This afternoon Live Nation announced that Mumford & Sons, the UK acoustic-rock quartet that has already, um, borrowed more than one page from U2's playbook -- the anthemic songs, Old Testament imagery, missionary zeal and sometimes overwhelming earnestness -- will make its Houston-area debut somewhe ... More >>
Dear Stupid Grammys, I have a bone to pick with you. I sat through Taylor Swift's uninspired opening act while she half-sung/half-yodeled at a guy on a spinning bullseye. It was complete with an insulting and transparent Alice in Wonderland costume ripoff (which I'm not getting, by the way... is s ... More >>
Well, I never thought that I would have John Mayer and Patti Smith together in the same headline with Willie Nelson and Frank Ocean, but that's why I kinda love New Orleans Jazz Fest 2013, whose lineup was released earlier this morning. Rewind: A Texican in New Orleans: Lessons Learned from Jazz F ... More >>
Rocks Off put it off as long as we could, because December has been a pretty rough month. It always is for music. (Hollywood, too.) But it's time to call the roll of people who played or sang their last note in 2012, plus a few who were just as instrumental offstage. Precious few corners of the mus ... More >>
All of 31 years old (growl), Jackie Greene's preternatural resemblance to hip '70s roots-rockers like J.J. Cale and Little Feat has already led The New York Times to dub the San Francisco singer-songwriter "the prince of Americana." He has already sang lead with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh's gro ... More >>
When December rolls around, of all the days of the year, I imagine I will remember last Friday pretty well. I have not felt the kind of sadness I felt when Craig called from New Orleans to make sure I knew that Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, had died in a while. (I didn't know.) Losing Levon ... More >>
Along with pickled pig's feet and a steady supply of Slim Jims, a good jukebox is a prime element for any great bar. But, like dinosaurs, jukeboxes are a vanishing breed. Unlike digital jukes, iPods or DJs, jukeboxes require love, care and maintenance, as well as -- among the truly great ones -- som ... More >>
It's never really not old, but since we've already been going through it with Levon Helm and the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb (who, gratefully, is at least out of his coma), this isn't good news at all. Saratoga native and Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones, the man who could break the Tin Man's pre-E ... More >>
It couldn't all be great performances, decent recreational drugs, and pleasant weather at Coachella. Here are our writers' picks for their least favorite things from the festival's second weekend. People Not Here for the Music: If you're paying $300-$800 for a festival ticket, one might think you w ... More >>
More fun in the desert from our friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly -- ed. Saturday at Coachella meant tributes, tributes, tributes. From Levon Helms to Biggie, everyone got a shout-out. In between all that, some nasty partying and a little recreational drug use. Read our highly-trained writers as t ... More >>
You know the Health Department Roundup is going to be a little dull when the only place that earned a citation was a Burger King, and half of the places inspected were schools. (We're going to say that works about once a year.) Instead of exciting closures and tickets, of which there were none, here ... More >>
Levon Helm doing what he loved in Woodstock, N.Y., in 2004Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born icon of Americana music, passed away Thursday afternoon after a long battle with throat cancer, his family said on Helm's Web site. "He has loved nothing more than to play, to fill up the room with music, lay do ... More >>
Being behind the scenes is what most musicians who don't write songs or sing expect of their lives once they start seriously playing. A career backing someone up can be extremely rewarding, particularly if you are part of a transcendent group of musicians that goes from simply backing up an artist i ... More >>
Carolyn Wonderland is in and of herself a grand Texas institution, and embodies the everything about us a musical people. We humbly knelt before her to find out what we could in 30 seconds. Rocks Off: What is the worst song in the world? Carolyn Wonderland: After much consideration, it's a ... More >>
Photo courtesy Miller Outdoor TheaterThe Gourds, Austin's loosest and most literate roots band, rolls into Dan Electro's Guitar Bar tonight. The occasion is the release of the band's latest album, Old Mad Joy. Produced by Bob Dylan/Levon Helm sideman Larry Campbell, the album has been getting ... More >>
Just another brick in the wallFifty years ago today, East German construction crews were in the last stages of preparation for building the Berlin Wall. On August 13, they began, instantly giving an incredible propaganda tool to the free world. The Wall has been down for 22 years and will so ... More >>
harleyslist.blogspot.comJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono in a happy pose in front of their home (and future site of Lennon's assassination).Celebrity homes will always be a source of fascination, offering a glimpse at the intimate, private side of those who live their lives in the public eye. And it' ... More >>
Photos courtesy of Miler Outdoor Theatre Advisory BoardDoyle Bramhall Sr.The Gourds, Doyle Bramhall Sr. Miller Outdoor Theatre July 22, 2011 It was all Texas big beat Friday night as old-school Austin blues-rocker Doyle Bramhall Sr. and those funny, funny Gourds cut a groove in the Miller Ou ... More >>
Joe RyanAs an album title, Old Mad Joy sounds like redundancy when placed in the context of Austin roots rock gonzos the Gourds. As anyone who has ever been in earshot of the band or its records, if the Gourds could bottle the music and sell it at the drug store, the corporations who manufact ... More >>
Photos by Jason WolterSteve Earle & the Dukes and Duchesses House of Blues July 6, 2011 During her sublime set at Verizon a couple of weeks ago, Emmylou Harris mentioned how she thought Barack Obama was pretty okay, and how she hoped his election meant our society had evolved beyond the even ... More >>
Hello? Is this thing on? Rocks Off has a feeling that a lot of folks are nowhere near their computers today. Must be some sort of holiday. It is, actually. Today, not Monday. It's Canada Day, or as it's known in the U.S., "What Is Princess Kate Wearing?" Day. (Also, Friday.) Honestly, Rocks ... More >>
It's back to the usual grind for Rocks Off after last night's late-night Austin City Limits Festival lineup announcement. Sadly, we will not be seeing the Foo Fighters play songs from Wasting Light in Austin come September. And yes, still playing it, along with a steady diet of Guns N' Roses. ... More >>
John CarricoHanging out with the Band's legendary drummer Levon Helm would be a dream for almost any other timekeeper. The Gourds have just returned to Austin from two weeks of recording at Helm's studio in Woodstock, N.Y, where drummer Keith Langford got to live the dream. The untitled albu ... More >>
Patrick McGown/thegourdsnews.blogspot.comThe Gourds' Kevin Russell and Jimmy Smith at the Houston Continental Club, December 11, 2010Austin roots band the Gourds just announced via their Facebook fan page that they will play Miller Outdoor Theatre July 22. The band last played at Miller July ... More >>
The Gourds on FacebookWith their homespun, loosey-goosey style, The Gourds have often been compared to The Band and to Levon Helm over the course of the Austin roots band's 16-year career. Late Friday, the Gourds announced that Helm's guitarist Larry Campbell will produce their tenth studio a ... More >>
By this time Tuesday, we will all know who is playing the Austin City Limits Music Festival in October. Damn, it seems like we have speculating about the line-up since, well, we got the last of the "Dillo Dirt" out the middle of our toes after last year's muddy and rainy ACL weekend. Tuesday brig ... More >>
Desoto Rust Too many records, too many records, too many records. Sometimes Lonesome, Onry and Mean just has to take a deep breath, swallow hard and admit we can never give a fair listen to all the stuff that shows up in the mailbox. And since we seldom do actual album reviews in print anymore, w ... More >>
As far as He Said knows, he has zero Cajun blood in his veins. His family is pretty much straight-up Anglo/Scotch-Irish, settling in the Piney Woods of Newton County via Alabama in the early 1800s. However, although the Sabine-straddling area around Newton, Burkeville and Wiergate is about an hou ... More >>
2009 wasn't a great year for albums, but songs were a different story.
2009 was definitely a year, we'll say that much.
Our annual holiday shopping guide to recent local releases
Levon Helm's doctor must have the patience of a saint. The former Band drummer underwent surgery to remove polyps in his throat barely a week ago, but instead of canceling Saturday's ACL appearance, he ceded vocal duties to several members of his plus-size band, including leader Larry Campbell, keyb ... More >>
Photo by Mark C. AustinThe ScabsThat was the question on Saturday, when downpours tested the drainage properties of the newly laid Zilker Park sod to test. Curiously, with the air still warm, the crowd seemed to take the growing swamp in stride, but you have to guess that with all the muddy-b ... More >>
Photos by Chris GrayThis photo was NOT taken Saturday. Trust us. The streak is over. In eight years, Austin City Limits has seen plenty of days of unbearable heat, but hardly any rain. The most significant time was during Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' headlining 2006 set, but even that was m ... More >>
Toni Price hasn't played in these parts much since her move from Austin to California a couple of years ago. But for Lonesome, Onry and Mean, her show tonight is made all the more interesting by the inclusion of Nashville songwriter Gwil Owen. Owen isn't a household word, but the guy has written mo ... More >>
Photos by Chris Gray At his first proper gig since relocating to Houston last month, suit-clad Mike Stinson raised the bar for honky-tonk around here a little. Maybe a lot. Joined by guitarist Lance Smith and Winfield Cheek on keyboards, steel and mandolin, Stinson sang his way through a jukebox ... More >>
[Note: Now with added Ministry.] Counting down to Friday's ZZ Top/Aerosmith show in The Woodlands is starting to feel like the week Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played there last year: a steady build of anticipation and antsiness, until Friday we're flat-out squirming to get out of the office. ... More >>
Houston throwback singer Leela James does it again.
Rocks Off is having a little trouble looking his "2009 Year of the Rhino" wall calendar in the eye this morning. He trusted it implicitly until Tuesday, when a friend pointed out that in saluting Stevie Nicks, Miles Davis and Hank Williams Jr. on their birthday, he left out former Band drummer Levo ... More >>
No record deal, no recordings — no problem for the South Memphis String Band.
The twisted history of "Tighten Up"
Fast Man Raider Man
Feels Like Home (Blue Note)
The Band dances The Last Waltz, but can time heal old wounds?
Former Band drummer Levon Helm lends his experience to the youthful Barn Burners
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