My first true SXSW with the Houston Press and Rocks Off was way back in March 2008, when I was given a wristband to explore/maraud Austin looking for trouble and new bands. This was a time when Justice and MSTRKRFT were what would be called EDM now, and Israel's Monotonix was flipping every wig in t ... More >>
The most telling, most poignant comment about SXSW 2012 came on Twitter. Texas Monthly music writer Jason Cohen tweeted something to the effect that watching the band with the current No. 1 song in the country -- in this case Brooklyn's fun., who plays Warehouse Live tomorrow and whose "We Are Young ... More >>
If you're familiar with chaos theory, which in its basic form is the attempt to find patterns in the random acts of shit on Earth, then you may understand the difficulty that comes with describing a full day at SXSW. To break down the bright, scintillating chaos, Village Voice Media's roving music e ... More >>
"I believe in three things: I believe in God; I believe that I ain't shit without you, and I believe that I ain't shit without you!" - Lil Wayne to his fans After being shut out of the T.I./B.O.B show at La Zona Rosa by order of the fire marshal, I headed over to see Lil Wayne at the Austin Mu ... More >>
It happens every year: an errant rumor turns Austin and SXSW upside down for a few hours or even days, leading to mass hysteria, mild apathy, and sometimes sadness. At my first SXSW in 2001, I got a "hot tip" that the Beastie Boys were going to join Mix Master Mike at La Zona Rosa for a secret show, ... More >>
The year isn't quite half over, but as of today, "summer" is officially here - even if the calendar needs a few weeks to catch up - and by the time summer is over, so will 2011. Or close enough. So Rocks Off asked our staff to give us their favorite two albums of the year so far, plus one out ... More >>
Regrets, sang Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Sid Vicious, I've had a few. (Or, for Sid, a feee-yooouuu.) So have we all. But if you review concerts for a living, there's nothing worse than someone you like dying before you get the chance to see them live. So for this week's Round Table, Rocks Off ... More >>
Mark C. AustinKings of Leon at Verizon Wireless Theater, October 2008Just a couple of days now before Rocks Off - the person and the blog - proudly presents Shot In the Dark: Houston Press Concert Photography, our first-ever exhibit of live pics we've collected in about three and a half years ... More >>
Craig HlavatyIf you felt like booking it to the parking lot next to Frank at 4th and Colorado on Wednesday afternoon, you would have been treated to a quick acoustic set from Jack White and the Texas debut of his Third Man Rolling Record Store.
As you may have heard, there's a teeny-tiny little music festival going on in Austin later this week. Some of the early birds on team Rocks Off are either already there or well on their way, as a matter of fact. With more than 2,000 artists playing the official part of SXSW alone, trying to ... More >>
All photos by Mark C. AustinGwen Stefani of No Doubt in The Woodlands, May 2009This evening, local rock photographer Mark C. Austin unveils his first exhibit of his work since he began shooting bands almost five years ago. Austin's work has appeared in print and online for the Houston Press a ... More >>
This morning C3 Concerts, the folks behind the Austin City Limits Music Festival, announced the schedule for the pre- and after-show gigs surrounding the festival. As with this past March's SXSW, those without official credentials aren't totally being shut out of the fun. Starting Wednesday ... More >>
Bun B x Motion Family x SXSW from Motion Family on Vimeo. Bun B wrecks it at SXSW; video by Motion Family As the dust settles from SXSW 2010, we began scouring YouTube for clips of some of our favorite performances. We managed to capture a handful on our own, but the internet video site is awash wi ... More >>
South by Scorsese: The festival in a single 6th St. tracking shot. Video by Craig Hlavaty It didn't take long for Aftermath to remember you don't have to look very hard at all for music at SXSW; in fact, we were barely even awake when it happened. After arriving in Austin late, late Thursday night, ... More >>
Katharine ShilcuttThe xx at the Village Voice Media party at La Zona Rosa If we ignore some of the "real life" issues we had to contend with, Aftermath spent three excellent days in Austin for SXSW 2010. Our energy remained consistently up, mostly fueled by being constantly on the move, as we saw ... More >>
Photos by Craig HlavatyWild MoccasinsAftermath roused ourselves from our quick hour-long vegetative session after Thursday's day-party frolicking to venture into another night of SXSW music, that would include a local band's breakthrough, a legend reconnecting with his base and two indie-twang ba ... 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 introducingliston@ ... More >>
Today the organizers of the SXSW Music Festival announced their showcase schedule for the music portion of the industry fest starting on March 17. This is the news Rocks Off has been looking for, so let's get it on. We are now one month away from Sixth Street and one of the world's biggest conglome ... More >>
This past week a few Houston musicians began getting their dreaded SXSW rejection notices; most notably we heard that Robert Ellis' entry was not accepted. That's a tough bullet to take, considering how well his band does on Wednesday night at Mango's and the quality of his solo album. Either way E ... More >>
Village Voice Media, the Houston Press' daddy company, has announced the line-up for this year's SXSW day party at La Zona Rosa, set for March 19 at noon. The show hasn't disappointed since Rocks Off has been aboard, with 2008 bringing the Black Keys, HEALTH and ...Trail Of Dead and last year the C ... More >>
Not sure if you noticed, but we took a ton of photos over the last few days. Click the links for all kinds of action. SXSW, Day One Photo by Mark C. Austin The Austin Music Awards A chronicle in picture form of some of the SXSW live acts you could have caught on Wednesday, March 18, if only you h ... More >>
Not sure if you noticed, but we took a ton of photos over the last few days. Click the links for all kinds of action. South by Southwest Day One Photo by Mark C. Austin The Austin Music Awards A chronicle in picture form of some of the SXSW live acts you could have caught on Wednesday, March 18, ... More >>
Mark C. Austin We just loaded up some snaps from the VVM party at La Zona Rosa. Check 'em out.
We here at Rocks Off are only about a week away from chafed inner thighs, weird Japanese punk bands puking in hotel pools and sweating out our morning mojitos while walking to an art space off 4th Street. South By Southwest is now only a week away. It was all fun and games in December when we w ... More >>
Tom Waits may not come from around here, but a good chunk of his favorite music does
Stax, Scratch and a host of locals highlight my festival
Austin's little music festival is all grown up
The Datsuns zoom out of New Zealand with Zeppelinesque flair
Joey Duenas checks his head after a disastrous year
Several Texans are trying to separate Ozzy the myth from Ozzy the man
Once burdened by debt and internal politics, a rejuvenated Texas ACLU is back mixing it up with those who dare to trample on the U. S. Constitution.
I learned many things when I accompanied a trio of bounty hunters to Mexico to fetch a fugitive drug suspect. Foremost among them: never leave your map at home...