Note: Because there ain't a whole lot else going on, today Rocks Off is revisiting some of our favorite stories of 2014. Happy Holidays!
The past week or so, music news has been dominated by two big announcements: first the 2014 lineup of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in the California desert about three months from now, and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's entertainers for its 83rd season this coming March. [The Rodeo will announce its 2015 lineup at 12:05 a.m. Monday, January 5 -- ed.]
On the surface the two events could not be more different. Coachella is shorthand for all that is hip and current, a magnet for the blue-state bicoastal media that fancies itself the arbiter of respectable musical taste. Much like Memorial Day weekend at the movies, it's also the opening salvo of music-festival season and the biggest island in the archipelago that also includes Bonnarroo, Sasquatch, Hangout, Outside Lands, Houston's Free Press Summer Fest, ACL Fest, and others.
The rodeo, meanwhile, is exactly that: not only the world's largest roping-and-riding competition, but also the biggest expression of traditional values and Go Texan pride to be found anywhere, period. Here signs of faith, family, patriotism, and respect for both education and the armed services are around every corner, on every video screen and in every exhibition hall. Although the beer and liquor flow liberally, for sure, it's a long way from the cornucopia of hedonism Coachella and most other big music festivals are usually made out to be.