By Chris Gray and Matthew Keever HONORABLE MENTION: SUNNY SWEENEY Thus far mainstream success has eluded Sunny Sweeney, but not for lack of either talent or trying. According to her Facebook page, Sweeney (a former standup comic) has now played the Grand Ole Opry 41 times but continues to reside in ... More >>
Come See My Dead Person Rudyard's, September 5 Arguably one of Texas' most interesting and eclectic acts, Come See My Dead Person are well-known for a gypsy-punk party that melds multiple musical styles with an insane amount of energy. If you can't make tonight's Rudz show, good news: they're playi ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest dodged a pretty serious bullet this year. When festival officials announced that the grounds around Eleanor Tinsley Park needed to be evacuated around 2 p.m. last Saturday afternoon, some of us who were there had visions of pandemonium at the exits and the kind of heavy rains ... More >>
Steve Fromholz, who witnessed the flowering of the Austin music scene in the early '70s and for many folks became the official face of Texas country music for his Tex-centric "Texas Trilogy," died of an accidental gunshot wound Sunday. According to numerous reports, Fromholz, 68, was on a feral hog ... More >>
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 >>
Friday is traditionally the day the media jettisons its more unpleasant stories, similar to the way the Millennium Falcon escaped that Star Destroyer in The Empire Strikes Back ("...We'll jut float away with the rest of the trash"). Other Friday afternoons the news is just odd, but either way there' ... 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 >>
There's no other way to say this except to say it: Houston has a lot of music venues, a lot of music venues, but most of the high-profile shows around here get routed into a handful of places. This happens for any number of reasons, most of them financial: Very few promoters in town can afford to pu ... More >>
Robert Earl Keen House of Blues December 28, 2011 It sucks when your college roommate is more successful than you. Heaven knows Rocks Off was pleased as punch to hear ours had ended up blowing merchant marines for salvia in Vladivostok (just kidding, Doug!), but Robert Earl Keen's old front porch p ... More >>
Now Kanye has something else to cry about.Proving once again that old age and treachery beats youth and skill every time, grizzled Texas singer-songwriter emeritus Guy Clark has knocked Jay-Z & Kanye West's Watch the Throne from the top MP3 albums sales spot on Amazon.com. Employing the same ... More >>
And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee ... 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 >>
Shock-rocker Nixon foresees baby-making future for his music.
Jim BrickerZZ Top at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 2010While they take their sweet time getting around to record that long-anticipated, Rick Rubin-produced next album - which, at this point, could well come out a solid decade after their last, 2003's Mescalero - ZZ Top has be ... More >>
No discussion of Houston music history is complete without mentioning Montrose folk venue Anderson Fair. The list of performers alone is staggering, but there's more to the old spaghetti restaurant than just the people who've graced the stage, and that's what documentary For the Sake of the S ... More >>
PR maven Sarah Gish celebrates a decade of success
Besides the whomping pullout section with brief thumbnail sketches of every artist playing Saturday's Houston Press Music Awards showcase on Washington Avenue, in this week's print issue of the Press you'll find a feature story Rocks Off was proud to co-write called "Died and Gone to Houston. ... More >>
Rocks Off is a big fan of the movie Jaws, though in spite of our affection for arm wrestling and sweet, sweet mutton chops, we always find ourselves sympathizing more with Chief Brody than with Quint. Given our druthers, we'd just as soon stay the hell out of the water. The better to avoid al ... More >>
For the Sake of the Song , the documentary on Montrose's legendary Anderson Fair, is about to make the festival rounds; this week it had its world premiere at SXSW.The influential trade publication Hollywood Reporter reviewed the Austin showing and was enthusiastic, which is always a good thing.T ... More >>
Rocks Off is here to help. That's why we keep an eye out for stories that, while they may not have anything to do with Houston per se, can still provide a valuable lesson. So as much as we delight in poking fun at Austin, the recent plight of the Cactus Cafe - the on-campus acoustic venue that ha ... More >>
Although we recently discovered how to access the primitive version of Facebook on our non-iPhone (so watch out), Rocks Off generally lives in an Internet-free bubble outside the office. And happily so, so it took until Monday's late local news for us to see - and subsequently laugh our fool head ... 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. Patron Saint: Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. A master of rock and roll, country, Cajun/Creole, blues and jazz, n ... More >>
Chances have improved that we'll be seeing Open Road, a movie that takes place at least partly in Houston. The film picked up a distributor yesterday.And why shouldn't it? The cast includes noted motherlover Justin Timberlake, Jeff Bridges, Mary Steenbergen, Harry Dean Stanton and Lyle Lovett. Wim W ... More >>
"Credibility Scare" alumnus Mark Germino plugs in after seven years.
Hippie wolves haunt and howl at the former whorehouse
Just when those blisters from the Austin City Limits festival have finally gone away, here’s another nearby multi-day, multi-stage musical happening. Saturday and Sunday’s Big State Festival at College Station’s Texas World Speedway (plenty of tickets available) is aimed squarely at the big-ha ... More >>
In the span of four weeks back in 1984, Steve Earle, Nanci Griffith, Lyle Lovett, and Mark Germino were all signed to major label record deals. Historically this watershed event was a reaction to the Urban Cowboy phase running out of steam and has been humorously dubbed "the Great Nashville Credibil ... More >>
Lucinda Williams Happy Woman Blues Smithsonian-Folkways Way back in 1980, long before she was on all those magazine covers, long before the Grammys and all the other accolades and her status among the NPR set, the woman who would be the Queen of Americana made this gentle, rootsy and unassuming li ... More >>
Friday, July 28, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, 713-528-5999
Friday, March 24, Shoeshine Charlie's Big Top Lounge, 3700 Main, 713-529-9899
With the help of city government, Matthew Knowles hopes to find the next Destiny's Child. You got a problem with that?
Think you know local music? Take the Bayou City Music Mindbender and find out.
Queen Norah reigns, Josh Groban pains, and lots of Natalie Maines
Watertown (Plethorazine/Angus Records)
The South Austin Jug Band's swingy bluegrass is mullet-free music
Mary Cutrufello's leaving makes us wonder: Is your band a Krogers, Randalls or a Fiesta?
The delightfully eccentric Moulin Rouge giddily juggles eras
Bad girl Tori becomes more than a Kate Bush manque
Brad Tyer checks out of the Hotel California after five songs