The year was 2002, and I was in the back of my mom's Chevy high-top. She was driving my brother to Sam's Club to pick up his new blue iPod 1st Generation. For months, I watched him listen to Papa Roach and moody pop-rock queen Avril Lavigne as he sat in his bedroom lifting his 8-pound dumbbells -- t ... More >>
Come See My Dead Person Rudyard's, September 5 Arguably one of Texas' most interesting and eclectic acts, Come See My Dead Person are well-known for a gypsy-punk party that melds multiple musical styles with an insane amount of energy. If you can't make tonight's Rudz show, good news: they're playi ... More >>
Islands Walters, September 6 Given the recent excitement of the Unicorns' first shows in a decade, opening some recent Arcade Fire dates, the good news that their Canadian indie successors Islands are headed back to town for the first time in a while should make a few townies happy. The show should ... More >>
Even in today's viral culture, this "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise money for ALS research has taken many by surprise. Instead of quickly blowing over like so many digital fads, this one continues to yield more famous (and not-so-famous) people getting doused on Facebook and YouTube every day. Appar ... More >>
"The Clarity," Sleep After 11 years out of the game, you might wonder if stoner-metal band Sleep has lost a step. Thankfully, their new ten minute masterwork of the genre, "The Clarity," shows that they have not. Think of this like the metal version of Dr. Dre's Detox. You never thought Sleep wou ... More >>
There are better ways to tell, but one indicator of whether your music festival is meeting expectations is the "Chi'lantro Test." It's not a real thing -- I dreamed it up -- but it seems reliable enough. If the Chi'lantro Korean BBQ truck is parked at your festival and there's not a line in front o ... More >>
SATURDAY CHEAP GIRLS I know some people who were converted by Cheap Girls. Not just a fun sentence to write, but a true occurrence from recent local show. This Lansing, Mich.-based trio must be starting to feel like Houston is a second home. By my count, this will be at least their second trip here ... More >>
"Big Blue Hole," David Olney "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all them saints are dead and gone / Amy Winehouse and Curt Cobain, they ain't comin' back here again." David Olney is like the black sheep rounder uncle the family wanted you to stay away from. A former running bud of Townes van Zandt, Oln ... More >>
Antemasque Fitzgerald's, August 4 After putting on some of the most exciting live shows of the last decade with their bands At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, El Paso natives Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala are back with their latest band, Antemasque. Texas has the distinct pleasure ... More >>
"Collard Greens," Schoolboy Q If you enjoy beats that conjure images of huddled, bouncing basketball teams moments before tip-off, you'll enjoy "Collard Greens." If you also enjoy raps about having game, money and weed, you'll return for a second helping. And, if you want to hear Schoolboy Q's Black ... More >>
Before that carton of leftover FSPF 2014 milk in the fridge starts to smell a little ripe, we had to ask...who should the festival bring in next year? BECK This one's pretty self-explanatory. He fits the general aesthetic of the festival, and would be the perfect-sized headliner. That, and his un ... More >>
ANOTHER RUN Sunday, Jupiter stage I could hear Another Run from outside the festival, and I followed their sound all the way from the gates to the stage, where I stood impressed for the remainder of their show. You guys who know about them know how good they are, but somehow they've flown completel ... More >>
ABOVE & BEYOND Sunday, Saturn Stage No group in electronic music knows how to play to a listener's emotional core than Above & Beyond. It was almost jarring how beautiful their set sounded after two days of heat and rain and evacuations and mud and lack of sleep and the other crazy things one deals ... More >>
Holding a Festival in a Park then Getting Mad When People Climb Trees Being a security guard is largely a thankless job, and while I get there are things like liability and whatnot, can you really blame people for climbing trees to get the best look they can? You're holding a festival in a park: wha ... More >>
Saturday will no doubt go down as one of the most interesting days in Free Press Summer Fest's still-young history. Shortly before 2 p.m., festival officials suspended performances and urged everyone to evacuate Eleanor Tinsley Park, citing "impending weather conditions." At first fans seemed to re ... More >>
Die Antwoord There's nothing like Die Antwoord anywhere before Die Antwoord or since Die Antwoord. I dare anyone to prove me wrong. The band's members, Ninja and Yolandi Visser, gained global popularity by way of a unique sound and a stunning look brilliantly captured in a series of borderline-distu ... More >>
Get excited. Next Saturday morning at 10 a.m., tickets go on sale for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' first Houston-area show in four years, September 25 at Toyota Center with old friend Steve Winwood opening. A copy of the band's new album, Hypnotic Eye, is included with each concert ticket sold. ... More >>
A Fistful of Soul A Fistful of Soul's members look like the indie-rockers FPSF tends to favor, such as New York City Queens, The Tontons or Wild Moccasins. It may alarm some unfamiliars when they don't start strumming esoterically at guitars or synth-popping their set. They spin classic soul sets, a ... More >>
Above & Beyond Listen, I get it: most FPSF-loving folks are going to go see Jack White. I understand: real rock, future legend, "Seven Nation Army," etc. etc. And I imagine that nothing I tell you will convince you otherwise. All I'm saying is that I can't think of many things better than being outs ... More >>
Childish Gambino These are three of my favorite Childish Gambino lyrics: "I am running this bitch, you are just a dog walker"; "I have worked all winter, I will not fail summer/ In the back of the bush like Gavin Rossdale's drummer"; "Swag out the ass, I'm the man, fuck Chico/ Took the G out your wa ... More >>
The Caldwell The Caldwell front man James Essary and his crew take inspiration from the likes of Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, The Smiths and many more rock legends. Their straightforward modern-rock sound comes with a tinge of mischievousness, a lot of loud, and an infectious. Last year's debut EP, Mod ... More >>
"A House Is a Home," Ben & Ellen Harper Grammy winner Ben Harper teams up with his mother, Ellen, for Childhood Home, which releases this week. This is the first single from the album. Their tender harmonies and reflections here are like flipping through a family photo album, reminding us of every t ... More >>
Ben Kweller Though Ben Kweller only lives a short distance up 290 in Austin, it feels like he's never here enough to satisfy the demand for his music. Performing as a trio on Saturday night, Kweller's set was composed of hits from every album in his discography with the exception of one, Changing ... More >>
Waxahatchee Mango's, April 4 Right now acoustic folk is a sleeping giant within the music industry, but Katie Crutchfield (who works under the stage name Waxahatchee) is one name to have on your radar. If you're a fan of acts like Screaming Females, Hop Along and Laura Stevenson, you'll likely find ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest unveils its pricier 2014 lineup.
If you reach mid-month and feel the boredom begin to gnaw at your brain like some Lovecraftian monster, get to Reliant Center next weekend (January 18-19) for the America's Got Talent open auditions. You're sure to see something truly nightmarish there - particularly if Howard Stern shows up. Even ... More >>
DEAFHAVEN Despite a popular withdrawal from black metal, Deafheaven's Sunbather was one of 2013's most beautiful albums, and even named Metacritic's "Top Album of 2013." Because its song structures dabble more in pop and rock, it's a noticeable step away from their debut EP Roads to Judah, but that' ... More >>
"All That Matters," Justin Bieber No R&B or pop singer decided to reinvent themselves musically and be taken seriously as the Biebs has in the past month or so. So sue me, Biebervelli might get tatted across my belly. BRANDO "Berzerk," Eminem All the old-school song samplings layered with Eminem's ... More >>
Hometown Hoedown Walters, November 29 There's no place like home for the holidays, and Walters offers up six bands for a wallet-friendly $7 to beat back those Black Friday blahs. Headlining is Black Market Syndicate, still pogoing from the bounce of 2012 LP ...And the Peasants Rejoiced!, but the wh ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest is itching to expand.
Houston audiences who grow weary of their concert neighbors' incessant chatter and smartphone camerawork should absolutely check out this week's Houston Press cover story that takes a look inside the cozy world of living-room concerts. Inspired by a favorite musician who would be passing through th ... More >>
Did you know that Football, etc., a Houston band with a very low profile in the local music scene, has more than 4,000 Facebook likes? This is because the emo-rock trio, which moved to Houston from New Jersey about five years ago, is being played on college-radio stations across the country thanks t ... More >>
Many drinkers have a dialogue in their heads that also plays out in great drinking songs throughout the ages. "Why do you drink?" asks the great prophet Bocephus. "It's five o'clock somewhere," reply the equally sage Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. Rocks Off wanted to know our writers' favorite dri ... More >>
This one's pretty simple: Recently Rocks Off asked our writers to tell us if they could choose any artist, living or dead, active or defunct, to perform all night long at one local bar or club, who would that be and where? Sam Cooke at the Continental Club I would love to see tons of musicians live ... More >>
Look, Houston. We like you. We really do. You're kind of the ham to our delicious sammich, for the most part. But lately as we've ventured out to take care of music bidness (you know how we do), we've noticed a trend. We've got some naughty concert-goers out there, and we would like to shame you int ... More >>
Houston mourns the passing of Numbers owner Robert Burtenshaw.
As in years past, Rocks Off asked our writers covering the HPMA showcase to tell us the act they like best that, until Sunday, they'd never seen before. American Fangs I caught American Fangs for the first time Sunday night, and came away impressed by how polished they sounded. They talented five-p ... More >>
Whether you lived through them or not, we can all admit that the '80s were a long time ago. Even a kid born on New Year's Eve 1989 could be most of his or her way through medical school by now. And although that decade refuses to go away in all sorts of ways, one concept that does feel like has been ... More >>
Houston's Top 25 closed music venues.
Through a variety of methods and processes, certain albums throughout the course of pop and rock history have come to be regarded as "classics," critically untouchable works that not only enriched the coffers of their creators but overall made the world a nicer, more beautiful place to be. Of cours ... More >>
One of Houston's most popular '90s bands, 30FootFALL, reunites for its 20th anniversary.
Before we go any further, this isn't over. Houston fancies itself as forever moving forward, a "city of the future," but in a relatively short time span -- the past 40, maybe 50 years -- it's managed to rack up an impressive number of live-music stages that have come and gone, and left quite a lasti ... More >>
Talk to some people (we guess) and they'll tell you that '90s nostalgia is the only kind of nostalgia that matters. Sunday, the decade of Reality Bites, Doc Martens and frosted tips -- which, seriously, is the name of a San Francisco-based '90s cover band -- will definitely be back in full effect wh ... More >>
The Jamail Skatepark ignites Houston's music culture.
The writers at Rocks Off are huge fans of boners, and we look for every excuse we can to write about them. We love terms like trouser snake and meat thermometer, and we're not afraid to say so, because boners are awesome. Even with half of the writers of this list sporting only X chromosomes, we'll ... More >>
Houston's not getting any colder, so Rocks Off asked our writers to tell us which recently released songs are helping them beat the heat this summer. Alt-J, Dissolve Me" A strong, danceable beat coupled with such serenity. It's the sound of floating in the ocean with friends while just a little bit ... More >>
House party or house show... which are you at? There's a difference, just as there's a difference between the Grand Canyon and a chuckhole. One inspires awe, creativity and a sense of oneness with humankind. The other is just a chuckhole. If Kid N' Play is around, you're at the former and also, q ... More >>
Our writer turned to a local rocker for some wardrobe tips.
Pop star Taylor Swift brought her sticky-n-sweet stage show to Toyota Center May 16.
The sheriff department's officer was standing on my doorstep, still trembling with excitement. The red and blue lights from the patrol car flashed over his face, which was incredulous at the site of the person who opened the door at three in the morning - me, a middle-aged, gray-haired man in Nick & ... More >>