I recently received an e-mail from my nephew, Orlando, inviting me to join something called the "Mix of the Month" club. The correspondence detailed how 12 members of this group would each have an assigned month to create a mix CD to send to the others. Original, creative cover art was encouraged. I ... More >>
"The album is dying in front of our very eyes," Variety columnist and music business know-it-all Bob Lefsetz wrote recently based on weak LP sales, including Katy Perry's Prism, which sold only about 220,000 copies in its first week. "If your plan is to increase your audience, spread the word and ... More >>
The phrase "renaissance man" is so overused that coin has lost most of its value. But Jon Langford -- artist, musician, playwright, radio disc jockey, songwriter, death-penalty opponent, punk rock pioneer, and philanthropist who rolls into the Continental Club Saturday with his ragtag ensemble of mi ... More >>
Last week was NASA's 55th birthday. However, the folks over at NASA didn't have a giant cake or some crazy party to celebrate 55 years of the space program. Instead, 97 percent of NASA employees were deemed "nonessential," sent home without pay and told to wait and not work until the government fina ... More >>
Think of the government shutdown as you would a hurricane. Stock up on canned food, sit tight and wait it out. Evacuate if you must, but you're going to have to travel pretty far to get out of this mess. The government has been getting a lot of (much deserved) grief over the shutdown, and I was o ... More >>
What do they really mean?
Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council released a report titled "The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America". The gist of it is something that most Americans can probably agree on: Labels on our food that seek to aid us are often very confusing. Some lab ... More >>
Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir By Linda Ronstadt Simon & Schuster, 256 pp., $26 Linda Ronstadt hasn't made a solo record since 2004, graced a concert stage since 2009, and while doing advance interviews for this book announced that she suffers from Parkinson's Disease. More than likely, she won't ... More >>
The mother of 19-year-old Justin Carter is still collecting signatures -- 134,927 at last count -- trying to enlist supporters to keep her son from being labeled a terrorist and sentenced to prison. She began working on this as a plea for her son's release from a New Braunfels prison when an anon ... More >>
Anthony Obi has always been a humble and gracious Houstonian. Better known to the public as rapper Fat Tony, this week he drops Smart Ass Black Boy, his first retail album. It's been a long journey from his first LP RABDARGAB, which was inspired by an H.I.S.D. campaign to get children to read. The ... More >>
Tift Merritt makes country music for city dwellers, the kinds of songs that NPR adores but Nashville doesn't have much use for anymore. Still, the thirtysomething singer-songwriter managed to score a Best Country Album Grammy nomination for 2004's Tambourine. But a couple of songs from that record, ... More >>
Radio is generally in a constant state of upheaval. Witness the line-up changes throughout sports radio and the rise of News92 FM from the ashes of formerly all news KTRH. There are two FM music stations playing the exact same stuff every day because one was sold and not reformatted. The plug was pu ... More >>
First off, the entire Rocks Off team agrees unanimously that we are all excited to see Run-D.M.C. at this year's edition of Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin, even though writer /photographer Marco Torres has already seen them this year at Jay-Z's Made In America Music Festival. REWIND: Fun Fun Fun Fest ... More >>
If you're a sane person then you are dreading the next four months leading up to the presidential election. Every single election cycle has gotten more and more crazy, but I have a feeling this is going to be the one where we end up developing airborne thorazine to try and chill folks the holy hell ... More >>
Ten food-related words you need to stop misspelling
Assistant music editor Craig Hlavaty recently purchased a 1981 edition of The Genuine Texas Handbook, a guide to all things Texan. It's an often-tongue-in-cheek look at the people, places, outfits, songs, foods and more that made someone Texan 31 years ago. Incidentally, the book and I are the same ... More >>
Bruce Springsteen's Thursday started with a keynote speech in one of the big ballrooms at the Austin Convention Center, and ended with a mythic three-hour set at ACL Live across town, in front of a few thousand people cooing "Bruce". The keynote and the show went hand in hand. If you weren't there ... More >>
Rocks Off can name at least ten local rock stars off the top of our heads who owe their good taste and love of music almost exclusively to the radio work done by David Sadof. Now he is finally returning to the medium in order to bring some light to the darkness of Houston radio as part of NASA's Thi ... More >>
Wrapping up Houston's holiday shows.
Jalapeños are a popular Frito pie topping in Texas...if you're not a weenie.There I was in Half-Price Books this weekend, poring over the alarmingly titled 500 Things To Eat Before It's Too Late (fearmongering listicles: they're not just for food blogs), when I saw it: a section on our belov ... More >>
Rocks Off is on the phone with perhaps one of the great photographers of this era, critically acclaimed and award-winning photojournalist Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. His brainchild, The Black List - a collection of intimate, up-close photos of the great black leaders and personalities of our time - ... More >>
Photos courtesy of thundersoulmovie.comHow many high-school bands can you name that had their own publicity shots?It's hard enough to believe that a single high-school stage band could win 42 out of 46 competitions entered throughout the '70s. It's even harder to believe that the same band th ... More >>
David Bazan's struggles with faith aren't at the expense of his belief in rock and roll.
OG PRThat's Dallas Blocker. He is an R&B singer. He's more talented than you. He's more handsome than you. He's cooler than you. And he works harder than you. He became regionally famous last year when he told women that he wanted to touch their bodies, touch their bodies all night long, an ... More >>
Rick Perry and "George"It really hasn't been a secret in Texas that the Bushes don't really like Rick Perry -- after all, George H.W. Bush came out for Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 guv race -- but all of a sudde ntalk of it has bubbled up again. Kevin D. Williamson, a writer for the ultr ... More >>
Photos by GroovehouseGogol Bordello House of Blues April 12, 2011 Check out our pics of the Gypsy punks. Maybe a Jolly Roger would have helped. Tuesday night at House of Blues, Gogol Bordello had the captain's wheel, center stage. They had the ocean, in the form of the seething pit of huma ... More >>
Perhaps Chicago-based, Kentucky-raised rapper Khaled M. should've made a hip-hop anthem for his home state's Wildcats as they made a run for the Final Four. Like Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" for the Pittsburgh Steelers, a "Blue and White" remix could have caught fire. Ashley Judd might ha ... More >>
1560AM weaves pop culture, locker-room humor and irreverence into sports-talk radio.
At SXSW 2011, almost everything that could go wrong did — except the music.
Photos by Marco TorresTim McGraw Reliant Stadium March 7, 2011 Tim McGraw is the essence of modern country. Last night, he appeared onstage, donning boots, a big-ol', Texas-sized belt buckle, a red, white and blue plaid shirt and a dark black cowboy hat. He had the crowd in the palm of his h ... More >>
Celebrating The IntimidatorTen years ago today the NASCAR world was rocked to its core by the death of Dale Earnhardt. He drove cars, we're told, and did it very fast. If you see a vanity license plate from a Southern state with a "3" on it, the driver is an Earnhardt fan and probably does n ... More >>
Todd SpothWelcome back to yet another installment of our semi-famous Magnolia City Mixtape. Rocks Off works hard to scrape every barnacle of local music news from our ship that sails the high seas of the Internet - or something like that. Slim Thug welcomed everyone back to Texas for the Sup ... More >>
Foodways Texas is among our three winning arts groups.
Photos by Marc BrubakerThese pictures are from a slideshow from KTRU's The Local Show shortly after the Rice-UH negotiations became public. See here for the rest.If you've got a spare hour or two this holiday season, Rocks Off recommends you take a gander at the petition to deny Rice Universi ... More >>
Marc Israel Sellum/ Isreality.comThe opposites of life attract us, we've always believed. Time and time again, that philosophy proves itself right. It's why in high school, the Catholic school girls were the biggest freaks. No, that's not a myth. They were suffocated with religion or "right" ... More >>
Local folk hero is well-rounded, to say the least.
Doc revitalizes Kashmere Stage Band.
San Jac student disciplined for bomb threat.
Lunch with Pat Brown