The Rocks Off 200: Adam Bricks, NYC Expat
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Adam Bricks performs regularly around town, regaling audiences with with his acoustically narrated stories about life, love and everything in between.
Photo by Everett Beaujon.
Who? In a city with a significantly higher ratio of outbound versus inbound talent, Adam Bricks is something of a rarity. Two years ago, he willingly - and happily - returned to Houston from Brooklyn and has no plans to go anywhere, anytime soon.
Born in NYC but raised in our city's fair Inner Loop, Bricks returned to his original hometown at 18 and spent the next five years living up and down the East Coast. After heading back to Houston in 2011, Bricks set to work recording an album - "City Songs" - with friends and fellow local musicians James Essary, Matt Willhelm and Ryan Chavez.
Home Base: Bricks is currently busy settling into his new home in East Houston. But when venturing out, he identifies Montrose as his stomping grounds -- frequenting dive-type bars and venues like AvantGarden, Mango's and Rudyards or any spot hosting "cheap booze, cute girls and good music."
"I mostly stick to the dim-lit places," Bricks says. "The dumpier, the better."
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Why Do You Stay In Houston? Bricks has no shortage of reasons for choosing to call Houston home, citing "cheap rent, beautiful women and good food," in addition to the fact that he grew up here. He adds that despite having spent the majority of his 25 years here in H-town, there is always something new to discover and experience - thanks to the city's size and diversity.
The people are another draw for Bricks, who describes Houstonians as "unpretentious" dreamers who "genuinely care about each other and have a lot of love for whatever they do."
But Bricks says he loves Houston most for the inspiration it provides him.
"I like to think of Houston as unconquered territory when it comes to songwriting," Bricks says. "It gives me ideas that none of those other places do -- it makes my mind work in a different way."
Good War Story: A storyteller by nature, Bricks recounts many a tale of his life as a struggling artist in the big city -- bouncing from Brooklyn to Harlem, and even the Bronx.
"I've slept in some weird places, found out some rats are bigger than cats and that people actually pay big bucks just to have more space in a city like that," Bricks shares.
He tells one story in particular about living in one of New York's notoriously tiny studios and leaving a candle burning overnight only to wake up to fire that had spread across his bed, the floor and even a cheap stereo.
"So, I guess sometimes a little extra space is worth it," he admits.
Story continues on the next page.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Bricks is generally a pretty happy camper when it comes to the local scene. "People have been generous and given their time and ideas for the love of songs," he explains. "Sometimes it gets a bit clique-y, but I don't really mind [it] because I know what I like and what I don't like [and] just go with that."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- Bruce Springsteen, Darkness at the Edge of Town
- Yo La Tengo, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out
- Silver Jews, The Natural Bridge
- Bruce Springteen, Nebraska
- Tom Waits, Small Change
Best Concert You Ever Saw: Bricks fondly remembers The Walkmen at Terminal 5 -- a popular venue on Manhattan's Lower West Side -- as an "amazing show [and] great band."
First Song You Fell In Love With: Leonard Cohen, "Last Year's Man"
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
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THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
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