"Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars." It's good advice that was delivered weekly for dozens of years by Casey Kasem. The radio personality, whose American Top 40 countdown was a pop-culture fixture for more than 40 years, passed away on Father's Day at the age of 82. You ... 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 previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link. Who? BLSHS (Pronounced "blushe ... More >>
Imagine sitting in your Magnolia area den, watching Conan, when a couple of familiar faces appear on screen. Anyone who knew Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay when they lived in the area may have had that experience earlier this year. If you missed that chance to catch Chance and Clay, collectively kno ... More >>
Manchester Orchestra House of Blues April 21, 2014 Sometimes a band just floors you. They leave you crawling away from the venue without the ability to walk, think, talk or use your major motor functions for a period of time. While such and aural assault doesn't happen that often, when it does you ... 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 >>
The 2014 music festival season is kicking into gear, with Free Press Summer Fest announcing its lineup last week. The rundown features at least a half-dozen acts coming right from Coachella, which announced last month, and probably at least a few who will be performing at Bonnaroo, which announces t ... More >>
US Festival 1983: Days 1-3 Directed by Glen Aveni MVD Visuals, 135 minutes, $19.95 In 1982, flush with cash, Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak wanted to throw "a big party" and create an '80s version of Woodstock that would combine a music festival with displays and demonstrations about emerg ... More >>
The Black and White Years, BLSHS Fitzgerald's January 31, 2014 They say in the business that it's all about who you know, and that couldn't have been truer for Austin art-rockers The Black and White Years. One day you're playing a sparsely attended gig in your hometown and some stranger walks in to ... More >>
Trivium, Devildriver Warehouse Live, November 17 Across six albums, Florida's Trivium has refined an aggressive blend of thrash and metalcore generally too heavy for rock radio, but with enough melody for them to cultivate a sizable and devoted underground following. Last month they released Vengan ... More >>
The 2013 edition of the Voodoo Festival has come and gone, leaving everyone who came out counting down the days until the next time they can step foot in New Orleans' City Park. This year people were treated to standout sets spread across four stages from the likes of Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Kid ... More >>
This weekend Rocks Off will send another team to the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, three days sure to be full of music, drinking, and the sort of behavior that tends to happen when tens of thousands of scantily clad young people gather to get their buzz on and scope out potential ... More >>
The Polyphonic Spree Fitzgerald's August 29th, 2013 Some moments in life are just better than others. Having a laugh while your kid, armed with floaties, thinks he's drowning, despite moments ago assuring the instructor he had it. Turning so red from embarrassing laughter moments after realizing ... More >>
In honor of the 25th Annual Houston Press Music Awards, we present the Houston Music Hall of Fame.
Rodrigo y Gabriela House of Blues July 21, 2013 I've never been huge on the metal genre, always appreciative of what those musicians do, but never adapting my ears to the music's volume and intensity. Strap two acoustic guitars on some serious metal players, though, and the story changes. Rodrigo ... More >>
The Appleseed Cast Fitzgerald's July 12, 2013 Friday night in Houston was a lover of the blues' wet dream, with several roadshow options from that genre to choose from. John Mayer was doing his thing at the Woodlands Pavilion, while Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks were tearing down the joint at Hou ... More >>
Rockshow Paul McCartney and Wings Eagle Vision, 139 mins., $29.98 DVD/$34.98 Blu-ray According to rollingstone.com, the act that owned last weekend's Bonnaroo Festival was not some hirsute jam band, plaintive female singer-songwriter, or preppy indie-rockers, but a guy that much of the world has l ... More >>
The Alabama Shakes' Brittany HowardAs we round out the end of the week, all of the festival hangovers from the full-blown fuckery at FPSF have subsided and we're all a bit less foggy, it's time to look back at the festival in a slightly different light. Let's put aside the rants about overpriced wat ... More >>
The Killers, The Virgins Bayou Music Center May 8, 2013 On a less than steamy May evening, a packed house at Bayou Music Center waited patiently in a temperature more commonly associated with Bonnaroo or Dengue Fever. About 30 minutes later than expected burst another hot entity, Brandon Flowers, a ... More >>
Performers from New Orleans to Zimbabwe enliven this year's Brazilian-themed Houston International Festival.
Sir Elton John piano-pounded Toyota Center March 28.
2013 marks the first year that the Austin City Limits Music Festival -- Texas' other large outdoor music festival, never to be confused with Houston's own Free Press Summer Fest -- expands to two consecutive weekends with identical lineups. At this point the lineup for the festival, scheduled for Oc ... More >>
Led Zeppelin: one of the most famous and influential rock and roll bands of all time. The key word in there is influential. How many rock bands in 2013 do you suppose cite Zeppelin as a major influence on their sound? I'd say just about all of them, either directly or indirectly through their influe ... More >>
Tomorrow, we will know who will be playing the fifth annual Free Press Summer Fest June 1 and 2 in Eleanor Tinsley Park. We know this because Monday, our rivals over at the Houston Chronicle revealed that they will have an exclusive announcement of the FPSF lineup sometime Thursday, thanks to what w ... More >>
The largest music festival in the United States in terms of attendance is not Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, or Austin City Limits. While each sees thousands of music fans pass through the gates every year, the real attendance champ is Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. The 2012 version of the e ... More >>
Your 2013 music-festival outlook, Texas edition.
I don't know about you, but I am not totally in love with winter weather. Yes, it affords you the ability to wear beanies and cool fingerless gloves and dress like a hoodlum, but it's the heat that I love the most. That's why I love thinking about music festivals, because that's where we all get t ... More >>
While most Texans are spending their Friday counting down to ACL or speculating about the Fun Fun Fun Fest line up, I find myself thinking about a festival north of our fair state. We're halfway through June and that means that the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos infomercial should be dropping any da ... More >>
Known for elaborate guitar work, referred to as "cathartic mini-symphonies," Explosions In the Sky put on emotional shows. Remaining completely devoid of vocals, three guitars and one drummer (a bass guitar is thrown in at times) Explosions combine to create a sound that seems to carry the crowd on ... More >>
This week has seen a temporary lull in festival season, after Bonnaroo and Electric Daisy Carnival this past weekend. Wait. Never mind. According to musicfestivaljunkies.com (who are these people?), three of them start today: BamaJam in Enterprise, Ala.; The Friendly Gathering in Windham, Vt.; and ... More >>
I'm not much of a traveler. Outside of a few trips to Vegas, I've never been on a real grownup-type vacation. Every year it's a struggle to think of something to do with my vacation days, one that eventually leads to a few four-day weeks and a couple of midweek shows. Now that I'm getting older, I' ... More >>
Houston's own globe-trekking Robert Ellis received an Emerging Artist of the Year nomination from the Americana Music Association Thursday afternoon. The ceremony was officiated by actor and musician John C. Reilly, and featured performances by Ellis and a few other big names like Lucinda Williams a ... More >>
Hip-hop, like any form of music, is subject to localization. Different cities have different scenes with different sounds and different superstars. These scenes go largely underappreciated in the mainstream until a local hero makes good or the sound becomes too big to ignore. Like the San Francisc ... More >>
One of the most memorable shows I've seen in Houston thus far was Puscifer, the band that does for lascivious alternative electro-rock what Maynard James Keenan's other band Tool does for progressive metal. When Puscifer played Jones Hall in November 2009, I was expecting something like the grind-y ... More >>
This whole week, the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, featuring the Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg, Pulp, At the Drive-In, the Shins, AVICII, David Guetta and maybe one or two others, will be all anyone who follows music these days will be talking about. Then early next week, it' ... More >>
Most of the world's biggest rappers - Jay-Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, T.I., 50 Cent - have performed in Austin within the past week, are about to perform, or are at least in the city partaking in the SXSW festivities. Rocks Off was leaving Stubb's late Thursday night and heard Snoop Dogg performing ... More >>
Rapper Matthew Paul Miller, stage name Matisyahu, made waves this week by tweeting a picture of his face, shorn of the trademark Chassidic beard, along with a message promising "an amazing year filled with music of rebirth." The message on his personal site also mentioned "rules" in his chose ... More >>
The Zac Brown Band takes a laid-back, well-fed path to country stardom.
As much as Rocks Off has been talking about it, planning it, and writing about it these past two months or so, it doesn't seem possible that our first-ever Best of Houston® BestFest is only 10 short days away. By the time we finish coughing up all the dust from our trip to the no-smoking Aus ... More >>
Kanye "Hitler" West and Jay-Z released their (overused music writer word alert) epic Watch the Throne album this week, to mostly great reviews. This fall the first fruits from the recently announced Lou Reed/Metallica collaboration should be on the store shelves, which still sorta weirds us o ... More >>
Since there's been so much talk about Kings of Leon after Caleb Followill's abrupt "heat-induced" exit last Friday in Dallas, Tuesday afternoon Rocks Off's in-house brain trust emailed back and forth about the possible long-term effects of last weekend's events on the band. Mark C. AustinKings of L ... More >>
Photos courtesy of Sanctus BellumSanctus Bellum at Denton's 35 Conferette in MarchWhat fuels heavy metal music? Some might say the Armageddon that is flirting with our world; others, watching the machinations of craven political and religious leaders. We, however, can testify that some of the ... More >>
Marco TorresWill ACL close with classic rock again, like with the Eagles last year? Neil Young?The Austin City Limits Music Festival's big 2011 lineup announcement is imminent, scheduled for May 17, and Rocks Off will surely be on top of the news after it hits. Last year we sat on the compute ... More >>
Just another messianic porn star trying to save mankind...
We hope everyone had a loud and proud weekend. We sure did, and we'll have a wrap-up of Saturday's Houston Pride Parade festivities in a little bit. Promise. 1:17 a.m. at La Carafe Photog Bill Olive hit up Market Square for a glass of wine... 2:04 a.m. at Frank's Pizza ...and a slice of 'za ... More >>
Click here for a slideshow. I'm almost ashamed to admit this was my first Westheimer Block Party, or Street Fest, or Surprisingly Well-Organized Locals-Only Outdoor Event Sponsored by a Competing Publication on a Shoestring Budget (That Nonetheless Needed More Food Vendors), or whatever you want t ... More >>