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  • Blogs

    October 29, 2014

    Country Music Time Machine: World Series Edition

    Right now Texans are in the middle of football season, and therefore even attempting to talk about any other pro sports amounts to ripping a wet fart into the wind -- unless it's the Rockets, and most of us Houstonians can't watch them on TV anyway. But in case you haven't noticed, and you probably ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2014

    Brad Paisley at The Woodlands, 9/6/2014

    Brad Paisley, Randy Houser, Leah Turner, Charlie Worsham, Dee Jay Silver Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion September 6, 2014 Brad Paisley fans don't appreciate how good they've got it. The man has been here three times in the last 14 months and four times in the last three years, each show built arou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2014

    New Houston Rap: Beyoncé's Remix Isn't That "Flawless"

    10:32 Saturday night. That's when I got a phone call about a new Beyoncé remix hitting the Internet. 10:34 p.m.: that's when I realized Beyoncé decided to rap about that infamous elevator fight between her husband and her sister and laugh about it. The bar itself, "of course sometime shit goes d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2014

    MxPx at Fitzgerald's, 6/14/14

    MxPx, Allister, Measure for Measure Fitzgerald's June 14th, 2014 "Welcome to the punk rock show. It's going to be hot, it's going to be sweaty, we're gonna have a good time." So spoke MxPx singer/bassist/occasional guitarist Mike Herrera near the start of Saturday night's hot, sweaty punk-rock sho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2014

    20 Bands to Check Out at the 20th Vans Warped Tour

    In the last 20 years we've seen a lot of summer tours come and go. What was once a semi-thriving industry that saw a tour for every type of music fan under the sun is now a handful of radio-rock festivals where the band names change but the music sounds the same (yeah, we're talking about you, Mayhe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2014

    Five Things the Average Person Can Take Away from the AT&T, DirecTV Merger

    It's hard to know exactly what any merger of two giant conglomerates means for the world. If you are like me, you view the joining of AT&T and DirecTV with about the same level of passing interest you might have for the sports scores from a team in the division of your favorite. That's to say it is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 18, 2014

    Record Store Day's Rising Tide Has No End In Sight

    Record Store Day returns to the nation's music retailers tomorrow, so if you're the sort of person who only buys a handful of LPs or CDs a year -- assuming you still buy physical music product at all -- you may want to hold off until sometime next week. In just six short years, this unofficial holid ... More >>

  • Music

    April 17, 2014

    Vaughaligan Walwyn Is Using Hip-Hop to Spread the Good Word

    Onetime Houston MC Von Won reinvents himself as the city's premier hip-hop pastor.

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2014

    After a Decade, Lost Screwed Up Click Album The Take Over Comes to Light

    The dream seemed dead. John Hawkins, a man blessed with the voice of a preacher and the mind of a rap savant, known as Big H.A.W.K., was gone. The one major cog in the machine that was the Screwed Up Click after DJ Screw's tragic passing in 2000 had been taken from the Earth. Two years after H.A.W ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2014

    Brad Paisley at Reliant Stadium, 3/4/2014

    Brad Paisley Reliant Stadium March 4, 2014 When it comes to starting a massive undertaking, you want to start strong and get things off on the right foot. With that in mind, it makes sense that the Rodeo would start its 20 nights of concerts with one of the strongest, most reliable names in country ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2014

    10 Silly Predictions For Sunday's Grammy Awards

    This Sunday the music business will celebrate its equivalent of Oscar night when the 56th annual Grammy Awards are handed out at L.A.'s Staples Center. Basically it combines two high-school traditions, the prom and the talent show, but the Grammys are always worth watching -- if nothing else, the ou ... 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

    November 8, 2013

    Lupe Fiasco at Warehouse Live, 11/7/2013

    "Man it feels good, when it happens like that / Two days from going back to selling crack, yessir!" Lupe Fiasco Warehouse Live November 7, 2013 As we walked into Warehouse Live on a chilly November night, all I could see was a titanic beard onstage rapping into a mike. It took a few moments to rea ... More >>

  • Music

    October 10, 2013

    It's a Living

    Yes, my musician kids "work," thank you very much.

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2013

    1,100 Beers, 31 States: One Young Kiwi Band's Summer-Long Odyssey

    This summer, indie bands everywhere booked out-of-town gigs, loaded up the van and hit the open American road in search of new fans and more success. They racked up miles and formed impressions of the places they visited. Few crossed an ocean, drove 15,000 miles or put as much trust in total strange ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2013

    12 Hours In Houston: Bun B & the Mayor, Caribbean Festival, Graffiti Kids & '80s Mania

    "Tryna see how much paper that I might gain/ While I still keep it trill in what I write, mayne!" -- Bun B, "Let 'Em Know" I've been told by some that I live an interesting life. Concerts, dinners, photo shoots, dancing, art... you name it, I'm about it. I don't exactly know when this became my l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2013

    Sofar Houston Feat. The Suffers, 8/23/2013

    Sofar Houston (Songs From A Room) The Suffers, The Caldwell, Arthur Yoria Secret Location August 23, 2013 The premise is intriguing and creative: hold an exclusive, invitation only concert in a non-traditional venue (like a living room), without charging a cover at the door, specify BYOB, and acce ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    How Beyoncé Microwaved The News This Week

    Here's how a major announcement would roll in the life of Brando: short, quick, brief moments of celebration, smug congratulations and thank-yous from people before the realization that only douches do that sort of thing and I'd be captain of their army. And nobody wants to hitch a ride on that tr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    2013: First Year of the Post-CD Era?

    Things haven't been looking good for CDs for years now. Ever since the introduction of Napster and the first portable MP3 players, the format has pretty much felt doomed. Since the turn of the century, the CD has hung on valiantly, but its disappearance has remained a question of when, not if. 20 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2012

    The Best-Selling Albums On Our Top 30 Texas Albums List

    One thing you will notice about our Texas 30 list is that not everything that made the cut was a best-seller, though the albums have been heavily influential and may be in everyone's private collection. Just look at all the satellite blogs we have written around the Texas 30 mentioning the albums th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2012

    The Texas 30: Texas' 6 Best Latin Albums of the Past 30 Years

    As I was reviewing the list of The Texas 30, in the back of my mind I kept thinking one thing... "Where my brown people at?!" Rewind: The Texas 30 (cover story) Slideshow: The Texas 30 album covers Listen To Our Texas 30 Picks On Rdio and Spotify Right Now Sure, Queen Selena rightfully made t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2012

    The Texas 30: Texas' 10 Best Rap Albums

    Texas rap has played no small part in hip-hop's history. More specifically, Houston (and of course P.A.) rap has played no small part in hip-hop's history. (There are other cities in Texas, I hear, though with the exception of Dallas's brief swag-based blip, they've, to this point, remained largely ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2012

    The 10 Best Metal & Punk Albums Too Rough for the Texas 30

    So, the Texas 30 has been revealed at last. And it's a good list, too: Well-considered, fair and complete. Even if a lot of the records that got picked tend to be a little... well, pussy, I guess is the word I'm looking for here. Rewind: The Texas 30 (cover story) Slideshow: The Texas 30 album co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2012

    Listen To Our Texas 30 Picks On Rdio and Spotify Right Now

    Today we reveal the top 30 Texas albums released over the past 30 years. It was rough work, but we did it. Rewind: The Texas 30: The Third Runners-Up, Albums 60-51 The Texas 30: The Second Runners-Up, Albums 50-41 Behold the Texas 30, Plus Albums 40-31 From Selena to Steve Earle to Pantera, th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2012

    Rocks Off's 10 Best Musical Discoveries of 2012

    The thrill of discovering freshly minted treasure or a previously unheralded favorite is one of the main reasons music writers get into this racket in the first place; every so often it can make wading through the ocean of crap mediocrity that is pop music worthwhile. Rocks Off asked our contributor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2012

    10 Odd Musical Gift Ideas for the Last Christmas on Earth

    Back in the day, Christmas shopping for music lovers couldn't have been simpler: just head on down to the record store, pick up the latest hot release or a rare collector's item, wrap it up with a Warehouse Music gift certificate and you were golden. Now that the music business has evolved into a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2012

    Fun Fun Fun Fest Sunday In Review: Turbonegro, De La Soul, Araab Muzik & More

    The last day of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 was another dusty affair. I can feel about a pound of crud in my lungs, and my ears are ringing like a mother-fluffer, which means I had a great Sabbath at Auditorium Shores. SLIDESHOWS: The Girls of Fun Fun Fun Fest Turbonegro, De La Soul and Edward Sharpe: F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2012

    ACL 2012: Friday's 12 Best & Funniest Moments at Zilker

    Check out our slideshow of the crowds at Day 1 of Austin City Limits. In the interest of being tidy and not boring you with minute details of the three-day exercise in sweaty and human endurance underway in Zilker Park this weekend, Rocks Off is giving you a break. Our team on the ground at the Aus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2012

    Hearing Garth Brooks' No Fences for the Very First Time

    Twenty-two years ago this week, Garth Brooks' second album, No Fences entered the charts and made itself comfortable. It was a titanic, monumental record for country music, eventually going platinum 17 times over on its way to becoming a global smash. No Fences is often credited with ushering in a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2012

    Macy's, Houston Celebrate Carlos Santana's Style

    Twenty years ago, while digging through my father's music collection, I found an album that I still regard as one of my all-time favorites. The crying guitar notes and inspired Latin rhythms I heard that afternoon were a vast departure from the corridos and cumbias I was almost exclusively listening ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2012

    Friday Night: Morgan Page at Stereo Live

    Morgan Page Stereo Live August 31, 2012 Rewind: Morgan Page: On The Road, In The Air, and Going Green Morgan Page may not be the world's most famous DJ, but that doesn't mean he isn't a name within the community. The loudest cheer all Friday night happened when he stepped on the stage to start set ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2012

    Prydz & Prejudice: Top 5 Remixes for Saturday's IDentity Festival

    Saturday the IDentify Fest returns to town to once again take EDM out of the dark of the club and into the light of day. Your humble blog writer missed last year's show, so I'm curious to see how well glowsticks work during the daylight. While this year may not feature big names like Pretty Lights ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 8, 2012

    The Soundtrack of Our Youth: 5 Lackluster Rap Songs From Children's Flicks

    What's worse: A movie geared towards kids and teens or the soundtrack to a movie geared towards kids and teens? It's a tough call because both can be pretty awful and uninspired. Sure, Ferris Bueller's Day Off is great and had an excellent soundtrack but let's not fool ourselves: We all sat through ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2012

    4 Reasons Why Old Albums Are Now Outselling New Ones

    So here's an interesting fact: according to Nielsen Soundscan, older catalog albums have officially overtaken brand-spanking-new albums in sales for the first time since Soundscan has been keeping track. That's only since 1991, but it's probably safe to say that this is the first time such a thing h ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    June 12, 2012

    Join Us for Cocktails & Covers at House Of Blues Fridays This Summer

    The other day, Rocks Off was researching another blog, and we stumbled across Duran Duran's 1995 all-covers LP Thank You on Spotify. Then we listened to it all the way through, on purpose. Recorded when the Birmingham-born band was at a post-"Ordinary World" fork in the road, Thank You wasn't the D ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2012

    Yello Echo: Complicated Instigators Keep Disco Torch Lit

    Each week, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? E-mail their particulars to sheaserrano@gmail.com. Here's what you're about to walk in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2012

    Vintage Nerdcore: Pac-Man Fever at 30

    Much like pro wrestling, video games are another part of pop culture easily referenced by the modern artist, whether it's Styles P checking Red Dead Redemption in "B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast)," Del The Funky Homosapian's love letter to video games "Proto Culture" or Childish Gambino sampling the mus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2012

    Happy Birthday Zuckerberg: Our 5 Least Favorite Facebook Annoyances

    Facebook is great for a lot of things. It helps us keep in touch with family and friends without having to actually call them, allows us to play games in our browsers when we should be working, and helps us remember birthdays we'd forget. It allows me to be a hermit while giving the illusion that I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 6, 2012

    To Selena, With Love: A Conversation With Widower Chris Perez

    Do you remember when and where you heard the news about Selena? I do. I was riding the school bus when a classmate, listening to the radio on his Walkman, shouted "Selena was shot!". "How terrible", I thought to myself, thinking that maybe she was just wounded, but for sure she would recover. "No br ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    App of the Week: Pandora vs. iHeartRadio

    If you haven't been paying attention, a very tiny little war has been brewing over access to the ears of people who like to listen to radio online or on their smart phones. I say it's a tiny war because, at the moment, it is. While many of us who love music and like to listen to it a lot will do wha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    Beats By Dre, Monster Headphones To Split

    ​Well time to pass the tissue to those of you who love walking through IAH or Hobby with $200 headphones around your head like a fashion statement. In news more likely to occur than Dr. Dre's Detox album, Monster has announced that it will no longer be making Beats By Dre headphones. Chalk up an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 7, 2011

    Black Keys Not Licensing New Record to Streaming Services

    ​There's been a furor brewing among people who love streaming music services like Spotify and Rdio over bands like Coldplay denying licensing to those services for new releases. Older albums are available, but bands have essentially delayed the release to streaming services. That was all well ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2011

    Rap Round Table: What Music-Related Thing Are You Most Thankful For?

    Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Each week Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray​This Week's Panel: Rob Gullatte, Herney the Great, Pyrexx, Mac, Snoopy, Medicine Girl, Chane, Young Se ... More >>

  • Music

    November 10, 2011

    2011 Music Awards Showcase

    Your guide to the bands and venues.

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2011

    HPMA Preview: Nobody Leaves Without Singing The Blues Edition

    Photo by Brittanie SheyLittle Joe Washington​In the movie Adventures in Babysitting, Houston native bluesman Albert Collins inadvertently assists the getaway of young Elizabeth Shue (meow) and her charges from a gang of thugs, but only after she sings. Collins blocks the attackers with the sam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    Last Night: Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull at Toyota Center

    Photos by Marco Torres​What do you get when a Latino playboy from Spain joins forces with a Cuban party animal from Miami? The biggest fucking dance party that Houston has ever seen, that's what. The Euphoria Tour rolled into the Toyota Center last night and filled it with party anthems, lase ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2011

    10 Awesome, Awful & Odd "Hey Jude" Covers

    ​This week in 1968, The Beatles inaugurated their Apple Records label in a most auspicious fashion, releasing "Hey Jude" as a 45. The B-side was "Revolution." Written by Paul McCartney and employing a 36-piece orchestra, "Jude" did nothing to dispel the perception that Paul was the "soft" Beat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2011

    What Google & Motorola's Marriage Means To The Music Industry

    The Daily Beast​Google stunned the tech world last week when it tied the knot with Motorola for $12.5 billion. But it's the music business that should be raising its brows at the union. Like any typical suitor, Google weighed Motorola's considerably large assets in its decision to get in bed ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    App of the Week: Five Things Google Will Need to Best Facebook

    ​Google began allowing invites into its allegedly cool social network (simply named Google ) last week to fairly glowing reviews. The site aims to capitalize on the wildly popular Gmail e-mail platform and other integrated services already offered by Google including its cloud music service an ... More >>

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