• Blogs

    July 22, 2014

    Why "Scene Festivals" Are Really Bad For Bands

    It's that season again. It's time for Houston to be inundated with touring metal, punk and hardcore festivals, from Warped Tour to the All-Stars Tour to the upcoming Summer Slaughter Tour. It's an opportunity for kids to see all their favorite bands from those scenes all crammed together on one mass ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2014

    10 Acts We'd Pay to See Play in a Graveyard

    Typically, tour announcements come and go with little fanfare around here, especially when it's a band like Austin natives Spoon. We love Spoon a lot, and frankly would like to see Houston's name on more tour announcements like the one that recently caught our eye, albeit for an entirely different r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 27, 2014

    John Egan Turns the Blues Black on Amulet

    It's a crime that I've been up till now unaware of bluesman John Egan, but I'm hoping to rectify that by taking a deep look into his latest album Amulet. If you ask me, Houston's greatest unsung treasure is the sheer number of folks that we have that can take you out of the blue and into the black w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2014

    Vote or Die: The Last VJ's Top FIve Videos of the Week

    Welcome back to The Last VJ, music fans. Amid all the "Wrecking Ball" parodies, there are still some fantastic music videos waiting to be seen, loved, and most importantly judged lurking around. 2014 has already fielded incredible work, and this week is no different. Strap in because we're gone pun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2013

    The Rocks Off 200: The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary"

    Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link. Who? For better or worse, I ca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2013

    Houston's Top 10 Saddest Songs

    I love sad music. Sit me down with a bottle of something only someone that has given up on life would drink and an appropriate soundtrack and I am just as happy as I can be. That's just the way I roll. In general, Houston does not produce a lot of sad music. We're more of an upbeat bunch that puts ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2013

    Free Press Summer Fest: The Best Things We Overheard In the Crowd This Weekend

    "I like the red douchebag tanks." "I know this song!" -- at the beginning of Paul Wall's "Smile For Me Daddy" "Fuck your fuckin' water!" -- a testy exchange in the Fancy Pants tent

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2013

    Free Press Summer Fest: Saturday's Best Acts, 6/1/2013

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2013

    UPDATED Free Press Summer Fest: This Year's Toughest Schedule Conflicts

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2013

    Notable Recluses: Five Musicians Who Almost Never Tour

    Some musicians are just road rats. They can't get enough of life on tour. For others, it wears down on them to a breaking point. Many have been very vocal about how much they despise touring, especially as they've gotten older. Some, like Trent Reznor, have expressed fears of being a KISS-esque nos ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2013

    10 Signs Your Band Won't Make It at SXSW

    Being a successful musician really has to be a slice of heaven. And of course the chicks are great. It's why from the beginning of time men (and women) have taken up instruments in the chance that they will be played in front of many, many others, some of whom could possibly want to have sex with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    The Rocks Off 100: Spike the Percussionist

    Who? The man they call Spike is the rhythmic heart of Houston goth, with a resume of acts he's drummed with that is longer than an average person's arm. He's best known for his current work in Morgue City, but has also banged skins for the likes of Delicate Terror, Astrogenic Hallucinauting, Selk, C ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 13, 2012

    Last Night: Jandek at Mango's

    Jandek Mango's July 12, 2012 "So what do you know about tonight's set?" I ask Dunnock, stalwart soundman at Mango's, trying to play Jimmy Ace Reporter just minutes before Jandek walks onstage, close to half past 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Without a beat... "Um, it's Jandek Punk Rock Experience," he ... More >>

  • Music

    July 12, 2012
  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    Defying Ambiguity: Jandek & 5 Other Curious Cult Musicians

    As a musician, there are many reasons behind choosing to remain an ambiguous character in the public eye as opposed to taking in all of the public attention one can. Choosing to remain ambiguous or elusive is sometimes a decidedly defiant statement, sometimes even a backwards-marketing tool, or is s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2012

    7 Cool & Cheap Things To Do This Weekend: Neuwave!, Iguanas, Jack Saunders, Etc.

    One final reminder that Belgian electronic body music groundbreakers Front 242's show originally scheduled for tonight at Numbers has been cancelled (for some time, it looks like), but we're guessing Classic Numbers might toss in "Headhunter" or "Never Stop" anyway. If not, you'll hear EBM and every ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2012

    Last Night: Jandek At Big Star Bar

    Jandek Big Star Bar April 1, 2012 The first time I saw Jandek live, I learned to leave whatever I had been expecting in another room. That was Rudyard's in April 2009, and I had been expecting (correctly or not) some kind of solo Bill Callahan-like avant-folk implosion, and got a trio playing a sol ... More >>

  • Music

    March 29, 2012

    Deep Thoughts

    Benjamin Wesley follows a gig with the renowned Jandek with his own CD release.

  • Blogs

    January 30, 2012

    The Sound of Flight: 6 Local Musicians That Could Announce Flights at Houston Airports

    On Tuesday, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport announced that they will be launching a new program to promote awareness of music native to their region, wherein famous musicians from the area will announce safety procedures and give informational speeches on the airport. In return, the airport wil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 23, 2012

    Jandek Performing "Strobe Light"-Heavy Concert at Big Star Bar

    Brad Moore, owner of Big Star Bar and Grand Prize, was driving through Roswell, New Mexico when his cell phone blew up. "It was Jandek, I shit you not," says Moore about the experimental musician who's traditionally an enigma around here, but has been in the public eye more of late. Moore explai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    Saturday Night: Jandek at the Menil Collection

    Photo by Marc C. AustinJandek at Rudz in April 2009.​When Jandek took the stage in the Menil Collection foyer, what would he play? What would he do? What would he look like? Those were the questions buzzing through the crowd of art patrons, students, record collectors and weirdoes who assem ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2011

    Jandek Set To Kick Out The Funk Jams (Maybe) At The Menil On December 17

    Photo By Mark C. AustinJandek at Rudz in April 2009​The Houston-based, heavily-adored, and altogether elusive Jandek will be performing at the Menil on December 17. Jandek's last show in here town, at Rudyard's on April 5, 2009, was by all accounts and visual documents, a straight-up funk thro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2011

    The 31 Best Music Documentaries Of All Time

    ​Hands down, above all of these following music documentaries, Craig's Hlist's two favorite of all-time are The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years, and The Beatles Anthology. We can watch both on repeat for days and not complain. That will probably all change once we see ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 27, 2010

    Houston's Best Gifts To The Music World

    Ed. Note: Rocks Off is still in a holiday frame of mind... actually we meant to post this before Christmas, but they're just as true now. No refunds, no exchanges. ​Here is Craig's Hlist point of view: Houston has given so much to the world, from ZZ Top, Jandek, Beyonce Knowles, and everythin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2010

    Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: Puppet Wing

    Photos via WikipediaTMBG​Ladies and gentlemen, Rocks Off is pleased as rum punch to announce that The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has (not) added an official puppet wing to that fine institution. What's even better, they have (not) given us the opportunity to nominate some of the finest felt fe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2010

    Mission Accomplished: Your Buzzword Is My Band Name, Part 2

    ​We're getting closer to a midterm election that, more and more, is coming to resemble two dachshunds we had as a kid who would lose their little doggy minds over a chew toy and attack each other in a weiner-dog whirlwind of until separated by a garden hose. The attack ads are a-flying, and e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2010

    Happy 32nd Anniversary, Rudyard's

    Mark C. AustinJandek (right) at Rudyard's, April 2009​Sunday, Rudyard's celebrates its 32nd anniversary with an afternoon barbecue buffet and night of free music with sharp-witted singer-songwriter Teresa Kolo, holy terrors the Hell City Kings and the stuff Rocks Off's dreams are made of, an a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2010

    9 Places We'd Send The New York Times

    Mark C. AustinJandek (right) and trio at Rudyard's... who says we're not hip?​ As we may have mentioned, Rocks Off was none too pleased when we read The New York Times' most recent article on Houston in this past Sunday's travel section and found exactly zero mentions of anything music-related. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2010

    Irlene Mandrell: Work Those "Thighs Of Texas"

    ​ Irlene Mandrell Texercise (1983) You already know the greats of Texas' recorded history. Roy Orbison. Lightnin' Hopkins. ZZ top. Jandek. But no Texas record collection is complete without this regional remnant of the exercise album craze, Irlene Mandrell's Texercise. Born in Corpus Christi, Irle ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2010

    Magnolia City Mixtape: Be Hollywood F.L.O.S.S.'s Pen Pal, Roky Erickson Okkervil River, New Something Fierce 7" and Dave Wrangler Mashup

    ​ Ever wish you had a pen pal like Hollywood F.L.O.S.S. when you were a kid? He's been sending out a mixtape called Art-or-Fiscal Intelligence to various bloggers around the U.S. You can listen online or download here, and read some of the props he's been getting. Austinites Okkervil River re ... More >>

  • Music

    December 31, 2009

    Live with Me

    The best Houston concerts of 2009: U2, George Strait, Kid Cudi, Jandek, Peaches and even T-Pain.

  • Music

    December 31, 2009

    2010 Musical Resolutions

    In which we advise our favorite people in the Houston scene on their goals for the coming year.

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2009

    Bayou Beat: Cougars for a Cause at House of Blues, Mandy Moore Hearts Jandek, Bun B Orders Up Some PB&J, etc.

    ​Want to help fight breast cancer and possibly get pawed by some of Houston's hottest older ladies? Boy, is this the right weekend for you. Sugar Ray, pimping its new album Music for Cougars, headlines House of Blues' "Cougars for a Cause" show Saturday night with Austin power-pop heroes Fastball, ... More >>

  • Music

    April 30, 2009
  • Blogs

    April 6, 2009

    Aftermath: Jandek at Rudyard's

    Photos by Mark C. AustinAftermath had literally no idea what to expect at Sunday afternoon's Jandek show at Rudyard's, the first-ever public performance in Houston by one of the world's leading "outsider" musicians (who just happens to live here). From the little he knows of Jandek's prodigio ... More >>

  • Music

    April 2, 2009
  • Blogs

    March 25, 2009

    Jandek Confirms April 5 Matinee at Rudyard's

    Jandek's first album, 1978's Ready for the House.Reclusive Houston singer-songwriter savant Jandek will play a hometown gig - something that happens slightly less often than a full solar eclipse - 4 p.m. Sunday, April 5 at Rudyard's. Tickets are $4, and Rocks Off recommends getting ... More >>

  • Culture

    October 30, 2008
  • Culture

    October 23, 2008
  • Music

    May 15, 2008
  • Blogs

    May 4, 2008

    Overnight Express: Keep Houston Weird

    If you're up for some mildly entertaining, somewhat informative, hardly revelatory Internet browsing - and really, who isn't? - take a gander at one Yahoo! columnist's ranking of the 23 "weirdest" musicians in the en-tar world, y'all. (23? That's all he could come up with?) And give yourself a nice ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 15, 2008
  • Music

    February 28, 2008
  • Blogs

    February 7, 2008

    This Just In: Houston Bringing It to SXSW

    SXSW released its initial band list this morning, and Houston artists did very well indeed. Out of the more than 1,300 artists now confirmed for the March 12-16 festival, 47 Houston-area acts will perform, a significant increase over past years. (The efforts of new SXSW staffer Matt Sonzala doubtles ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 8, 2007

    SXSW Lineup Announced

    After plenty of outside speculation, South by Southwest has finally released a list of performing bands. Here are the folks from Houston who made the cut: Amplified Heat Ceeplus Bad Knives Chingo Bling Billy Cook Devin the Dude DJ Chill Presents Young Samm, Short Texas, Kenika, Lil Boom, 2 D ... More >>

  • Music

    July 18, 2002

    Grimm and Bare It

    A reclusive (and bitchy) local musician debuts on stage at the Texas Psych Fest

  • Music

    August 3, 2000

    Debt Releaf

    Cigarette companies get crafty

  • Music

    February 23, 1995
  • Music

    November 24, 1994

    Ray Stevens Lives!!!

    Todd Snider's novelty tunes will tickle your jaded fancy

  • More >>