For a minute there, Cold War Kids looked like the saviors of intelligent, conceptual rock and roll. When their first album, Robbers and Cowards, was released in 2006, it caught most of us who follow indie-rock off-guard. It was slickly produced and unabashed in its stadium aspirations, but it carrie ... More >>
Ra Ra Riot, Caveman Fitzgerald's September 19, 2013 When Free Press Houston and Pegstar combined forces to reopen Fitzgerald's in September 2010, they brought more to the venue than hope, good business sense, and fresh paint. Instead, the two-story dancehall-turned-rock-club remains a landmark in i ... More >>
Friends, let's get real here. I can't lie to you any longer. By popular opinion, I have been labeled a hipster. This is not a new or recent development. I was being called a hipster in 2008, long before it was cool to call people hipsters. I've even been mistaken for the guy who started the Hipster ... More >>
Moments ago, Depeche Mode, The Cure, MUSE, Kings of Leon, Atoms For Peace (featuring Thom Yorke and Flea), Lionel Richie, Phoenix, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, The National, and Eric Church were announced as the headliners of the 2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival, which plans to expand to identical ... More >>
My first true SXSW with the Houston Press and Rocks Off was way back in March 2008, when I was given a wristband to explore/maraud Austin looking for trouble and new bands. This was a time when Justice and MSTRKRFT were what would be called EDM now, and Israel's Monotonix was flipping every wig in t ... More >>
Moments ago, the lineup for the 2013 Free Press Summer Festival was announced online at fpsf.com. Let's get to it, shall we?
Coachella, the Only Music Festival That Matters (or so we're told), announced its 2013 lineup late Thursday night, no holograms or Rolling Stones included. Instead, two beloved '90s UK acts whose popularity in the U.S. is spotty at best, Blur and the Stone Roses, headline the first night of the tw ... More >>
Legendary guitarist Johnny Marr is set to release his first ever solo record next month after years of being a sideman for other bands, some rather important. In anticipation, he's had some choice words to say that one would have expected more from his less level-headed ex-Smiths compatriot Morrisse ... More >>
Does the looming '90s revival presage a Nirvana-style breakthrough?
I spend an unfortunately large amount of time on two activities. No. 1, I am paid under the table by the felt lobby to promote puppet music. No. 2, I have an irresistible compulsion to ruin children's entertainment. It's not that I'm a bad person; it's that I'm a horrible person who must ruin all t ... 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 >>
So you're a hipster. Not you specifically. I would never accuse the great Rocks Off readers of being hipsters. But hypothetically, say you're a hipster. How do you choose your favorite bands? Well, you stroll on over to any indie-rock blog and check out all the latest buzz bands obviously. The probl ... More >>
"Who the fuck is Bon Iver" went the story last night on Twitter as indie musician and soft-spoken beardo Justin Vernon's Bon Iver project won a Best New Artist Grammy. Never mind that the man has been on the scene since 2008's For Emma, Forever Ago, but it still seemed to be deserved. Last year's se ... More >>
Is the music industry stabilizing?
Stevie Wonder on FacebookStevie Wonder: Even My Morning Jacket will be watching.This morning, the organizers of the Austin City Limits Music Festival announced the schedule for the September 16-18 Zilker Park throwdown. We all knew there would be some tough choices, but Rocks Off found that w ... More >>
Craig HlavatyColdplay at The Woodlands, July 2009Summer is creeping in, which means the fall concert calendars are filling up fast, and we should know which Austin City Limits Music Festival artists will book side dates in our area sooner rather than later. The standard disclaimer: Rocks Off ... More >>
Trent Reznor, you know, before the Oscar and all the weightlifting. As a music writer, we are asked constantly to compare the new with the old, to decipher the periphery where modern bands' influences come from to understand where we are going and what we are seeing. We can hear everything Ke ... More >>
GroovehouseThis one's for the pop-culture junkies. For those who, like us, are tickled by all forms of pop media, whether it be literature, film or music... this list encompasses them all. A surprisingly high quantity of bands have named themselves after books, songs, and films; some are obvi ... More >>
Editor's Pick: I'm tempted to say myself on this one. I just didn't connect to a lot of music this year. Especially new music, most of which I was either indifferent to or outright loathed. I'm not really the navel-gazing type, though, so I'll just chalk it up to an off year and move on. I do ... 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 >>
It started as a whim on Twitter, asking friends what songs would soundtrack the trailer of the movie of their life. Would their life's tale be a rollicking drug-fueled, love-filled adventure backed by the Rolling Stones' "Jumping Jack Flash", or would it be a morose and somber drifting story ... More >>
Not a bad album cover. Not even close.These are some of the worst album covers to grace store shelves your hard drive this year. Only a few of you seem to be buying albums anymore unless you still buy vinyl, in which case you are a saint and a scholar. You know what is a good album cover? K ... More >>
A few choice adjectives come to mind when musing on bawdy Eastbound & Down character Kenny Powers. "Inspiring" is not one of them. However, as Rocks Off watched this week's season finale of the side-splitting HBO series, we were pleasantly surprised as we heard indie troubadour Kurt Vile's a ... More >>
Our colleague Shea Serrano has been doing brisk business with his Rap Round Table blogs, corralling local hip-hoppers into talking about events in their scene and in the world at large. No topics are off limits, and everyone is willing to talk. So Rocks Off decided it was time for Houston's ... More >>
Photo illustration by Monica FuentesNow that's more like it.If you don't have tickets for tonight's Ghostland Observatory show at Warehouse Live, you are shit out of luck. Sorry to say, but the show is sold out, and when things sell out at that venue, they mean it. Seriously, you may have to ... More >>
Congratulations, MGMT. Now go make a better album.Like many other foods you thought you knew, eggs will now kill you. A salmonella contamination has caused a massive egg recall across the country, and it just seems to be getting worse. But, you know something, it's for our own good. If only ... More >>
GroovehouseMGMT at House of Blues in JuneThe official lineup for this year's Fun Fun Fun Fest, set for November 5-7 at Waterloo Park in the heart of downtown Austin, was released moments ago. In terms of firepower, this year's Fun Fun Fun roster arguably brings the festival within striking di ... More >>
Photos by Faith SilvaAgainst Me!Silversun Pickups, Against Me! Warehouse Live July 20, 2010 Against Me! opening up for Silversun Pickups would be like the Replacements opening up for My Bloody Valentine in 1991. Except that Against Me! isn't on the wane of their career and Silversun has way ... More >>
Proudly independent, recent Grammy nominees Silversun Pickups aren't ready to hit the "Panic Switch."
black-lips.com via FlickrBrand-new ACL 2010 adds The Black LipsThe Austin City Limits Music Festival released the schedule grid for this year's gathering in Zilker Park Oct. 7-9. The festival also added several bands, including Atlanta garage-punks (and recovering exhibitionists) the Black Li ... More >>
Photos by Groovehouse/Check out a slideshowPassion Pit played to a sold out crowd at Warehouse LiveAftermath remembers the first book that ever made us cry. It was Katherine Paterson's controversial but also much-loved young adult novel Bridge to Terebithia. In all likelihood it was also the ... More >>
Photos by Groovehouse Here are a few things we learned Monday night at MGMT's show at House of Blues. First off, they are not a "live" band in the grand musical sense of the word. While new album Congratulations is a catchy, odd, fucked-up little sophomore outing, it's not at all meant for live c ... More >>
This Monday night, MGMT hits the House Of Blues behind new album Congratulations, which has been getting one of the most tepid responses for a new album by a buzz band in recent media memory. The people that jumped on the bandwagon in 2008 after the Brooklyn-based then-duo released Oracular Spect ... More >>
Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray We like to think of the planet we live on as "Mother" Earth, a caring, nurturing parent figure who we thoughtlessly abuse. Well, we at Rocks Off don't know if you've noticed, but Mom ain't exactly helpless. In fact, sometimes she seems less like a benevolen ... More >>
If you're reading this, you're either on the Internet, or else you've mastered multi-dimensional thought-projection processes that would make Michio Kaku cry like a little girl. We'll assume the former, and just in case you don't already know, the Internet has decided that the word "failure" is too ... More >>
Owl City (really just a guy named Adam Young) is a bit of a conundrum. He's perfectly fine to listen to, as long as you pretend that his music is specifically intended for very young children, like the Wiggles or Raffi. Then you pay attention to the meticulous production and catchy hooks instead ... More >>
Texas has its own brand of March Madness
MGMT's new album, Congratulations, comes out in April! We're excited. MGMT's 2008 debut album, Oracular Spectacular, was fantastic, and we can't wait to hear what they've got in store for the follow-up. We're positive it will be awesome, as those weird-ass kids are only going to get weirder as th ... More >>
The decade with no name left behind plenty of memorable music.
www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/ Adam Young of Owl City will mystify the scientific community, yet surprise no one in the music community, when he is hacked in half in a freak sawmill accident, and it's discovered he is filled with gummi bears. The Arcade Fire/Flaming Lips feud is resolved when ... More >>
Photos by Jody Perry Fans in the crowd at Warehouse Live's Dinosaur Jr. show Friday night should have known what was in store for them when J Mascis' roadies began setting up his equipment. Six amps for a single guitar player. If you thought the show was loud, imaging standing three feet in front ... More >>
Noise goes whistling through the scenester artery's music venue graveyard.
Something about John Mayer just gets under Rocks Off's skin. We'll admit there was a time he made us believe our body was a wonderland, and yes, we've even wanted to "run through the halls of our high school and scream at the top of our lungs." But no more. The quiet little guitar player we once ... More >>