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  • Blogs

    August 6, 2014

    New Houston Rap: Beyoncé's Remix Isn't That "Flawless"

    10:32 Saturday night. That's when I got a phone call about a new Beyoncé remix hitting the Internet. 10:34 p.m.: that's when I realized Beyoncé decided to rap about that infamous elevator fight between her husband and her sister and laugh about it. The bar itself, "of course sometime shit goes d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2014

    New Houston Rap: What If We Had a Bobby Shmurda?

    In the span of four months, hip-hop has found its latest winner of the Chief Keef/Trinidad Jame$ Memorial Trophy. You may remember those two, both of whom were signed due to viral hype -- Keef mostly off the strength of what he's accomplished to the teenagers of Chicago and Jame$ solely off "All Gol ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2014

    Your Two-Steppin' Guide to the Rodeo Cookoff Bands

    As one of the biggest entertainment-based enterprises on the planet, not just in Texas, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is one of the few local events that people halfway across the country and around the world travel to see. As such, its concert calendar has become increasingly crowded with pop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 25, 2013

    My Christmas Gift To You: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (w/ VIDEO)

    When you work in media for a living, how do you properly thank thousands of people that you can't see or don't know personally? The thousands of people (we hope) who listen to your show, read your blog, follow you on Twitter, what's an appropriate show of gratitude? Sure, a general tweet of thanks ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2013

    Chris Gray's 10 Favorite Houston Records of 2013

    10. Born Liars, Show Some Couth Show Some Couth has yet to make its way to iTunes, no doubt because those Apple prudes are still trying to figure out what to do with its filthy cover. The garagers' first (and loudest) album since 2010's Fast Songs Is All We Know, Couth is rude, lewd and anything but ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2013

    Slim Thug Takes That #BossLife to His People

    Slim Thug is riding around the city in a $100K cream-colored Bentley. In the trunk, he has multiple boxes full of "that work." Earlier in the week, Slim released his newest mixtape, Boss Life, and a week before that, he introduced the designs from his new clothing line. So "that work" consists of CD ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2013

    Yes, My Musician Kids Have Jobs. They're Musicians.

    Recently someone I kinda-sorta know asked about my son. He's doing great, I said. He and his band are on a 30-city tour. No sooner than I'd answered this fellow, I regretted it as simple math scribbled itself onto his brain's chalkboard. Thirty shows minus my son being at home, where he lives, equ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2013

    iOS7 for iPad First Look: Apple's Fancy, Smooth New Update

    The much-anticipated update to the Apple operating system was made available for download on Wednesday. Given that I have an iPhone 4 that hasn't even been updated to OS 6 yet, I declined to bother with OS 7 for it, but my iPad is relatively new and seemed like the best way to give this new, streaml ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2013

    HPMA Showcase Spotlight: The Grievous Angels, "Harmony. Humor. Hell of a Good Time."

    In the weeks leading up to the Houston Press Music Awards showcase on Sunday, August 4, Rocks Off will be profiling a handful of performers each day, mostly in their own words - part of the best top-to-bottum lineup the showcase has ever had, in our humble opinion. See the showcase schedule and tick ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Here's a Link to the New Kanye Album If You Want to Listen

    Well, everyone who had today in the "Kanye Pool," time to collect your winnings. Since it is simply impossible to just wait for an official release date, Kanye West's much-anticipated new album Yeezus has now leaked onto the file-sharing site What.cd about an hour ago, according to Spin. The thing ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    The 2013 Houston Press Music Award Nominees

    Without fail, the Houston Press Music Awards sneak up on us. Last year, when the HPMAs returned to the dog days of summer after a one-year Thanksgiving holiday, only a few short months fell between the 2011 trophies and 2012 nomination ballot. This time it's been several months longer, but feels jus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2013

    Why Greatest-Hits Albums Matter, and 10 Greatest-Hits Haikus

    A solid album, to me, is what I have dubbed a "Front-to-Back." I have two definitions for Front-to-Backs: 1) albums that are structured to listen to as an entire piece of artwork (like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, or Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea); and 2) alb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2012

    Houston's Top 5 Jazz Clubs

    5. RED CAT JAZZ CAFE Admittedly, Red Cat has its hits and misses, but for a jazz neophyte looking to make his or her debut into the world of Fitzgerald and Armstrong, this "cafe" is a good place to start. Its relatively new Franklin Street address places Red Cat at the very beginning of downtown, an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2012

    Notes on Nashville: The Thief of Hearts

    I'll try and keep this relatively brief, because I've been at the dentist all morning. Wednesday's Nashville was considerably more pleasant. At this point the show has done about all the establishing shots it can, and Wednesday it slipped a few new wrinkles into the plot (both subtle and not-so-subt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2012

    5 New Holiday Albums For Your Halloween Horror

    Right now, as soon as you can either get to year nearest music retailer or click over to iTunes or Amazon, you can buy the first holiday-themed 2012 album we have heard of, Jason Gray's Christmas Stories: Repeat the Sounding Joy. If that sounds early to you, well, yeah, but we actually got the email ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2012

    A Houston Rap Album Worth Buying: LeCrae's Gravity

    Tuesday, Houston native LeCrae delivered his sixth full-length album Gravity on his own imprint Reach Records. It's unapologetic (as it should be), eye-opening and features a man who's taken his newfound success (BET appearance, his Church Clothes mixtape hosted by DJ Don Cannon) and carried it furt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Explaining Classic Rock Bands to Kids

    This past Sunday, The New York Times ran a piece by Paul Greenberg where the author explained how important the Beatles were to music and pop culture to his five-year old son. The child didn't know that the band had albums, but only knew the Fab Four from iTunes playlists. "When the Beatles record ... More >>

  • Culture

    June 21, 2012
  • Blogs

    December 21, 2011

    Give It Away: Music We're Gifting to Friends for Christmas

    ​We're a generous bunch at Rocks Off. We just give and give and give until it hurts, and then we give some more. That's just how we roll. And when we give, well, it may seem obvious, but we tend to give the gift of music. Our friends and family are appreciative, though we do think grandma is j ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2011

    Save Yourself: The 10 Worst Online Retailers

    Ads like this are the only reason to visit AmericanApparel.com...if you like that sort of thing​It's frustrating enough to shop for friends and family members during the holidays. Do I get my 80-year-old aunt a gift card to Kroger or H-E-B? Decisions, decisions. Unfortunately, some online mer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2011

    Fa La La La La: Favorite Records Rocks Off Got for Christmas

    ​No matter what year it is or how old you are, if you love music, there is nothing like finding some new music tucked under the tree or crammed into your stocking. iTunes gift cards are easy. So are gift cards to Tiffany's, but we bet your girl would be a lot more receptive to the blue box. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2011

    Artist of the Week: The Curious, Courageous Second Lovers

    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 sheaserrano@gmail.com. ​Few bands in the history ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    Houston's thelastplaceyoulook Gets Into The Christmas Spirit With "Do You Hear?"

    Photo by Groovehouse​Rocks Off is getting into the Christmas spirit, slowly but surely, and now that it's finally December, all your Facebook posts concerning your holiday plans have become much more tolerable. The music, classic though it may be, has needed an update for quite some time. In ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2011

    Funny HPMA Nomination Ballot Fails

    ​It does Rocks Off's heart good to see that our Music Award nominations have stirred up so much debate. As we mentioned Tuesday, according to our Web people, there were some 9,000 nominations submitted across our 43 categories. Of course there's no way for us to really know, but as far as we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    My Five Most Indispensable Music Technologies

    Previously the pinnacle of music technology...and pure awesomeness.​I started listening to music on vinyl way back in biblical times and things seemed just fine. CDs came along and made hauling around music somewhat easier and, once you got past the crispy clarity, the music sounded pretty dam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    Full Swag For Das Racist, No Swag For Astros & Paul Wall

    ​Das Racist is Rocks Off's favorite joke-rap group, ever. It annoys most people we know -including our boss, who is like, "All right, no more Das Racist for everyone's sake, please." That's being nice - Ed. Earlier this year, we traveled to SXSW strictly to catch every show, and we're planning ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2011

    How Jay-Z & Kanye West Kept Watch the Throne From Leaking Online

    howfresh2.comJay-Z's business plan: Don't leak the masters, get a Rolex.​The kingdom is safe. The throne has been watched. In an age where albums spring leaks like baby diapers, Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne arrived on the appointed date without even as much as a drip. For the first ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2011

    NFL Owners Celebrate New CBA, Now They Just Need The Players To Sign It

    Or is it?​ "I'm pleased to report that the definitive agreement that we've negotiated with the union, the owners approved it today by a vote of 31, with one abstention, and I'm quite pleased. It's a 10-year agreement." -- Houston Texans owner Bob McNair on a conference call Thursday night I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 9, 2011

    Pop Rocks: Twilight vs. Harry Potter And 9 Other Geek Throwdowns

    Still the only crossover I'd pay to see.​Anyone watch the MTV Movie Awards? Anyone? I didn't think so, mostly because I suspect the majority of Hair Balls/Art Attack readers are over the age of 12. And while I have no intention of revisiting the whole "'Music?"Television line of jokes, I did ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2011

    Tracy Nelson, Victim Of The Blues, Embraces Muddy & Lightnin'

    Robert Hakins​Long acclaimed as one of the truly great singers of the modern era, at 66 Tracy Nelson still has the fire for performing great songs. Her latest project, Victim of the Blues, is a loving caress to her original passion: Old-school blues, particularly the Chicago variety. Nelson's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2011

    Mantis: Prolific Internet Phantoms Surface Hungry

    ​Two months ago, we happened across a performance by Mantis, an eagerly funky and inwardly quirky indie-rock band we'd heard mentioned but never actively sought out. Their show, in short, was quite remarkable, an effort spearheaded by vocalist/keyboardist/bow-tie enthusiast Nick Greer. Writin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2011

    Houston Rodeo: Now There's an App for That

    Houston Rodeo: Where high tech meets low tech.​Last week members of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo's marketing and public relations team held a press conference to present some of the rodeo's new-for-2011 offerings, chief among them a feature-rich smartphone app meant to improve all aspe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2010

    Remember hasHBrown's Sounds from the Backseat?

    Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or not, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email sheaserrano@gmail.com. ​hasHBrown Sounds from the Backseat (Council Music Group, 2009) In prepping to write our forth ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    FAIL: Wyclef Jean, Richard Ashcroft, Mark Wahlberg, iTunes

    Photo illustrations by John Seaborn Gray​Wyclef Jean's Latest Vanity Project: President of Haiti: Wyclef Jean is best known for being the member of the Fugees who quite improbably enjoyed the most solo success. We would have bet on Lauryn Hill, but unfortunately, she went crazy. Crazy may be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2010

    FAIL - Billy Corgan, Courtney Love, Justin Bieber, Celene Dion, Apple

    If you're reading this, you're either on the Internet, or else you've mastered multi-dimensional thought-projection processes that would make Michio Kaku cry like a little girl. We'll assume the former, and just in case you don't already know, the Internet has decided that the word "failure" is too ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2010

    Melissa Savcic, Not Jessica Alba But Both Band And Kickboxing Singer-Songwriter

    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 sheaserrano@gmail.com.​The other day President Obama* ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2010

    Ask A Rapper: Candi Redd Discusses Possible Ways to Help Haiti

    The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place -lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good- so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to introducingliston@ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2010

    Answer an Urgent Appeal to Heal Haiti by Getting Some "Swagger"

    [Ed. Note: Please email any news of further music-related relief efforts to chris.gray@houstonpress.com.] Bobby Moon & Lil Flip - Swagger from AK Kurji on Vimeo. If you're looking for a way to contribute to the Haitian relief efforts, Houston-based international pop artist Bobby Moon is going to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2009

    Pop Rocks: I'm Shocked, Shocked To Discover Britney Spears Was Lip-Synching

    ​To think, I almost found myself agreeing with John Mayer.His response to the simmering Britney Spears lip-synching scandal -- mocking those who expressed outrage at the fact Spears was faking it during her concert in Perth, Australia last weekend -- would appear to be dead-on. One could even take ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 6, 2009

    The Music of True Blood, Episode 1.5: Playing Chicken With the Train, and an AIDS Burger

    Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston. With Season 2 just completed, Rocks Off is now working our way backw ... More >>

  • Music

    October 29, 2009
  • Blogs

    October 7, 2009

    Artist of the Week: Electro-Proggers The Live Lights Assure Us the "Sky Will Fall"

    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 introducingliston@gmail.com.Photos by Elias Ibanez​ S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2009

    Aftermath: Common and The Roots Crew's Private Engagment at the Corinthian, With Special Guests (Cough, "Nite and Day")

    Photos by Larami Culbertson​ 9:10 p.m.: We pull up to the front of The Corinthian and hand the car off to the valet. He says, "It's $20 plus tip." Oh, so it's $20, then? Got it. Thanks. 9:20 p.m.: Common just walked in. He's way more stout than we imagined him to be. His skin is also less clear th ... More >>

  • Music

    July 23, 2009

    Fur Sure

    Midtown's casually hip The Mink rededicates itself to live music.

  • Music

    May 14, 2009

    Frat Friendly Fun

    Relive those Greek glory days (if you had them) at Midtown's Vintage Lounge.

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2009

    Tonight: Street Dogs at Warehouse Live

    Most people don't associate humanitarianism with tough, working-class street punks whose artistic bent tends toward songs about drinking and fighting. For Street Dogs, a band of politically minded Boston-scene all-stars fronted by a war vet turned fireman, community is the whole point in the fir ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2009

    Artist of the Week: Small Sounds

    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 introducingliston@gmail.com. It seems contradictory, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2008

    Racket vs Racket Jr

    So lately, my son and I have been going ‘round and ‘round about music. His hormones are starting to kick in, and he’s developing some strident, independent tastes. The little tyke who once listened to Buckwheat Zydeco’s Choo-Choo Boogaloo on a loop for a month and later developed obsessions ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2007

    Explain Your Most Played

    Normally we'd try to write a funny caption here, but this cover pretty much speaks for itself. This week’s Explain Your Most Played, in which we examine the top ten songs of a Press staffer, is particularly cruel. Since Craig Malisow and I share the same iTunes network, I can go in and check his ... More >>

  • Music

    November 24, 2005

    The Shout Out Louds

    Sunday, November 27, at the Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.

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