Subject:

William Michael Smith

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2014

    The 25 Best Songs About Houston

    Bobby Bare, "I Can Almost See Houston From Here" One of the great homesick songs, Bobby Bare infuses this one with downtrodden ennui as he pines for the warmness of his old hometown. Usually veteran Houstonians are forced to deal with some newbie from Portland telling us all the things that are wron ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2014

    Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' 20 Best Songs

    Get excited. Next Saturday morning at 10 a.m., tickets go on sale for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' first Houston-area show in four years, September 25 at Toyota Center with old friend Steve Winwood opening. A copy of the band's new album, Hypnotic Eye, is included with each concert ticket sold. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 13, 2013

    The 11 Best Houston Releases of 2013

    Bun B, Trill O.G.: The Epilogue At this point, Bun B's influence stretches far beyond music, but that doesn't mean he can't still churn out a great album. Trill O.G. The Epilogue, the finale in his Trill album series, has everything we've come to both expect and love from a Bun album. It begins wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    Our 11 Favorite Drinking Songs. Cheers!

    Many drinkers have a dialogue in their heads that also plays out in great drinking songs throughout the ages. "Why do you drink?" asks the great prophet Bocephus. "It's five o'clock somewhere," reply the equally sage Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. Rocks Off wanted to know our writers' favorite dri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2013

    The Best Concerts In Houston This Week: Heart, Bruno Mars, The Leavers, Bill Kirchen, etc.

    Tianna Hall Sambuca, August 12 You could argue that Tianna Hall is the best jazz singer in all of Houston. I mean, you could argue against it, too, but it's like arguing that the moon landing was faked. Her smoky voice is a fine mix of skill and improvised magic, and it's landed her on the Grammy n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    Houston's Best Concerts This Week: Robin Kirby, C.J. Chenier, The Suffers, etc.

    Robin Kirby Last Concert Cafe, June 18 Singer-songwriter Robin Kirby entered the Houston music scene in 2008 after leaving her band Robin & the Hurricanes behind in Dallas. Since then she's been constantly on the go, offering a stripped-down and honest style that sounds absolutely timeless. Kirby' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    Willie Nelson's Houston Years -- Struggling to Get By in the Murder Capital of the Nation

    We usually let our sister blog Rocks Off handle the music business, but in case you don't regularly check them out (for shame!), allow us to point you to a story worth reading. William Michael Smith takes a long and deep look at Willie Nelson's early years struggling to get by in Houston, in this w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2012

    HPMA Showcase: Rocks Off's Top 7 Discoveries

    Rocks Off also asked our folks covering the HPMA showcase to tell us their favorite new artist they saw Sunday - not necessary new, just new to them. HPMA Showcase: The 12 Best Artists of 2012 SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase -- The Bands SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase -- The Crowds Alkari: How have I never s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2012

    The Best Rockabilly Beauties From Rock Baby Rock It

    See even more pinup queens in our Rock Baby Rock It slideshow. As William Michael Smith put it in his review, hot the operative word at Saturday's Rock Baby Rock It hot-rod show/musical extravaganza. Ladies were dolled up pin-up style all over the Island off Main, with tall hair, heavy make-up, and ... More >>

  • Calendar

    June 14, 2012
  • Blogs

    June 1, 2012

    Summer Fest Round Table: What About Next Year?

    Assuming we all survive this weekend, and then the supposed Mayan apocalypse, Free Press Summer Fest will return to Eleanor Tinsley Park in June 2013. Pegstar's Jagi Katial and Jason Petzold told the Houston Press this week that they'll start booking next year's acts in about a month, so Rocks Off p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2012

    Uh-Oh: George Jones Is Sick

    It's never really not old, but since we've already been going through it with Levon Helm and the Bee Gees' Robin Gibb (who, gratefully, is at least out of his coma), this isn't good news at all. Saratoga native and Country Music Hall of Famer George Jones, the man who could break the Tin Man's pre-E ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2012

    iFest's Jesse Dayton: "I'm Ready To Throw Down"

    The last time Rocks Off caught up with Jesse Dayton, he was up to his eyeballs in alligators with his film project Zombex, working on an album of Kinky Friedman cover songs, and playing Kinky for a bunch of New York art types in Marfa. One of the hustling-est hustlers in show business, Dayton has pl ... More >>

  • Music

    November 24, 2011

    Thanks, Houston

    What we appreciate most this year.

  • Blogs

    November 24, 2011

    What We Are Thankful For This Year

    Like most years, 2011 has been...complicated. We've heard some great music, seen some killer shows and lost some amazing people. We also nearly lost one of our own. That's how it goes in this world and it's why the things we are thankful for take on added meaning as the year begins to wind down. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2011

    Houston "Doghouse" Blues Pianist Earl Gilliam Dead At 81

    ​Rocks Off contributor William Michael Smith just called in to regretfully inform us that Houston blues musician Earl Gilliam has passed away. Gilliam's manager, Sheri Goodman, told Smith that Gilliam died at his home near Tomball of advanced lung disease. The piano player was famous for host ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2011

    BestFest: Chamillionaire, Starmaker; The Tontons, New Stars

    Marc BrubakerKing Koopa: Talent scout in his spare time.​God Almighty, that cool front did not last anywhere near long enough. The crowd seems to be in pretty good spirits, but it's just past the hottest part of the day right now and fatigue is starting to show. It's better now - ed. People a ... More >>

  • News

    September 15, 2011

    Houston and the Blues

    Viva the Houston Blues Scene.

  • Music

    June 16, 2011
  • Blogs

    May 30, 2011

    The Best Local & Texas Albums Of 2011 (So Far)

    ​Chris Gray: My pick is a dead heat between a pair of Lost Highway albums by a couple of artists who just happen to be appearing at Summer Fest this weekend, Hayes Carll's KMAG YOYO (& Other American Stories) and Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears' Scandalous. Though he's been one of my favorit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2010

    Things We Never, Ever Want To Hear Again

    ​Editor's Pick: Vampire Weekend's "Holiday." Everything I hate about indie rock (cloying, fey, highly irritating) and car commercials (they're car commercials) in about 15 seconds.. Repeated seven or eight times a fucking hour. Marc Brubaker: "Check us out on Twitter!" or anything else Twitt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 24, 2010

    Merry Christmas From Rocks Off

    Rocks Off polled our staff for their favorite Christmas songs to create a playlist for you to enjoy while you open presents, drink egg nog, or however else you celebrate. Enjoy. Ahh, the gift that keeps on giving...​Editor's Pick: U2, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)": Neph Basedow: Ped ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    The Top WTF Moments Of The Year

    Editor's Pick: WTF doesn't have to mean "bad," you know. About a week ago - a week exactly, as a matter of fact - En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" came on the PA at Fitzgerald's. I have been in a musical fog for a few months, where nothing was really connecting, but this song snapped me right out of it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    R.I.P.: Notable Passings Of 2010

    ​Editor's Pick: Dio, man. Neph Basedow: 2010 commenced on a sad note with the passing of Memphis garage rocker Jay Reatard (aka Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.). I'd seen him play a tiny show at Chicago's Empty Bottle in 2008 and still consider it one of the best shows I've ever seen. It was definitive ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    Houston Music's People Of The Year

    Craig Hlavaty​Editor's Pick: Grandfather Child. It was a good year for the blues all around - the Black Keys' well-deserved radio breakthrough with Brothers; Lightnin' Hopkins' long-overdue historical marker in Third Ward - but Lucas Gorham's crew is a razor-sharp reminder that the best blues ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2010

    The Rolling Stones At Hofheinz Pavilion In 1972, Firsthand

    Ed. Note: Rocks Off's own Lonesome Onry and Mean himself, William Michael Smith, attended the Rolling Stones concert at Hofheinz Pavilion in June 1972 that was filmed for the movie Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones. Since the movie screens at 7:30 p.m. tonight at several Houston-area theaters ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2010

    Happy Anniversary Texas Music Magazine, or "Austin and (Maybe) Everything After"

    ​Towards the end of last week, Rocks Off got the latest issue of Texas Music magazine in the mail, which just happens to mark the quarterly periodical's tenth anniversary. Naturally, as just about every publication does when it reaches such an august milestone - no mean feat for a magazine in this ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2009

    2009 Concert Rewind, June: Roky Erickson, David Byrne, Heartless Bastards, Santigold, Clapton & Winwood, the Jenny Lewis Shushing and '90s Alt-Rock Back from the Dead

    Daniel Kramer​ New York Dolls, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, House of Blues, June 4: "What we got last night at the House of Blues was an hour-long set of sporadic and confounding re-workings of their bedrock material, and a whole helluva lot of middle-of-the-road bar rock from two dimming ... More >>

  • Music

    February 26, 2009
  • Blogs

    January 8, 2009

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: The Gourds, Part 3

    [Note: This is the final installment of Lonesome Onry and Mean's interview with the Gourds' Kevin Russell. Don't miss Part 1 and Part 2.] John Carrico Lonesome Onry and Mean: To a lot of critics, "Steeple Full of Swallows" on Heavy Ornamentals was singled out as a new quieter, serious sound for th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2009

    Aftermath: The Magpies and Sideshow Tramps at the Continental Club

    Photos by Chris Gray It didn't look good at the beginning. A few minutes after 9 p.m. Wednesday, the posted start time for visiting Cleveland roots-rockers the Magpies, the "count" at the Continental Club front door was all of 16 paying customers, and the band was nowhere in sight. Two chicken tac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2009

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: The Gourds, Part 2

    Andy Goodwin [Note: Part 1 of this interview is here.] Lonesome Onry and Mean: You guys have been on several labels, have probably heard all the too-good-to-be-true come-ons, been to the meetings with label radio gurus and all. How do you look at the label system and the way things are done in the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2009

    MySpaced Out: Gram Rabbit Stirs in the High Desert

    Gram Rabbit, "California Christmas" In case you're still in your holiday hangover mode like I am, here's one wonderful holiday YouTube video that our gallant Mr. Rocks Off left out of his holiday onslaught. Cute doesn't begin to describe this one. While we are on the subject, high desert California ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2008

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Sounds of Texas Music Series Announces 2009 Season

    Guy Clark, "L.A. Freeway," live in Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2006 In response to last week's feature on the Conroe/The Woodlands/Montgomery County Americana scene, we've just received word from the Sounds of Texas Music Series people regarding their 2009 season. Quote-unquote, "Season tickets ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2008

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: New Records from Nicholas Tremulis and Felix Cavaliere

    Nicholas Tremulis with Robbie Fulks, "Mystery Train" Some killer records have recently fallen through Lonesome Onry and Mean's cracks, either due to a lack of space in the paper or LOM having just found the CDs under the seat of his truck. Yeah, stuff happens. The Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra's Pink ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2008

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: The Gourds Land a Real Haymaker!

    The Gourds live at Bumbershoot in Seattle, 2007 Photo by Allie Pasquier Advance copies of the Gourds' new Yep Roc album, Haymaker!, are out, and fans certainly have something to look forward to. Release date is Jan. 6. Of course it features the usual zany lyrics -- check out “Shreveport” or the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2008

    Aftermath: Dominic Walsh Dance Theater's Titus Andronicus, with Two Star Symphony, at Hobby Center's Zilkha Theater

    Photos courtesy Dominic Walsh Dance Theater Two Star Symphony got its ballet-scoring career off the runway in brilliant style last night at Zilkha Hall. The band’s dark, thick, goth-rock-informed approach to classical music matched well with Dominic Walsh’s stylish, whimsical, ultra-modern adap ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 18, 2008
  • Blogs

    July 15, 2008

    Lonesome, Onry and Mean: The Death of Honky-Tonk? (Part 1)

    Although the sterile country-crap radio in our fair city may not know honky-tonk music from the Muzak in an elevator, suddenly there are a number of stellar honky-tonk records out. Arty Hill’s Bar of Gold spent several weeks atop the Freeform Americana radio chart, not bad for someone from Baltimo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2008

    Lonesome Onry and Mean: Justin Townes Earle, Dustin Welch and Jubal Lee Young Crawl Out of the Shadows

    In spite of the old Surgeon General-like warning among industry insiders about musical fathers and sons (“like father, like hell”), several sons of important Americana figures seem to be rapidly coming well into their own. Longtime left-of-center Nashville writer Mark Germino, whose songwriting ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2008

    Last Night: Dengue Fever at the Orange Show

    “We were in Austin last night and folks over there warned us that Houston is not a music town.” Bearded Dengue Fever guitarist Zac Holtman brought the house down with what proved to be the only irony of the evening as a sold-out, crammed-to-the-rafters crowd took advantage of some great cool wea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 29, 2008

    MySpaced Out: A MySpace Mixtape

    Clicking through MySpace, one comes across tons of dreck, but every once in a while a diamond gleams in the pile of trash, some virtually anonymous flash of brilliance blinds the brain with humor, underdog sass or gumption. If I were one to make mixtapes (or CDs), here’s a handful of songs that wo ... More >>

  • Music

    July 26, 2007

    Tori Amos

    American Doll Posse

  • News

    February 2, 2006
  • Music

    December 30, 2004
  • Music

    October 28, 2004
  • Music

    October 14, 2004
  • Music

    September 23, 2004
  • News

    July 31, 2003
  • Music

    July 24, 2003

    Rock You like a Hurricane

    The Press Music Awards Showcase brings a category-five storm of tunes

  • More >>
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