Thursday morning I logged onto YouTube and found that my account had been frozen for copyright infringement. It's happened before, but this time I was instructed to watch a five-minute cartoon from the folks behind Happy Tree Friends about being a dirty, content-stealing pirate as well as take a qui ... More >>
This weekend, on the heels of the release of their fifth full-length album, Minus the Machine, 10 Years visits Houston (...well, The Woodlands) for Buzzfest XXIX, performing alongside Silversun Pickups, Three Days Grace, The Toadies, Dead Sara, Hollywood Undead, Lit and our city's very own thelastpl ... More >>
After 50 years as one of Texas's top powerhouse entertainers, Roy Head calls son Sundance the real star in the family.
Rocks Off hadn't thought much about Sundance Head since his 13th-place American Idol finish in 2007 and the momentary ballyhoo that followed. Head, the son of legendary Houston blue-eyed soul man Roy Head, remains the only artist who didn't finish in the Top 5 on Idol to sign a major-label deal. Bu ... More >>
Yesterday, one of our favorite file sharing sites was struck by a government takedown around the early portions of the morning. It was swift, it was brutal and it could have been blamed on Kim Kardashian. Losing MegaUpload was a giant blow to musicians who love uploading zip or rar files of thei ... More >>
We've all failed as music journalists. Swizz Beatz is the CEO of Megaupload.com and no one seemed to notice? No one, except Wikipedia (yes, that bastion of factual information on the web), which lists Swizzy's government handle, Kaseem Dean, as the head honcho of Megaupload. Megaupload's "About Us" ... More >>
In 2005, rappers put Houston on the map. Then the spotlight moved on. Some musicians are working hard to turn it back this way.
Last week, the music world laughed up a hiccup as Lil Wayne pranced around the VMA stage in nut-suffocating, Le Tigre-inspired jeggings. While that performance affirmed that Wayne is no fashion guru, his chart performance a week later reminded us that he's very good at something else-selling ... More >>
Marco TorresChamillionaire at House of Blues, April 2010Remember that announcement Rocks Off promised you about another addition to next month's Best of Houston® BestFest lineup lo those many years months days hours ago? Like, yesterday? Here it is: Chamillionaire. Sorry it took so long, ... More >>
Houston has a multitude of music within - and bleeding across - its borders. By our own quick estimate, there are about 500 active musical acts in the metropolitan area, and that's probably still a lowball speculation. With all these acts, it's only natural that yet another label would sprin ... More >>
Earlier this week, Chamillionaire, still glowing from being free from the tyrannical grip of Universal Records, released Major Pain 1.5. Thursday afternoon, he was polite (or politic) enough to take a few minutes to talk about the tape. The notes from the conversation and the tape are kind ... More >>
Now a Recovery in more ways than one.Eminem quietly scored a major victory in a case involving download royalties this week. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out an appeal filed by Universal Music Group, the world's largest music empire, against Eminem's former production company F.B.T. Productio ... More >>
Vince Gill centers himself through bluegrass and digs Miranda Lambert.
Chamillionaire has severed ties with Universal Records, his label of the past six years. The melodically gifted Houston rapper released his major-label debut, The Sound of Revenge, in 2005 through a partnership between his Chamillitary Entertainment imprint and Universal Music Group. Revenge ... More >>
Courtesy of Allyson TownshendOne of the most delightful acquaintances Rocks Off has made this year is Allyson Townsend also known as Ally ASL. A Baylor graduate of now teaching deaf children in Dallas, Townsend carved quite a bit of fame for herself after she began her quest to translate mode ... More >>
Allyson Townsend, better known to her fans as Ally ASL, made headlines earlier this month when YouTube shut down her account after Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group complained that her videos, which featured Ally translating pop songs by Kesha, Owl City and others into American Sig ... More >>
Universal Music GroupAs far as Rocks Off knows, everything is hunky-dory for Hole's show at House of Blues this evening. Courtney Love and friends are scheduled to play from 9:45 to 11:15, which Rocks Off is interpreting as they could go on anywhere from 9:45 to 11:15. As Hole's rambling, sl ... More >>
Universal Music Group The interview with Blue October's Justin Furstenfeld had long been set. After overcoming some misgivings on the part of his management over some stuff I had written in the past, it was decided that I would get to spend an hour backstage with the platinum-selling frontman bet ... More >>
Welcome back to Five Spot. Every Friday, we'll examine a recent bit of music news and, albeit sometimes awkwardly, tie it to a bit of Houston rap. We'll incorporate the number five in there somewhere. Send tips to email@example.com. You have to love Rap-A-Lot records. News leaked ... More >>
Throw beer on Southern Culture on the Skids bassist Mary Huff at your own risk.
Houston's SXSW Class of '10 is as diverse as the Bayou City.
Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won't rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: "Reflection," Guerilla Foco Clan Wire to Wire Of course, the universe spun out of control this week. De ... More >>
Welcome back to Turning the Screw, Rocks Off's weekly rap post. It probably won't rhyme, at least most of the time. E-mail tips to email@example.com. Thanks, homies. Single of the Week: "Creepin'," Chamillionaire feat. Ludacris Wire To Wire Cham's Major Pain tape is supposed to be release ... More >>
Each Wednesday, 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? Email their particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.Photos by Barry Dolton For thi ... More >>
During the Washington, D.C. sniper hunt of 2002, you didn't want to be the person who owned a white van in that metropolitan area. That's because the alleged sniper, who randomly killed ten people and critically injured three, was supposedly driving one. Everyone was looking for that vehicle des ... More >>
Consumers try hawking "old" digital music files through new Web sites.
After a hot minute, Mail Call returns in a slightly revamped format... Pick of the Litter Diagonals (Austin), Valley of the Cyclops (Monofonus Press) They Say: "A sweet-and-sour dark-pop soundtrack for the dawn of the post-Bush era." Rocks Off Says: Loose-fitting, lo-fi melodic garage ... More >>
Americans who still think of Latin music as mariachi bands and gyrating Ricky Martins and Shakiras might want to lend a closer ear to the genre. This country's Hispanic population isn't just growing, it's growing more diverse. More and more unique musical styles are being gobbled up, and that should ... More >>
Two years in the making, original Screwed Up Clik member Lil Keke's - whose 1997 hit "South Side" remains a milestone in Houston rap - new LP Loved by Few, Hated by Many is out today on Swishahouse/TF, with distribution by Universal Motown; guests include Slim Thug, Paul Wall and Birdman (who appear ... More >>
Chamillionaire might be the most strait-laced rapper alive. In the current issue of Blender magazine – featuring Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger on the cover, topless of course – the Jersey Village-reared Grammy winner and Swishahouse alumnus is queried in the mag’s back-page fea ... More >>
Astra Heights returns from L.A. with a major-label deal in hand
Le Tigre and Electrelane bring an evening of transatlantic feminist mayhem to the Engine Room. Don't worry, boys -- you can come too.
Handsome Boy Modeling School, Molotov and Rufus Wainwright
Grab your gift certificates and trade in your white elephants -- here's what you really wanted for Christmas
Houston Press Music Awards Showcase 2002
Fans saw Carlos Coy as the invincible rapper, the gangsta who could become an icon for outcast Hispanics everywhere. But they didn't know his weakness -- young girls did.
Never Change (The Pain and Glory Album) (Dope House/Universal) / Almost Famous(JCOR)
The departure of founding bassist Lisa Umbarger spells doom for the Metroplex band
The votes are in! See who you picked as winners in the HPMA 2000
The sweetest enigma
Behind current blaxploitation pulp literature is - surprise! - the music biz
Out In Sight
New way to hear music is music to consumers' ears