As one of the biggest entertainment-based enterprises on the planet, not just in Texas, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is one of the few local events that people halfway across the country and around the world travel to see. As such, its concert calendar has become increasingly crowded with pop ... More >>
Being 56 might seem a bit old to be out bouncing around in a bus with a handful of people half your age and staying up all night, but Canadian songster Fred Eaglesmith flips that on its back. "You know, at 35 when you're doing this, you look around at your friends and they're lawyers or they're pl ... More >>
This time last year, Danielle Bradbery was a 16-year-old student at Cy Ranch High School who loved dancing and riding horses and hadn't done much singing outside her own bedroom. Then her family entered her into the Dallas auditions for NBC's high-rated singing show The Voice -- without asking her f ... More >>
Earlier this week Rocks Off asked our contributors to tell us one or two concerts coming to Houston this fall they considered a "can't-miss" show. They didn't disappoint us. Depeche Mode Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, September 18 Maybe this makes me a bit geeky, but I'm totally stoked for Depec ... More >>
Annual Watermelon Dance & Summer Social: With Flounders Without Eyes, Heart Byrne, Room For Three, Mark Burmea, Jimmy Lee Deen Band, Premium Blend, Charity Ann, Atomic Nightengales, Q And A, Hightailers, Potroast, Tribal Lillies Belly Dancers., Sat., July 27, 3 p.m., $20 to $30. Last Concert Cafe, 1 ... More >>
Ray Wylie Hubbard McGonigel's Mucky Duck, July 5 Musicians do, but far too many people just don't know what an incredible songwriting talent Ray Wylie Hubbard is. One part sage, one part curmudgeon, one part Zen bluesman, Hubbard puts a grizzled Texas-roadhouse spin on some pretty highfalutin philo ... More >>
Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris and the Renegades of Nashville By Michael Streissguth It Books, 304 pp., $26. A recent Rolling Stone cover story on Johnny Depp was titled "An Outlaw Looks at 50." To what extent that a multimillionaire movie actor who won the genetic lottery could be viewed as an "outl ... More >>
The Randy Rogers Band has become a big enough name on the highly competitive Texas country/Red Dirt circuit that the quintet was chosen to open for George Strait and Martina McBride on Strait's Houston stop of his "The Cowboy Rides Away" tour at Reliant Stadium back in March. Reached by phone from " ... More >>
Carrie Underwood Toyota Center April 23, 2013 It's different at the top of the world. Because critics are the spoiled little creatures that we are, we are traditionally given seats that cost most fans quite a bit of coin. Hell, Alicia Keys' people put me on the third row. Get told Carrie Underwood ... More >>
This week -- today, in fact -- the Golden, Texas native Kacey Musgraves finally releases her eagerly-awaited debut album, Same Trailer, Different Park. Indeed, it's fitting that she's from a town named Golden, as the new album is but the most recent example of some serious Solid Country Gold that's ... More >>
Somewhere in college those of us arts and humanities types who were passionate about music, but knew we were not talented enough to perform it professionally, eventually wandered into the journalism school or the student radio station. Everyone else must have wound up in a marketing classroom. Rewi ... More >>
I live too far away from the coasts to care about Coachella all that much, and have done far too much time in both the ACL and SXSW trenches to get too excited about anything that happens in far west Houston anymore. So instead, I have started looking forward to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's ... More >>
This year music has been dominated by viral pop like "Call Me Maybe" and "Gangnam Style," songs that initially became "hits" from outside the music business' traditional delivery system, usually YouTube. Thursday, the Grammys recognized that by nominating "Maybe," by 17-year-old Justin Bieber proteg ... More >>
I'll try and keep this relatively brief, because I've been at the dentist all morning. Wednesday's Nashville was considerably more pleasant. At this point the show has done about all the establishing shots it can, and Wednesday it slipped a few new wrinkles into the plot (both subtle and not-so-subt ... More >>
Sometimes some musicians just can't even be put in the same sentence as one another. Depending on people's musical preferences. It's hard to compare and can be a bit confrontational. But one thing is for sure the day on which someone is born can't be changed. And then that's where astrology comes in ... More >>
Sunday nights, I usually like to watch The Amazing Race after 60 Minutes. I don't usually watch much reality television at all, but something about the combination of total incompetence, vicious backstabbing and exotic locales as several, two-person teams race around the globe is completely intoxica ... More >>
Up and coming country voice Bri Bagwell took a few moments out of her busy schedule of opening for Miranda Lambert and filming a new video from her song "Whiskey" to answer a few questions. Here's what we learned about her in 30 seconds. Rocks Off: What is worst song in the world? Bri Bagwell: "R ... More >>
Monday morning, the Internet was awash in consternation and jpegs after M.I.A. flashed her middle finger during Madonna's Super Bowl halftime performance Sunday, meaning Janet Jackson is finally off the hook after all these years. To be honest, Rocks Off watched the entire halftime show and must hav ... More >>
Exactly 58 years ago, Elvis Presley released Heartbreak Hotel on RCA Records, which had just bought his contract from Sun Records for a measly $35,000. Heartbreak sold 300,000 copies in its first week and would eventually become the King's first certified gold record. Also, it's worth noting that, ... More >>
Photo by Matthew KeeverAaron Lewis at the Verizon Wireless Theater in 2010.When Staind singer Aaron Lewis rolls into Verizon Wireless Theater tomorrow night, odds are he'll leave his mudshuvel back at the hotel. As modern rock radio turns to the next generation of angst, the former Fred Durs ... More >>
Austin singer-songwriter Brennen Leigh broke country hard on an initially smallish, talkative crowd at Under the Volcano last night. Opening with "Paint Myself Blue" as a teaser/warmup, she immediately jumped straight into "I Only Drink On Special Occasions" and the crowd was hers. It's one of thos ... More >>
Photos by Marco TorresSee pics of Taylor Swift taking over The Juice Box in our slideshow. It's perhaps unfair to say Taylor Swift has "snuck up" on us, considering she's sold over 20 million albums and was featured on just about every one of last year's "top entertainer" lists. But that's w ... More >>
Q: What do musicians call a diminished fifth? A: An empty bottle of Jack Daniel's. Someone at Dirt Bar thinks today may be Jack Daniel's birthday. The Jack Daniel, inventor of the sour mash whiskey and favored rock and roll stage prop. Although they admit they can't be sure - "while he made ... More >>
Photos courtesy of Houston Livestock Show & RodeoJason Aldean Reliant Stadium March 20, 2011 You can tell everything you need to know about Jason Aldean by looking at his steel guitarist's forearms Sunday. First, he had a steel guitarist. Of the handful of Rodeo acts Aftermath saw this year ... More >>
Photos by GroovehouseRocks Off has the worst luck with Gary Allan. It's starting to give us a complex. It's ironic, because out of all the artists who get semi-regular play on country stations we hardly ever listen to like KILT and 93Q, Allan lines up the most with the kind of country we act ... More >>
Overnight, Lonesome Onry and Mean received word that the Wagoneers, one of Texas' earliest alt-country bands, are coming back from the dead. The hard-twanging roots band that was essentially a precursor to the Americana movement will perform for the first time in 22 years at the Austin Chroni ... More >>
Vince Gill centers himself through bluegrass and digs Miranda Lambert.
The Adicts: Wed., March 23. Warehouse Live. Al Stewart: Fri., April 29. Dosey Doe Coffee Company. Badfish (Sublime Tribute), Full Service: Fri., Jan. 28. House of Blues. Black Veil Brides, DRUGS, I See Stars, Versaemerge: Sun., March 20. Warehouse Live. Bob Schneider: Fri., March 11. Hou ... More >>
One righteous vintage vinyl party.
Songwriter extraordinaire, guitar-slinger, author and Southern belle supreme Marshall Chapman will be playing her first Houston gig in ages Thursday, February 17, at McGonigel's Mucky Duck. According to Chapman, Tuesday night's release party at Nashville's Bluebird for her latest album, Big ... More >>
In a few hours, Carrie Underwood will be onstage at Toyota Center. Besides being an all-around American girl who will mess you up if you cheat on her, Underwood once dated Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and married Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators back in July. That's right, a hockey ... More >>
Friday, while Rocks Off was enjoying a blissful if soggy day off, Lilith Fair canceled the final ten dates of this year's summer resurrection, including all three scheduled Texas stops. The news was hardly shocking: One headliner, Norah Jones, had already bailed, and The New York Times report ... More >>
Photos by Matthew KeeverHanson signs autographs after the "Mmmbop" boys' Bamboozle set. As Aftermath made our way into Verizon Wireless for Bamboozle 2010 Friday night, we were greeted by Cady Groves' voice coupled with melodic guitar and salsa shakers. We knew Good Charlotte, Cartel, All Time Lo ... More >>
Steve Steele finds a harder-edged sound on his debut album.
Houston's Miss Leslie dials up more honky-tonk homilies on her new CD.
We're not saying Soundgarden is playing ACL, but you never know...That's right. Now why would Rocks Off make something like that up? Hope you have $180 lying around and don't have any meetings or classes or anything like that tomorrow morning, because they're going to go quick. Better go ahead an ... More >>
We know, we know... it's just too easy. Rocks Off would like to thank Force Field PR and, we suppose, Neon Indian for sending the above picture to our email this morning. It nearly made us spray coffee all over our monitor. We don't quite know where to start, except to venture a guess that if you ... More >>
Breaking Curfew, Houston rapper MC Kane explains the protocol for putting people down.
Congratulations, Slim Thug! Your album was Houston's biggest critical success last year... sort of.Our sister paper in NYC's Cooper Square, the Village Voice, released its Pazz & Jop poll Thursday. The annual coast-to-coast survey of music critics ranks the previous year's best (according to ... More >>
For once, Rocks Off is grateful for this sinus-splitting headache (thanks, Mike Stinson!), because it gives us something to focus on besides the fact that we are crawling out of our skin waiting for kickoff tonight. At this point, sports pundits have analyzed the Longhorns and Crimson Tide to wi ... More >>
The best Texas albums of 2009...or what we could squeeze in.
Beyonce leads all nominees for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards, reaping the benefits of her smash double album I Am... Sasha Fierce and her prominent role on the soundtrack to last year's Chess Records docudrama Cadillac Records, in which she appeared as an R&B diva from an earlier age, Etta Jame ... More >>
Ah, here we go again with local artists trumpeting "Grammy nominations." The latest is Atascocita-grown country singer Susan Hickman, who seems to fancy herself as a Miranda Lambert/Martina McBride type. We stumbled across Hickman accidentally through MySpace's "Status Updates," and our eye was imm ... More >>
Noise breaks down the months of live music ahead
2007's best Texas albums, from Houston, Austin and beyond