About the last place you might expect Josh Abbott to be doing a phone interview is...Nashville. His eponymous group is synonymous with Texas country, arguably the only act of its kind this decade to graduate to the very top tier occupied by the likes of the Randy Rogers Band and the Departed. That k ... More >>
Bobby Bare, "I Can Almost See Houston From Here" One of the great homesick songs, Bobby Bare infuses this one with downtrodden ennui as he pines for the warmness of his old hometown. Usually veteran Houstonians are forced to deal with some newbie from Portland telling us all the things that are wron ... More >>
The Lone Star Music Festival, which promised to bring an eclectic crop of national, regional and local artists to Discovery Green on November 7 and 8, abruptly and mysteriously scratched the event over the weekend, leaving only the following cryptic message on its Web site. Due to unforeseen circum ... More >>
Who? Leslie Krafka came late to the songwriting game; the bug didn't bite her until about four years ago. She spent a year making her first album, The White Cat Sessions, at Jack Saunders' studio. But she found a bit of success with the album, being nominated as a best emerging artist in the annual ... More >>
In this week's Houston Press cover story, you can read about Kinky Friedman's completely serious campaign to become Texas' next Agriculture Commissioner in the November 2014, a position he hopes will allow him to be the state's leading advocate for marijuana legalization. This is not the first time ... More >>
Rancid House of Blues, September 4 Although Rancid was one of the major players on the punk-revival scene of the '90s, they never saw the same kind of mainstream success of peers like Green Day - and honestly, thank God for that. Even to this day, they've stayed true to those ska-heavy, socially-aw ... More >>
Alejandro Escovedo is one of Texas' most gifted and versatile singer-songwriters, with the soul and background of a punk rocker, the work ethic of a tradesman, and the undying faith in rock and roll of two of his closest contemporaries -- also men of uncommon emotional range and teeth-gritting tenac ... More >>
One of the quiet pleasures of (finally) putting 2012 to bed is mop-up duty. All year, I tried to keep a running list of albums released by Texas-based or Texas-related performers that I enjoyed listening to. Sunday night, I tallied them up. For some reason, besides that we've already handled the ye ... More >>
At this point, hopefully you know what the Texas 30 is and why Rocks Off is counting down to the Top 30 Texas albums of the past 30 years, as determined by a statewide panel of professional music writers. The short answer is, of course, because we can, and because it was a great excuse to listen to ... More >>
By the time The Clash hit Houston's Cullen Theater on October 5, 1979, Lester Bangs had described their tour-de-force as "desperation uncontrived, unstaged, a fury unleashed on the stage ... real pain that connects with the nerves of the audience." Yet Texans had already been enthralled by the Sex ... More >>
Above: K. Phillips and the Concho Pearls doing NSFW "Rambler" Most people won't have heard of K. Phillips, but his new album American Girls is getting some serious critical raves. Checking the list of personnel on the album -- Rick Richards on drums, Bukka Allen on keys, Jimmy Pettit on bass, Kevin ... More >>
Houston's favorite happenin' soul/funk/R&B/rocksteady/ska DJ night, A Fistful of Soul, returns to the Big Top about 10 p.m. this evening. Free. Say happy birthday to DJ Wes Wallace, who has been named "Best Dance Club DJ" by this publication more than ten times, at "Classic Numbers" this evening.
Jane's Addiction Bayou Music Center May 9, 2012 Perry Farrell is a twisted freak. Of course that's intended as a compliment. Farrell has become one of rock's most successful misfits of the past 25 years, combining an astute business sense with a sincere interest in the any number of alternative su ... More >>
SXSW 2012, from Bruce Springsteen to Buxton.
Bruce Springsteen's Thursday started with a keynote speech in one of the big ballrooms at the Austin Convention Center, and ended with a mythic three-hour set at ACL Live across town, in front of a few thousand people cooing "Bruce". The keynote and the show went hand in hand. If you weren't there ... More >>
Agnostic Front, The Mongoloids: Mon., Sept. 19. Walter's On Washington. Amon Amarth: Fri., Aug. 26. House of Blues. Aretha Franklin: Tue., June 14. Arena Theatre. blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Matt & Kim: Mon., Sept. 26. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Buxton: Fri., July 8. McGonigel' ... More >>
Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. Unlike most Fridays, this one has gone pretty smoothly here at Rocks Off HQ, which means we must be in for a hellacious Monday. But hey, that's next week. Our luck may be holding up - for now - but we couldn't let the occasion go by unremarked (plus a couple ... More >>
Happy San Jacinto Day, fellow Texans and people who wish they were; i.e. everyone else. If you don't know why today is special, shame on you. But since us Texans are a friendly sort, allow Rocks Off to fill you in. On April 21, 1836, Texian forces under Gen. Sam Houston (aka "Big Drunk") lau ... More >>
"20th Annual KTRU Outdoor Show" With Washed Out, Real Estate, Fat Tony, Young Mammals, Grandfather Child, The Tontons: Sat., April 9. Rice University. Billy Joe Shaver: Sat., June 18. Dosey Doe Coffee Company. Chingo Bling, DJ Ebonix: Fri., April 8. Bronze Peacock Room @ House of Blues. C ... More >>
West Texan Ned Sublette reflects on pre-Katrina New Orleans in a new memoir.
America: Fri., June 25. Stafford Centre. American Sharks, Scorpion Child, Betaplayer: Thu., April 22. Boondocks. Cyndi Lauper: Thu., Aug. 12. House of Blues. Colbie Caillat: Fri., Aug. 27. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Delta Spirit, David Vandervelde, The Romany Rye: Wed., July 16. Mango's. "D ... More >>
What we'd like to see happen in Houston music this year.
30FootFall: Fri., Dec. 25. Fitzgerald's. Agnostic Front, Death By Stereo: Sun., Jan. 24. Walter's on Washington. American Sharks, The Watermarks: Wed., Nov. 25. Boondocks. Band of Heathens: Fri., Dec. 11. Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe. Basses Loaded, Springfield Riots, Nosaprise: Fri., Nov. 27, 8 p. ... More >>
Noise goes whistling through the scenester artery's music venue graveyard.
View Five States of Texas in a larger map As any proud Texan can tell you, the Lone Star State is entitled constitutionally to split into five states if it so wishes. The scenario has rarely been more in the news than it has relatively recently, when Gov. Rick Perry played to the wingnut gallery in ... More >>
Cactus Music and the Record Ranch is having another Record Store Day Saturday, with a lineup of events that borders on serious party happening. The highlight of the day will be a live appearance by red-hot San Antonio band The Krayolas (above). San Antonio's oldest and most respected rockero outfit ... More >>
Carrie Rodriguez kicks of Conroe's free First Thursdays concert series tonight. After a long tenure as a duet with hall-of-fame-quality songwriter Chip Taylor, Rodriguez struck out on her own last year with She Ain't Me. The album is very much in a Patty Griffin vein, but the title track would d ... More >>
Alejandro Escovedo with Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band,"Always a Friend," Toyota Center, April 14, 2008 After last year's sold-out show that ended with both Alejandro Escovedo and Joe Ely duetting with the Boss, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are headed back to Houston for&n ... More >>
Right on the heels of Wednesday's announcement of Vanguard's new Doug Sahm tribute album comes Yep Roc's tribute to Chris Gaffney, The Man of Somebody's Dreams. Ironically, it includes some of the same high-profile roots artists who pay tribute to Sahm: Dave Alvin, Los Lobos and Alejandro Escov ... More >>
Photos by Chris Gray It didn't look good at the beginning. A few minutes after 9 p.m. Wednesday, the posted start time for visiting Cleveland roots-rockers the Magpies, the "count" at the Continental Club front door was all of 16 paying customers, and the band was nowhere in sight. Two chicken tac ... More >>
Sisters of Mercy After seven solid nights of mostly incredible shows, Tina Turner through Los Skarnales, on the eighth Rocks Off rested. I even bought a freakin' bottle of milk. As it so often is, the XM receiver at Rocks Off HQ is tuned to Fred, so the Cure have been by several times. Morrissey, X ... More >>
Small Stars perform Friday, February 2, at the Continental Club, 3700 Main Street, 713-529-9899. Scott Biram also performs.
The Devil You Know
Perpetual Motion (Blue Corn)
Aztex refuses to be ghettoized in the Tejano market
The Last Concert Cafe has glimpses from its unique history
November 12 - 18, 1998
Folk-rock space boy Todd Snider awakes to find a career on the upswing
Jimmie Dale Gilmore broadens his horizons -- and if he's lucky, his listeners'