It's a crime that I've been up till now unaware of bluesman John Egan, but I'm hoping to rectify that by taking a deep look into his latest album Amulet. If you ask me, Houston's greatest unsung treasure is the sheer number of folks that we have that can take you out of the blue and into the black w ... More >>
Third Ward history plays major role in two shows.
Today Rocks Off would like to salute 90.1 FM KPFT on its 44th anniversary, which it celebrates this Sunday under the "big top" behind McGonigel's Mucky Duck The lineup is a real hootenanny too, featuring Shinyribs, Del Castillo, Lisa Morales, Annika Chambers, Parker Millsap, recent Rocks Off 200 sub ... More >>
Monster Magnet Fitzgerald's, December 3 They don't make too many rock bands like Monster Magnet anymore, but maybe they don't need to. Such clear descendents of Deep Purple you can almost see the smoke on the water -- though we bet "Highway Star" is more their speed -- Dave Wyndorf's New Jersey-bas ... More >>
Mudhoney Fitzgerald's, September 30 Mudhoney didn't invent grunge, or maybe they did, but either way, Mark Arm's crew has been making some of the gnarliest noise Seattle has to offer for a solid 25 years. Landmark debut single "Touch Me, I'm Sick" and the Superfuzz Bigmuff EP introduced rock to new ... More >>
"Reflektor" Listening Party Cactus Music, September 9 According to early reports, Arcade Fire's first album in three years sounds more "contemparary" than the band's previous work, which can be a little on the furrowed-brow side. (Though not always, as in "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) fro ... More >>
Black Flag Walters, August 26 Just to be clear, this is the Black Flag fronted by Greg Ginn, the transplanted Central Texan who in late-'70s L.A. founded one of the most aggressive, influential bands American rock has ever seen. It's not a stretch to say that within the punk world, Black Flag were ... More >>
Free Radicals AvantGarden, March 25 Free Radicals is both Nick Cooper's revolving-door ensemble that at any given moment could be playing free jazz or Latin funk, and also Cooper's ongoing testimonial to how much he digs being a member of the Houston music community. He has so much experience at th ... More >>
Beyonce Toyota Center, July 15 How close to the center of pop culture is Beyonce these days? Here's a sample MTV.com headline, which took us all of about ten seconds to find one recent morning: "Beyonce Wore a Balloon Hat While Eating an Ice Cream Cone, and Our Summer Is Officially Made." Tongue in ... More >>
LINCOLN DURHAM Anything goes should have been the catchphrase for one of the most unpredictable one-man bands around, Lincoln Durham. He might throw in occasional odes to girls named Clementine and shed a little ever-loving light, but it definitely isn't in an old-fashioned gospel kind of way. He p ... More >>
DJ Sun The Flat, April 1 Now that some of the well-deserved publicity surrounding DJ Sun's first-ever full-length release, One Hundred, has subsided a little, his true accomplishment on the disc seems even more impressive. In the span of 70 minutes, he pours his 20-plus-year career as one of Housto ... More >>
We introduced you to Songza -- the service that acts as a "music concierge" -- a few weeks back. Using curated playlists sorted not only by genre and theme, but also by activity, Songza helps you pick the best songs for the occasion. More importantly to me, the playlists are expertly curated, mean ... More >>
It took the Texas Historical Society long enough to appropriately recognize Houston bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins, but not as long as the Grammys. As part of the run-up to Sunday night's 55th annual Grammy Awards, its governing body the Recording Academy announced that Hopkins, who died in 1982, will ... More >>
20-year-old Katy guitar slinger could be a budding Bonnie Raitt.
White Rabbits aren't your run-of-the-mill hipsters. The New York Times recently likened the New York band's third album, Milk Famous, to "Radiohead's technique of surrounding a sustained vocal melody with jagged pointillism... some songs barely bother to flesh out their chords. They're all rhythm an ... More >>
Reverend K.M. Williams says the blues aren't the devil's music.
The Texans are in first place (for now), the Texas Rangers may become the Lone Star State's first-ever World Series champions tomorrow (ouch), and early voting for the November 8 mayoral/City Council election started Monday. The Houston Press Music Awards showcase is less than three weeks awa ... More >>
Photos by Jason WolterHayes Carll (left) and Craig Kinsey go down the road.Sideshow Tramps Fitzgerald's September 9, 2011 If Aftermath doesn't have to be at the office first thing in the morning, sometimes we let our personal hygiene slide a little. Some days stretch well into the afternoon ... More >>
Neartown stalwarts Sideshow Tramps make real-life "Montrose music" on eclectic new album Revelator.
bobmargolin.comLondon, 1979 (l-r): Bob Margolin, Johnny Winter, Muddy WatersBeaumont-born bluesman Johnny Winter is having a very busy year for a man who is 67. Not only is he set to release his first album of newly recorded material in eight years, Winter is also featured on I'm Back! Family ... More >>
Although he grew up outside Philadelphia, Ray Benson is the quintessential Texas musician. Somewhere in his rambling South Austin studio/office compound is a proclamation declaring him the 2004 official state musician, not to mention the umpteen Grammys he's won as front man and bandleader of ... More >>
Boogie-rock has probably been derided by critics more times than people have torched a doob while listening to BTO. Intellectual types tend to write it off as guys with feathered bangs, mustaches and shirts open to their navel playing songs about cars, girls and partying (and partying in cars ... More >>
The late legendary Houston bluseman finally gets an official historical marker.
For once, Rocks Off is grateful for this sinus-splitting headache (thanks, Mike Stinson!), because it gives us something to focus on besides the fact that we are crawling out of our skin waiting for kickoff tonight. At this point, sports pundits have analyzed the Longhorns and Crimson Tide to wi ... More >>
As LOM promised in last week's blog about bluegrass, here are some precursors to that art form. These are some wonderful tunes to listen to on your boom-box or iPod while tending your illegal still. Charlie Poole: Charlie Poole is the iconic model for every hard-drinkin', guitar-plunking, Appalachi ... More >>
[Note: This week Rocks Off is looking at the musical heritage, highs and lows, for each of the five possible states that might result should Texas secede from the U.S. like Gov. Rick Perry wants it to. Yesterday we began with the Panhandle/West Texas "Palo Duro" territory; today it's northeastern qu ... More >>
Chemist by day, guitarist by night. What bands are you checking out today?I came to play the gig or get my ass kicked. The Ton Tons. Flying Fish Sailors... (Uh. they aren't playing.) Who are your HPMA picks?Best Bassit I believe is not on here. It's our Best Bassist, Will Bloomingtrim. Jack Sch ... More >>
Photos by Mark C. Austin B.B. King deserves a break. If the genial Buddha of the blues, now 83, would rather spend the bulk of his two-hour set bantering with the sold-out crowd about Viagra (groan) and the wayward ways of womankind instead of, you know, singing and playing, he's earned ... More >>
Bill White offends Georgians
Back in 2005, in one of the -- if not quite the -- last times he would set foot in a recording studio, Texas swing master Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown recorded the old Blind Lemon Jefferson Texas blues staple “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” The Gulf of Mexico had other plans. Later that ... More >>
Gatemouth Brown: Long live the king of Gulf Coast music Back in 2005, in one of the very last times he would set foot in a recording studio, Texas swing master Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown recorded the old Blind Lemon Jefferson Texas blues staple “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean.” The Gulf ... More >>
Verve Records One of my favorite blues songs of all time is Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean." Especially these lyrics: Did you ever hear that coffin sound Means another poor boy is under the ground Creepy! Jefferson's song has been covered by many, many people over the y ... More >>
Touring bands, especially those that haven't graduated to bus level, have a special relationship with Denny's. The roadside restaraunt chain is always open, providing a perfect post-gig spot to sober up on free coffee refills or just get to know the townies a little better. Its locations are often l ... More >>
Ideas toward a Houston-style musical Day of the Dead
A plea for monuments and musical preservation
Some cities are famous for their unique cultural contributions: Philly and cheesesteak. New Orleans and jazz. Arlington and…the blues. Yup, developers in Arlington want to turn some vacant land by the Rangers ballpark into a $300 million paean to Texas blues. The complex, which right now is just ... More >>
RIP, Gatemouth Brown
Big Mike looks for a fresh start after three and a half years in the joint
The proposed Museum of American Music History could be the solution to our "image problem"
Saturday, November 30
South Park Mexican carves out his place in history with the 2001 Music Awards
Aaron Loesch and band find inspiration in life's throwaway objects
Alternative rock robs pop's cradle