• Blogs

    July 25, 2014

    A Conversation With Texas Punk Icon Gary Floyd

    Gary Floyd is a long-loved underground music icon entangled in fiery black music, queer outrage, punk vendettas, barbed-wire politics, and Eastern spiritual bliss-outs. Whereas the homegrown Texas musical tornadoes the Dicks (later reinvented in San Francisco) were ribald and cantankerous, Sister Do ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2014

    Georgia Rockers the Whigs Uphold Hometown's Vibrant Legacy

    There is one thing that rock trio the Whigs would like the general music public to know: the Athens, Ga.-based group has nothing to do with the '80s/'90s (and since-reunited) alt-rock band of a similar name, albeit with the addition of a certain well-known central/south Asian country in the moniker. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2014

    Austin Weirdos The Hard Pans Know From "Mount Bullshit"

    The Hard Pans do just about what their quizzical name implies. To quote Mike Stinson, "they scratch and cuss and fight and moan," hoping to get by in this crazy, confusing, mixed-up maze people call a business. In the eternal quest for gas money and beer, they'll bring a new album, Budget Cuts, to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2014

    Houston's Top 10 Record Stores 2014

    It's true, Rocks Off brought you a very similar list of Houston's best record stores almost a year ago. But times change, people come and go, and information falls out of date. Mostly, there are probably tens of thousands of new Houstonians now who weren't here in February 2013, and might like to kn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2013

    Houston's Top 10 Day-Drinking Bars

    As our sister blog Eating...Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeeh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2013

    Your Local Black Friday/Record Store Day Shopper's Guide

    Historically speaking, Black Friday is a phrase synonymous with discount hand-mixers and 5 a.m. tramplings at the local Walmart. By definition alone -- so not hip. And while all of you normal folks -- who would rather pay the extra $50 for a PS4 over pitching a tent in the shantytown that accumulate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2013

    American Sharks Are Coming For Your Children

    American Sharks are, like Lady Caroline Lamb said of that early 19th-century rock star Lord Byron, mad, bad, and dangerous to know. The bong-loaded Austin trio had been reliably fucking shit up around Houston for a few years -- see this practically Neanderthal 2007 slideshow from Proletariat -- befo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2013

    Top 10 Bars, Clubs & Ice Houses In Upper Kirby

    As our sister blog Eating...Our Words does, from time to time Rocks Off will be giving your our picks for the top taverns in various Houston-area neighborhoods. Of course, the lines can be porous, but here anything with a TABC license that cannot reasonably be considered either a restaurant, coffeeh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2013

    The Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: Bill Carter, Chase Hamblin, Deftones, etc.

    Bill Carter McGonigel's Mucky Duck, March 29 With wife/writing partner Ruth Ellsworth, Bill Carter co-wrote 1989's "Crossfire," one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's last big hits. That song went on to earn music publisher BMI's "Million Airs" award for more than 2 million radio spins; musically speaking, it ... More >>

  • Culture

    March 14, 2013

    St. Paddy’s Day Celebrations

    Don your best Irish brogue and dust off your lucky shamrock.

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2013

    Houston's Top 10 Record Stores

    Record Store Day ( is six weeks away, but a good Houstonian should never need an excuse to visit one of our city's many record stores. These fine brick-and-mortar shops have been doling out music for years and even decades in some instances. Run by some of the finest music lovers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2013

    Houston Makes Great Strides In Selling Its Own Music Scene

    A few months ago, Rocks Off wrote an article expressing our surprise and disappointment at the paucity of musical content on the City of Houston's tourism site,, the Texas-friendly smiling face it offically presents to the Web and thus the world. There wasn't much at all, just ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Here Come the Trishas, Texas' 4-Part Harmony Queens

    Does anyone else miss the Dixie Chicks? Is it even OK to say that in Texas? We hope so, because a week or two ago Rocks Off stumbled across "Tonight the Heartache's On Me" again and have been on a serious Chicks kick ever since. But as the song says, that trio is a long time gone at this point. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2012

    Hot Band Alert: Lumineers Light Up Fitz Tonight

    A few times a year, word of mouth about a band spreads at an unusually rapid pace. You can almost track the buzz in real time. First you hear a murmur or see a headline on some music blog this band or that one might be good, then somebody you know tells you they think you would like them. Then you s ... More >>

  • Culture

    March 15, 2012

    Pot o' Parties

    Follow the rainbow to these golden St. Patrick's Day events.

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2011

    Bartender Chat: Thelia of The Stag's Head

    ​We stopped into The Stag's Head on a Monday afternoon craving an ice-cold Strongbow and a low-key scene, and we got just that. The spacious pub was practically empty except for an older gentleman with a heavy northern English accent sipping a beer. We took a quick spin around the large wrap-a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2011

    Uncovering Peter Case: The Rocks Off Interview

    Julie EnsmingerPeter Case at Cactus Music last year​"I was always sort of not interested in what my generation was doing," Peter Case told Rocks Off 10 years ago after flipping through Louvin Bros. compact discs at a now-defunct bookstore in Sugar Land, surrounded by car dealerships, business ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2010

    John Lennon's Top 10 Solo Songs

    Cactus Music is hosting a Beatles & John Lennon DJ session featuring DJ Black Slacks from 5-7 p.m. today in the Record Ranch, 2110 Portsmouth. ​Today marks 30 years since humanity lost John Lennon. The man has haunted Craig's Hlist since he was very little, when the man broke out from being t ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 21, 2010

    "Day of the Dead Rock Stars"

    Carlos Hernandez adds a few new twists to his annual Dia de los Muertos exhibit

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2010

    9 Places We'd Send The New York Times

    Mark C. AustinJandek (right) and trio at Rudyard's... who says we're not hip?​ As we may have mentioned, Rocks Off was none too pleased when we read The New York Times' most recent article on Houston in this past Sunday's travel section and found exactly zero mentions of anything music-related. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2010

    A Guide To Record Store Day 2010 In Houston, Cage Dancing And All​ Vinyl fetishists, are you ready to be separated from your mortgage or rent money? Record Store Day is tomorrow, and indie record stores across the whole city will be sticking you up all day Saturday. Rocks Off gets paid today, so you will more than likely see us browsing sw ... More >>

  • Music

    April 15, 2010

    Before the Flood

    West Texan Ned Sublette reflects on pre-Katrina New Orleans in a new memoir.

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2010

    News On The March, White Stripes, Guitar Shorty - Rocks Off Will Be At Cactus Music All Saturday Afternoon

    Just when Rocks Off was wondering how we were going to spend one of our last work-free days before SXSW, Cactus Music's weekly email circular showed up in our inbox. So now we know: We're going to be watching music. Shocker, huh? So much for laundry and shit. Here's what's going down: News on the M ... More >>

  • Music

    February 18, 2010

    Get Behind the Mule

    Gov't Mule main man Warren Haynes swears he takes time off, but we don't really believe him.

  • Music

    January 14, 2010

    Looking for Trouble

    Jemina Pearl breaks free of Be Your Own Pet on Break It Up.

  • Blogs

    December 11, 2009

    Rave On: Houston Punks the Hates Do Buddy Holly at Cactus Music​The premise alone is enough to pique Rocks Off's interest. The Hates, Houston's long-running Mohawk-fronted punk trio, will transform themselves tonight into The Blue Suedes, a Buddy Holly tribute band. The occasion? Cactus Music's third-annual toy drive, benefitting the Hous ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2009

    Inquiring Minds: Simon Balthazar of UK Indie-Pop Tarts Fanfarlo​ ​Reservoir, the debut album from London's Fanfarlo, is the kind of album that immediately grabs your attention with its unique and joyful spirit. From the stumbling, heartfelt swoon of songs like "I Am a Pilot" to the droll and upbeat wit of songs like "Harold T. Wilkins, Or Ho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2009

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Drive-By Truckers or the Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe?

    ​Lonesome Onry and Mean is torn as to his whereabouts this evening. Drive-by Truckers will be knocking down walls and eardrums at House of Blues, and that's where we'll probably end up. But if Galveston was 70 miles closer - it's not the drive down, it's the drive back! - we would certainly be hea ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 29, 2009

    "Day of the Dead Rock Stars"

    Carlos Hernandez turns Día de los Muertos into an homage to rockers

  • Music

    October 1, 2009

    Alamo Heights

    San Antonio's the Krayolas steam into their second act.

  • Music

    September 3, 2009
  • Music

    July 9, 2009

    Maryland Bang

    Meet Rye Rye, Baltimore's latest rap sensation.

  • Music

    June 11, 2009

    Girl Star, Grown Up

    Still proud of her family band, Susan Cowsill does her own thing now.

  • Music

    May 7, 2009

    Return to Radartown

    "Credibility Scare" alumnus Mark Germino plugs in after seven years.

  • Music

    April 16, 2009

    Merchant of Soul

    Spoon's musical tinker Britt Daniel avoids the cringe.

  • Music

    March 12, 2009

    Bam, It's Kam!

    Houston's genre-hopping indie darling eyes SXSW

  • Music

    January 1, 2009
  • Blogs

    November 15, 2008

    Today: Johnny Falstaff at Cactus Music

    Johnny Falstaff Honky Tonkin' Daddy Three local artists dropped albums either recorded at Sugar Hill Studios or with Sugar Hill connections in the past month: Johnny Falstaff's Honky Tonkin' Daddy, John Evans' Lucky 13 and Kanude's Kanude. Produced by John Evans ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2008

    Music, Art Collide in Montrose, Shepherd Plaza

    Tonight Houstonians can see, for free, two exhibits that couldn’t be more different, yet that both testify to how crucial photography and visual art can be to music. Luckily, they’re close by. At Sound Exchange (1846 Richmond), the “Gulf Coast Underground Art” show combines Daniel “Sawbla ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 16, 2005

    Another Ball Game

    Meet forgotten stars in "Black Baseball: A History of the Negro Leagues"

  • Culture

    March 17, 2005
  • Calendar

    April 15, 2004

    Call It What You Want

    The Texas Beach Party is off the hook

  • Calendar

    July 31, 2003

    Fabu You

    An extended primping session for adolescents

  • Music

    April 10, 2003
  • News

    May 31, 2001

    It's Ale Over

    A popular British pub will become a developer's parking lot

  • Dining

    July 6, 2000

    Miami Spice

    Southern Exposure

  • Dining

    June 24, 1999

    Sempers Fugit

    Sempers is dead; long live Al Diwan

  • Calendar

    May 16, 1996
  • Music

    March 7, 1996

    Hippie Chic

    Jewel is a one-name folkie with a multifaceted spirit

  • Dining

    February 23, 1995

    Something Old, Something New

    If El Palacio is a dream of the past, Cabo is the cocktail party of the future

  • More >>