J. Cole Reliant Arena, October 18 Perhaps it's the diversity of J. Cole's parental influences -- his mom raised him on folk and classic rock, while his dad added Tupac and Outkast -- that makes his style so diverse and insightful. Or perhaps it's the higher learning that Cole acquired while on full ... More >>
Blondie, X Warehouse Live, September 27 Arguably the two best American bands to come out of the punk era, Blondie and X each personified the late'70s/early-80s rock scenes of New York and L.A, respectively. Fronted by impossibly glamorous Debbie Harry, Blondie mingled downtown CBGB cool with Studio ... More >>
As befitting a band who takes their status as metal band for working-class fans seriously, Rocks Off reached Saxon lead singer Biff Byford via cell phone on the band's tour bus, where he has just finished a no-frills meet-and greet with a group of fans. Now, said bus is currently parked outside a la ... More >>
You could say that Michael Ventura was born to be a collector. His father, Anthony, has been collecting rare beer cans and bottles since the mid-'70s, and the two of them had discussed opening their own shop for years. Collecting, buying and selling all sorts of vintage trinkets was in their blood. ... More >>
What buying concert tickets here was like 30 years ago.
I went to see Paul McCartney at Minute Maid last year. A friend bought the tickets, and I asked if he'd mail mine so I could hold it in my hand and marvel at this new, treasured souvenir. He said he would just email it to me as a PDF once he'd received a confirmation in his inbox. Rewind: Last Nig ... More >>
Boy, Guided by Voices has released a lot of albums lately, huh? Since their reunion, Bob Pollard's classic indie-rock band has been producing almost nonstop, releasing three albums -- Let's Go Eat the Factory, Class Clown Spots a UFO and The Bears for Lunch -- in 2012, and an EP called Down by the R ... More >>
When James May unlocks the doors to Music Town each day at noon, his little shop on Stuebner Airline across from Klein High School is mainly filled with CDs, new and used vinyl and an enormous amount of cassettes. When he first opened the shop in 1979, the sign actually said "Music Town Records and ... More >>
Rock stars are just like the rest of us. They eat, love, poop, age, and sometimes they just embarrassingly go ass over tea kettle. Rewind: When Gravity Attacks: 13 Memorable Onstage Stumbles The difference between them and us, besides, you know, money, fame, security, and the like, is that when w ... More >>
When I asked our friends on the Rocks Off Facebook wall who they thought were the greatest heavy metal bands in Texas music history, the response was larger than I thought it would be. I assumed five of you would say Pantera, deadhorse and King's X and go back to sleep, but no. You stepped up and g ... More >>
Summer is the season for Houston bands to hit the road for tours, and Houston's metal demons Venomous Maximus are heading out onto the highway themselves. Tonight at Rudyard's the group throws a tour fundraiser/kickoff with friends the American Heist and A Dream Asleep. On July 13, the band sets o ... More >>
Photo by Jeff BalkeA couple years ago, I was sitting on the back porch at the Continental Club talking music with a fairly well known music writer who seemed to believe that anything with a big hook or the slightest inkling of musicianship beyond the garage band aesthetic was utter garbage. I ... More >>
The face that launched a thousand Bob DolesWhere were you in...'81? Rocks Off was in junior high, spending long, solitary afternoons in his bedroom listening to Moving Pictures and Dark Side of the Moon and wondering why no girls seemed to be interested in playing Squad Leader. But 1981 also ... More >>
Me (right), God help me, and Billy Sheehan circa 1990.Last week, Neph Basedow wrote her list of the 11 greatest female rock bass players and she took a little heat for it, including some from me. But, she also got a lot right. At the very least, she highlighted the most under-appreciated musi ... More >>
Marc BrubakerGWAR at Fun Fun Fun Fest, Waterloo Park, Austin, November 2010What do you do when your band is up for a prestigious award against the likes of Rammstein, Iron Maiden and Megadeth? If you're GWAR front "man" Oderus Urungus, you promise to get up close and personal (very personal) ... More >>
Photos by GroovehouseStryper at House of Blues, December 2009Stryper, the world's coolest and heaviest '80s Christian heavy metal band of the '80s, comes to Scout Bar Monday night, touring behind last month's covers LP, The Covering. It's an appropriately shiny and heavy disc of covers from a ... More >>
Garland RobinetteYes, this is the real Jazz Fest 2011 poster, and that's really Jimmy Buffett.Every spring, New Orleans puts on something called the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. But as Jazz Fest has grown more and more popular, the headlining acts have had less and less to do with ja ... 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 >>
Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is ready to admit a new class: Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love and Dr. John have all been inducted for 2011, the foundation announced Wednesday. With the exception of Wai ... More >>
One woman tells the story of many women
Local folk hero is well-rounded, to say the least.
Rocks Off hopes you enjoyed our musical nickname quiz earlier today. We have had a few nicknames ourselves over the years - our dad called us "Boog" after former Baltimore Orioles first baseman Boog Powell, and we were known for years around the Austin Chronicle offices as "Weezer," which we ... More >>
Today is Memorial Day, and Rocks Off would like to honor our brave and beloved dead as we honor everything - through music. At no time in American history have there not been men and women in life-threatening danger trying to protect us, whether it was a declared war or not. This is a sacrifice w ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerBreak Stuff: The Bizkit is back! For many, many more shots of Sunday's bands, see our slideshow here. For the really fun stuff - crowd shots! - see our slideshow here. Sunday, Aftermath spent ten hours wading in Buzzfest XXIV's radio-rock and classic nu-metal at the Cynthia ... More >>
In the course of music history, some bands get that extra push by pop culture and become uber-iconic, while others, though just as deserving, go largely unnoticed except by those who choose to dig even deeper. For every Elvis Presley, there is a seedier Carl Perkins off to the side. David Bowie get ... More >>
Kicking the bucket at the age of 40 is bad enough, especially when, to this day, nobody's really sure how you died (everything from syphillis to rabies to political "cooping" has been thrown out there as a possible cause). But getting buried in an unmarked grave after a three minute "service" is ... More >>
You know Soledad. He's the vocalist from controversial Houston rap-metal act Daylight Coma. He's got a lot to say. Sometimes it's insightful, sometimes less so, but it's almost always said with conviction. This week, in honor of the fast-approaching HPMA, we asked him who he thinks are Houston's fiv ... More >>
Photos by Craig Hlavaty This past weekend, Rocks Off took a respite from sweltering H-Town to visit family in our equallly sweltering, ball-sweat-inducing neighbor to the south. Corpus Christi is rather small compared the teeming ant farm we have here, topping just over a quarter of a million beachi ... More >>
Blade of Glory
Master of Metal
The Islamic revolution, and puberty, through the 2D eyes of Marjane Satrapi
You wanted the best — you got the best: Guitar Hero III
Who's partying like rock stars? Rappers!
Don't fret. Guitar Hero II kills the opening act
A music-video renaissance is afoot -- but it's strictly on the download
Guitar Hero cranks rhythm-gaming up to 11
Saturday, August 27, at the Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, 281-363-3300.
Sunday, May 29, at the Engine Room, 1515 Pease, 713-654-7846.
Christmas is the weirdest time of the year. Who better to musically document the season than John Waters?
Friday, November 1