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 >>
"I wanna be a billionaire, so frickin' bad..." The heavy smoke hanging around Katy's sprawling Mo's Place (21940 Kingsland Blvd.) can't stop us from being mesmerized by the two men killing it on Bruno Mars' "Billionaire." Their performance is worth the cloud of carcinogens. The guy in the cowboy ... More >>
Mo's may be a country bar, but the karaoke is intense and the customers know how to wobble.
Last year, my kids' bands teamed up for an idea to attract younger local followers. They sent sampler CDs to the entertainment editors of about two dozen area high schools and asked them to review the music in their school newspapers. To prove they weren't entirely self-serving, they included a lis ... More >>
Ever had the urge to make the world's worst playlist? Perhaps you're hell-bent on torturing the passengers on a ten-hour road trip to Florida, or you just want to drive your mother-in-law batty enough that she'll jump ship and walk home. Well, just bust out these bad boys. Be careful, though. In s ... More >>
The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Concert Venues.
As the Houston Press doffs our kudos cap to local institutions great and small in the Best of Houston® 2013 awards, all through October each of our four blogs will be looking beyond the winners of selected categories in a series we like to call "The Rest of the Best." Rocks Off happened to draw Fri ... More >>
Less than a month into the new NFL season, we already know who will be playing at the Super Bowl. We may not know which teams will line up for football's biggest game. As the sports cliché goes, there's a lot of football yet to be played; but, no prognostication is required when the subject is the ... More >>
Generally I become more and more skeptical about what's "hot." This is also known as "getting older" or, to paraphrase Chris Rock, not wanting to be the old guy in the club. But for me that skepticism has always come with a certain morbid curiosity about what makes some songs so popular and why. Thi ... More >>
Can we just rename last night's MTV VMAs the MTV JTMAs? Cause really, now. Mr. Justin Timberlake dominated that stage the entire night, even with Lady Gaga warbling off-key and Miley Cyrus grabbing at her crotch every two seconds. It was teh impressive. JT performed a medley of what seemed to be ev ... More >>
Bruno Mars, Ellie Goulding Toyota Center August 15, 2013 Robin Thicke may have the song of the summer, Timberlake may be the returning icon, Pitbull may be the ultimate party machine, but in the realm of male pop stardom Bruno Mars is The Talent. He's has serious pipes. He can rip up a guitar or a ... More >>
Tianna Hall Sambuca, August 12 You could argue that Tianna Hall is the best jazz singer in all of Houston. I mean, you could argue against it, too, but it's like arguing that the moon landing was faked. Her smoky voice is a fine mix of skill and improvised magic, and it's landed her on the Grammy n ... More >>
Bruno Mars Reliant Stadium March 7, 2013 We live in a world where a "singer" can be successful without actually knowing how to sing. Think about that for a second. Then think about why we allow that to happen. In the Internet age, we are less interested in the strength and beauty of a singer's voi ... More >>
The Rocks Off Rodeo Concert Guide is our annual helpful(?) primer for those of you unsure about your HLSR music choices for the big event at Reliant Stadium.Date: March 7 Name: Bruno Mars AKA: "Not that Bruno."
Tianna Hall Sambuca, March 4 You could argue that Tianna Hall is the best jazz singer in all of Houston. I mean, you could argue against it too, but it's like arguing that the moon landing was faked. Her smoky voice is a fine mix of skill and improvised magic, and it's landed her on the Grammy nomi ... More >>
Go Texan with this guide.
Dear Stupid Grammys, I have a bone to pick with you. I sat through Taylor Swift's uninspired opening act while she half-sung/half-yodeled at a guy on a spinning bullseye. It was complete with an insulting and transparent Alice in Wonderland costume ripoff (which I'm not getting, by the way... is s ... More >>
Muzak is dying. Long live Muzak. That great musical mainstay of elevators, shopping centers, and other hellish waiting places is getting consolidated by its owner Mood Media, melding inside their own longstanding multi-sensory brand simply called Mood. By far my favorite Muzak tune was Lionel Ri ... More >>
This week's RodeoHouston lineup announcement officially kicked off 2013 for Houston's party people and rodeo fans. The lineup is dependable as always, with your standard country acts, classic-rockers, kiddie-pop acts, R&B, and norteño offerings making up the month of music. Sadly, once again this ... More >>
I live too far away from the coasts to care about Coachella all that much, and have done far too much time in both the ACL and SXSW trenches to get too excited about anything that happens in far west Houston anymore. So instead, I have started looking forward to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's ... More >>
Pop stars of both the R&B and Latin persuasions, Bruno Mars and Pitbull, join new country favorites Brantley Gilbert, The Band Perry and the Zac Brown Band in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's 2013 entertainer lineup, the rodeo announced this morning. Rodeo veterans Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Dier ... More >>
When I was first approached with the opportunity to cover the MFAH's second annual punch party, I had my doubts about the quality of the libations. As a card-carrying Victorianist, I'm pretty much professionally obligated to scoff at the so-called merits of other historical eras in favor of promoti ... More >>
If you spent any amount of time this past summer listening to the radio you're well aware of just how popular Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was. According to the folks over at Billboard it was the "Song of the Summer" and thus the answer to the question blogs had been asking months earlier. Wh ... More >>
While it was neither a small step nor a giant leap NASA once again made history on Tuesday. Not content with just beaming music in to space they successfully streamed a song from the Curiosity rover hanging out on Mars back to the little blue orb we call home. If we're being honest we were a bit su ... More >>
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. So, the vampires have decided that they are going to try and rule ... More >>
Yeah, yeah, we all know it's 2012. Apparently the end of the world is near. The apocalypse is coming. Or better yet, a zombie apocalypse is coming. If you aren't so in touch as to what the hell a zombie even is, it's the living dead, and they are scary as can be. I have my roommate and good friend ... More >>
See Rocks Off's complete Free Press Summer Fest coverage at this link. Snoop Dogg Free Press Summer Fest, Eleanor Tinsley Park June 2, 2012 Among Snoop Dogg's many gifts, even more than his boundless appetite for the sweet leaf, healthy appreciation of the female form and melodious lilt he gives t ... More >>
Rocks Off polled our writers to see which local or regional artist they most wanted to see at Free Press Summer Fest this weekend. Alexa Crenshaw: Robert Ellis recently rebooted his mid-week honky-tonk events, fittingly dubbed Whiskey Wednesday with Robert Ellis. The problem now, though, is that th ... More >>
The hardest thing about making a list of possible future RodeoHouston performers is making sure to color inside the lines, which means the things that I want probably wouldn't work. Sure, the Black Keys on opening night and the Rolling Stones doing an-all country set to close out the season would be ... More >>
Hands up, everyone who is surprised.The Grammy Awards on CBS Sunday night could have easily turned into a wake - or worse, a funeral. After Whitney Houston's death Saturday, the mood was appropriately somber until a dance party broke out, or perhaps a coming-out party for dance music. Foreve ... More >>
SPOILER ALERTThe best thing about the annual Grammy nominations and awards shows is the clamor of anger that rises up when the mere mention of the event even comes up. Immediately people begin calling it a travesty, trotting out all the people who have been snubbed -- Jethro Tull beats Metall ... More >>
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) released its 2012 report this week, confirming that the music industry may finally have a reason to be cautiously optimistic about its future. The industry saw its first year-over-year growth since 2004, piracy notwithstanding. The IF ... More >>
The Grammy nominations were officially presented last night. Not surprisingly, Adele, who is considered a front runner in nearly every category she is nominated in, cleaned up with six nominations for her album 21, but was beaten out by Kanye West who had seven, though curiously not among them a nod ... More >>
Last night on The X Factor we got a taste of what it means when America's votes have a direct impact on determining which contestant goes home. After performances by Kelly Clarkson and Bruno Mars, and The Big Ensemble Number performed by The Remaining Contestants, we get right down to business. At t ... More >>
OK, we've never been devout Toby Keith fans. At all. Our image of him changed though as we heard more of his politics, post-"Courtesy Of The Red, White And Blue" and he came out as a fan of gay marriage and gays in the military. Who says all country guys have to be right-wing torchbearers any ... More >>
Photos by Marco TorresDead Prez Fitzgerald's August 18, 2011 M-1 and stic.man of dead prez are not your typical activists. Their message--fight the establishment, eat broccoli, and copulate mentally - isn't exactly easy feast in a world rife with apathy, junk food, and promiscuity. But that' ... More >>
thelocal478.comWelcome back to Billboard, Otis.Say what you will about Watch the Throne - and people, including several members of Team Rocks Off, have said a lot - but it's all anyone in music seems to be talking about these days. Which makes sense; it's not every day that two megastars (the ... More >>
Mason Lankford said, "There will come a day when we forget the Rapture ever even happened," but Rocks Off is keeping an eye out for signs of our impending Armageddon. We were wrong last time, but we're totally right this time! Jyle DupuisRyan Seacrest is a towering figure in the entertainmen ... More >>
6:58: High-five to the Houston Press for flying us out to Los Angeles to cover the BET Awards. Cool move. Thus far, it's been extra fun. We ran into Kobe and, um, saw some people filming a movie, and... uh... there were some angels or something, and... there... there was... eh, shit. We're n ... More >>
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Several months ago, whil ... More >>
Greetings From Bon Iver Land! Now, grab a rifle. It's almost dinner time.In the next few weeks, you may be reading about the new Robert Ellis album, Photographs, so we are just giving you fair warning. It's a stunner through and through, and goes nicely with early morning traffic. Have you ev ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerBruno Mars, Janelle Monae Reliant Arena May 18, 2011 See Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae and their fans, just the way they are, in our slideshow. Somewhere, Michael Jackson is smiling again. At last. The King of Pop may be gone, but he was very much there in spirit Wednesd ... More >>
While I was avoiding er, preparing this entry, I found myself watching a bunch of punk rock videos as sort of a palate cleanser. It got me wondering if Idol could ever do a punk/alt-rock show. Would the show attract a new demographic if they trotted out the elder statesmen and women of hardc ... More >>
The surest way to piss off Steven Tyler - apart from being Joe Perry - is to butcher a Beatles song, which is the sin Dave Combs committed last night. But let's be honest, he didn't do *that* horrible a job. The former(?) Aerosmith front man is just a lot more forgiving if you profess your l ... More >>
Now that's a headline, ladies and germs. It has the added benefit of being succinct as well. That's exactly what we're summing up here, the worst Top 10 lists our peers have written this year. Let's get started, as we've got a lot of ground to cover. 10. This One Not really, this is just t ... More >>
Johnny Falstaff is a honky-tonk translator.
San Antonio's Girl in a Coma may stumble onstage, but not on Adventures in Coverland.
Old '97s snap back with new album.
Teaching is often cast as a thankless, glamour-free job. Nothing could be further from the truth. For the past five years, Rocks Off has taught at a Title 1 (read: poor) school in Hispanic-heavy South Houston. We've been thanked several times for several things. And we've been to several 4- ... More >>
LP on the way, Houston's American Fangs stay sharp through constant touring.