Michael Smith

  • Blogs

    October 3, 2014

    Houston's 10 Best Bars to Take Out-of-Towners

    So you've got out-of-towners coming in -- old friends, relatives, business prospects from Minneapolis, Titans fans in for a hit-and-run NFL weekend, or whatever. Now the burden is upon you, the local-scene guru, to show them the town. You've told them how great Houston is, how much you enjoy living ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2014

    ESPN's BCS Megacast Was Awesome: 5 Other "Casts" I Would Add

    If we ever sat back and thought about how much of our sports thinking is shaped by ESPN and its programming, it would be a little bit frightening. The facts are, by and large, when people need sports news, they go to SportsCenter. When they want to get ready for a Saturday of college football, they ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2013

    NFL Crime Update: Pac-Man, Hugh Douglas, Gangsta Viking Owners

    "Do this research, if we don't have a how much evil, which we call the how much crime goes up, if they take away our game..." -- Ray Lewis to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio during the 2011 lockout We all remember this famous Ray Lewis rant, right? Where he implied that the abse ... More >>

  • Music

    August 1, 2013

    Ten the Hard Way: Introducing the Houston Music Hall of Fame

    In honor of the 25th Annual Houston Press Music Awards, we present the Houston Music Hall of Fame.

  • Blogs

    January 1, 2013

    Upcoming: Black Crowes, Scott Biram, NRBQ, Air Supply, Etc.

    Air Supply: Sun., Jan. 27, 8 p.m., $29.50. Arena Theatre, 7326 SW Freeway, Houston. Augustana: With Lauren Shera., Tue., Jan. 29, 8 p.m., $12/$16. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, Houston. Beach Bones: Wed., Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Free. Heights Vinyl, 3122 White Oak Drive, Houston. The Black Crowes: Sun., ... More >>

  • Music

    December 13, 2012

    The 30 Best Texas Albums

    Ranking the 30 best Texas albums of the past 30 years seemed like an impossible task. We did it anyway.

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2011

    HPMA Preview: Nobody Leaves Without Singing The Blues Edition

    Photo by Brittanie SheyLittle Joe Washington​In the movie Adventures in Babysitting, Houston native bluesman Albert Collins inadvertently assists the getaway of young Elizabeth Shue (meow) and her charges from a gang of thugs, but only after she sings. Collins blocks the attackers with the sam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2010

    Rocks Off's Favorite Songs Of 2010

    ​Editor's Picks: Jamey Johnson, "Lonely at the Top": Ouch. Merle Haggard, "I've Seen It": Double ouch. Patty Griffin, "Move On Up": Help me, Jesus. Please.

  • Blogs

    July 5, 2010

    SWAT Team Called Out For Troubled Police-Union Fundraiser

    Come out with your hands up.....​In a major victory for irony last Friday, Houston SWAT officers arrested a man whose company is a major phone fundraiser for the Houston Police Patrolmen's Union.Although the Houston Chronicle reported the basic details of a three-hour standoff outside a business i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2009

    Your One-Stop HPMA Showcase Link

    GroovehouseLos Skarnales just wouldn't quit at House of Blues Sunday.​ Rocks Off is just about recovered from Sunday's HPMA showcase mayhem, or as recovered as we're going to get. Despite some bitching on Hands Up Houston - what else is new? - everybody we've talked to had as much of a blast as we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2008

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Rich Hornbuckle, Renaissance Man

    Rich Hornbuckle at the Blue Iguana, Halloween 1994 Houston's bar world is one notch better lately with the return of longtime Houston barista/scenester Rich Hornbuckle to active duty at Under the Volcano as general manager. After six crazy years (1993-98) as part of the Blue Iguana ownership group, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2008

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Only a Week Until Robert Plant/Allison Krauss Only a week until the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss/T-Bone Burnett show at the Woodlands Pavilion - which is still on the Ike-damaged facility's books - but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start the hype. Here’s a teaser the ex-Led Zeppelin frontman with one of the great rock bands o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2008
  • Blogs

    June 13, 2008
  • Blogs

    May 19, 2008
  • Blogs

    May 16, 2008

    Playbill: Corb Lund and Hayes Carll at Dosey Doe

    Pushing the new Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier! record, Canadian country jazzers Corb Lund and the Hurtin’ Albertans make one of their infrequent visits to the area Friday night at Dosey Doe, a new upscale coffee house in The Woodlands. Lund will be opening for Woodlands favorite son Hayes Carll, wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2008

    To Do: Help Angela at the Stag’s Head

    If you ever dug the scene at The Ale House, you probably know or have seen Angela Mullan Jenkins. An Irish immigrant with a penchant for having a damn good time, she came to Houston in 1980 and began her long association with British Investments as a waitress at the Richmond Arms about the time Rod ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2007

    Last Night: Randy Weeks at the Mucky Duck

    Randy Weeks The Mucky Duck August 28, 2007 Better than: Having a wrecker tow your new black Jaguar out of high water, like I saw on the way to the show. Download: Summertime rocker “Transistor Radio,” from Weeks’s latest album Sugarfinger. Torrential floods kept the crowd small Tuesday at M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2007

    B.B. King, circa 1970-something

    I remember seeing B.B. King a few months after the Hofheinz Pavillion opened on the UH campus (1970?). It was King’s birthday. Blues phenom Johnny Winter opened the show and then King and his band, which included half a dozen Houstonians, roared through a huge set that culminated in his mega-hit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2007

    Playbill: Eliza Gilkyson

    In a town filled with great songwriters, Eliza Gilkyson certainly sits somewhere near the pinnacle of the Austin Americana scene. Across a stunning four-album span, she has consistently managed that most difficult of tricks, to be both deeply humanistic and magically entertaining while avoiding enti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2007

    Playbill: Matt "The Electrician" Sever

    Matt "the Electrician" Sever is one of those Beaver Nelson-ish Austin artists who always get more respect than money. On his fourth self-released collection, One Thing Right, Sever continues to carefully observe his personal life and deliver warm, catchy Paul Simon-esque miniatures like "My Dog" ("D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2007

    Rotation: Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods

    Bill Kirchen Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods Proper Records Any time Telecasting twangbanger Bill Kirchen gets together with his old boss Nick Lowe, I'm in. Recorded mostly in London with ringers like keyboardist Geraint Watkins, Hammer of the Honky Tonk Gods is a tour de force of the Kirchenist ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2007

    3/13 Playbill: Vienna Teng

    A graduate of Stanford, a former employee of computer giant Cisco, and a classically trained pianist, Vienna Teng shortens the distance between Beethoven and 'Sixties folk, delivering a mixture she refers to as "chamber folk" that will surely remind Tori Amos fans of, well, Tori Amos. Maybe Teng doe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2007

    Mark Germino

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2007

    Rotation: Trailer Tapes

    Chris Knight The Trailer Tapes Drifters Church Records In the summer of 1996, Houstonian Frank Liddell and a 22-year old engineer named Joe Hayden took some beer, guns, fishing poles, and a portable tape machine up to Chris Knight's mobile home in Slaughter, Kentucky. Knight wasn't on the nationa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2007

    Playbill: Jake Hooker

    How many cowboys do you ever see in sunglasses? Jake Hooker has a classic honky tonk jones as big as Fort Worth. Across a four album span, it's hard to tell Hooker's own songs from covers of Ray Price and Johnny Bush. Dressed in retro tonk style, this fiddle-and-steel ensem ble flawlessly nails b ... More >>

  • Music

    February 15, 2007
  • Blogs

    February 2, 2007

    Playbill: Two High String Band

    Bill Ellison Pristine, clear, Rocky Mountain high air surrounds much of what the Austin trio Two High String Band throws down as bluegrass. For the most part this banjo-less ensemble that calls Houston's Blue Corn label home tends toward tunes with a dawdling, we're-stoned melodic pace; the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2007

    Playbill: Sister Sister y Los Misters

    It seems that, in Houston at least, Latin music, good coffee, and wifi are an in demand mix. Bohemeos owners Lupe and Sidonie Olivares are following a trend that has already taken hold at places from Salento's in Rice Village to Cafe Soleil on FM 1960 (that's an obscure super-uncool suburban loop ro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2007

    Playbill: Johnny Falstaff

    Johnny Falstaff CD Release Yep, that's John Evans (l)jamming with Johnny Falstaff. Back when Proletariat was the Blue Iguana, Johnny Falstaff's double bills with Greg Wood's Horseshoe were the stuff of legend. There were nights when it seemed every off-duty topless dancer, bartender, and hepc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2006

    Playbill: Randy Weeks

    Randy Weeks Despite living in LA, Randy Weeks has determinedly returned to Texas every couple of months since the 2006 SXSW. Bent on creating something like his loyal following at The Cinema Bar in Culver City, where his twice a month residency has become a must for fans of roots music, in the past ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2006

    Darden Smith Playbill

    I'd heard of Darden Smith for years but never seen him or given him a fair listen. His reputation preceded him; my impression was of a wan, mopey, earnest, trying-so-hard-to-be-meaningful balladeer. That all changed when I got a dose of Sunflower (2002). It certainly wasn't party music, but Smith de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2006

    Macon Greyson

    When Ray Wylie Hubbard was recording young Buddy Huffman in an Austin studio with the cream of pickers that town has to offer, Huffman was already thinking about forming a band to play the songs and promote the record. He asked Hubbard what to call the band and the Wylie Llama of Texas music drawled ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2006

    Meet the Tunesmith

    Jesse Winchester Born in Shreveport and raised in Memphis, Jesse Winchester is an unlikely Canadian. One of the exceptional songwriters of his day, Winchester's records wobbled between folk and country-rock, never neatly fitting into any one genre description. His flight to Montreal after recei ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2006

    Fly Like an Eagle

    Courtesy of Fred Eaglesmith Man of the folk: Eaglesmith Fred Eaglesmith is the poet laureate of the dying breed, and for a southern Canadian he sounds distinctly West Texan on his latest, Millie's Cafe. Much of the album works the same patch Eaglesmith has plowed a viable independent career upon: ... More >>

  • News

    May 27, 2004

    Welcome to Fire Island

    While communities across the country block LNG terminals, Quintana just shrugs

  • Music

    March 2, 2000

    Out In Sight

    Gender bias and the FBI's eyes can't keep Janis Ian down

  • Calendar

    April 28, 1994