Rice vs. UH: the battle for musical bragging rights.
Many moons ago, or one or two anyway, our friends over at L.A. Weekly's West Coast Sound decided to evaluate Southern California's two main universities, USC and UCLA, using a set of music-oriented criteria and declare a winner. We're not talking matriculation either, though that's certainly part of ... More >>
Earlier this week Free Press Summer Fest posted a video beseeching everyone who has enjoyed the two-day festival over the past five years to contact their City Council representative and encourage him or her to extend the event's running time (two hours on Saturday, one on Sunday) and explore the fe ... More >>
Did you know that Football, etc., a Houston band with a very low profile in the local music scene, has more than 4,000 Facebook likes? This is because the emo-rock trio, which moved to Houston from New Jersey about five years ago, is being played on college-radio stations across the country thanks t ... More >>
Many drinkers have a dialogue in their heads that also plays out in great drinking songs throughout the ages. "Why do you drink?" asks the great prophet Bocephus. "It's five o'clock somewhere," reply the equally sage Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. Rocks Off wanted to know our writers' favorite dri ... More >>
Through a variety of methods and processes, certain albums throughout the course of pop and rock history have come to be regarded as "classics," critically untouchable works that not only enriched the coffers of their creators but overall made the world a nicer, more beautiful place to be. Of cours ... More >>
In about 12 hours or so, the editor of Rocks Off expects to be a very happy man. One of our favorite bands of all time, and one that we haven't seen live in almost 17 years, is playing tonight at Bayou Music Center: Soundgarden. Certainly Soundgarden has a lot to recommend them. Guitarist Kim Thayi ... More >>
Sir Elton John piano-pounded Toyota Center March 28.
A shared taste in music can be a critical part of any couple's relationship, from going to a concert on their first date to narrowing down that one special song for their first wedding dance. But what if that's not the case? Just from a bit of casual Googling, it's not difficult to find divorce atto ... More >>
Lady Gaga brought her Born This Way Ball to Toyota Center January 31.
Our Hlavaty's Top 10 local albums of 2012.
See Rocks Off's complete Free Press Summer Fest coverage at this link. See our Summer Fest Saturday slideshows of the bands and the crowds. Cory Garcia: Walking past the Super Happy Fun Land stage Saturday I heard the singer for one of the bands yell out "Let's all get raped!" Since I don't know w ... More >>
More FPSF 2012 Coverage: • Summer Fest line-up reviews on the Rocks Off blog. • Free Press Summer Fest 2012: The Sexy, Sweaty Crowds • Popsicles and Pizza: The Food of Summer Fest • FPSF: The Bands from Saturday • FPSF: The Bands from Sunday Nathan Smith: The best part of Summer Fest Day ... More >>
Rocks Off polled our writers to see which local or regional artist they most wanted to see at Free Press Summer Fest this weekend. Alexa Crenshaw: Robert Ellis recently rebooted his mid-week honky-tonk events, fittingly dubbed Whiskey Wednesday with Robert Ellis. The problem now, though, is that th ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverCorey Taylor has a lot of regrets. He'll talk openly about them; he'll avert his eyes at the mention of friends who have passed away; and he'll even laugh at his own stupidity as he tells stories from his past. But all those regrets have led him to where he is today. ... More >>
Photo by Liana LopezNick Gaitan and Umbrella ManOh, yes, it is that time again, time for the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase You can almost smell it...well, hopefully not. This week we will be profiling the bands who will be performing at this Saturday's HPMA showcase at venues all over ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverTwo months ago, if someone were to ask us about Yngwie Malmsteen, Aftermath would have most likely responded, "Gesundheit," and continued about our day. Yngwie who? Yngwie fucking Malmsteen, that's who! (We saw this very phrase on a shirt at the merch booth.) Flippin ... More >>
Phiotos by Matthew KeeverGoo Goo Dolls, Michelle Branch, Parachutes Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 13, 2011 The Goo Goo Dolls, Michelle Branch and Parachutes made an interesting lineup at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion Sunday night. The bill sounded more like a mini-music festi ... More >>
Matthew Keever...And then there were none.Nearly two years after the club first said it was planning to relocate from Washington Avenue, Walter's on Washington has finally shut down, owner Pam Robinson told Rocks Off this afternoon. After Robinson gave her landlord a 60-day notice on March 1 ... More >>
Jason WolterTexas Connection: Joe Ely, Lucinda Williams and Townes Van Zandt (not pictured)See lots more iFest pictures from Saturday and Sunday (and some food) in our slideshows. Yes, it was hot at iFest this weekend. Houston hot. Sunday afternoon, partway through Lucinda Williams' surprisi ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverPam Robinson, owner of Walter's on Washington, has been keeping busy. "I've been working on this since the first week of February," Robinson said of her plans to move the longtime Washington Avenue music venue to a new location. "I signed all the contracts, I presente ... 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 >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverPete YornPete Yorn, Ben Kweller House of Blues April 14, 2011 By the time Pete Yorn and his band were onstage, House of Blues was comfortably packed, as the crowd enjoyed the jovial and upbeat melodies that sounded as though they could have been theme songs to new-age ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverOne minute is all it took for Joey Martin to get comfortable onstage. As he began playing a five-minute guitar solo at Westfield's by the Railroad Saturday night, he looked a little nervous, but after only 60 seconds, he slowly picked his foot up, placed it on top of ... More >>
The album that started the whole thing.Rocks Off Sr. was straightening up our office a few days ago, something that happens like clockwork every time Middle Eastern governments start toppling like dominos. In one of the piles and piles of al fresco CDs, we ran across two of our favorite album ... More >>
Black History Month is always a great time to recall some of Houston's greatest musical innovators and leaders. Rocks Off will highlight some of them during the remainder of February. Jody PerryTexas Johnny Brown, one of the few Houston musicians who remembers "Mrs. Cullum"At a local blues j ... More >>
Onliad via FlickrClinton Kuykendall, a senior at the University of St. Thomas, tried to have an on-campus music festival last spring and ran into a bevy of problems with the university. Concert in the Mall, which was scheduled for March 2010 on UST's Campus Life Mall, a courtyard in the midd ... More >>
As part of our ongoing celebration of Elvis' birthday week, Rocks Off asked our writers the simple question in the headline. Chris Gray: Absolutely he still matters. When I was compiling that list of quotes and lyrics about Elvis earlier this week, I wasn't that surprised to see that even Be ... More >>
Editor's Picks: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Mojo: Big surprise, I know. But not only did "I Should Have Known It" vault into my Top 5 Heartbreakers songs the first time I heard it - and make me a bigger Led Zeppelin fan in the process - but others like "Candy" and "Good Enough" also held ... More >>
Marco TorresEditor's Picks: Mary J. Blige, Reliant Stadium (RodeoHouston), March: Exquisite. Beach House, Walter's on Washington, April: Can't hate on this one either. Magical. Wu-Tang Clan, Numbers, December: Against all odds, they brought the motherfuckin' ruckus.
Rocks Off has been a very, very good boy this year.Editor's Pick: Dear Santa, I would like everyone involved with music in Houston - the musicians, the press, clubowners, promoters, fans, etc. - to take themselves a little less seriously next year. I know music is some people's whole lives, a ... More >>
Editor's Pick: Dio, man. Neph Basedow: 2010 commenced on a sad note with the passing of Memphis garage rocker Jay Reatard (aka Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.). I'd seen him play a tiny show at Chicago's Empty Bottle in 2008 and still consider it one of the best shows I've ever seen. It was definitive ... More >>
Craig HlavatyEditor's Pick: Grandfather Child. It was a good year for the blues all around - the Black Keys' well-deserved radio breakthrough with Brothers; Lightnin' Hopkins' long-overdue historical marker in Third Ward - but Lucas Gorham's crew is a razor-sharp reminder that the best blues ... More >>
This week Rocks Off is counting down our choices for the Top 5 local music stories of 2010. Matthew KeeverR. Eric Davis, Texas Johnny Brown and Milton Hopkins at the Lightnin' Hopkins Historical Marker dedication ceremony, November 13WHAT HAPPENED? Coming in at No. 5 on our year-end list is ... More >>
"It's in your heart." Photos by Matthew KeeverFester ups houstonjuggalos.com before Monday's ICP show. See lots more pictures from Warehouse Live in our slideshow.What is a Juggalo? We've all seen how Insane Clown Posse's army of loyal fans has been portrayed in the media, typically somewhe ... More >>
Lightnin' Hopkins: His Life and Blues By Alan Govenar Chicago Review Press, 368 pp., $28.95. With the dedication of a state historical marker in the Third Ward where he lived and played, Lightnin' Hopkins' name and music has gotten a bit of a boost lately. Long overdue, many would say, and ... More >>
Marco TorresAbout ten days ago, my parents and brother came into Houston for Sunday dinner, and I noticed my brother - whom we'll call "John," because that's his name - was limping something awful. It turns out John decided to take a spin in the mosh pit at the end of the Bad Religion show I ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverGWAR House of Blues November 5, 2010 See pictures of GWAR playing a tarp-covered stage at the House of Blues in our slideshow. It's difficult to describe GWAR. Some say the band is a mixture of KISS, World Wrestling Entertainment and the Rocky Horror Picture Show; ot ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverAaron Lewis Verizon Wireless Theater November 1, 2010 As Aaron Lewis walked out onto the stage at Verizon Wireless Theater last night, he was met with a roar of applause - audience members stood from their seats, cheering and carrying on, while Lewis smiled, waved and ... More >>
Marco TorresEveryday People: Macy Gray at GhoulsFest For lots more photos from Saturday's festival, see our slideshow here. GhoulsFest had everything going for it Saturday except one rather important detail: People. It felt... well, haunted. Normally, that would be an excellent thing to sa ... More >>
Rocks Off has tunnel vision. If something's not right in front of us, we're apt not to notice. Therefore, we were pleasantly surprised to open this week's print edition of the Press and discover we are the readers' 2010 choice for Best Music Blog. We are humbled and flattered, especially sin ... More >>
This past Friday, a significant musical anniversary came and went with barely a peep. It was only 19 years to the day the last album to cause a legitimate sea change in popular music - both the industry and the art - was released. Rocks Off knows that was a few days ago, but hey, we had a bus ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverAvenged Sevenfold and, er... "friend"?Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 12, 2010 Say what you will about the genre - it's too radio-friendly, too mainstream, not hipster enough, if the Buzz plays it, you don't like it - ... More >>
Readers respond to "Over The Line"
The American Heist at Walter's on WashingtonJim BrickerSaturday didn't start out very promising: Almost as soon as Rocks Off arrived at the intersection of Washington and Silver, where the Bud Light main stage was set up, the sky darkened, then drizzled, then began pouring rain. The downpour ... More >>
GroovehouseTrae Tha Truth Bud Light Outdoor Stage August 7, 2010 Trae tha Truth was the special guest at this year's HPMA showcase. As such, he brought along a few special people he normally doesn't bring to shows, namely a live band and hypeman extraordinaire Go DJ Hi-C (he's the CEO of Go ... More >>
Photo and videos by Matthew KeeverSadly (or not), this is about as sexy as Girls Gone Wild got at Scout Bar Saturday.As Rocks Off pulled into Scout Bar's parking lot at 8:30 on Saturday night, we saw a large Girls Gone Wild tour bus with some poor guy's daughter's 20-foot image plastered on t ... More >>