As the screamin' front man for New Jersey thrash-metal legends Over Kill since the group's formation, Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth has seen, experienced, and learned a lot in three and a half decades. So what is the one piece of advice that his 2014 self might offer the 1980 Blitz? "Give up the fucking ... More >>
The 1980s get picked on a lot, and to a degree that's understandable. Every decade starts looking goofy and dated in hindsight, and the fashions and pop culture milestones of each are often made fun of by later generations. The '80s had plenty of excesses and fads we can all laugh at now, but unli ... More >>
Spring has sprung.
The last time Rocks Off really caught up with Scott H. Biram, Austin's "Dirty Old One Man Band" helped us with our continuing mission to teach appropriate concert behavior to Houston audiences. We figured he was a good guy to ask because at the time (June 2011), he had just gone off a fan via Facebo ... More >>
Welcome to Eating...Our Words' Bartender Chat, in which we sit down with local bartenders and get to know their style. Whether they're slinging beers or mixing complex cocktails, bartenders are our buddies and confidants, but we're turning the tables and the camera on them to find out what they're p ... More >>
Look, it happens. We all have to face it at some point. We get old and we just can't do the same things we did in our youth. Take professional athletes, for instance. It's a big deal when an NFL player is able to keep going into his late thirties, just by the very nature of the game. Metal is about ... More >>
"This is keep-drinking food!" -- A guy really excited that we both had pizza "He kind of looks like a Nazi. I find it oddly attractive." "I wanna do something entertaining." -- An eight-year-old to her dad after about ten seconds of The Chromatics' cover of "Into The Black." Kids these days.
This weekend Rocks Off will send another team to the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park, three days sure to be full of music, drinking, and the sort of behavior that tends to happen when tens of thousands of scantily clad young people gather to get their buzz on and scope out potential ... More >>
Five Texans players who should make an album.
If you never saw a Bozo Porno Circus show then you just plain missed out. The Tone Zone Records band was a freak-out and a half, stuffed to the wall with loud noises and pretty girls getting sparks shot off their metal-covered crotches by belt sanders. Recently, lead guitarist Chris "The" Lane (AKA ... More >>
War Master, Howl, Lord Dying, Warhounds Mango's August 7, 2013 There ain't much street-level activity going on in Houston on a Wednesday night in August. It's too hot, too fetid and just too draining. To get to the real action, you've got to slither through the cracks and the crevices -- undergroun ... More >>
Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival Feat. Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, Amon Amarth, etc. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 3, 2013 On Saturday, I couldn't quite decide which was more brutal: 20 metal bands in one afternoon, or your average Houston summer. Maybe it's because ... More >>
Some people out there argue that heavy metal was not invented by Black Sabbath. These people are wrong. To be sure, the Led Zeps and Deep Purples of the world certainly had their metallic moments, but it wasn't until Tony Iommi sheared off his fingertips in a metal stamper and down-tuned his guitar ... More >>
It's 2:45 in the morning and you're stumbling to the bar. You've had a few to drink, and you just got your face rocked off by your favorite rock band in the universe. It's time to have one for the road and then get on home (responsibly, in a cab or on a bus, of course). You look up to order and thi ... More >>
Last month marked the end of one of the great musical feuds of the 1990s. Any Britpop fan knows you can either be a fan of Oasis or of Blur, but not a fan of both. The two bands hated each other's guts and were in constant competition throughout the decade. So all of us in the press were shocked wh ... More >>
Last week back in 1957, the most famous rock club in England opened in Liverpool. There was absolutely no rock and roll on the bill that night. The Cavern Club was originally opened to mimic the cellar jazz bars that owner Alan Synter visited in Paris. There was a strict jazz-only policy in place ... More >>
Sir Paul McCartney Minute Maid Park November 14, 2012 Seeing Paul McCartney live is a lot of things. It's communing with a spirit that touched millions and will touch millions for as long as humanity lurches forward. It's hearing the old schmaltzy bedrock anthems and the proto-everything blasts tha ... More >>
A few months back, Heath Bilbrey made waves in Houston by resurrecting the KLOL brand and format with an online radio station. This week Rocks Off has learned that he has also brought back Z Rock 106.9 KKZR from the radio cemetery with the same treatment. "We plan to follow the same formula we are ... More >>
A beloved Austin food truck goes corporate, and while much of the charm is lost, the breakfast tacos still deliver.
Iron Maiden, Coheed and Cambria Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 18, 2012 Rewind: Iron Maiden Gets Superfan Treatment in New Coffee-Table Book 10 Iron Maiden T-Shirts Sure to Prove Your Metal Cred With 15 studio albums and at least as many world tours now under its belt, Iron Maiden is not ... More >>
Black Breath, Martyrdöd, Burning Love, Enabler Walter's on Naylor June 29, 2012 All of six months has gone by since Walter's on Washington reopened in its new location on Naylor St., and last week I realized I'd yet to take in a show at the new place. The old joint had a fairly long reign as the t ... More >>
Adelaine, Kameron, The Blackout Heist: Mon., April 2. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, Houston. Anders Osborne: Wed., May 9. Dosey Doe Coffee Company, 25911 I-45 N., Spring. Another Run, The Suffers, Mantis, Tax The Wolf: Sat., March 31. Fitzgerald's Band of Skulls, Balam Acab, Superhumanoids: Fri., ... More >>
The Resurrection of Johnny Cash: Hurt, Redemption, and American Recordings By Graeme Thomson 254 pp., $19.95, Jawbone Press In 1993, Johnny Cash may have been a country-music icon, but for all intents and purposes, he was also one in need of some serious restoration. Two decades removed from his la ... More >>
And just like that, my normally non-soiled jeans were not. Yes, March 2 the traveling metal bonanza Gigantour is hitting Houston's Verizon Wireless Theater, with Megadeth, Motorhead, Lacuna Coil, and Volbeat in tow. Are we excited? A little. Kind of a fan of Motorhead fan and all. Megadeth last ca ... More >>
In the '70s and '80s, during stints with Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and solo/duo efforts, Glenn Hughes proved a triple threat musically as a singer, songwriter, and bassist. Plus, he had fucking rock star hair. The problem was, he also did three times the amount of drugs -- cocaine in par ... More >>
Photos by Jessica PerryBen Sollee, Thousands Fitzgerald's July 21, 2011 "I don't know anything about cello or classical arrangements but I like this stuff," Aftermath said to our classical-music teacher, great friend and sometime colleague Meghan Hendley, keyboardist for local group Tyagaraj ... More >>
One tour unites three very different faces of glam-rock.
It's James' world; we just live in it.That wonderful sound you heard last night - that distinct lack of atonal screeching that used to climb up your spine like a mongoose wearing stiletto heels - was the sound of a Jacob-free American Idol. What a beautiful thing. I'm not sure which was more ... More >>
Photo by Craig HlavatyThey lined up to hear Glenn Beck.Glenn Beck was in Houston on Friday for a stop on his current speaking tour, dubbed the "Glenn Beck Live On Stage!" tour; it was everything I hoped it would be, with a few twists and turns. As an observer of most things Tea Party and cons ... 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 >>
ZZ Top's recording date with Rick Rubin inching closer, he says... Photos by Marc BrubakerThursday afternoon, Rocks Off got an invite to a launch party for a new tequila on the scene, Pura Vida Tequila. Where else would this party be at but at the newest tequila joint on Washington Avenue, T ... More >>
Photos by Liana LopezRodrigo y Gabriela House of Blues September 2, 2010 Aftermath is not going to lie. Thursday night was about as cold as we've ever gone into a concert. We knew next to nothing about Rodrigo y Gabriela besides the fact that they are a male-female duo from down Mexico way. ... More >>
Photos by Jason WolterWeird Al Yankovic Verizon Wireless Theater July 17, 2010 Aftermath is probably not going to write very many, and you're probably going to read even fewer, concert reviews that begin by delineating the finer points of parody and satire. But this is Weird Al Yankovic we'r ... More >>
Photos by Marc Brubaker/ Click here for a slideshowTed Nugent Pasadena Fairgrounds July 11, 2010 It was one of the most offensive shows that Aftermath has probably been to, but that didn't stop us from buying a T-shirt. It was a show that would have made the cast of liberal pundits on CNBC s ... More >>
This year was such a good one for heavy music, I wound up having to cheat when putting this list together. I just couldn't settle on ten albums that kicked my ass the hardest in 2009; there were dozens of candidates. The best I could do was fourteen, so each of my top four slots are ties. 10. Meg ... More >>
One thing that struck He Said while we were making this list was the lack of metal and/or punk rock associated with the women in our past. It's kind of odd that someone so dirty and haggard never dated anyone with a Crass patch on her denim jacket or Misfits tramp stamp. By looking at us, you wou ... More >>
U2's awe-inspiring Reliant Stadium show prompts a search for the unknown and unknowable in music.
Craig HlavatyIn the early '80s, Anvil was on the verge of being Canada's leaders of metal mania. Frontman/guitarist Steve "Lips" Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner were the Toronto outfit's masterminds, writing songs like "Metal on Metal" and "Hot Child" that helped them influence a multitude of young b ... More >>
Enough shows to keep concertgoers busy all season long
Skulls are very big in the world of Black Label Society. A jawboneless half-skull serves as the L.A. power-metal quartet's logo, and lead singer/guitarist Zakk Wylde's mic stand is a skull-topped length of chain. One can only imagine Wylde, also Ozzy Osbourne's lead guitarist,&nb ... More >>
We hope we aren't in the minority here at Rocks Off in saying that Marilyn Manson is the last living active rock star. True, Jagger and Bowie are still kicking around, but no one ignites tempers and soothes dark hearts like Brian Warner. Plus, the dude can't hide his pop sensibilities, no matter how ... More >>
You ever get the feeling that sometimes corporations go about product development backwards? That they begin with an abstract idea, and then reverse engineer the idea until they find a product they can sell to us? Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the Angry Whopper from Burger King. The only burger ... More >>
A selection of some of the wildest, weirdest, and most dangerous bands and shows in Houston history
Latinos take on rap music and make it their own
You don't look at Sam Reveles's paintings. You look through them.
After falling from grace, the Galactic Cowboys are back in the saddle again