Songs get misinterpreted all the time. Sometimes it's because they have vague lyrics, others it's because singers can't enunciate properly -- looking at you, Eddie Vedder -- and still others it's just because they're misleading and people don't take the time to think them through all the way. That ... More >>
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link. Who? For all its strengths as ... More >>
British video blogger Jack Harries and his pal, Caspar Lee, recently threw a little something together that racked up 1.5 million YouTube hits in a couple of weeks. They squirmed into their best skinny jeans, went off to the park and tried some "chat-up lines" on the ladies. Humor-wise, these kids ... More >>
Dear Stupid Grammys, I have a bone to pick with you. I sat through Taylor Swift's uninspired opening act while she half-sung/half-yodeled at a guy on a spinning bullseye. It was complete with an insulting and transparent Alice in Wonderland costume ripoff (which I'm not getting, by the way... is s ... More >>
F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is the greatest novel ever written that everyone had to read in high school. And now it's going to be the greatest movie ever made that everyone will have to watch, supposedly out in May, because Leonardo DiCaprio is in it. It's in 3D for some reason too, even ... More >>
Five years ago this week, Led Zeppelin fans young and old squeezed their pants full of lemon juice when the band's three surviving golden gods -- Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones - announced that they'd be reuniting for a one-off concert in London. John Bonham's son Jason would man the s ... More >>
Johnny Perez, drummer for legendary '60s Texas garage-rockers the Sir Douglas Quintet, has died. Perez passed away in a hospital near Los Angeles due to complications of cirrhosis of the liver, according to the San Antonio Express-News. He was 69. Perez was a Golden Gloves-level amateur boxer and ... More >>
VNV Nation is coming, and even though we'll have to endure endless bitching about how VNV Nation isn't goth every single goth we know will be there. Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson put on fantastic shows, release brilliant albums, and just all-around enlighten and amaze audiences wherever they go. K ... More >>
During a panel discussion on C-SPAN recently, someone mentioned that the Ronald Reagan Library has a list online of every movie he and Nancy watched at Camp David or the White House. So we checked it out. They watched a lot of movies, including Reagan's old films. There are a lot of Hollywood class ... More >>
In the late 1980's, music empresario Jimmy Iovine cobbled together quite a collection of pop and rock artists to record songs for a Christmas album benefitting the Special Olympics. In 1987, A Very Special Christmas was released and rapidly became an instant holiday classic thanks to the star powere ... More >>
When The Simpsons completes its last (contracted) season in 2014, it will have set staggering new broadcast records for longest running sitcom (over 550 episodes) and longest running prime time scripted TV series (25 seasons). These are all American records, of course, because the Japanese co ... More >>
Photos by Jim BrickerRobert Ellis & the BoysNew West Records showcase feat. Buxton, Robert Ellis & the Boys, Wild Moccasins Cactus Music April 16, 2011 Although they had a myriad of opportunities Friday night to make themselves bleary-eyed and drag-tailed - Aftermath chose The Wagoneers, and ... More >>
Paul Thorn's life is straight out of a Southern Gothic fairy tale.
Beyonce has severed business ties with her father and longtime manager since the days of Destiny's Child, Mathew Knowles, according to a press release from Houston-based Music World Entertainment. "The decision for Beyonce and Music World Entertainment to part was mutual," Mathew Knowles, Mu ... More >>
idontlikeyouinthatway.comThis Sunday, Rocks Off will be live-blogging and tweeting this year's Super Bowl halftime show, which will feature noted scholars The Black Eyed Peas. We are diligently studying the entire BEP canon and that of all of their solo members, like the dedicated pop histori ... More >>
The Grammy Award winner partners with the CWMP Pops
Superstar session drummer and Dadaist marketing genius Josh Freese (Devo, A Perfect Circle, the Vandals) sells himself, his famous friends and all-you-can-eat shrimp at Sizzler to promote his new album.
The artist behind Lie to Me and Turn Around brings his special brand of blues to Houston
Note: Lost in all the inaugural hoopla this week was the fact that Monday was Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. No better time, then, to debut Rocks Off's new Goth column... Recently, my wife and I made our way down to the Houston Public Library to hear a talk with Charlaine Harris, author of ... More >>
Photos by Mark C. Austin There has to be an unspoken rule from now on that solo albums from the lead singers of big rock bands should be studio-only affairs. These are meant to fulfill record-company contracts, and should never be passed off as an extra insight into the artistic machinations of an ... More >>
OK, sure, the truly worst '80s Christmas songs are doubtlessly "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" and Band Aid's (above) "Do They Know It's Christmas?" But everyone knows this. However, there were many other holiday songs released during the '80s that nearly reached such heights of crapulence . ... More >>
Some of the best rock and roll in town right now is en español
Last night ZZ Top atoned somewhat for recording their new Live from Texas DVD in Dallas - hometown of Dusty Hill and Frank Beard, but it still stings, OK? - by donating the "poodle" guitars from their iconic "Legs" video to the Hard Rock Cafe's memorabilia collection. Billy Gibbons also told one of ... More >>
Daniel Kramer At a little after 8:40, Andy Summers walks onto a darkened stage with Stewart Copeland climbing into his drum kit. Copeland bangs a gong hanging behind him and Summers starts on the guitar. Then from the darkness of stage right, Sting appears and The Police are suddenly rocking T ... More >>
Dear Lord, please stop the Stingification of Beck
Constantine shuns its comic-book roots for real depth as Reeves returns in black
Are we hearing the death rattle of the sheds?
The Chieftains rule with their traditional Irish tunes
Greendale (Warner Bros.)
Four bands bring the '70s back to town
A Muslim by choice, Jawad couldn't deny the will of his music
With Snatch, director Guy Ritchie desperately wants to be the Tarantino of the Thames
The Door (Sony 550/Epic)
Welcome to the ballpark. And brown fields and barren expanses of a still-not-rejuvenated section of downtown.
Houston piano man Ezra Charles has outlasted even his worst enemies
Acoustic Alchemy was soft jazz before soft jazz was soft?
Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and the scourge of great art
Five Barenaked Canadians conquer a fickle America with patience
The Chieftains may flirt with rock, but they always come home to Ireland
Plus: Shimmying with Mary Jane on the Washington Avenue shuttle
Bela Fleck leads his band in directions most pickers never dream of