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.
Who? When modern indie-rock was being Big Banged, a certain class of bands arose wanting to capture the same kind of melodic intensity as Husker Du, but without all that speed. As expressed by groups such as the Promise Ring, Mineral, Braid, and the "jaw" twins of Jawbox and Jawbreaker, this music became known as "emo" and enjoyed a brief, happy life as a geeky but heartfelt (and perfectly respectable) strain of alt-rock before being painted with the unfortunate Fall Out Boy brush.
Enter Football, etc. Lindsay Minton and Mercy Harper, students at New Jersey's Rutgers University at the time, started the band Tin Kitchen in 2006 and convinced Rainer Maria's Kyle Fischer to record a three-song demo. In their senior year, separate postgraduate teaching positions became available and, says Harper, "Houston emerged as the best fit for both of us."
The two relocated here and started a new band; today the third Footballer is drummer Edward Reisner.
Football, etc. generally keeps a low profile around Houston, but is very much a working band. The group has deals with two record labels, Count Your Lucky Stars in America and strictly no capital letters in the UK, has released the 2011 LP The Draft to go with an EP and a handful of 7" singles (one of their own and splits with Square Business and Empire! Empire!), and have toured both the U.S. and UK.
Earlier this month, Football, etc. headed up to Kansas to record an album with Ed Rose, who has also worked with Appleseed Cast and the Get Up Kids. Harper says it should be released in a few months.
Home Base: Without elaborating, Harper offers an excellent choice: "Ruthie's on Richmond."
Good War Story: "The day before we left for U.S. tour last summer, I woke up and found that someone had thrown a brick through the rear windshield of my car, which was also our tour vehicle," says Harper of their Scion XB. "We're a pretty compact band.
"They didn't steal anything, and I still don't know if I have some unknown enemy lurking out there or if it was just random," she adds. "But the broken glass kind of looked like the Wu-Tang logo."
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Lindsay and I came here for work and that's primarily why we stay," Harper admits. "Houston is a great place to work, but there's a lot to love about it in other ways too."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "The fact that most apartments don't have basements, and how spread out the city is, makes sustaining a DIY scene not as easy here as it is in other cities," says Harper.
Five Desert Island Discs:
At the Drive-In, Acrobatic Tenement
Sonic Youth, Goo
Various Artists, MTV Party to Go 1999
Best Concert You Ever Saw: "Rainer Maria's final show in Brooklyn."
First Song You Fell In Love With: 'Holden Caufield' by Piebald."
See who else has joined The Rocks Off 100 this year on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI