One of the interesting things about Walt Disney films is the way they borrow from or hold up a mirror to popular culture. Along with great storytelling and good songs, this is quite possibly why people like them in the first place. In fact, it's how some of us get introduced to great artists such a ... More >>
Third Ward singer Jewel Brown once worked for both Louis Armstrong and Jack Ruby.
Along with Lightnin' Hopkins's cousin Milton Hopkins, Houston jazz diva Jewel Brown heads north to Chicago this weekend, where she and Hopkins will entertain folks with their new album, Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown. The festival is paying tribute to Lightnin' Hopkins since this would have been hi ... 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 >>
The Super Bowl seems to be running out of stadium-sized performers who can attract eyeballs (the Black-Eyed Peas?), and this year they're hoping that faded scandalist Madonna will do the trick. It's not like they haven't been desperate before. In the early days of the event, producers regularly tu ... More >>
Jimbo Mathus's latest work, Confederate Buddha, was easily one of the most overlooked roots albums of 2011. Don't worry, we sort of slept through it too, but that just means you can make up for that with us by checking him out Saturday night at the Continental Club, with opening act Shinyribs. You ... More >>
In a recession, particularly one as deep and annoyingly persistent as the one we currently find ourselves in, it is tough to justify larger purchases, particularly for things that aren't necessities. As much as we love music here at Rocks Off, we too are often shocked at the price of boxed sets and ... More >>
It's a bad news day when you're hoping for stories on barry Bonds' shrunken balls"I see trees of green ... red roses too I see em bloom ... for me and you And I think to myself ... what a wonderful world." -- Louis Armstrong Clearly, Louis Armstrong would have never made it as a sports fan ... More >>
Pardon the geographical pun, but besides Texas, our neighbor to the east may be the most musical state in these United States. And in terms of per capita, Louisiana, which ranks 25th in population to Texas' second, is probably second to none. Outside Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, the program m ... More >>
Photos by Marco TorresLos Amigos Invisibles, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue House of Blues February 19, 2011 When Aftermath first learned that Los Amigos Invisibles and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews would be playing the same concert, we were a little confused. We had no idea what would re ... More >>
Photo by Pete Vazquez/via Houston ChronicleElla: Shooting dice will get you arrested.Is this a great picture or what? It's the inestimable Ella Fitzgerald sitting forlornly in a Houston jail, arrested for shooting dice in her Music Hall dressing room with -- get this lineup -- Dizzy Gillespi ... More >>
Rocks Off hopes you enjoyed our musical nickname quiz earlier today. We have had a few nicknames ourselves over the years - our dad called us "Boog" after former Baltimore Orioles first baseman Boog Powell, and we were known for years around the Austin Chronicle offices as "Weezer," which we ... More >>
Many people say that going to New Orleans feels like being in another time. In fact, the city's current slogan for its tourism TV spots, which Rocks Off caught just this morning, is "you're different here." Listening to Kermit Ruffins, who plays House of Blues Friday night, has that effect t ... More >>
I had red beans and rice with an excellent smoked sausage at Kojak's deli last Monday. Red beans and rice on Mondays is an old New Orleans tradition. It comes from a time when ham was commonly served for Sunday dinner and Monday was laundry day. The beans would simmer on the stove with the ha ... More >>
Alan Ball was known for his masterful use of music in Six Feet Under. He's lost none of his touch when it comes to his current HBO series, True Blood - which happens to be set in the Louisiana swamps, not terribly far from Houston. With Season 2 just completed, Rocks Off is now working our way backw ... More >>
If you blink, you might miss Boheme. The coffee shop-by-day, cocktails-by-night hideaway is tucked away on Fairview between Morgan and Taft. On Thursday nights, Boheme gives you the perfect excuse to drink - Spacetaker's Cultured Cocktails Happy Hour. Each week from 5 to 10 p.m., a portion of ... More >>
[Note: Part 1 is here, and the Eating Our Words entry that inspired this series is here.] To tell the story of music in the Fifth Ward with anything like the sweep it deserves, we will have to go way back to the 19th century. On a November day in 1898, Beulah Thomas was born to Fanny Bradley an ... More >>
This documentary film captures the Canadian pianist's visit to Leningrad and Moscow
Now how does that song go again?
Celebrate the contributions of African-Americans with the Sandra Organ Dance Company
Woodbelly performs Friday, March 30, at Dan Electro's Guitar Bar, 1031 East 24th, 713-862-8707.
Finding the coolest runnings at this year's Jamaica-themed Houston International Festival
Profiling local bands
Jimmy T99 Nelson predated and outlived Elvis P. and has won the affections of Elvis C.
If the Sunday-afternoon concert series isn't enough, there are still 10,000 free reasons to go to the Space Place
On the Green Records
Major to Minor (Self-released)
The proposed Museum of American Music History could be the solution to our "image problem"
The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven Recordings (Columbia/Legacy)
Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America's Music (Columbia Legacy)
San Antonian Jim Cullum and his band keep the Dixieland torch alive and burnin'
Blue thoughts for BCT, and the Karankawas are hungry again
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