Helstar, Venomous Maximus, Sanctus Bellum, Termination Force Fitzgerald's April 12, 2014 The list of local bands that can still fill up Fitzgerald's more than 30 years after jamming out on their first power chord is a short one. On Saturday night, the metallic warriors in Helstar proved they can st ... More >>
Delbert McClinton & Leon Russell Nutty Jerry's (Winnie), February 15 Even into their seventies, both ends of this barrelhouse duo live up to the title of Delbert McClinton's 1992 album Never Been Rocked Enough, and should make superb Saturday-night fare at one of Southeast Texas' biggest dancehalls ... More >>
Death metal has a genre has a history of doing covers songs, but they're mostly all novelty songs. It's become a played-out gimmick to take any pop song, speed it up, play it on highly distorted guitars, and gutturally scream the lyrics. That's been done. What's less common is a great death metal c ... More >>
One of my favorite things about looking back on the past is how things that were perhaps state-of-the-art at the time are now so cheesy and dated removed from their original contexts. It should probably come as no surprise that I'm a massive fan of the slasher genre, especially the later films in th ... More >>
As someone who likes to sing along to my favorite songs a lot despite my limited vocal capabilities, I think a lot about people's voices. After you listen to particular singers for a long enough time, I find you start to get a real feel for their cadences, tics, quirks, and inflections. You also st ... More >>
Most of the year Houston's Sunny 99.1 FM is a ratings powerhouse that plays pop music familar enough that it keeps you more awake than actively tuned in. Sunny calls itself "Houston's at-work station," but it's good for just about any activity short of having sex or attending a concert: driving, sho ... More >>
Don't let those thunderclouds fool you: That low rumbling you hear in the distance is the Lone Star Rally, the state's largest gathering of bikers, absolutely terrorizing the good people of Galveston. Until the last chopper rolls out on Sunday evening, the Island will be ground zero for bandanas and ... More >>
Last week, I told you all about the Summer Slaughter Tour which blew through the House of Blues this past Saturday, and alluded to the numerous metal tours still to come up. Well, you may have just had your ass kicked last weekend, but it's already time for another one. This weekend's fest is the Ro ... More >>
My last official day at the Houston Press is tomorrow, so these past two weeks I have been sifting through my body of work here at Rocks Off, almost seven years of words. I've been gleefully overdosing on nostalgia here at my desk, and I have (almost) no regrets. I'll have some more words on my depa ... More >>
In the '80s, Lita Ford was one of the most prominent female voices in hard rock. With hits such as "Kiss Me Deadly" (which was named the 76th "Greatest Hard Rock Song Of All-Time" by VH1), "Back To The Cave," and "Close My Eyes Forever," she was on a winning tear. Plus she still had (and has) oodl ... More >>
Ilko Davidov's documentary film Unauthorized: The Story of Rock N Roll Comics is finally available on DVD today after having been originally released in 2005. Hopefully you remember Rock N Roll Comics, the series of illustrated unauthorized biographies that Todd Loren put out to the rage of many unt ... More >>
I was about 12 years old and in the hallway outside the gymnasium of my school when I heard it. Someone had a guitar and he was playing it LOUD. I knocked open the double doors and a friend was wailing on a beautiful cherry sunburst Les Paul and it was so damn LOUD. I got a little closer and there ... More >>
Houston heavy-metal lifers Helstar celebrate their 30th anniversary in style.
After reading Chris Gray's review of the last Glen Campbell show here in Houston back in September at the Stafford Centre, I was expecting the worst at Campbell's Friday night show at the Arena Theatre. The country legend had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few months before the Stafford show, a ... More >>
Rocks Off likes to believe that Christmas is such a merry holiday, even some of Satan's most stalwart servants can't help but get into the act. Of course, it could be that heavy metal musicians record Christmas music for the same reason as Mariah Carey: Because there's a crapload of money to ... More >>
Out of some of the most proudest moments of my five-year tenure here at the Houston Press - interviewing Rob Halford, talking to an agitated Chuck Berry on a couch backstage after a gig, shaking hands with Charlie Sheen - one of the best days ever was finding a Christmas card in the mail from ... More >>
Photos by Jay LeeJudas Priest Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion October 15, 2011 Saturday night, at 10:15 or so, a euphoric chill went up Aftermath's spine. Coupled with the cool weather, standing in the presence of Judas Priest at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion was overwhelming, so much ... More >>
British metal icons Judas Priest are still living after midnight — but aren't retiring.
When Ronnie James Dio succumbed to stomach cancer in May 2010 (some reports say it occurred here at M.D. Anderson), heavy metal lost its arguably greatest voice. And with a career spanning decades in bands like Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell, and his own Dio, he left a lot of material to ... More >>
Spoiler alert: the smug one wins.Thanks to Shea Serrano for taking the bullet yesterday. After what felt like eons, the 10th season of American Idol lurched to its inevitable anticlimax last night. It was as especially torturous affair, stretching well over two hours and mixing performances ... More >>
Eddie Trunk's Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal By Eddie Trunk Abrams Publishing, 240 pp. $19.95. If hard rock and heavy-metal journalism have their own Eddie Murrow, it's Eddie Trunk. Via his web site, as a co-host of VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, and his programs on both terrestrial and ... More >>
Last year's unholy Christmas metal list was so popular, we decided to reach back into our quasi-Santanic bag and find five more songs for you to blare while trimming the tree and wrapping presents. We made our list too late to catch Rob Halford's Christmas album, Winter Songs. Otherwise it ... More >>
Today marks 19 years that the world has been without Queen front man Freddie Mercury, who was taken from us on November 24, 1991. He died of AIDS complications, a disease he kept hidden from the world until just a day or so before his death. He was the first major, epic rock star to be kill ... More >>
Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday (that isn't a national holiday) Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn GrayHomosexuality in hip-hop is a polarizing talking point. So much so, in f ... More >>
The sounds of Christmas 2009 from Bob Dylan, Sting, Tori Amos, Rob Halford and more.
Metal legend Ronnie James Dio is one of those musicians you've probably always been aware of, even if you haven't counted yourself a huge fan. Rocks Off can sympathize, for while we've personally gone out of our way to seek his music, we've always taken it for granted that Dio would be there, hov ... More >>
Photos by Eric SausedaRust never sleeps, and metal never ages. Not when it's being worked over by Judas Priest's hammer and tongs, anyway. Friday night at Verizon, the Birmingham blacksmiths smelted a sold-out, juiced-up, colors-sporting crowd - metal bands always have the best merch - with ... More >>
Tonight, Judas Priest, led by the inimitable metal god Rob Halford, hits the stage at Verizon Wireless Theate less than a year since the leathermen last graced Houston. They came to the shed out in the Woodlands last August, headlining the "Metal Masters" tour with Motorhead, Testament and Hea ... More >>
Three decades after a metal classic, Judas Priest keeps "Livin' After Midnight."
Enough shows to keep concertgoers busy all season long
In a year worthy of your rage, metal delivered in spades. What with the economy circling the drain and Sarah Palin coming down from the tundra and then refusing to go back, 2008's been the kind of year that really makes you want to smash your head into walls or punch random strangers in the face. Go ... More >>
Photos by Craig Hlavaty, except where indicated. A crowd slideshow is here. Reflecting on Saturday’s Masters of Metal tour at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, I think I fall into that rare category of Casual Metal Fan. This means that while I enjoy metal and will fly the devil-horns at any op ... More >>
Master of Metal
Because lists aren’t just for Christmas, here are some of the most eagerly awaited albums scheduled for release in 2008. The anticipation is so high that this top ten list goes to 11. 11. Green Day How does a band follow their most commercially successful record, two Grammys, and a world tour? Wi ... More >>
Music biopics Hollywood won't make
Mary's crowns the mother of all Montrose
Have today's C&W stars been consulting with the Fab Five?
The Datsuns zoom out of New Zealand with Zeppelinesque flair
Fledgling director Jonas Akerlund spins the next hip dope flick
The filmmakers have consumed all the standard clichés and yakked them up in the humorless Rock Star