Last month marked the end of one of the great musical feuds of the 1990s. Any Britpop fan knows you can either be a fan of Oasis or of Blur, but not a fan of both. The two bands hated each other's guts and were in constant competition throughout the decade. So all of us in the press were shocked wh ... More >>
Here's how a major announcement would roll in the life of Brando: short, quick, brief moments of celebration, smug congratulations and thank-yous from people before the realization that only douches do that sort of thing and I'd be captain of their army. And nobody wants to hitch a ride on that tr ... More >>
In the history of music, there have been many meetings of the mind between people with similar attitudes, styles, and ideas. Some of these just felt right from the very beginning and you knew they were destined to produce greatness. That's what happened when Brian Eno met David Bowie and later when ... More >>
Today is the 53rd birthday of Mark Romanek. Though he's a perfectly legit Hollywood director of great films like One Hour Photo and Never Let Me Go, he is also responsible for some of the greatest music videos of all time. For 20 years he has worked with top-level performers, and today we celebrate ... More >>
Day two of the first-ever Made In America music festival felt considerably less hectic and crowded than day one. The blazing heat of the previous day was replaced with scattered showers, and the humidity that follows, making for a sticky and slippery situation on the Ben Franklin Parkway. The crowd ... More >>
As day two of the Made In America festival came to the end, much of the crowd decided to leave early. That was just fine for the thousands of Pearl Jam faithful, who had plenty of room to witness the 20-year-old Seattle band rock out after being personally chosen by Jay-Z to close the festivities. ... More >>
Dance-pop provocateurSantigold is the polar opposite of the starlets she once co-wrote songs with.
Fame and fortune might not be the ultimate goal for every person to ever write a song or learn an instrument, but it is for a lot of people out there. It would be lovely to believe that music is done 100% of the time for the "right" reasons, but most of us are cynical enough to know otherwise. Some ... More >>
Most of the world's biggest rappers - Jay-Z, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, T.I., 50 Cent - have performed in Austin within the past week, are about to perform, or are at least in the city partaking in the SXSW festivities. Rocks Off was leaving Stubb's late Thursday night and heard Snoop Dogg performing ... More >>
Photo By Marco TorresAll of the Super Bowl talk this week has given me a chance to ponder one of my favorite pop culture questions: how big do you have to be to perform at the Super Bowl half time show? When you consider the acts that have performed since the 2005 move to one act performances ... More >>
As the 2012 presidential race begins to heat up in earnest, Rocks Off can't help but feel that the front-runners for the Republican nomination are lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. Call it star power. Call it sex appeal. Whatever it is, these guys ain't got it. If the GOP is serious about wresti ... More >>
And by surprises, I mean that I didn't like most of the albums in the top ten. Usually I fall lock-step in with the crowd, but this year not so much, with my love for arena-rock and Americana dominating my list. Pazz And Jop is the Village Voice's annual critics' poll, with critics from music ... More >>
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Each week Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Welp. Ya heard? That's that. It's the last week of 2011. That's cool. Or shitty. Whatevs. No matter. Right here, right now, we're going to take a qu ... More >>
Photo By Craig HlavatyRex's War Face: The crowd's at June's Free Press Summer Fest were feral and friendly. This week we asked our pool of Rocks Off writers what their favorite shows of 2011 were, the ones that brought joy to their hearts to attend and helped them make magic with a keyboard h ... More >>
*At one point or another Marco TorresComing in at No. 10...The Guinness Book of World Records has always been a fascinating and somewhat random thing to be a part of. Some people strive to be in the book to get noticed, while others get in the book completely by accident for good and bad th ... More >>
Last week, the music world laughed up a hiccup as Lil Wayne pranced around the VMA stage in nut-suffocating, Le Tigre-inspired jeggings. While that performance affirmed that Wayne is no fashion guru, his chart performance a week later reminded us that he's very good at something else-selling ... More >>
The less antisocial among you know that talking about music is one of the best icebreakers there is. To get to know our staff a little better, Rocks Off will periodically be asking them to share a few songs that helped to shape their musical tastes - and character. We start with our youngest member, ... More >>
Now Kanye has something else to cry about.Proving once again that old age and treachery beats youth and skill every time, grizzled Texas singer-songwriter emeritus Guy Clark has knocked Jay-Z & Kanye West's Watch the Throne from the top MP3 albums sales spot on Amazon.com. Employing the same ... More >>
Photo illustrations by Monica FuentesActual line from Watch the Throne's "Who Gon' Stop Me": "This is something like the Holocaust/ Millions of our people lost"Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies, formulated by humorist and writer Mike Godwin, states that eventually, any heated discussion (especi ... More >>
Last month Forbes released their list of the 25 highest-earning musicians of 2010, and the list contains several talents Rocks Off is happy to see keeping the lights on. No. 1 on the list, U2, is still a favorite of ours after all these years, and it's always good to see Tom Petty, Jay-Z, and ... More >>
Crashing a birthday party didn't work, but young rapper J. Cole eventually got Jay-Z's attention.
Marco TorresBig Sean at Reliant Arena Wednesday nightEvery rapper brands himself as an original, but few merit that distinction. The ones that do rarely profit from their innovation. When it comes to emceeing, those who favor intricate rhyme schemes will scoff at a technique known as "hasht ... More >>
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email email@example.com. ... More >>
UPDATE (3:23 p.m.): Promotional video by Monica Fuentes added after the jump. Jay LeeLittle Joe Washington at the Continental Club's 10th anniversary, July 2010Slowly but surely, Rocks Off has been getting ready for our "Shot In the Dark" photo exhibition at Warehouse Live's Studio next Thur ... More >>
Photos by Marco TorresDJ Scratch and J.Cole The Drake April 1, 2010 Roc Nation descended upon Houston Friday night as Smirnoff presented rapper J.Cole as host of the grown and sexy Final Four weekend edition of Drake Fridays. The fashionable club on Washington Avenue was transformed into eve ... More >>
After weeks of anticipation and preemptory hand-wringing over where we're going to park on Washington Ave. this weekend, the Final Four is Finally here. As with any other time a marquee sporting event comes to Houston, you can count on some familiar themes in media coverage: Where to party, w ... More >>
Marco TorresSome rivalries are beyond repair. You'll never catch Kobe and Shaq trading smiles at a joint family picnic. 50 Cent and The Game will still be mugging at each other at the 2021 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. Batman will always despise that sonamabitch The Joker. Truth be told, hip-hop is a ... More >>
Can the celebrated rapper get out of trouble long enough to top the charts again?
NATIONAL White Lies, Ritual: They killed at festivals in 2008 and 2009, but do London's Interpol-styled lads have longevity? Dr. Dre, Detox: It's been on hold or gestating since at least Clinton was in office. Will it continue to be hip-hop's Chinese Democracy? R.E.M., Collapse Into No ... More >>
RizohWilliam Moore in his element at HCCWilliam Moore can recite The Roots' "How I Got Over" from top to bottom, down to Black Thought's rhythm and cadence. The only thing he's missing is Thought's mean mug and dark shades; he prefers an amiable smile and rimmed glasses. Moore, a Hous ... More >>
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to sheaserrano@gmai ... More >>
Rocks Off's Kim Douglass wrote this about The Niceguys almost one year ago to the day. If you're not familiar with them, you should read it, because then we don't have to do the perfunctory "This Is How They Got Started, This Is Why They're Different Then Every Other Group In Crisp Jeans And ... More >>
He Said is going to admit right here and now that he has never been a master of the first date. True it is that we have dated some very awesome and artistic women, but we always lack when it comes to that first swing out of the box. He Said is way better at the weeks, months and years after that ... More >>
Amid a wash of national phooey, plucking Houston rap's pivotal 2009 moment is easy.
As Hair Balls pointed out, we've only got three more of these weird number/same number/same number days left this century after today. Such chronological repetition appeals to the hidden obsessive-compulsive in all of us, so join us as we wash our hands nine times, lock the door nine times, and l ... More >>
Photos by Massa MohawkWhen I landed, I thought I was gonna see snow because I was told that it was six degrees in Washington, D.C. There wasn't any snow but it was so cold that I could feel the air piercing my ears and making my eyes water. Me and my travel party went straight from the airpor ... More >>
Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won’t rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: Chamillionaire, “Swagger Like Us Freestyle” We normally reserve this section for unknown local ... More >>
Little Brother performs Friday, June 29, at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel, 713-225-5483. Orgone and DJ Haul also perform.
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How come there's no Pharcyde or De La Soul on the dial?
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