Keep Calm, Fight Cancer Benefit Walters, September 6-8 Leave it up to Houstonians to stand up and join the cause. Not even 48 hours after Walters announced that longtime owner/den mother Pam Robinson was battling Stage 4 cancer, that single status update had already reached 15,000 people through sh ... More >>
Maybe it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Maybe luck has something to do with it. Or maybe it's crafting a vintage-era sound with odes of talent that landed Hacienda a lottery ticket to musical gold. It's no secret that The Black Keys likes to take on extra projects, a ... More >>
Free Radicals Avant Garden, May 13 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 thi ... More >>
Last year on this date in honor of what would have been late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain's 45th birthday, I wrote a blog supposing where the grunge icon would have been in 2012. It got a lot of traction and people loved and hated it. Imagining him as a dubstep DJ was really for grins and shock valu ... More >>
Another Lollapalooza blog by our friends at City Pages -- ed. Lollapalooza 2012: The People BY REED FISCHER Ready for some GIFs? To quote Ozzy Osbourne, "I can't fucking hear you!" I said, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME GIFS?! This past weekend's running of Lollapalooza in Chicago was intense. The hea ... More >>
Country's biggest summer tour an alt-pop blond bombshell.
In this week's print edition of the Houston Press, Rocks Off talked to singer Grace Potter about her spot opening this summer's "Brothers of the Sun" tour co-starring country superstars Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, and the hit duet with Chesney that got her there, "You and Tequila." But there's so ... More >>
Once again, the mailbox has overflowed like a backed-up sewer and Lonesome Onry and Mean has had to make some space decisions: Does this record go on the shelf (keep it, it's good, but I want to listen to something else now), in the Goodwill box (what were they thinking when they recorded this and, ... More >>
Lee Fields & the Expressions Continental Club April 27, 2010 A very few singers who missed out on being Al Green and Otis Redding when soul music first got big in the '60s and early '70s, people like Charles Bradley and Bettye LaVette, have been lucky enough to enjoy good second-act careers later i ... More >>
The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion April 24, 2012 It's hard to find an honest-to-Jesus, meat-and-potatoes (and possibly bourbon-soaked) rock show in 2012. Enter the Black Keys and the Arctic Monkeys last night at that lil' ol' shed in The Woodlands, who delivered nearly ... More >>
If you mention and explain the concept of MTV's Rock N' Jock to '90s babies, they will look at you glassy-eyed and slowly walk away. But it's true, in the late '80s and early '90s it was possible to gather the best and sexiest celebrities in TV, film and music for a carefree softball match, with pro ... 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 >>
Valerie June Leon's Lounge March 20, 2012 "Tell your tale and listen too, as others tell their tale to you," stated Valerie June around the start of her set Tuesday, framing the tone for the rest of the night. "Find a point at which you meet, and form a bond that's strong and sweet. But if your lif ... More >>
T-Bone Walker heir Don Kesee, one of the area's Houston's most underheralded bluesmen - which unfortunately is saying something, but watch a little bit of the above clip at Navasota's Blues Alley festival - comes into the city for a gig at the Shakespeare Pub. Super Happy Fun Land's SXSW Overflow ... More >>
Bluesy Memphis singer-songwriter Valerie June already has a Black Key in her corner.
Had he not died in April 1994 by his own hand -- or sinister forces working for Courtney Love (insert maniacal laugh) -- Kurt Cobain would have turned 45 years old today. The rock icon killed himself at the age of 27, leaving behind not only a daughter to fend for herself against the wiles of ... More >>
Recently I returned to being an active musician, and that is peachy with a side of keen. Like most musicians, I'm a day dreamer who spends his bathtub time answering in-depth questions from imaginary hot, red-headed music journalists about the undeniable genius of my art. Also returning are t ... More >>
Photo by Jason WolterJason Isbell (left) and Amanda Shires (right) are both more deserving than Chorney.The small world of Americana music is all a-twitter over New Jersey woman Linda Chorney's nomination for a Grammy in the Americana category. In case you haven't been following the story, Ch ... 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 >>
Craig HlavatyValerie June at SXSWWin some, lose some. Pete Mitchell, owner of Under the Volcano and the recently reopened Leon's Lounge, just called to bemoan the fact that rising star Valerie June had cancelled her July 26 solo date at Leon's. "She's doing a record with Dan Auerbach [Black ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerJessica Lea Mayfield, David Mayfield Fitzgerald's April 22, 2011 You know those situations where you're thinking to yourself, "Wow, this looks like it doesn't make sense...perhaps some further investigation might prove me wrong"? Friday night was one of the very few ti ... More >>
Jessica Lea Mayfield goes from a bluegrass childhood to buzzworthy "goth-blues drama queen."
Mark C. AustinKings of Leon at Meridian, 2006The Meridian Saga seems to have ended, after close to a year of weirdness and shady business dealings. In the past twelve months it went through overhauls, new management, lockouts, changes in image, mild scandals, and even a name change. Remember ... More >>
Jason WolterToots & the Maytals at House of Blues, May 2Along with the season of shopping madness and suicidal depression comes the season for Best-ofs. Live show-wise, 2010 was very benevolent to Lonesome Onry and Mean. Some of our favorites from 2010: 11. Jon Cleary, The Big Easy: Cleary ... More >>
San Antonio's Hacienda blossoms under a Black Key's patronage.
West VitaRight here, right now, and in print all damn week, you can read the Houston Press' interview with perhaps the hottest new band on the South 40, San Antonio's Hacienda (above). Whether or not they go on to become a South Texas Kings of Leon - Hacienda is also three brothers and a cous ... More >>
Brittanie SheyThe EttesBrittanie Shey: Things seem incredibly crowded, and hotter than Houston, if that's even possible. The dust is already flying. Some of us here braved the bro-crowd at the Black Keys (see jump) but some of us, seeing the mile of bodies wobbling before the stage, decided t ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerThe Black Keys Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 20, 2010 "Howlin' at midnight, winter creepin' in/ Feel like I've gone and lost my best friend" - Lucinda Williams, "Howlin' At Midnight" Did you see the moon Wednesday night? The "Super Harvest Moon" that, acco ... More >>
West Vita/ myspace.com/haciendaspaceHacienda, the rapidly ascending San Antonio rock band that recently released its second album, Big Red and Barbacoa, to rave reviews across the spectrum, will play its first-ever Houston-area show at Under the Volcano Thursday, November 4. The band spent m ... More >>
Photos by Craig Hlavaty It seems every time Aftermath encounters Justin Townes Earle live, the guy has peeled another layer off himself revealing another astounding bit of his promise. Barely three years into his career, Earle is seemingly moving at an accelerated rate, even if the casual listene ... More >>
The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival became a quagmire everywhere but onstage.
Photo by Mark C. AustinDan AuerbachAs we wait for the final day of ACL coverage to roll in, enjoy some of our favorite shots from the festival below.
Mark C. AustinSeems like we recognize this guy from somewhere... More and more, Aftermath uses ACL more than SXSW to see which recent buzz bands are worth their salt, and of course to check on how some old favorites are doing. This year, tops on our new-to-us list were Blitzen Trapper, who manage ... More >>
Isn't it fun to imagine all your favorite bands are best friends? And that when they spend time together, as so many of them are doing right this second at the Austin City Limits festival, they would inevitably learn each others' songs? Here are some songs by ACL bands which we'd like to see covered ... More >>
Craig HlavatyButthole Surfers at Meridian, October 2008Rocks Off has learned that Northside all-ages coffeehouse and music venue JavaJazz has shut down and moved all its shows to the Meridian downtown, and that the two venues have merged into one operation. "All Javajazz shows have moved to Merid ... More >>
Photos by Craig HlavatyIt's official: This author loves absinthe. Or whatever it was that they were serving at the Music Gym off 6th Street that they were calling absinthe. Who the hell cares? It was free and it opened our SXSW 2009 with a strange and weird sensation in the facial area. Plus, it m ... More >>
Photos by Craig HlavatyAt its best, music has a deeply spiritual quality, an ability to create some connection on a higher level between performer and audience that even someone with a bust of Madalyn Murray O'Hair on their mantle can get on board with. Thursday night at House of Blues, Derek ... More >>
There's now less than a month to go until we here at Rocks Off throw sobriety and sane living to the wind at this year's SXSW festival. This past week we learned of a boatload of new stuff about the weeklong liver-damaging voyage in March, so here goes... The list of bands keeps growing and gro ... More >>
Silver Jews, Walter's on Washington, September 18: "[Silver Jews frontman David] Berman strode around the stage with confidence; you wouldn't know he's still getting used to playing live. At times, he looked so loose that he might slump to the floor had he not been leaning on the mic stand." (Troy ... More >>
Rubber City Roots
The Black Keys perform Sunday, December 10, at Numbers, 300 Westheimer, 713-629-3700. Dr. Dog also performs.
The Black Keys bounce their Rubber Factory out of Akron, Ohio
The blues is back -- rawer and louder (and punker) than ever
thickfreakness (Fat Possum)