Lots of food and lots of fans.
Just say the word Chianti and you evoke winding roads lined with cypress trees and old limestone farm houses in what is perhaps Italy's most photographed and photogenic region, Tuscany. Whether its mentions in pop culture (who can forget Hannibal Lecter's infamous pairing?) to the straw-flasked bot ... More >>
Free Press Summer Fest unveils its pricier 2014 lineup.
Phillip H. Anselmo & the Illegals Warehouse Live, January 10 It's been more than a decade since Texas metal gods Pantera broke up, but lead screamer Philip H. Anselmo still sits upon a throne of reverence in the Lone Star State's headbanging community. Anselmo's main musical project these days is N ... More >>
The 11 best Houston records of 2013.
Punks and metalheads don't always see eye to eye, but one commonality they can always high-five over is the predilection to batter one another senseless at every opportunity. Houston played host to countless shows and tours this year that forced fans to keep their knees bent and their elbows out if ... More >>
Black Flag Walters, August 26 Not a heck of a lot of complimentary things have been said about Black Flag's 2013 "reunion," and when fans arrived at Walters in August to discover stage barricades and signs warning against stage-diving and photography, odds weren't looking terrific. But when the hy ... More >>
Bun B, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue At this point, Bun B's influence stretches far beyond music, but that doesn't mean he can't still churn out a great album. Trill O.G. The Epilogue, the finale in his Trill album series, has everything we've come to both expect and love from a Bun album. It begins wit ... More >>
In October, when Eating Our Words published "Houston's 10 Best Destinations for Wine," a number of readers complained in the comment section that none of Marco Wiles' restaurants had been included (his Da Marco was excluded, as were all "trophy wine" destinations; see the intro to the post for the e ... More >>
Note: To go along with this year's "Turkeys of the Year" Houston Press cover story, Rocks Off presents our choice -- the aborted screenings of Kanye West's "New Slaves" video on the sides of several Houston buildings, including the Rothko Chapel. This article was written by Nathan Smith. For the pa ... More >>
Surely one of Houston's biggest music-related events of 2013 was really a non-event: the failed screenings of Kanye West's "New Slaves" video, which was supposed to be projected onto three different local landmarks the evening of May 24. Technical difficulties scotched the events at the Houston Publ ... More >>
The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Concert Venues.
As the Houston Press doffs our kudos cap to local institutions great and small in the Best of Houston® 2013 awards, all through October each of our four blogs will be looking beyond the winners of selected categories in a series we like to call "The Rest of the Best." Rocks Off happened to draw Fri ... More >>
This weekend Rocks Off will send another team to the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, three days sure to be full of music, drinking, and the sort of behavior that tends to happen when tens of thousands of scantily clad young people gather to get their buzz on and scope out potential ... More >>
Kids of the '80s have to face the fact that it's time to put that "Beat It" jacket in cold storage, because the '90s are officially all the nostalgia rage. While the editor of this blog was vacationing last week, he happened to take in a screening of the very funny The World's End, whose plot pivots ... More >>
When Rocks Off published our choices for "Houston's Top 25 Closed Music Venues" back in July, we knew all along there would be a Part 2. We just didn't know how many were left. Today, after excavating the memories of 25 more, we're still probably not done. Please let us know what else we missed, an ... More >>
Born Again Virgins Born Again Virgins ripped up their set at Dirt Bar early into the showcase yesterday. I still can't get over the powerful stage presence that guitarist Adria LeCrone has; she rivals front man James Red, which is pretty impressive given he spent most of the set shirtless, sweaty, a ... More >>
As in years past, Rocks Off asked our writers covering the HPMA showcase to tell us the act they like best that, until Sunday, they'd never seen before. American Fangs I caught American Fangs for the first time Sunday night, and came away impressed by how polished they sounded. They talented five-p ... More >>
Where would the world be without one-hit wonders? Well, we really don't like to think about that. One of the purest guilty pleasures in pop music -- and sometimes not even a guilty pleasure but an actual good song -- the one-hit wonder is much safer than its real-life counterpart; the one-night sta ... More >>
Houston's Top 25 closed music venues.
If you listen to popular music with even a halfway critical ear, which the men and women of Rocks Off at least try to do (though yes, we know some readers may disagree), this is a very tough time. Both the old-fashioned radio airwaves and newfangled streaming gadgetry are awash in songs that are man ... More >>
Before we go any further, this isn't over. Houston fancies itself as forever moving forward, a "city of the future," but in a relatively short time span -- the past 40, maybe 50 years -- it's managed to rack up an impressive number of live-music stages that have come and gone, and left quite a lasti ... More >>
Talk to some people (we guess) and they'll tell you that '90s nostalgia is the only kind of nostalgia that matters. Sunday, the decade of Reality Bites, Doc Martens and frosted tips -- which, seriously, is the name of a San Francisco-based '90s cover band -- will definitely be back in full effect wh ... More >>
Alabama Shakes I went into this expecting to enjoy the set by Alabama Shakes, but I didn't realize how it was going to set the tone for the rest of my day. I arrived under the overbearing sun, and struggled to catch glimpses of Japandroids. Festival frustrations threatened to make a bad scene. But ... More >>
This weekend's Free Press Summer Fest at Eleanor Tinsley Park is officially (way) sold out, so our readers who don't have passes at this point are sadly now forced to test their skills at the "secondary market." For those of you who are already in, this week Rocks Off will be bringing you our staff ... More >>
Houston promotes its present-day music scene to the national media.
Flogging Molly makes the walls sweat at the House of Blues.
The Geto Boys MC is also Rocks Off's brand-new advice columnist.
Recently my colleague Nathan Smith cobbled together the Destiny Child's compilation Beyonce doesn't want you to see and it gave me an idea. Compilations are both the most necessary and aggravating albums in an artist's catalogue. One the one hand, it's always nice to have a good, definitive greatest ... More >>
Some weeks back, while doing Christmas shopping for younger relatives, I realized just how different the musical world looks to someone who is, say, just now reaching ten years old. I discovered this when I realized that things like vinyl, cassettes, and even compact discs aren't coveted items to mo ... More >>
Here in Houston, we shouldn't need an excuse to throw great parties, but I suppose the so-called Mayan Apocalypse is a pretty good reason to get shit-housed and listen to local bands. This Friday almost everyone seems to be throwing an "End of the World" show or mini-fest -- if they aren't putting ... More >>
Continuing with our year-end panorama, Rocks Off asked our contributors a simple question with a not-so-simple answer: What was your favorite local album of 2012? ALEXA CRENSHAW: Whatever I say here, I'm going to want to take back shortly because there's so much good stuff out there, y'all. Althoug ... More >>
As we look back over 2012 this week, it is now time to revisit some of this year's memorable shows. It wasn't easy narrowing the list down to 15. Concerts are in chronological order. CHRIS GRAY DAY, The Continental Club So much local talent and so much love. Uh, if I'm maybe a little too biased on ... More >>
Everyone's mother once told them, or should have, that life is not always going to be a puppy mill full of unicorns and rainbows. Remember why all those puppies are there. Sometimes life -- and especially pop music -- doesn't turn out like you were expecting, so now we present Rocks Off's Biggest Mu ... More >>
The thrill of discovering freshly minted treasure or a previously unheralded favorite is one of the main reasons music writers get into this racket in the first place; every so often it can make wading through the ocean of crap mediocrity that is pop music worthwhile. Rocks Off asked our contributor ... More >>
Houston punks had two choices last night: Rise Against and the Gaslight Anthem, with Hot Water Music at Bayou Music Center -- still getting used to that name -- or OFF! and Negative Approach at Warehouse Live a few miles east. I ended up catching both somehow, though our Nathan Smith would write w ... More >>
It's hard to single out just one of the Cactus Music in-stores Rocks Off is sponsoring Saturday, so we'll go with... both! At 1 p.m., mystical Houston singer-songwriter Tyagaraja previews his new solo acoustic EP As Is, before his Warehouse Live Green Room show Saturday night with DJ Sun and Resolut ... More >>
Rewind: 10 Iron Maiden T-Shirts Sure to Prove Your Metal Cred Maiden Nation is counting the hours before Saturday night's gig up north at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, but any self-respecting Iron Maiden fan should have been cuddled stoically studying Neil Daniels' new tome Iron Maiden: The ... More >>
"Last Summer on Earth" Tour Feat. Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Cracker Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 20, 2012 As Nathan Smith said a few hours ago, his partial '90s nostalgia show at House of Blues Friday was more than a sight harder than the throwback bill ... More >>
See more metal and Mayhem from Wednesday in our slideshow. Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 11, 2012 This year's main-stage bill is probably as close to a genuine, bona fide legacy that Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will ever come up with, ever. Be ... More >>
Assuming we all survive this weekend, and then the supposed Mayan apocalypse, Free Press Summer Fest will return to Eleanor Tinsley Park in June 2013. Pegstar's Jagi Katial and Jason Petzold told the Houston Press this week that they'll start booking next year's acts in about a month, so Rocks Off p ... More >>
Pot luck show of the weekend: ElecTrick, The Space Villains and Los Area 51 tonight at Rudyard's. Free. It's the big Art Car Weekend, if you haven't heard, and you can get a peek at Saturday's parade at Discovery Green tonight at 6:30 with two solid hours of a murderer's row of local blues greats ... More >>
Fat Pat's "Tops Drop" on the way to buy the crawfish in Kemah and UGK's "Wood Wheel" for the drive back. These are just two of the songs that Rocks Off's Nathan Smith recommends to start your day-long crawfish boiling festivities. If you think that zydeco music and only zydeco music is the right ac ... More >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involving wit ... More >>
As mentioned in Nathan Smith's "Bummer, Dude: The 10 Big Musical Disappointments of 2011", Lulu, the not-at-all-anticipated-by-me aural abortion resulting from the un-Godly union of The Progenitor of All Things Cool, Three Insufferable Man-Children & Kirk Hammett, SUCKED. This was crushing for me on ... More >>
Because the Houston Aeros prefer having easy access to the Toyota Center ice, they use the locker room that, during Rocket games, is used by the Power Dancers cheer squad. So the locker room tends to be a bit cramped under normal circumstances. This past weekend, with about eight more players t ... More >>
As hard as it might be to believe, hockey season starts tonight. And for the Houston Aeros, this season starts in the same place that last season's ended. In Winnipeg, Manitoba.The 2009-10 Aeros are going to be a rather different looking team than what you saw on the ice last year. Krys Kolan ... More >>