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National Public Radio

  • Blogs

    May 6, 2014

    45 Years On, Jazz Fest Remains an Irresistible Draw

    The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival wrapped up its 45th anniversary celebration this weekend with an announcement that Shell Oil will remain the festival's presenting sponsor for at least five more years, when it will turn 50. The seven-day event was blessed with near-perfect weather and play ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2014

    Ever Wanted to Go Vegetarian? Now's the Time as Beef, Pork Prices Soar

    Thanks to a drought across much of the major cattle-ranching states and a deadly pig virus, we may soon be doing what those pesky Chick-fil-A cows are always encouraging on the billboards: "Eat mor chikin." Or veggies. Or tofu. The United States Department of Agriculture reports that beef prices ar ... More >>

  • Dining

    March 27, 2014

    Pomp and Circumstance

    Rice vs. UH: the battle for musical bragging rights.

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2014

    Rice vs. UH: Who Has 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 >>

  • Calendar

    March 20, 2014
  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    This Week In Food Blogs: Houston Rodeo Food & Cookie Architecture

    Zagat Houston: There's a lot of food at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo; some good, some bad, and some so incredible that you can't miss trying. Zagat Houston's Amber Ambrose lists the five best foods at the Houston Rodeo this year, beginning with the Pickle Dog from Get Pickled; it's a corn dog ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2013

    Mixed Emotions: When CD Compilations Create "Feelings"

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2013

    Jake Bugg Proves Albums Are Far From Dead

    "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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2013

    Punk Pioneer Jon Langford Paints In Country Colors

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2013

    Gravity Hits NASA: Shutdown as "Nonessential" NASA Turns 55

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2013

    Shutdown Not Affecting Houston Food Safety, Yet

    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 >>

  • Dining

    October 3, 2013

    Food Expiration Date Labels

    What do they really mean?

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2013

    Food Expiration Dates Not Necessarily the Last Word

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2013

    Linda Ronstadt's Bittersweet Book of "Dreams"

    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 >>

  • Film

    September 5, 2013
  • Blogs

    June 10, 2013

    Fat Tony: "I'll Always Have My Houston Roots"

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2013

    Oklahoma Storms: What Is It Like Living in Tornado Alley?

    This summer will mark my 10-year anniversary of moving to Houston. I don't miss Oklahoma often, but the last two days have been particularly hard. I've been glued to the Internet and NPR, absorbing the news with an emotion that can only be described as helplessness. Moore, Oklahoma, the area hardes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2013

    Tift Merritt Looks Outside Herself to Kindle a Spark

    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 >>

  • Culture

    January 10, 2013

    War/Photography

    Images of battles won and lost paint us all with the brush of brutality at a searing, resonating MFAH exhibit.

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2012

    Historic Local Station KCOH Sold to Catholic Radio Network

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2012

    Rocks Off's Picks For This Weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    Set It To Blow: 5 Musical Bombs to Promote Internet-Jukebox Anarchy

    Recently my Twitter buddy John Seaborn Gray wrote a blog for Rocks Off in which he gave the world five simple suggestions for how to use Internet jukeboxes more effectively. He makes a lot of good points and if you're good people you'll read it, digest it and put his rules in to practice. I am not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 7, 2012

    5 Cool & Cheap Weekenders: Street Dogs, The O's, Kat Edmonson, Two Gallants, Etc.

    Irish-tinged Bah-sten punks Street Dogs, who are tight with Scottish-tinged Ew-sten punks, mosh down to Walters Friday night with Detroit psychobilly freakouts the Koffin Kats. Street Dogs' fellow New Englanders Roll the Tanks, whose song "Toeing the Line" was recently featured on Alternative Press' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2012

    5 Ways to Tell If You've Politically Lost Your Damned Mind

    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 >>

  • Dining

    July 12, 2012

    Flaming Young

    Ten food-related words you need to stop misspelling

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Calendar

    March 29, 2012
  • Blogs

    March 16, 2012

    SXSW: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Rock ACL Live

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 18, 2012

    David Sadof Returns to Radio

    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 >>

  • Culture

    December 8, 2011

    Gifts Galore

    Wrapping up Houston's holiday shows.

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    The Frito Pie Is Not from Texas: Commence Pearl-Clutching...Now

    JalapeƱos 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 >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2011

    Twin Miami Sound Machines Drive HBO's Latino List

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2011

    Whole Foods vs. Ramadan: The Original Email

    ​Since our post yesterday on Whole Foods's reluctance to promote Ramadan this year after a few customer and blogger complaints, the story unexpectedly went viral. Saffron Roads CEO Adnan Durrani called the post "a tempest in a teapot" when interviewed by CNN. And NPR reported: "Looking to set ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2011

    John Nova Lomax: I'm on the Next Episode of This American Life

    John Nova Lomax: Unlike the NPR segment being taped in this photo, his This American Life piece will air.​It was one of those things in life you just can't quite believe. A few weeks back, I received an e-mail from Robyn Semien telling me that This American Life was interested in a story I had ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2011

    Dallas Blocker, Houston's R&B King Of The Hook Shots

    OG PR​That'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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2011

    Last Night: Gogol Bordello At House Of Blues

    Photos by Groovehouse​Gogol 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 >>

  • Music

    March 24, 2011

    March Madness

    At SXSW 2011, almost everything that could go wrong did — except the music.

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2011

    Last Night: Tim McGraw At RodeoHouston

    Photos by Marco Torres​Tim 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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2011

    Dale Earnhardt Died Ten Years Ago Today: Five Highlights from "The Dale Trail" in His Hometown

    Celebrating The Intimidator​Ten 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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2011

    MCM: More Local Music News Than Parties In Cairo

    Todd Spoth​Welcome 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 >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2010

    Top Five Musician Religious Conversions

    Marc Israel Sellum/ Isreality.com​The 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 >>

  • Music

    August 26, 2010

    Ranch Style Beans

    Local folk hero is well-rounded, to say the least.

  • Music

    August 19, 2010

    The Thunder Rolls

    Doc revitalizes Kashmere Stage Band.

  • News

    April 15, 2010

    Big Brother Sees Your Tweets

    San Jac student disciplined for bomb threat.

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2009

    SXSW Journal: Wild Moccasins, Day 2

    [How bassist Nicholas Cody of Houston's Wild Moccasins spent his SXSW Thursday.]After playing three shows in one day, including our official showcase, we all looked forward to being able to relax and having time to watch some free day shows. Thursday began with a little cable television, but then we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2009

    Obama's Lunch Fave: Spam Musubi

    This Spam musubi cost me $1.68 at a grocery store on the North Kona coast. It wasn't the best Spam musubi I've ever had--the Spam was cut too thin, I think there was a little teriyaki sauce between the meat and the rice.The guy behind the counter told me I would have to get there a lot earlier in th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2008

    Santa Round-Up Part Five: The Crying Game

    This and every Christmas season the most important person is the baby Jesus, with a bearded, white-haired toy factory owner coming in a close second. Every year we flock to the malls to sit in our kids down on Santa's lap. Sometimes they run off screaming, while others take to the old guy just like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2008

    Meryl Streep Is Pretty Much Scaring the Hell Out of Me Right About Now

    So I get the fact that this new movie Doubt starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman is really supposed to be about faith and trust and, well, doubt (duh), but am I the only one who is totally and completely freaked out by the trailer / commercials and the image of Meryl as a mean, nasty nun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2008

    Halliburton Depositions Could Start Soon in Iraq Case

    For the first time since a lawsuit was filed in 2005 against KBR and its parent company Halliburton, plaintiff lawyers will be allowed to take depositions from employees of the two corporations, according to Scott Allen, a Houston-based attorney representing a number of the plaintiffs. Allen says ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2007

    Catfish Reef: Happy Woman Blues

    Lucinda Williams Happy Woman Blues Smithsonian-Folkways Way back in 1980, long before she was on all those magazine covers, long before the Grammys and all the other accolades and her status among the NPR set, the woman who would be the Queen of Americana made this gentle, rootsy and unassuming li ... More >>

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