"Hey do you want a Red Bull?" "No thanks." "It has vodka in it." "Okay." "Let me know if you're gonna do something stupid so I can record it and post it online for karma"
THE BEST BOYFRIEND New Orleans rapper Boyfriend knows how to command a space, even when that space is a wrestling ring. As she danced, stomped and rolled her way around the space, tossing gifts out in to the audience, occasionally borrowing hats and sunglasses and getting up close to sing to differ ... More >>
The Weather Sure it makes me sound like a curmudgeon, but I hate summer festivals. Oh sure, the music is great, but the heat, good lord the heat. It's just exhausting. Even ACL runs the risk of getting mighty uncomfortable if October decides not to play nice. By the time November rolls around, thou ... More >>
Rachael Yamagata Fitzgerald's, November 3 Rachael Yamagata's thoughtful, well-bred take on adult pop clearly marks her as one of Carole King's spiritual godchildren. Since her debut LP Happenstance appeared a decade ago, the 37-year-old Arlington, Va. native has landed her songs on scores of prime- ... More >>
Discoween Continental Club, October 31 Halloween falls on a Friday this year, and I have the perfect costume: I'm going as Sia, so look for me wearing a platinum-blonde wig and standing in a corner with my back to everyone at the Continental Club, where Disco Expressions and the Allen Oldies Band a ... More >>
King Diamond House of Blues, November 5 Go ahead and start comparing prices on quality earplugs, because King Diamond, the top-hatted, face-painted ghoul with the cochlea-shattering falsetto, is returning to Houston at long last in November. The Danish metal icon isn't skimping on the productio ... More >>
Santana Bayou Music Center, October 1 Carlos Santana has been a treasure of American music for more than 40 years and as many albums. Combining blues and rock with Latin-American rhythms, the fiery soul of his guitar enthralls listeners to open both heart and mind to his thrilling sonic experience. ... More >>
"Big Blue Hole," David Olney "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all them saints are dead and gone / Amy Winehouse and Curt Cobain, they ain't comin' back here again." David Olney is like the black sheep rounder uncle the family wanted you to stay away from. A former running bud of Townes van Zandt, Oln ... More >>
Antemasque Fitzgerald's, August 4 After putting on some of the most exciting live shows of the last decade with their bands At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, El Paso natives Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are back with their latest band, Antemasque. Texas has the distinct pleasure ... More >>
Baseball music, comeback albums, and local talent buyer says goodbye.
After reading my colleague Corey Deiterman's musing on why there doesn't need to be a new Wu-Tang Clan album, I got to thinking about what it's like to try and rekindle something with a group of fellow musicians with whom you previously made magic. I got a first-hand look at this last year when for ... More >>
Quiet Company Warehouse Live, April 4 Quiet Company are quickly becoming Houston's favorite Austin band, which must make Bob Schneider's crew a little nervous. It's was hard not to get swept up in the dapper five-piece's symphonic rock in the grand tradition of The Who or ...Trail of Dead ("You, M ... More >>
Augustines, "Kid You're On Your Own" The Brooklyn trio's whole album Augustines is fantastic, like War-era U2 with bonus folk inflections. I can tell it's going to be one where I have a different favorite track every couple of weeks; right now it's "Kid You're On Your Own." JOHN SEABORN GRAY Aloe ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest unveils its pricier 2014 lineup.
Phil Collins recently announced he'd be open to touring with his former Genesis bandmates again, and those of us who love the band rejoiced. No matter the lineup, the English prog-pop group always possessed some of rock music's most skilled musicians. The extended instrumental breaks alone on some G ... More >>
If you reach mid-month and feel the boredom begin to gnaw at your brain like some Lovecraftian monster, get to Reliant Center next weekend (January 18-19) for the America's Got Talent open auditions. You're sure to see something truly nightmarish there - particularly if Howard Stern shows up. Even ... More >>
DEAFHAVEN Despite a popular withdrawal from black metal, Deafheaven's Sunbather was one of 2013's most beautiful albums, and even named Metacritic's "Top Album of 2013." Because its song structures dabble more in pop and rock, it's a noticeable step away from their debut EP Roads to Judah, but that' ... More >>
Punks and metalheads don't always see eye to eye, but one commonality they can always high-five over is the predilection to batter one another senseless at every opportunity. Houston played host to countless shows and tours this year that forced fans to keep their knees bent and their elbows out if ... 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 >>
Bun B, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue At this point, Bun B's influence stretches far beyond music, but that doesn't mean he can't still churn out a great album. Trill O.G. The Epilogue, the finale in his Trill album series, has everything we've come to both expect and love from a Bun album. It begins wit ... More >>
Back in September Rocks Off brought you our choices for "10 Houston Acts You Should Be Listening To." But this is an action town. DEEP CUTS Texas bands have been mingling rock and Tex-Mex sounds for a couple of generations now with some pretty spiffy results, if the names Sir Douglas Quintet and Jo ... More >>
A new song seeking to build support for the Astrodome referendum may do just the opposite.
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 >>
Did you know that Football, etc., a Houston band with a very low profile in the local music scene, has more than 4,000 Facebook likes? This is because the emo-rock trio, which moved to Houston from New Jersey about five years ago, is being played on college-radio stations across the country thanks t ... More >>
Many drinkers have a dialogue in their heads that also plays out in great drinking songs throughout the ages. "Why do you drink?" asks the great prophet Bocephus. "It's five o'clock somewhere," reply the equally sage Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. Rocks Off wanted to know our writers' favorite dri ... More >>
This one's pretty simple: Recently Rocks Off asked our writers to tell us if they could choose any artist, living or dead, active or defunct, to perform all night long at one local bar or club, who would that be and where? Sam Cooke at the Continental Club I would love to see tons of musicians live ... More >>
Look, Houston. We like you. We really do. You're kind of the ham to our delicious sammich, for the most part. But lately as we've ventured out to take care of music bidness (you know how we do), we've noticed a trend. We've got some naughty concert-goers out there, and we would like to shame you int ... More >>
Rocks Off is not going to lie. The prospect of getting into concerts for free is what leads many people to become music writers/reviewers in the first place. Though it's not true of everyone, we've generally found that with experience comes plenty of practice in the art of grading on a curve. But n ... More >>
Thursday Rocks Off brought you our list of ten favorite one-hit wonders, an endearing assortment of underdogs and left-field flukes that hit our collective Top 40 sweet spot, if only for one brief shining moment. Now the real fun starts. But for every great song that becomes a one-hit wonder, there ... More >>
Where would the world be without one-hit wonders? Well, we really don't like to think about that. One of the purest guilty pleasures in pop music -- and sometimes not even a guilty pleasure but an actual good song -- the one-hit wonder is much safer than its real-life counterpart; the one-night sta ... More >>
Whether you lived through them or not, we can all admit that the '80s were a long time ago. Even a kid born on New Year's Eve 1989 could be most of his or her way through medical school by now. And although that decade refuses to go away in all sorts of ways, one concept that does feel like has been ... More >>
If you listen to popular music with even a halfway critical ear, which the men and women of Rocks Off at least try to do (though yes, we know some readers may disagree), this is a very tough time. Both the old-fashioned radio airwaves and newfangled streaming gadgetry are awash in songs that are man ... More >>
Know Your City During Matt & Kim, Kim had the crowd in her pocket... until she accidentally called them "Dallas." She immediately recognized her terrible faux pas and recovered by telling a story about how once she was having sex with Matt and called him by the wrong name. She said that afterwards " ... More >>
Alabama Shakes I went into this expecting to enjoy the set by Alabama Shakes, but I didn't realize how it was going to set the tone for the rest of my day. I arrived under the overbearing sun, and struggled to catch glimpses of Japandroids. Festival frustrations threatened to make a bad scene. But ... More >>
Members of local rockers American Fangs battle a self-proclaimed vampire on tour.
This weekend's Free Press Summer Fest at Eleanor Tinsley Park is officially (way) sold out, so our readers who don't have passes at this point are sadly now forced to test their skills at the "secondary market." For those of you who are already in, this week Rocks Off will be bringing you our staff ... More >>
In about 12 hours or so, the editor of Rocks Off expects to be a very happy man. One of our favorite bands of all time, and one that we haven't seen live in almost 17 years, is playing tonight at Bayou Music Center: Soundgarden. Certainly Soundgarden has a lot to recommend them. Guitarist Kim Thayi ... More >>
This year Rocks Off and DC-9 at Night, the music blog at our sister paper Dallas Observer, teamed up to bring you only the choicest moments from last week's SXSW madness. John Fogerty: Creedence Clearwater Revival survivor John Fogerty gets overlooked as a riff-happy rocker, with most people concen ... More >>
This year Rocks Off and DC-9 at Night, the music blog at our sister paper Dallas Observer, teamed up to bring you only the most unfortunate moments from last week's SXSW madness. Security and Cops Gettin' Wild: Look, I get it. Every drunken dickhead in town "knows someone" or thinks he has pull at ... More >>
The Geto Boys MC is also Rocks Off's brand-new advice columnist.
A shared taste in music can be a critical part of any couple's relationship, from going to a concert on their first date to narrowing down that one special song for their first wedding dance. But what if that's not the case? Just from a bit of casual Googling, it's not difficult to find divorce atto ... More >>
Pearl Bar runs up a hefty tab with the comptroller's office as once-hot Washington Avenue sings the blues.
Recently Rocks Off asked our writers to make a New Year's resolution for Houston music in 2013. These people wrote back. Alexa Crenshaw: I don't have much more to say than the typical "I should branch out and watch more shows and listen to more music and buy more albums and not be lame and" ... yea ... More >>
Recently Rocks Off challenged our writers to make a personal New Year's resolution as a music fan for 2013. These brave souls actually did. Alexa Crenshaw: I should build a solid record collection, and not just let the few albums I own remain in decoration collecting dust. I also should cut back on ... More >>
Continuing with our year-end panorama, Rocks Off asked our contributors a simple question with a not-so-simple answer: What was your favorite local album of 2012? ALEXA CRENSHAW: Whatever I say here, I'm going to want to take back shortly because there's so much good stuff out there, y'all. Althoug ... More >>
As we look back over 2012 this week, it is now time to revisit some of this year's memorable shows. It wasn't easy narrowing the list down to 15. Concerts are in chronological order. CHRIS GRAY DAY, The Continental Club So much local talent and so much love. Uh, if I'm maybe a little too biased on ... More >>
Everyone's mother once told them, or should have, that life is not always going to be a puppy mill full of unicorns and rainbows. Remember why all those puppies are there. Sometimes life -- and especially pop music -- doesn't turn out like you were expecting, so now we present Rocks Off's Biggest Mu ... More >>
The thrill of discovering freshly minted treasure or a previously unheralded favorite is one of the main reasons music writers get into this racket in the first place; every so often it can make wading through the ocean of crap mediocrity that is pop music worthwhile. Rocks Off asked our contributor ... More >>
Houston's top 5 local music venues.