Today is International Children's Book Day, celebrated every April 2 on the birthday of Little Mermaid author Hans Christian Andersen. It's a day to honor the joy of reading to your children (which I do with Lovecraft because, well, I'm kind of a bad person), and some wonderful musicians have gotten ... More >>
Autumn temperatures may finally be creeping into Houston at last, but Portland's Red Fang promises to work up one last sweat in the city on Sunday when the shaggy rockers roll into Fitzgerald's. The band had too much fun hitting the road this summer to close the books on it just yet. Red Fang playe ... More >>
In terms of pure variety, the weekend of June 1-3 may be the most stacked weekend of music Houston will see this year, and that's not just because of Summer Fest. In addition to the wide variety of acts playing Eleanor Tinsley Park there's the regular weekend mass of shows taking place across the ci ... More >>
SPOILER ALERTThe best thing about the annual Grammy nominations and awards shows is the clamor of anger that rises up when the mere mention of the event even comes up. Immediately people begin calling it a travesty, trotting out all the people who have been snubbed -- Jethro Tull beats Metall ... More >>
You may or may not remember a week ago when we told you about how the head of the largest musicians' union in North America ripped into Lionsgate for farming out the score for the upcoming film Hunger Games to Europe despite the film's Appalachian setting and decidedly American style of music. Well ... More >>
Uncle Charlie isn't just a Houston legend. Ask anyone in the poster-art scene the world over, and they'll know his work. Charlie Hardwick, the subject of this week's cover story, designs posters advertising some of the biggest names in music - from Wilco to Green Day to The Decemberists. But ... More >>
It's getting to be that time of year, when the temperature drops and the lists start rolling in. Read any blog, magazine or newspaper and you're bound to run across at least a handfull of year-end lists, particularly when it comes to music. We all like to talk about the stuff we like. It's just what ... More >>
Is the music industry stabilizing?
Arctic Monkeys, Version 2011This past decade, 2006 was one of the better years in music, with a ton of debuts, great albums and catchy singles. It was also the year this member of Rocks Off started putting his musical critiques into a computer, joining the great circus known as the music indu ... More >>
The year isn't quite half over, but as of today, "summer" is officially here - even if the calendar needs a few weeks to catch up - and by the time summer is over, so will 2011. Or close enough. So Rocks Off asked our staff to give us their favorite two albums of the year so far, plus one out ... More >>
Photos by GroovehouseNOFX House of Blues January 22, 2011 See lots of pics of NOFX and friends in our slideshow. NOFX has been the Fisher-Price My First Real Punk Band of the past 25 years, with Green Day sadly coming in a close second with Bad Religion and, yes, Blink-182 bringing up the r ... More >>
NATIONAL White Lies, Ritual: They killed at festivals in 2008 and 2009, but do London's Interpol-styled lads have longevity? Dr. Dre, Detox: It's been on hold or gestating since at least Clinton was in office. Will it continue to be hip-hop's Chinese Democracy? R.E.M., Collapse Into No ... More >>
A few choice adjectives come to mind when musing on bawdy Eastbound & Down character Kenny Powers. "Inspiring" is not one of them. However, as Rocks Off watched this week's season finale of the side-splitting HBO series, we were pleasantly surprised as we heard indie troubadour Kurt Vile's a ... More >>
On the way home from ACL this past Sunday night, Craig's Hlist had his Rdio account humming over the speakers playing one of his playlists (phlayhlist?), but not the sad-bastard mix we rocks whenever we are at work alone. It was the life-spanning one we have been making since we got on the mu ... More >>
The Internet wants to kill Gordon Lightfoot - back in February, someone started a rumor that the Canadian troubadour was dead. Of course it started on Twitter, of all places, where an offhand remark about a celebrity death will be held as fact. Hell, the other night we killed Tim Allen and To ... More >>
Like many of you, Rocks Off has friends and family members who have served (or are serving) in our armed forces. Memorial Day is when we honor the sacrifice so many of them have made - and are still making - fighting America's wars. Songs about the hardships suffered by soldiers and their familie ... More >>
"A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well." - Sir Francis Bacon ihasahotdog.comShe Said has never been one for revenge, preferring to believe (at least), that people make their own beds. But if she was the vengeful type, she'd seek it out not ... More >>
Congratulations, Slim Thug! Your album was Houston's biggest critical success last year... sort of.Our sister paper in NYC's Cooper Square, the Village Voice, released its Pazz & Jop poll Thursday. The annual coast-to-coast survey of music critics ranks the previous year's best (according to ... More >>
The decade with no name left behind plenty of memorable music.
2009 wasn't a great year for albums, but songs were a different story.
Rocks Off has previously lamented the dearth of critically popular acts that truly rock many times. We just can't get over the fact that adding distortion to your guitar is a virtual guarantee you won't get scads of rock critics jizzing all over you with steamy loads of orgasmic praise (unless yo ... More >>
Bicycle enthusiasts Blind Pilot step out of fellow Portlanders the Decemberists' shadow.
The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival became a quagmire everywhere but onstage.
Mark C. AustinSeems like we recognize this guy from somewhere... More and more, Aftermath uses ACL more than SXSW to see which recent buzz bands are worth their salt, and of course to check on how some old favorites are doing. This year, tops on our new-to-us list were Blitzen Trapper, who manage ... More >>
Photo by Mark C. AustinWas it something we said or did? Aftermath openly gushed about how great the weather was on Friday and how it seemed that maybe, just maybe, we were going to finally attend an Austin City Limits (ACL) that didn't consist of heat and dust. Well, it seems that the powers ... More >>
Photo by Mark C. AustinIf there's one band Rocks Off didn't envy during Saturday's ACL downpour - seriously, Zilker Park smells like a stable today, moreso because the staff just finished seeding the mud-splattered grounds with hay - it was the Decemberists. The Portland collective closed out Sat ... More >>
Photos by Chris GrayThis photo was NOT taken Saturday. Trust us. The streak is over. In eight years, Austin City Limits has seen plenty of days of unbearable heat, but hardly any rain. The most significant time was during Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' headlining 2006 set, but even that was m ... More >>
One show, one sentence
The Decemberists are coming! The Decemberists are coming! Aren't people supposed to play golf and mow their lawn when they go into retirement? Giant Battle Monster finished recording over the weekend. The Hates are playing at Gallery M. Ghost Mountain: the latest to hit Joe Mathlete's Living Room ... More >>
Well, it looks like the weather gods are laughing at Houston again, and have decided to ring in iFest with a good round of drenching rain. So if you'd prefer to remain indoors, don't forget Saturday is Record Store Day - there's even a Web site. Be a good consumer and help out your neighborhood ... More >>
Bigmouth strikes again.
Photos by Mark C. AustinIt's always nice to see a band that respects its elders, and Denver's DeVotchKa has taken Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic" promise "I wanna rock your gypsy soul" to heart. Finding the seam between Old World traveler tunes and contemporary indie-rock, the quartet (and a ... More >>
The Austin group releases The Meat of the Fruit EP
Five-piece from the north side heads out on first tour
But the Houston Symphony Wants to "Rock and Roll"
What's indie rock? Who cares? Here's ten great CDs that will blow you away, no matter your definition
Scattered Pages' urban art-country music is as pretty as its hometown is ugly
Spoon's Britt Daniel turns his camera on
The devout cult of Neutral Milk Hotel should perhaps prepare for a second coming
The lone wolves of 2005
Introducing some of the best discs you've never heard
Built to Spill and the Decemberists offer alternate takes on alt-rock
The Decemberists bring their magic-realist, Picaresque new album to town
Her Majesty (Kill Rock Stars)