The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club

    Article

    Blues Clues at The Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club

    Texas Johnny Brown is playing the shit out of a bluesy guitar solo. If that's not impressive enough, he's decided to go on a walk right smack in the middle of it. The local blues legend, who has played with everyone from B.B. King to Bobby "Blue"...

    by Shea Serrano on January 24, 2008
  • Article

    Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings

    Since their last Houston show almost four years ago, Sharon Jones and her Dap-Kings have had local fans asking, "How long do we have to wait?" The Brooklyn-based, Augusta, Georgia-born super soul sister known for funky ditties such as "How Long Do I...

    by Dusti Rhodes on January 24, 2008
  • Article

    Dash Rip Rock

    F. Scott Fitzgerald couldn't have been more wrong: There are indeed second acts in American lives. How else could Dash Rip Rock go from one of the biggest draws on the Deep South college-bar circuit to respected cowpunk elder statesmen and buddies w...

    by Chris Gray on January 24, 2008
  • Article

    The Black Dahlia Murder, 3 Inches of Blood

    Check subtlety, pretense and the last decade at the door; Vancouver's 3 Inches of Blood don't want anything to do with them. Eschewing fads and hipster cred in favor of staying true to their message of metal for its own ridiculous, epic sake, the qu...

    by Nicholas L. Hall on January 24, 2008
  • Article

    Malcolm Holcombe

    Malcolm Holcombe's MySpace site is studded with fan comments like "your songs feed my soul," odd pronouncements indeed when addressed to a battered-spirit hillbilly poet who once had a reputation as an unpredictable, slightly dangerous performer. Y...

    by William Michael Smith on January 24, 2008
  • Article

    Templars

    Before the term "aggro" was co-opted by cute hipsters, it was used to describe bands like Templars. Even after some 15 years in the trenches, the New York quartet remains one of the most menacing, important punk bands out there. Their songs are less...

    by Chris Henderson on January 24, 2008
  • Al Stewart

    Article

    Al Stewart

    Though best known for a pair of '70s SoftSational Hits ("Year of the Cat," "Time Passages"), Scottish native Al Stewart should actually get props as an O.F.R.G. -- Original Folk Rock Gangsta. After all, one of his early songs was a nearly 19-minute...

    by Bob Ruggiero on January 24, 2008
  • Article

    What Happened to Honky Tonk in Houston - Turn out the lights, the party's over

    When did Houston -- at least the Houston that lies inside the Beltway -- cease to be a honky-tonk town? First, let's define our terms. By "honky-tonk," I mean stone-cold, cry-in-your-beer, weeping country music on the order of "He Stopped Lovin' ...

    on January 24, 2008
  • Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than Creation's Dark

    Article

    Drive-By Truckers: Brighter Than Creation's Dark

    Even devoted DBT fans may find the Alabama/Athens rockers' eighth album frustrating, or long-winded at the very least. It's 19 mostly acoustic, down-tempo songs spread over 75 dour, occasionally thrilling, minutes. Their trademark hard 'n' heavy cha...

    by Chris Gray on January 24, 2008
  • The Magnetic Fields: Distortion

    Article

    The Magnetic Fields: Distortion

    Following 1999's synth-less I, Magnetic Fields are back behind the keys on Distortion. The first half's only real standout is "California Girls," as the other tracks simply play into the band's established shtick. The second half shines, however, be...

    by Chris Henderson on January 24, 2008
  • Various Artists: Disco Not Disco: Post Punk, Electro & Leftfield Disco Classics 1974-1986

    Article

    Various Artists: Disco Not Disco: Post Punk, Electro & Leftfield Disco Classics 1974-1986

    You can't quite peg that underwhelming 'meh' feeling this third Disco Not Disco compilation inspires to the economic law of diminishing returns, much less sequel-itis. The first installment of the series, curated by DJs Joey Negro and Sean P. in 200...

    by Andy Beta on January 24, 2008
  • Nicky Click: I'm On My Cell Phone

    Article

    Nicky Click: I'm On My Cell Phone

    A producer, beatmaker, video artist, songwriter and performance artist from Durham, New Hampshire, Nicky Click is also a petulant bitch. But that's probably exactly how she wants it. I'm on My Cell Phone (Crunks Not Dead), her sophomore effort, is a...

    by Darryl Smyers on January 24, 2008
  • The Night Diamond Dave Rejoined Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

    Article

    The Night Diamond Dave Rejoined Van Halen - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

    FADE IN: INT. MGM GRAND PENTHOUSE SUITE, LAS VEGAS (NIGHT) The camera lingers on the full-length windows and panoramic view of the glittering Strip below, before slowly panning around the lavishly appointed room. WOLFGANG VAN HALEN sits on an ...

    by Chris Gray on January 24, 2008
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