Omar Afra

  • Blogs

    December 26, 2013

    100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 55, Juicy Lucy Burger at Lowbrow

    This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal ... More >>

  • Music

    November 14, 2013

    One More Day?

    Free Press Summer Fest is itching to expand.

  • Dining

    October 31, 2013

    Houston's Top 10 Pizzas

    The rest of the best 2013.

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2013

    Openings & Closings: Goodbye Zushi, Welcome Back MF Sushi, and Hello Allo

    We heard of only one restaurant closing its doors this week (and it came without much of a shock). It wasn't much longer after the Zushi on Memorial Drive at Westcott closed that the other Zushi location, in the Energy Corridor, shut its doors. Sushi Club of Houston President Carl Rosa reports on t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2013

    30footFALL at Fitzgerald's, 7/20/2013

    30footFALL, Bickley, the Smiffs, Skeleton Dick Fitzgerald's July 19, 2013 What exactly does it take to keep a punk rock band in Houston, Texas, together for 20 years? Well, delivering the goods onstage year in and year out is certainly one crucial ingredient. That's what has kept 30footFALL fans co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2013

    30footFALL Celebrates 20 Years of Christmases and Converse

    With due respect to the Hates, Really Red, Spunk and all the bands that have come before and since, for a certain generation of fans, 30footFALL is where Houston punk begins and ends. Thanks to years of nonstop touring, a string of uptempo albums, and high-profile compilation contributions, perhaps ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2013

    Worst of "The Worst": Free Press Doesn't Know How Vegan Works

    Note: As Omar Afra reminded us on Twitter today, "Worst of" entries are public submissions and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Free Press Houston. Carry on. This week, Free Press Houston released its always-scathing, usually quite hilarious "Worst of Houston List." Other than ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2012

    Friday Night: Stars at Fitzgerald's

    Stars, Diamond Rings, California Wives Fitzgerald's October 12, 2012 When I spoke to the fine folks at Fitzgerald's a couple of weeks ago to commemorate the club's first two successful years under new ownership, I wanted to hear about the highlights. Of the hundreds of acts that have graced both Fi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2012

    The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Rock Venues

    10. Concert Pub North It's probably safe to say that Concert Pub North is the only venue in the area attached to a seafood restaurant/bar, known as the "Concert Pub Yacht." Like its cover-band-oriented Galleria-area counterpart, CPN programs plenty of "party bands" like the Velcro Pygmies, Electric ... More >>

  • Music

    October 11, 2012
  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    Study: Free Press Summer Fest Brought $14 Million to Houston Economy

    According to an economic study by the University of Houston, Free Press Summer Fest brought in more than $14 million to the local economy this year, according to Summer Fest producers Free Press Houston and Pegstar Concerts. Rewind: Complete Free Press Summer Fest 2012 coverage The study was cond ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2012

    2 Years After Ownership Change, Fitz Is Thriving

    Has it really been two years already since Jagi Katial and Omar Afra became the new owner-operators of Fitzgerald's? Apparently so, because the Free Press Summer Fest partners celebrated their second anniversary at the rickety old live music club on White Oak a couple weeks back with a weekend's wor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2012

    Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 8 Places to See a Local Act

    Year after year after year, Houston nurtures and cultivates its music scene. It has grown into substantial force, arguably as powerful and diverse as it's ever been, with legitimate talent in just about every branch or genre. Accordingly, the city is flush with venues to see said talent, be it wel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2012

    Top 6 Ways To Improve Summer Fest Next Year

    More FPSF 2012 Coverage: • Summer Fest line-up reviews on the Rocks Off blog. • Free Press Summer Fest 2012: The Sexy, Sweaty Crowds • Popsicles and Pizza: The Food of Summer Fest • FPSF: The Bands from Saturday • FPSF: The Bands from Sunday Free Press Summer Fest is very much still a wor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2012

    Top 9 Comments On Summer Fest 2012: Where's The Women?

    As most of Houston and the surrounding area knows by now, Free Press Summer Fest announced its 2012 lineup in the wee hours this morning. By now Rocks Off has had a few more hours to reflect on the festival, entering its fourth year at Eleanor Tinsley Park June 2 and 3, and also to take a shower. O ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2012

    iFest 2012 Heavy On Latin Rock, Funk, South Americans

    The Houston International Festival officially announced its 2012 lineup this morning. The music is heavy on Latin-flavored rock, reggae and funk, with Texas well-represented as always and an exceedingly rare Houston appearance by Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat giant Fela, and his group Egypt 80. Among ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2012

    Summer Fest Promises 2012 Lineup "Soon"

    Rocks Off was setting our house in order after our long absence, when at some point we realized that while we were away, we had barely heard anything about this year's Free Press Summer Fest at all. We vaguely remembered the festival leaking electro DJ duo Major Lazer a while back, but that's about ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2010

    What's New In The Houston Scene Since You Were Here Last

    Craig HlavatyThe jukebox at Grand Prize Bar. Note George Jones, ZZ Top, Lightnin' Hopkins, Prince...​Imagine that you have been frozen since September, or at least the beginning of the fall college semester. Or maybe you are an adult coming back to Houston to visit the folks, return Christmas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 15, 2010

    Top 10 Houston Breakout Acts Of 2010

    ​These ten Houston artists opened our eyes and made us roll off the couch or out of the cubicle to go see them this year, health or sleep be damned. Craig's Hlist's two favorite things are sleeping and drinking, and thankfully these bands play where alcohol is served. It's been a fun year so ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 29, 2010

    Last Night: CocoRosie At Fitzgerald's

    Photos by Jody Perry​CocoRosie Fitzgerald's September 28, 2010 A kaleidoscope of musical and visual colors filled up the second floor of Fitzgerald's Tuesday evening as Bianca and Sierra Cassady of CocoRosie performed a nearly two-hour set for an enthusiastic crowd. Still glowing from the new ... More >>

  • Music

    September 16, 2010

    Smashing Pumpkins

    Billy Corgan's everlasting gaze

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2010

    KTRU News Roils, Saddens Local Music Community

    UPDATED (5:35 p.m.) to include comments from Rice's B.J. Almond and a new Facebook count. The fate of KTRU's annual outdoor free concert in the spring is one of many things that has yet to be decided.​News of the University of Houston's impending purchase of Rice University student radio stat ... More >>

  • Music

    August 12, 2010

    Third Strike

    Grand Prize finallys opens

  • Music

    August 5, 2010

    Train Keeps A-Rollin'

    Aerosmith expects first album in nine years.

  • Blogs

    June 29, 2010

    Is The Westheimer Block Party Done For?

    Bun B For Lafayette - ATLiens Freestyle from Decatur Dan on Vimeo. • Dave Bry at the witty pop-culture blog The Awl writes about rap music's eternal embrace of consumerism, using Bun B's most recent release, a rap written in honor of Japanese clothing company Lafayette, as an example. It's a great ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 4, 2010

    Flaming Lips Still On For Summerfest... For Now

    Neuski via​ The Grand Ole Opry, which was supposed to celebrate its 85th birthday party May 25, is currently underwater, like most of Nashville (above). Nashville Public Radio is reporting that the Cumberland River crested at a whopping 52 feet. When does hurricane season start aga ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2010

    Magnolia City Mixtape: Sign the WestFest Petition, And Other Stuff You Need to Know About

    MTV Shows Are you READY for Rocks Off's Washington Shore party this Thursday? If not, this video of Jersey Shore's Snooki interviewing Phoenix on MTV will melt your brain. If you read even one Houston-based music Web site, you probably already know that a petition is circulating to show support for ... More >>

  • Music

    January 28, 2010

    Houston 2020: The Future Is Unwritten

    But hey, that's not stopping Noise.

  • Music

    January 14, 2010

    One to Grow On

    What we'd like to see happen in Houston music this year.

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Aftermath: Peace, Love, Little Joe and Hooker Heels at Westheimer Block Party

    Photos by Groovehouse​ We'll get the obligatory platitude out of the way first. If any of you didn't Day 1 of the one-and-only two-day edition of the Westheimer Block Party, then you missed an excellent day of music and community in Houston. As we walked between stages spanning the corner of Wes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    Aftermath: A Weekend With the Magically Reappearing Ralf Armin (and Some Really Gross Portapotties) at Westheimer Block Party

    Brittanie SheyDead Roses - that's the ubiquitous Ralf Armin in the hat at left - on the roof of La Strada​ You know how sometimes you'll learn a new word, and in the weeks that follow you'll realize you're hearing that word everywhere, eavesdropping it in conversations and reading it in the newspa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 16, 2009

    One Final Word About the Westheimer Block Party, and the Rest In a Few Easy Clicks

    Marc Brubaker​ Things could have gone smoother this past weekend on lower Westheimer. No one is denying that. Rocks Off has learned to live with the inevitable scheduling delays and interminable sound checks, as we're sure most Westheimer Block Party regulars have, but performers please take heed: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2009

    Aftermath: Local Music Takes Center Stage at The Festival at the Mink

    Photos by Marc BrubakerElectric Attitude​Here at Aftermath, we're aware that some people don't always appreciate a good festival, especially when in terms of the logistics: attendance requires you to stay in relatively one place for an extended period of time and share the same small set of bathro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2009

    Houston Music Fight Club: Michael Berry vs. Outlaw Dave, Don Walsh vs. Dirty Jeff Smith, Notsuoh vs. Mango's

    ​Another week and yet another clash of the sorta-titans, wherein we pit some of Houston's best and brightest music luminaries against each other in brutal mortal combat. This week we will briefly take a step away from the burgeoning Bayou City indie scene to spotlight two of the town's radio perso ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2009

    Aftermath: Even More Summer Fest at Eleanor Tinsley Park

    Photos (except where specified) by Adam P. NewtonHipster... or hippie?​ Let's get the obligatory Summer Fest comments, critiques and criticisms out of the way first: yes, it was hot; yes, unfortunately, there was limited water available; and yes, there was a glaring lack of box-office infrastructu ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 13, 2005

    Art, Music and Crap

    It's all there -- in a neat little package -- at WestFest Compressed