This Sunday the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will correct a grievous oversight when it inducts the late Jack Clement, who wrote an early hit for Johnny Cash ("Ballad of a Teenage Queen"), effectively desegregated country music by adopting Charley Pride as a protege, and produce ... More >>
When I was in third grade I learned all 50 states in alphabetical order thanks to a catchy tune. Now I'm hoping to stick that bit of trivia in your heads just in time for the new school year by celebrating each state with an appropriate song all this week. New Mexico: Heather Nova, "Out in New Me ... More >>
Texas Concert For Conservation Featuring Dwight Yoakam, Robert Earl Keen, Hayes Carll & Ray Wylie Hubbard Sam Houston Race Park May 18, 2013 If I wanted to make a dopey analogy, which I'm going to do anyway, I'd say Texas' coastal waters and our wry but soulful singer-songwriters are two of this s ... More >>
Lyle Lovett went to Texas A&M. He majored in German and journalism, not agriculture or meteorology. With that in mind, he still has a very odd idea of how weather is made. Specifically, he seems to believe weather is at the beck and call of any Aggie weatherman out there on TV. Lovett, like many d ... More >>
It's a toss-up whether actors or musicians will go to greater lengths to make rent, but some musicians have even found themselves so hard up they've been forced to take an acting gig. Such is the case with the haystack-sized Sleepy LaBeef, who in 1968's The Exotic Ones appeared as the "Swamp Monster ... More >>
Ranking the 30 best Texas albums of the past 30 years seemed like an impossible task. We did it anyway.
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 >>
Look, we all know Houston has a lot going on, and a lot to be proud of. As one of America's biggest and busiest cities, it offers an almost infinite array of diversions and amusements to go along with world-class shopping, restaurants, universities and medical care. But some of us also believe tha ... More >>
The only times I notice the music in a restaurant is when it's really bad (Christmas music playing year round at Sichuan Cuisine), really out of place (Nine Inch Nails blaring out of the speakers at now-closed Tony Vallone joint Ciao Bello or Cannibal Corpse washing over the line of patrons at Amy's ... More >>
Three former Houstonians who have been included in the second edition of the Encyclopedia of Country Music defy all odds. To call Rodney Crowell, Lyle Lovett, or Steve Earle a "country songwriter" or a "country singer" is the grossest simplification. All three have a huge streak of the folk traditi ... More >>
Verizon Wireless Theater will no longer be known under that name, because owner Live Nation's sponsorship deal with the communication provider has expired. The venue, which holds about 3,000 people within downtown entertainment complex Bayou Place, will now be known as Bayou Music Center. Rocks Off ... More >>
OC Weekly: In response to our response to his original post (how meta) on the five most influential American cities in Mexican cuisine, the OC Weekly's Gustavo Arellano admits that Houston has been influential in the development of Mexican cuisine. Just not in the ways that you're thinking. Delicio ... More >>
Photo by Jason Wolter"We were thinking about what might come next," Lyle Lovett said from the Verizon Wireless Stage Wednesday night, before playing a song he had written with Robert Earl Keen at Texas A&M. "We were thinking about venturing off into the great unknown and, in this case, that m ... More >>
Photo by Jason WolterAround here, we love us some Lyle Lovett. The home-grown country singer-songwriter has always held a special place in our hearts and we've followed his career from the early days at Anderson Fair through his multiple-Grammy-award-winning success as a quirky, Texas troubad ... More >>
Bryan Williams"Hey man, is that Freedom Rock? Turn it up!"In news that surprised absolutely no one, Rick Perry - governor of the great state of Texas for 11 years running - announced his candidacy for Presidency of the United States last weekend. The news of Perry throwing his hat in the ring ... More >>
For almost two weeks now, Rocks Off has been obsessed with the year exactly 25 flips of the calendar backward from this one. It started when Steve Earle did one of his "Time Machine" shows, where the singer-songwriter who plays House of Blues Wednesday spotlights a dozen or so of his favorite ... More >>
Photos by Jason WolterLyle Lovett & John Hiatt The Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston June 27, 2011 Coming soon to an Improv near you: The comedic stylings of Lyle & Hiatt! Almost sounds like one of those old-time yukster duos, doesn't it? It certainly played out like that Monday night in Th ... More >>
Rocks Off is super-excited that we'll once again be bringing you coverage of the music featured in Season 4 of Alan Ball's HBO adaptation of Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse novels. The fourth book is our favorite in the series, and as each season sequentially corresponds with the books ( ... More >>
Before the Texas Legislature did something completely predictable and sold out the state's public schools declared Western Swing the state's official music, it did something slightly less predictable and appointed two people not from Austin or the Hill Country as the next two official state m ... More >>
ZZ Top's Dusty Hill and Frank Beard were rumored to be appointed Texas' Offiical 2012 Alternate State Musicians.With apologies to Townes Van Zandt, there's good news from Austin today. Good news for Houston. The Texas Commission on the Arts has chosen arguably the Houston area's two most rec ... More >>
Rocks Off's regular readers presumably know by now that we love few things more than offbeat anniversaries, and recently we came across one of the oddest yet. Thirty-two years ago Monday, on Feb. 28, 1979, the "actor" who played the original Mr. Ed in the 1960s TV show passed away. Yes, we're ... More >>
npr.orgMonday around lunchtime, local singer-songwriter and multiple 2010 HPMA nominee Lee Alexander emailed us that Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett were being interviewed together on NPR's World Cafe. Not only that, he added, both men were saying lots of nice things about Houston, where - in cas ... More >>
One of the cinematic highlights of SXSW was yesterday's world premiere of For The Sake of The Song: The Story of Anderson Fair. Produced by Houstonians Bruce Bryant and Jim Barham, the film documents the forty year history of one of the most storied Texas music venues. The old spaghetti rest ... More >>
Our annual holiday shopping guide to recent local releases
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. Though we're picking up midway through Season 2, from here on out as ... More >>
The final installment of our Five States of Texas project brings it all back home, to the new state of Brazoria, encompassing all of Southeast Texas from the Brazos Valley to Sabine Pass. â€‹Patron Saint: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. A master of rock and roll, country, Cajun/Creole, blues and jazz, n ... More >>
Tower of Power performs Friday, May 25, at the Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.
Made of Mud
Sunday, September 18, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, 281-363-3300.
Heard It on the X
NASA can get political -- for Tom DeLay
Thursday, December 27
2001’s top ten picks
Local Music Reviews
Lyle Lovett is smart, funny and wears Armani. That's right: He is from Texas.
Is this noble effort a coming-of-age film or an ensemble inquiry?