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 >>
Rom-coms used to be a cash cow — and wildly popular with audiences. What happened?
A funny thing happened to our old buddy Snoop Dogg last year: he got religion. And not just any old religion, either. In a move that we probably should have seen coming, the Doggfather formally embraced the Rastafari movement, a Jamaican spiritual ideology with fewer than a million adherents worldwi ... More >>
This Saturday night, Houston will be greeted by two very familiar faces: Sting and Paul Simon. The two are legends in their respective fields, and although their music doesn't quite sound similar, the tour is welcome all the same. It's sort of like Elton John and Billy Joel, only a little less obvio ... More >>
This Sunday the music business will celebrate its equivalent of Oscar night when the 56th annual Grammy Awards are handed out at L.A.'s Staples Center. Basically it combines two high-school traditions, the prom and the talent show, but the Grammys are always worth watching -- if nothing else, the ou ... More >>
Checking out the notable stand-alones hitting the theaters.
Beyoncé's second Toyota Center show of 2013 last week was a TKO.
We look at the year a man fell in love with a phone and a whole lot more.
When I first began to listen to rap music as a student at Jesse H. Jones Senior High, it was mostly screwed-down versions of hits by UGK and freestyles by Lil Keke, Lil Flip and Yungstar. Only after I graduated did I begin digging deeper into rap's history, with East Coast lyricism pulling me one wa ... More >>
"All That Matters," Justin Bieber No R&B or pop singer decided to reinvent themselves musically and be taken seriously as the Biebs has in the past month or so. So sue me, Biebervelli might get tatted across my belly. BRANDO "Berzerk," Eminem All the old-school song samplings layered with Eminem's ... More >>
An essential new photo book surveys Houston rap's origins.
It turns out the murderous, crazed clowns from Insane Clown Posse have a side gig that we weren't aware of. Apparently, in addition to catching them holding court and downing Faygo at the yearly Gathering of the Juggalos, you can also catch them heckling the more "controversial" mainstream videos on ... More >>
For a venue celebrating its 10th year of operation, Toyota Center may have never experienced such high-caliber occupancy as it will this month. In late autumn, the murmurs from inside the venue's marketing department could be heard all the way across the street at the George R. Brown Convention Cen ... More >>
Justin Timberlake, the former *NSYNC member, Mouseketeer, and Mr. Britney Spears, will grace H-Town with this dreamy blue eyes and Jacksonesque dance moves as he hits the Toyota Center stage tomorrow. Although JT has always been a star, shining bright as the de facto leader of the world's most popul ... More >>
Most of the year Houston's Sunny 99.1 FM is a ratings powerhouse that plays pop music familar enough that it keeps you more awake than actively tuned in. Sunny calls itself "Houston's at-work station," but it's good for just about any activity short of having sex or attending a concert: driving, sho ... More >>
Hip-hop gets a bad rap for being overly macho. That's true in large part, but that doesn't mean plenty of rappers aren't intensely sensitive. Putting aside how easily they get their feelings hurt and jump into beefs, there's the socially conscious crowd, the baby-making-music crowd, and even a whole ... 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 >>
Last week, pop goddess Katy Perry unveiled her brand-new perfume, Killer Queen -- a fruity, intoxicating scent named after some old Beatles song or something. The fragrance's official Web site claims it features top notes of dark plum, wild berries and bergamot with subtle hints of cashmeron, natura ... More >>
Tonight, Australian children's band The Wiggles premiere their "Taking Off!" world tour at Bayou Music Center. The group has been performing together for more than 20 years, and tonight reveals a brand-new cast, as well as their first female member, Emma Watkins. That's a waste of time, as a recent ... More >>
So far 2013 has been marked by a considerable amount of comebacks. Some have made a bigger splash than others; we saw a new Black Sabbath album LP explode while the new Deep Purple floundered. We saw pop explosions from Fall Out Boy and Justin Timberlake, while while a new Kanye West album met with ... More >>
Popular member of the Kracker Nuttz DJ team was only 27.
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 >>
We're looking forward to Sunday's Video Music Awards, because despite MTV's relative lameness these days, the VMA shenanigans still can't be topped. Musicians come out sporting some of their worst behavior, resulting in a room full of egos and alcohol that generally leads to some pretty awesome anti ... More >>
Maybe other than rap and rock, pop music is the land of hypothetical questions, a big fun bag of "what if" moments and Monday-morning quarterbacking. We'll forever wonder about that Britney Spears period where she went gonzo, why Christina thought her "Dirrty" days circa Stripped made for a good c ... More >>
When I went back to Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion last month, escorting two women to see Kid Rock, nostalgia had begun to set in. I work as a chauffeur, and have driven plenty of driving people to concerts over the years; taking kids to see Ke$ha felt like I was committing a sin. On the way to One ... More >>
The silver-anniversary Houston Press Music Awards ceremony was a memorable one.
On August 7, in the year of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy 2013, a photo was placed on the official royal Instagram of her Bey-Hiveness Beyoncé. The queen had gotten a haircut. People gasped, women immediately called their beauticians at the stroke of midnight wanting the cut. Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Pin ... More >>
Being Beyonce is apparently a tough gig to pull off. Not only is she a pop icon, she's also a faux-baby-bump-sporting member of the Illuminati who is buying Neverland Ranch. And that's just the Bey of the past year or so. Look back a bit further and you'll figure out that she's been pregnant once ... More >>
Playing evil is more fun than playing good anyway, right?
Movie by movie, here's how to get the most out of this summer without having to cake on sunscreen.
I'm just going to go with the obvious here and say that when you're at a concert, there's a golden rule that one should follow, both with your fellow concertgoers and with the performers. It's a rule that has been reiterated since the dawn of man: keep your hands to yourselves. Sticky paws are not w ... More >>
The line between rock star and cranky toddler can be a fine one; deny them their candy and you've got tears welling up and naughty words being shrieked at ear-bursting decibels. Every once in a blue moon, though, a rational thought will pipe up from said rock star, and it deserves a little bit of no ... More >>
I had a hernia operation in the early summer of 2006, and had nothing to do all day but hobble around with cool cane a borrowed from Grandpa Hlavaty and play on the Internets for two months or so. I had developed the injury while working at Domino's, but it was cool because their insurance helped ... More >>
There's nothing quite as soul-crushing as a disappointing concert. We've all been there; shit rolls downhill the minute the dude behind you dumps his beer on your girl's shoes, or the security bro doesn't find your umpteenth "Freebird" request to be quite as funny as you did. It'll ruin the night wi ... More >>
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 >>
Liam Gallagher is a literary genius. Yes, I said it. And I won't take it back. But wait. Don't start typing out your "Beady Eye sucks and their album tanked" rant just yet. I can explain. I say this based not on Liam's musical prowess but on his inane ability to drop pearls of bitchy wisdom aime ... More >>
Well, I never thought that I would have John Mayer and Patti Smith together in the same headline with Willie Nelson and Frank Ocean, but that's why I kinda love New Orleans Jazz Fest 2013, whose lineup was released earlier this morning. Rewind: A Texican in New Orleans: Lessons Learned from Jazz F ... More >>
If you can believe it, American Idol kicks off its twelfth season tonight on Fox. But not just on Fox. Here is how One India Entertainment, "India's No. 1 Language Portal," announced the news at 18:03 IST (India Standard Time) today: MUMBAI: After the successful run of The X Factor USA while cashin ... More >>
Chris Gray's write-up of the Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Christmas Rocks" show at the Arena Theatre a couple of weeks ago got me thinking. These days, the swing maestro seems to be comfortably settled into his own little niche in the music industry, playing swingin' Christmas carols to grown folks. Bu ... More >>
Movies are alive in the Age of McConaughey.
Houston's top 5 local music venues.
This year music has been dominated by viral pop like "Call Me Maybe" and "Gangnam Style," songs that initially became "hits" from outside the music business' traditional delivery system, usually YouTube. Thursday, the Grammys recognized that by nominating "Maybe," by 17-year-old Justin Bieber proteg ... More >>
Sir Paul McCartney Minute Maid Park November 14, 2012 Seeing Paul McCartney live is a lot of things. It's communing with a spirit that touched millions and will touch millions for as long as humanity lurches forward. It's hearing the old schmaltzy bedrock anthems and the proto-everything blasts tha ... More >>
By now, we've all had a few days to digest the awful, shocking news that North America's sweethearts, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, have decided to buck destiny and call it quits. We're not entirely sure how this could have happened, but Obama was just reelected. Clearly, our worst fears are alrea ... More >>
Per your comments, we here at Rocks Off realized that a whole lot more singers have lost their voices over the years than just Axl Rose and the five included in last week's look at the subject. It's unfortunate, but it seems that many, many pop and rock singers are struggling along in their middle-t ... More >>
The music business was hardly spared the effects of Hurricane Sandy. As reported by our New York sister blog, Sound of the City, dozens of shows in the New York-New Jersey area were postponed or canceled; the resulting travel snafu has scuttled touring plans as far away as tonight's (former) Houston ... More >>
Years ago, a wedding planner told me the basis of a successful wedding is remembering that primarily the ceremony is for the bride, the food is for the groom, the photos are for the family and the music is for the friends. While not 100 percent accurate, it does form the basis of a pretty successful ... More >>