Besides all the music, Rocks Off asked our writers to keep an eye out for the unusual at Sunday's HPMA showcase -- because it's everywhere -- and let us know if they found anything especially offbeat or otherwise noteworthy.
Best Sportsmanship: The fellas in thelastplaceyoulook forgo a few minutes of their closing set at the Bronze Peacock Room to accommodate the Niceguys, whose DJ Candlestick was a latecomer to the venue and in the slot before them. The Niceguys also managed to shout-out new Houston transplants We Were Wolves in their shortened set, who have apparently moved to Houston from Beaumont. Welcome aboard, duders. CRAIG HLAVATY
The Catacombs: Having only been in the Bronze Peacock's Foundation Room a few times before, I was unfamiliar with the layout. Around 8 o'clock, I moseyed that way in search of a restroom. After awkwardly leaning my head into three or four separate rooms, in which groups of people on the couch gawked at me with a look that read, "Who the hell are you?" I literally bumped into someone who seemed to be looking for the same thing as me. After I asked him if he knew where I could relieve myself, he shook his head and muttered, "It's like Pan's Labyrinth in here." MATTHEW KEEVER
Missed Connection: I don't know if it was connected -- I assume it was -- but right when Caretta Bell was telling the crowd at Lucky Strike her band's keyboardist had suddenly turned up missing, I happened to look at the drummer and he was on the phone. Not texting, talking. The lost musician turned up shortly, so the call must have worked. CHRIS GRAY
There Goes the Sun: Hearing Beatles cover band Beetle doing "Here Comes the Sun" inside Dirt Bar was a surreal, random moment. And, yeah, I double-checked the definition of surreal in the dictionary. One of the sunniest -- harhar -- songs in the Beatles catalog played with perfect, loving care inside one of the most decidedly nighttime-oriented bars in Houston.
The only thing better would be the Wild Moccasins covering the Archies inside Marfreless. Don't steal my idea. Apparently I also missed the Beetle-men covering "Yellow Submarine" with members of CHangoMan earlier in their set. Sad face supreme, with a side of woe is me. CRAIG HLAVATY
Most Annoying Trend: Bands other than those exclusively trafficking in covers or tribute acts playing covers two songs into their sets. Brompton, you are here because you are one of the best new acts in town, and you have your friends and family watching you, plus some curious onlookers. We don't need to hear you cover Chevelle, albeit ably as you did.
Let's get some original shit brewing, which you most definitely have going for you. Plus, don't try to be Chevelle. Chevelle is boring. Chevelle is the Little River Band of modern rock. CRAIG HLAVATY
Best "The Future Is Gonna Be Rad" Moment: Next door to the Warehouse Live Studio stage was the Girls Rock Camp Showcase, with dozens of little girls getting ready to show off the rock lessons they had learned this past week in the Houston chapter's annual camp.
The green rooms behind the studio were full of little gals done up like David Bowie and variations of Mick Jagger, all of whom already had their rock attitudes down, scoffing at the tattooed Venomous Maximus boys walking through their hallways. When I asked one of the young girls how they liked camp, she sneered, "It's rock and roll, it's awesome, what do you care?" like a perfect Johnny Rotten. So in about 12 years, the HPMAs are going to be pretty much amazing, if they all stick to it. CRAIG HLAVATY
Cameraphones: I get that because cameraphones are omnipresent, everyone feels the need to take a photo to prove that they were in fact at an event at some point. When someone snaps a photo of themselves at a Nickelback or LMFAO show, it makes sense.
Still, I couldn't help but be perplexed by the two adult couples jamming themselves together for a high-angle Facebook photo while the experimental rage of Female Demand was going on in the background. Oh well, better that than them making out up in the Foundation Room, I suppose. CORY GARCIA
HPMA Showcase Fashion: From a guy trying to pass off Capri pants as "man shorts," more than one pair of Wizard of Oz glitter-red shoes and a man in a fluffy pink (purple? orange-red?) hat, the fashion at this year's Houston Press Music Awards Showcase was nearly as interesting as the music. And speaking of music, many of the acts had notable outfits, too.
Tianna Hall, who scatted beside the lanes at Lucky Strike, was a lady in red -- bandanna and sandals, that is. And who could resist aforementioned group Maximus, with their retro-fitted tees paying homage to acts who were around before they were even born? ALTAMESE OSBOURNE
Most Likely to Star in America's Got Talent: America's Got Talent may not currently be at the top of Nick Greer of Nick Greer & the G's personal aspirations, but I feel this pop crooner would be fit performing his sunny Jason Mraz-meets-Gavin DeGraw tunes somewhere on television.
Point is, clown nose and all, Nick Greer & The G's is an act that seems to be closest to breaking into the mainstream, purely by virtue of its poppy sound. Regardless of personal taste, I imagine the music to be featured on such a television show, or at least later in a future television commercial. ALEXA CRENSHAW
The Most Wonderful Place on Earth: Mine happened during the Maximus show at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar. This guy walked in and he had this fairly large-sized pink (or orange?), fuzzy hat on. I thought it was very funny, so I took a picture of it and put it on Twitter.
Looking back, I wonder if he may have been confused that he was at a LMFAO concert. Nevertheless, it got me to thinking that I should have worn one of my Mickey-ear hats from Disneyland and Disney World, my Karate Kid headband or even the kitty ears. CHRISTINA LYNN
The Write Stuff: Running into an old friend with a paper ballet COVERED in notes, scribbles and check marks. He'd noted the bands he wanted to see and the bands he wanted to vote for. It shouldn't be a huge revelation, but I guess I spent so much time online that I forget people still like to do it the analog way. I just thought it was cool how studious he was about it. BRITTANIE SHEY
Smoke Signals: Always interested in good band names, I was walking through the parking lot to Ben's Beans when I came upon a battered Honda with a sticker announcing "Lithium Picnic." Voila, magic! But that may have been topped by a guy walking past the parking valets at the door to House of Blues huffing a reefer.
With the policeman across the street on the sidewalk and all kinds of passers-by, I had to give the guy props for balls -- until he decided to sit down on the flower bed wall in front of the House of Blues and finish his doob in full view of everyone inside. H-Town, baby. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH