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  • Culture

    May 29, 2014
  • Blogs

    May 6, 2014

    Ultimate Power-Trio Bassist Jack Bruce Steps On the Silver Rails

    He's best known to the average classic-rock fan for the scant time in the '60s, fewer than three years, that he spent singing and playing bass for a quiet little trio named Cream, alongside subdued guitarist Eric Clapton and noted shy-guy drummer Ginger Baker. But Jack Bruce has certainly had a mult ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2014

    What's With The Brits and Their Toffee? A Short History For National English Toffee Day

    This post seeks to to answer why the modifier English is so often attached to toffee. Is the basis for this adjective's syntactical proximity to toffee purely based on the geopolitical origins of this candy? Or is England's continued (ostensible) monopoly on the production of toffee the result of a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2013

    Music's Biggest Douchebags: 2013 Edition

    Just like I told you last year, the musical landscape abounds with douchebags of all stripes. Normally their D-bag behavior is pretty amusing, but this year things took a turn for the completely messed-up. Music might have had more douchebags in 2013 than ever before. It was tough sifting through t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2013

    Do Genres Have an Expiration Date?

    Whenever you buy a carton of milk, it comes with a lot of important information on the packaging. It tells you its nutritional facts, its location of origin, and, perhaps most importantly, its expiration date. Sure, you can usually tell just by the smell, but it's generally a decent arbiter. Does m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2013

    Apparently Playing Organ 100 Years Ago Could Kill You

    My day gig is as a clerk in pretty much Houston's last full-service sheet music store, so if you ever want to come down and comment in person I'm there most days explaining to people the difference between a violin and a fiddle. The difference is no one gets mad when you spill beer on a fiddle. On ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2013

    A Day to Remember at Reliant Arena, 10/20/2013

    A Day to Remember Reliant Arena October 20, 2013 Sunday night, A Day to Remember brought its "House Party Tour" to Houston, stopping at Reliant Center for an extended evening of flamboyance, fury and even a little bit of theater. True to its name, the show began with a video prologue, set at vocal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2013

    Fleetwood Mac at Toyota Center, 6/5/2013

    Fleetwood Mac Toyota Center June 5, 2013 A few things occurred to me as a spectator at Wednesday Night's Fleetwood Mac show at Toyota Center: They are not in the touring game for a paycheck; This band has a ton of mutual respect for one another, and for good reason; and All of us could reall ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    Georgia Safety Suspended Because He "Smoked a Blunt" (His Words to Police)

    As the college football calendar goes, we are smack dab in the middle of that late spring "soft spot" in the schedule where spring practice is a solid month in the rear-view mirror, the school year is wrapping up and summer school (for most places) is still a few weeks away. If idle hands are the d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2013

    Killing the Music: The Mumfordization of Top 40 Radio

    Twenty-eight. That is the amount of times in one day that I heard the songs play. Between my daily morning routine, my various commutes throughout the city, and a quick visit to CVS, "Home" came on eight times, "Ho Hey" seven, "Little Talks" also seven, and "I Will Wait" six. Phillip Phillips and c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 21, 2013

    Jailhouse Rock: When Artists Face Hard Time

    Nothing earns an musician instant street cred quite like a night or two in the pokey. It's basically a rite of passage -- a guarantee that if you sign up for the public eye, you will, indeed, screw it up at least once in order to delight us with your antics. From the likes of good ol' boys like Mer ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 21, 2013

    The Best Concerts In Houston This Week

    Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Fitzgerald's, January 21 The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion has been back preaching the blues gospel and garage wail for three years now, since reissuing their catalog to rave reviews and excitement from fans young and old. The trio -- Jon Spencer, Judah Bauer and Russell S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2012

    What Was Your Favorite Concert at The Summit?

    It must be music-venue day today. Rocks Off would like to thank Jon Harvey of Houston (@oompahead) for alerting us via Twitter to the fact that on this day in 1975, when I was a few weeks away from turning one year old, the sports and entertainment arena then known as the Summit opened in Greenway P ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2012

    Digital Endorsement: 10 Artists Who Will Gladly Mention Your Business On Twitter

    As a culture it appears that we've stopped caring about the idea of selling out. Whether it's because we've learned that record sales don't always pay the bills, have started seeing artists as humans instead of paragons of creative integrity, or simply stopped caring, artists saddling up with corpor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2012

    App of the Week: AroundMe Points You in the Right Direction

    App: AroundMe Platform: iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile Website: Cost: Free (with ads), $2.99 (without) One of the most usable features of any smartphone is its mapping technology. In essence, the smartphone is a simplified GPS tracker and because of Google's open mapping technology ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2012

    The (Un)United States of Sandwiches: What Do You Call A Sub?

    I grew up calling any sandwich on long French or Italian bread a sub, like any normal human being would. Or so I thought, until I realized my aunt called it a grinder...and my friend called it a hoagie. WTF. This is three people, from three states (New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania), callin ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    March 5, 2012

    Top 9 Comments On Summer Fest 2012: Where's The Women?

    As most of Houston and the surrounding area knows by now, Free Press Summer Fest announced its 2012 lineup in the wee hours this morning. By now Rocks Off has had a few more hours to reflect on the festival, entering its fourth year at Eleanor Tinsley Park June 2 and 3, and also to take a shower. O ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2012

    The Warning: The 10 Heaviest Albums Before Black Sabbath

    Forty-two years ago today, on Friday the 13th, the gates of hell opened up and belched forth Black Sabbath. Upon its release, the Birmingham band's eponymous debut album instantly became the heaviest, scariest, most evil record of all time, and it still ranks right up there. Calling this record "in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2012

    Decoding Newt Gingrich Based on His Known Musical Tastes

    The digital revolution is slowly killing our favorite form of amateur psychoanalysis. We've all gone through someone's CD collection at some point when they weren't in the room, and from the albums we found we were able to deduce something about their personality. Now, we don't even have a CD shelf, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2012

    The Much-Feared Restaurant Wars Hit Top Chef: Texas

    ​Now that Work of Art is over, I've had to find another reality show to haphazardly catch before tuning into Bravo on Wednesday nights. That show is Restaurant Impossible, and it's weirdly addictive. I've even found myself seeking it out on purpose, which is something I never do with Food Network ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2011

    YASSEAH!: Creed Hitting Houston For A Two-Night Stand This Spring

    Photo By GroovehouseCreed's Scott Stapp at his nearly sold-out acoustic date at the House Of Blues in March. ​It's hard to believe, but Florida rock giants Creed will be celebrating 15 years of 1997's landmark debut, My Own Prison. Well, it's not that hard to believe if you can do math and shi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 22, 2011

    Collins and Gorathy Uwake: Feds Seize Over $1M and Five Fancy Cars in Drug Raid

    Wikipedia CommonsOf the five rides cops seized in their raid, police say that Collins Uwake loved his Titan the best.​With a Missouri City drug raid late last month, agents from the DEA and multiple other local and state agencies closed an investigation into the activities of husband-and-wife ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2011

    Father Figures: 100 Famous Musicians' Paternal Professions

    If you're a Texan of a certain age, this week you've probably spent some time mourning the death of Jerry Haynes, the children's TV host better known as Mr. Peppermint. Haynes' show on WFAA-TV in Dallas, Peppermint Place, ran from the '60s to the '90s and was widely syndicated across the state, incl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2011

    Happy Birthday Leon Theremin: His Invention's Greatest Hits

    You wish.​Today marks the 115th birthday of Russian inventor Leon Theremin, inventor of the theremin, one of the eeriest and ookiest instruments created in this past century. Mr. Theremin celebrated quietly with family and friends in his native Russia. Just kidding, he died in 1993. The ther ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2011

    Upcoming Events

    Americas: So long, and thanks for all the dish.​It's been a long time coming, but Americas on Post Oak Boulevard is finally closing after 20 years. And while it will indeed be sad to lose its iconic dining room -- which I've always fondly thought of as "Dr. Seuss on acid" -- the restaurant is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2011

    Wikipedia Doesn't Think Much of Astros GM Ed Wade

    ​Wikipedia, the absolutely, impeccably never-wrong source of all information, apparently isn't impressed with Astros General Manager Ed Wade. The opening, in case you can't read it up there:

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2011

    Four Comic-Book Characters Inspired By Musicians

    ​Rocks off just can't seem to get comic books out of our blood. Between being fully immersed in Comicpalooza last weekend and trying to point out to Broadway how many other comic characters would make better and safer musicals than Spider-Man, we've regressed to being 15 with ink-stained figur ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2011

    Lions And Tigers And Bearfighters, Oh My!

    It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers. ​If Rocks Off had a nickel for every time we were compared to Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz we would definitely be wondering how we went ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2011

    Happy Birthday Iggy Pop: His Top 10 Solo Cuts

    Paul McAlpine/Wikipedia ​Today Iggy Pop turns 64, and the current and former James Newell Osterberg, Jr. is still making people a fraction of his age look and sound like croaking senior citizens. Blessed with a tolerance of life that probably rivals only that of Lemmy and Keith Richards, the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2011

    Billy Bob Thornton Producing ZZ Top Biopic, Sources Say

    Craig HlavatyBillys Gibbons (left) and Bob Thornton at Fitzgerald's, December 2009​How how how how will this not be Rocks Off's favorite movie of all time after it comes out? If the rumors coming out of Hollywood and last month's SXSW conference are true, the story of that Lil' Ol' Band from T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2011

    Lady Gaga: Born This Way... As A Meme

    John Robert Charlton via Wikipedia​Thursday, Lady Gaga created an Internet tizzy by merely releasing the lyrics to the first single and title track from her new album, Born This Way. It was as if she was released a perfume that smelled like semen and blood or something. The lyrics to "Born T ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2010

    Top Eight Notorious Concert Disasters

    Daniel R. Davidson via WikipediaThe Station fire in West Warwick, R.I., 40 seconds in​Recently, indie-rock juggernauts Arcade Fire were prevented from playing a gig in Portugal by NATO, which is having a summit on the same date. Arcade Fire offered to play a day ahead of time, but NATO decided ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2010

    Women Would Rather Spend Money on Shoes than Food, and Other Things I Learned Today

    Well...problem solved.​"Well, I learned something new today!" exclaimed my friend Jessica Walters as I met up with her after a panel at today's Houston Summit for the Creative Economy. "Women cause diabetes!" She laughed, but we both agreed that the moral of the story from the panel had been r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2010

    Joe DiMaggio -- Nude! Bob Feller, Too! For Baseball's Post-Season, Five Classic-Era Players Exposed (NSFW)

    Breaking news for Houston --baseball's post-season begins tonight. You probably haven't given much thought to the sport since August, but the rest of the country has. To some degree.To celebrate the national pastime in autumn, when every pitch counts and seasons are won and lost, we harken back to t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2010

    The Ten Worst Songs About Cowboys

    ​Sunday at noon, the Dallas Cowboys and our own Houston Texans face off at Reliant Stadium. The Texans are 2-0 and the Cowboys have not won one game at all this year. The Texans have won two games, and the Cowboys do not have any wins. At all. Understandably, spirits are high this week on bo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2010

    Remember Lil Flip's Ahead Of My Time?

    Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or un, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email Lil Flip Ahead of My Time (Clover G Records, 2010) ​Flip is a curious case. See, he was a world ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2010

    GAME TIME: Houston Texans - Final Practice Report (LIVE from New Orleans)

    Sean interviewed former Oiler Spencer Tillman Friday.​As we head into the back end of our trip to New Orleans for Texans-Saints Practicepalooza 2010 (also known as the "realizing there actually can be too much of a good thing" phase of the trip), I'd like to take a minute to wish a very happy thir ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2010

    Game Time: Brian Cushing -- Saga of the Overtrained Athlete

    For he today that juices his blood with me shall be my brother...​ "It's not a lie, if you believe it." -- George CostanzaNo one could carry out a lie like George Costanza.If you watched Seinfeld, you remember the episode where George told his would-have-been in-laws, the Rosses, that he had a tim ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2010

    MTV Struggles to Remain Relevant By Naming A Twitter Jockey

    ​This week MTV announced an online campaign looking for the network's first-ever TJ, or Twitter Jockey. Unlike the video jockeys of the cable station's past, these folks would instead live-tweet from MTV events for a year, earning a salary, and live in New York City. In addition to Twitter, th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 15, 2010

    Aftermath: Balaclavas' Unsettling LP Release Even Upsets Backroom's Plumbing

    Jody PerryBalaclavas​ If you were at the Backroom Saturday night and aren't quite sure what transpired, don't worry. You aren't alone. Aftermath is still wrapping her head around the night too. We do know this: Dead Roses played, with our dear friend Ralf Armin on sax. Indian Jewelry's girls flung ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2010

    Idol Beat: Here We Go Again...

    Last night's guest judge: a bobblehead doll Victoria Beckham​I've never watched a whole season of American Idol before, but that's a minor detail. Actually watching this show doesn't seem to be necessary to know as much about it as the most devoted fans: Amateur singers judges = quasi-drama. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2010

    American Idol: It Begins

    Last night's guest judge: a bobblehead doll Victoria Beckham​I've never watched a whole season of American Idol before, but that's a minor detail. Actually watching this show doesn't seem to be necessary to know as much about it as the most devoted fans: Amateur singers judges = quasi-drama. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2009

    Kolache Crawl: Klobasneks

    ​On the left, Hruska's pan sausage and cheese kolache, on the right, Weikel's link sausage kolache. I loved them both. But the slightly dried, peppery link sausage inside of Weikel's version put it over the top. However, I am told that these sausage kolaches aren't really kolaches at all. Saus ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2009

    The Sister Cities Of Houston: A Critical Appraisal, Part 1

    With the recent addition of Karachi, Pakistan, Houston now is a sister to 18 other cities around the world. Hair Balls is on the case - we studied all of them so you wouldn't have to. In the interest of brevity, though, we are parceling out our findings over the next couple of days. Here are the f ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 11, 2008

    David Ebershoff

    The author of The 19th Wife reads from his best-selling book

  • Film

    August 2, 2007

    The Simpsons Movie

    Breathe easy, Simpsons fans

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2007

    The Big C and Marvin Z

    Give a shout out to Marvin Zindler, who went on the air at KTRK-TV last night to tell viewers that he’s been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Zindler, who can be loud and cantankerous, was at his impressive best during the announcement. Shunning tears, he gave a feisty little speech in which he ... More >>

  • News

    December 21, 2006
  • Music

    June 22, 2006

    Hip-hop as She Is Rapped

    Translating the German Wikipedia entries of Houston's top MCs

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