Today is the 58th birthday of one Kenneth Gorelick, better known to the world as Kenny G. Now, when I say the name Kenny G you probably picture a man whose smooth jazz saxophoning is perfect for the uptight squares of the world, but who simply cannot hang with the truly badass musicians that you lik ... More >>
A Fistful of Soul A Fistful of Soul's members look like the indie-rockers FPSF tends to favor, such as New York City Queens, The Tontons or Wild Moccasins. It may alarm some unfamiliars when they don't start strumming esoterically at guitars or synth-popping their set. They spin classic soul sets, a ... More >>
Childish Gambino These are three of my favorite Childish Gambino lyrics: "I am running this bitch, you are just a dog walker"; "I have worked all winter, I will not fail summer/ In the back of the bush like Gavin Rossdale's drummer"; "Swag out the ass, I'm the man, fuck Chico/ Took the G out your wa ... More >>
"So how are these guys?" asked my security-guard friend at the House of Blues as I entered the photo pit Monday night. "I hear they are a reggaeton group, but that's all I know." "I guess that's technically true" I answered. "They are from Puerto Rico and have roots in the reggaeton movement, but t ... More >>
"It goes uh, ah! Off the snare drum. Tony Toca, long time no hear from..." It was around the year 2000 when I was first introduced to the confident, nasal delivery of Nuyorican rapper/producer/DJ Tony Touch. Every month, I would go to the Houston Pubic Library downtown to check out about ten CDs at ... More >>
With all the drama that surrounds singer/screamer changes, you'd think it's the end of the world and it has never worked for any band. The reactions across the internet any time one vocalist leaves and another joins are always less than enthusiastic, thinking change is bad one hundred percent of the ... More >>
Soundtracks were a huge deal in the '90s. It was a chance for us to get all our favorite bands together in one place, like a high class, far more expensive mixtape. They were such an affair that bands would release their best songs and greatest hits on these records, oftentimes sending a soundtrack ... More >>
Every now and then, switching things up in a band isn't the end of the world. In fact, recruiting a new singer can revitalize and expand the horizons of a band in completely unexpected ways, bringing them out of obscurity or to previously unheard of levels of success. We've covered this ground befo ... More >>
DirecTV wants nothing to do with the CSN Houston or the teams that broadcast games on that network. AT&T is doing fine without the network. So are the rest of the cable/satellite providers in the five-state CSN Houston market. This is not news. The fact that most of the state of Texas does not have ... More >>
The locals who have captured our ears, from rock to rap to synth-pop.
Monday, the Earth shook. Well, not really, but if you deal with gossip the way journalists, social-media commentators and those who wield Photoshop for evil purposes, Solange fighting Jay Z in an elevator shook everything imaginable. The days that have followed have been awkward. The facade of pri ... More >>
For anyone making a Top 10 list of classic rock's most iconic songs, of course there has to be a slot for "Hotel California." Right up there with "Hey Jude," "Stairway to Heaven," "Layla" and "Smoke on the Water," the 1977 Eagles song -- written by band members Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Don Felder ... More >>
You know, the '90s gets a little screwed when it comes to nostalgia, which is perhaps a bit unfair. Sure, the '80s gave us Scrunchies and ALF, and we got to show off our Lisa Lisa cassette with pride. But in the '90s, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was born, which gave us Carlton and his sweet-ass dan ... More >>
Ben Kweller Though Ben Kweller only lives a short distance up 290 in Austin, it feels like he's never here enough to satisfy the demand for his music. Performing as a trio on Saturday night, Kweller's set was composed of hits from every album in his discography with the exception of one, Changing ... More >>
El Dorado Ballroom Dedication El Dorado Ballroom May 2 & 3 (dedication) It seems like Houston has remembered it even has a history only very recently, so it must be making up for lost time now. Less than five years since the Lightnin' Hopkins Texas Historical Marker was erected on the grounds of Pr ... More >>
If you've poured blood, sweat, and tears (or even just two out of three) into growing your small business, but you need a little help establishing an online presence, you owe it yourself to check out the Google-sponsored Texas Get Your Business Online workshop at the Hobby Center May 5. At this fre ... More >>
If you were a "David Bowie," would you be the Thin White Duke or Ziggy Stardust? If you were a Michael Jackson song, would you be "Bad," or would you be staring at "The Man In the Mirror?" Thanks to a deluge of incredibly popular online quizzes from pop-culture Web sites like Zimbio and Buzzfeed, y ... More >>
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 the original Rocks Off 100 at this link. Who? Michael Anthony Shanks fancies himse ... More >>
If there's one thing that Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth knows, its "fan appreciation." Both at his concerts and in the community, Trae thanks his supporters at every opportunity, knowing that the fans are what push a good rapper towards greatness. Whether he's performing alongside his countless frie ... More >>
Houston museums should display some Houston art.
Who should be producing Xscape?
Country singer Raymond "Mundo" Earwood has passed after a long illness. The Del Rio native, who has long resided in the Humble area, was 61. The news came from a message on his Facebook page, which read in part, "We are of course deeply saddened by the loss of a great man, but we rejoice that today, ... More >>
Note: our friends at L.A. Weekly and OC Weekly are covering the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, in Indio, Calif. This article was written by Andrea Domanick. On Thursday, Coachella attendee Kimchi Truong died after an apparent overdose. It's believed to be the first de ... More >>
Onetime Houston MC Von Won reinvents himself as the city's premier hip-hop pastor.
All are welcome at the LGBT country bar.
What is butt-rock, you ask? As usual, we've got all your answers, courtesy of Urban Dictionary: A derogatory term for any hard-rock music. The term comes from a nationwide advertising campaign on hard-rock radio stations in the 1990s that used the tagline "Rock. Nothing but Rock." Listeners quick ... More >>
Recently, Rocks Off looked at the most difficult song lyrics to understand in all of music, period. While that was fun, my editor brought it to my attention that virtually all of modern death-metal could qualify for that list. Since the advent of screaming, including metal in a list like that is lik ... More >>
No one was more disappointed than I was with the fact that producers were deciding to capitalize on unreleased Michael Jackson material with the album Michael just one year after the King of Pop passed away. It was a crass, money-making maneuver, and the album showed it. They're doing it again this ... More >>
Baseball music, comeback albums, and local talent buyer says goodbye.
Mobb Deep, Nosaprise Fitzgerald's April 9, 2014 A hip-hop show on a Wednesday night is as good as a rap show on any other night, except maybe better. Everyone who claims to be a hip-hop fan but is really just a whats-new-on-the-radio rap fan stays home to watch Basketball Wives or whatever nonsense ... More >>
There are a lot of pastors in Houston. Very, very few of them can rap. And only one of them is releasing an album this week featuring guest verses by Scarface, Bun B, Z-Ro, Paul Wall and Propain. That would be Vaughaligan Walwyn, a married father of four and the pastor of Legacy Church, a 300-membe ... More >>