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.
Who? Chris Alonzo is the founder and administrator of CMVC (musicvideothread), a Facebook page he started for the sole purpose of promoting great rock bands, famous or not, out of his own frustration with Houston rock radio.
"[The stations] are all mostly owned by Clear Channel, and they play the same 20-song set list every day," he asserts.
As a child, Alonzo grew up watching MTV and shows like NBC's Friday Night Videos and USA Network's Night Flight. He wishes the general public could see more of these videos.
"I don't think we should pay $180 cable to see Fuse or VH1 Classic to watch music videos," he says. "So I use the Internet to promote classic and new rock videos on my Facebook page."
Alonzo uses the page to promote bands that he wishes he could see on television or hear on the radio. "Houston rock stations will never play bands like the Fall of Troy, new releases by Testament or Coheed and Cambria, but they will play the new crappy Nickelback song or Shinedown," he opines. "There is so much music out there. We need to listen more."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? Alonzo stays in Houston simply because he loves the Bayou Citystill goes to such places as Fitzgerald's and Warehouse Live whenever possible. "It's were the action is at," he replies.
Home Base: Alonzo was born and raised in Houston. Currently, he and his wife reside in Cypress.
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Alonzo's main pet peeve with the Houston music scene is when someone is singing a song lyric for lyric at a show, but then another person tells him or her to shut up.
"I believe it's a release for people when they see their favorite band, and if they know the song and want to sing and dance, they have the right," he says. "I had to defend people when other people tell them to be quiet. I'm like, 'No, let them sing. The louder, the better.'"
Good War Story: In 2006, Alonzo attended a concert by Army of Anyone, a modern-rock supergroup comprised of Stone Temple Pilots' Robert and Dean DeLeo, Filter's Richard Patrick and Ray Luzier of Korn. As a big Stone Temple Pilots fan, Alonzo arrived early to see the band (who was the show openers) at the then-Verizon Wireless Theater. Pre-show, Alonzo went to the back of the venue and waited outside backstage for the group.
"They were performing their sound check as I and a few others were outside waiting to get their autographs," Alonzo recalls. Suddenly, a security guard showed up and told the crowd they could not wait by the gate by the doors. He explained to the guard that they only wanted an autograph and, as Alonzo slowly walked away, Dean DeLeo appeared.
"I yell his name, 'Dean!', and he walks over to me, shakes my hand and we start talking for a few minutes," he recounts. Dean even posed for a picture with the star-struck Alonzo.
"He was cool!" says Alonzo. "Nothing like meeting the guy who influences [me] and makes me want to play guitar."
5 Desert Island Discs:
- Stone Temple Pilots, Core
- Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
- The Beatles, A Hard Day's Night
- 311, Music
- Rush, 2112