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 >>
Josh Groban Toyota Center November 12, 2013 The scent of mothballs wafted over Josh Groban's concert Wednesday night at Toyota Center: not from the music, just all the clothing returned from winter storage on Houston's first truly cold evening since, what, February? The 32-year-old L.A. native may ... More >>
A few local bands keep it in the family.
It's not unusual for siblings to be in bands together. The Beach Boys, Jackson Five, Heart, Radiohead... the list goes on and on. Brothers and sisters have regularly joined forces to create incredible music. One kid finds a musical niche and his or her siblings voluntarily follow. Or, the group is o ... More >>
Welcome to the Rocks Off 100, 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 the entire Rocks Off 100 at this link. Last year, at the Houston Press Music Awa ... More >>
Bassist, organist, composer, member of the infamous Homopolice, one of the Rocks Off 100, self-avowed electronic music geek, flanger aficianado, and suave Poison Girl drink slinger, Beau Beasley has been broadly immersed in the Houston music scene all his adult life. Not long ago over a cold one at ... More >>
I was strapping my daughter into her carseat when she said, "Daddy, I want my favorite book." She was pointing at the floorboards in the back, where a stratified layer of various toys, books and random objects she has demanded to entertain her during car rides and abandoned after 15 minutes contin ... More >>
I live too far away from the coasts to care about Coachella all that much, and have done far too much time in both the ACL and SXSW trenches to get too excited about anything that happens in far west Houston anymore. So instead, I have started looking forward to the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's ... More >>
Twenty-eight years ago this week, Marvin Gay, Sr., received a six-year suspended sentence and five years of probation for the voluntary manslaughter of his son, the R&B legend Marvin Gaye. Gay pled guilty after shooting his namesake dead in the L.A. home given to him and his wife by Gaye, who was 44 ... More >>
HPMA Showcase: The 12 Best Artists of 2012 HPMA Showcase: Rocks Off's Top 7 Discoveries HPMA Showcase: Sunday's 11 Best Random Moments SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase -- The Bands SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase -- The Crowds "After the show it's the afterparty..." -- Jay-Z Another year, another successful ... More >>
With more than 70 million records sold, the men of Kool and the Gang stand as some of the most commercially successful funksters of all time. Born in Jersey City, N.J., the band was essentially just a group of friends with a jones for Miles Davis and James Brown. But they hit the big time in 1973 wi ... More >>
I listened to the new Justin Bieber album, Believe, twice this afternoon so I could write this. I am not looking for sympathy because I took it upon myself. I did this so you wouldn't have to, though if you are cool enough to read our blog, the thought of listening to Justin Bieber's Believe wasn't ... More >>
Father John Misty & Har Mar Superstar Fitzgerald's May 24, 2012 "I'm going to be the first to combine sad bastard music and men's fitness, and maintain my integrity in each," said Josh Tillman, fronting Father John Misty, or inhabiting the Father John Misty, last night at Fitzgerald's, right before ... More >>
A summer concert season to melt your face off.
Since their brother Michael passed away in June 2009, there has been persistent talk of a full-scale Jacksons tour, with the surviving Jackson brothers on board performing their collective hits and the hits of brother Jermaine. Today the iconic sibling group -- Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito Ja ... More >>
Spring training is just around the corner. The players are oiling up their gloves, creasing their brims and preparing to chew, spit and rearrange themselves through another 162 games. I love baseball. I don't care that it is the slowest and most idiosyncratic of all professional sports. The on ... More >>
Yesterday, about a half-dozen of my Facebook friends forwarded a gloom-and-doom listicle from a site called Buzzfeed entitled "12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music." Now up to over one million hits, the doom-and-gloom piece is subtitled "This is the saddest thing you'll read a ... More >>
Photographer were not allowed to shoot the Mac Miller show last night.9:55 p.m.: Mac Miller concert. Let's just get them all out of the way now: Asher Roth, Eminem, Yelawolf, Machine Gun Kelly, Paul Wall, Rich Hill, Aesop Rock, Bubba Sparxxx, El-P, MC Serch, R.A. the Rugged Man... He's whit ... More >>
I admit that I am amazed the ratings for The X Factor started off low and have continued to drop. While the show has its share of product placement, campy/terrible auditions, and judges' table drama, they stick mostly to talented singers and have limited the audition rounds to a very do-able, very w ... More >>
The less antisocial among you know that talking about music is one of the best icebreakers there is. To get to know our staff a little better, Rocks Off will periodically be asking them to share a few songs that helped to shape their musical tastes - and character. We start with our youngest member, ... More >>
A New Kids on the Block crush leads to a lifelong obsession with music.
Saturday, Michael Jackson will have been dead for two years. Already. The King of Pop succumbed to a drug addiction on June 25, 2009, helped along by a crooked Houston doctor, a team of enablers, and public that had grown largely indifferent to the man (but not his music) by two summers ago. ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerBruno Mars, Janelle Monae Reliant Arena May 18, 2011 See Bruno Mars, Janelle Monae and their fans, just the way they are, in our slideshow. Somewhere, Michael Jackson is smiling again. At last. The King of Pop may be gone, but he was very much there in spirit Wednesd ... More >>
detroitrockcity.altervista.orgSome places breed music. Due to sheer size, any big city will produce its fair share of talented musicians, and some - Memphis, New Orleans, Chicago - seem to have music in the water supply. But none, arguably, more than Detroit: John Lee Hooker, the Motown dias ... More >>
Photos courtesy of Houston Livestock Show & RodeoGeorge Strait in 1996If you walk through Reliant Center, hanging from the ceiling are banners listing almost every musical performer RodeoHouston has hosted since the '60s. The names reflect the hallowed history of country and fleeting fancies ... More >>
Black History Month is always a great time to recall some of Houston's greatest musical innovators and leaders. Rocks Off will highlight some of them during the remainder of February. "Hey, let's get back to that down-and-dirty old-school chicken-shack sound" mosaicrecords.comWhile Houston ... More >>
Gorillaz makes a stop in Houston tonight (Toyota Center, 7:30 p.m.) on their "Escape to Plastic Beach" world tour. Damon Albarn's "virtual band" is by now far better-known on this side of the pond than his original group, Blur, and is as famous for its inventive music videos as for the songs ... More >>
Photos by Marc BrubakerSheryl Crow Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion August 27, 2010 There is a mile-wide disparity between what Sheryl Crow is doing now and what her fanbase wants her to do, which was evident on Friday night at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. Touring behind a Memphis-sty ... More >>
Dan Klores CommunicationsTommy, can you hear me?Tonight House Of Blues welcomes the traveling underage rock revue School Of Rock as they re-create highlights from 1985's Live Aid concerts. SOR features three bands or teens and preteens rocking out and learning the ropes of touring and rock. ... More >>
The early 70's was a glorious time for the "family showband." The Cowsills started it all a few years earlier, and the lifestyle was soon immortalized on the screen by the fictionalized Partridge Family. But for every group like the Osmonds or the Jackson 5, there were dozens of others, perha ... More >>
Finally, all the MJ scholarship in one placeWhen The Journal of Pan African Studies decided to devote an entire volume to Michael Jackson after the Gloved One's passing, Texas Tech librarian Rob Weiner had an idea: why not find out how many times MJ popped up in academic journals, and for what re ... More >>
She Said has always been a fan of Stax Records, the gritty Southern label started by a white brother-sister team in a movie theater in Memphis. Something about Stax' organic sound and integrated musical influences (this is the same city that gave us Sun Records) had always felt so raw and real. ... More >>
Yo' mama's feet so big, they each got their own zip code
Back in the summer of1997, one couldn't walk out of their house without hearing someone humming, blaring, or damning to Hell that juicy nugget of pop rock that was Hanson's "MMMBop". Depending on your age and gender, you either understood the hooky genius of the song or you were just in love with t ... More >>
Halloween is coming, and that means many, many costuming mistakes will be made by normally sane adults. To help stop this scourge, each Thursday we will be offering tips and analysis of what to avoid, or possibly what to do. It seems that every year Halloween becomes less and less about scaring othe ... More >>
How Michael Jackson (sort of) introduced me to the Rolling Stones.
[Note: Because a lot of people are apparently into American Idol, Rocks Off asked contributor Ray Cummings to keep track of this season for us. This is his first report.] "Hollywood Week" marks the point in American Idol's grist-mill rigamorole calendar where the kid gloves come off, when being ... More >>
Band Aid: Do they know it's Christmastime at all? Most people I know hate Sunny 99.1, but not me. And I should really hate it. Any radio station supported by the American Dental Association has to suck. But every time I listen to it, I either hear something so corny and half-baked that I can't tur ... More >>
Do we really need a formula for perfect music?
A Hanukkah pilgrimage
Gauging 2005's rock deaths with the Greil Marcus Death Meter
The kids in Shulton's Youth have talent, ambition and a record deal. But is that enough?
Secret correspondence from the rodeo