Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, 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 previous entries in the Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Gag Me, I'm Gorgeous is one of those bands that makes me sad I don't run a column on band names anymore because the name alone is thing of beauty. Over and above that, they have a unique sound that is truly difficult to describe -- a mixture of incomprehensible metal growls and progressive changes, mixed with a style of alternative rock almost like the Breeders. It honestly might be a bit too much, even for a city like Houston that breeds musical madmen like others raise dachshunds.
Part of that genius is Meagan Chambers, whose guitar style compares to everyone from Robert Smith to Tom Morello. She started out life as a band nerd playing the trumpet, but picked up the guitar in high school at the behest of a Bible study teacher who taught her hymns on an acoustic.
Upon moving near The Woodlands after graduation and feeling friendless in a new neighborhood, Chambers began auditioning for bands in order to meet people. Eventually she hooked up with fellow guitarist William Boyett and formed what would become Gag Me, I'm Gorgeous. The band is currently finishing up its first EP and is about to take a Texas mini-tour to Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.
Home Base: Boyett and drummer Aaron Waggoner share an old wooden house in Conroe that doubles as a rehearsal space. Chambers loves the atmosphere of the place and is happy to attend both practice and just social gatherings there. She's a big fan of playing with the many dogs on the property during smoke breaks.
Despite having only done so once Chambers is big on Fitzgerald's. She was amazed at the sound quality and left the gig with a lot of respect for the setup. She also enjoys Walters because the stage is a nice, medium size.
Good War Story: "I'm not sure if this counts as war, really, but when the boys parted with their previous guitarist he made some choppy dubstep song about hating (and possibly murdering) us and posted it on YouTube," recalls Chambers. "Nothing ever became of it, although it's still online. I really don't enjoy feuds. I try to be a friendly and respectful person."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: Chambers hates unprofessional behavior and a lack of dependability. Show up when you're supposed to, play when you're supposed to, and just all and all act like you're serious about this.
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Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Partially because my family and friends are here, and partially because it is in close proximity to the Renaissance Festival," she offers. "I would like to live somewhere other than where I was born for some time, because I think that is important, but I am grateful to live in such a culturally diverse city.
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"I don't live within the loop, so my 'Houston' is the expanded version," continues Chambers. "But to drive from one side of town to the other can take hours and you will see all kinds of people and interesting things. I will admit that I considered defecting when they took away Astroworld."
Five Desert Island Discs:
- My Chemical Romance, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
- Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin III
- Shpongle, Tales of the Inexpressible
- Bon Iver, Bon Iver
- Sublime, 40oz. to Freedom
Best Show You've Ever Seen: "I love it when Enter Shikari comes to Houston," she says. "They're a post-hardcore band from the UK who are very energetic and great at getting the crowd involved. I saw them at a small venue in The Woodlands that was meant to hold probably a third of the people there that night.
"It had to have been over 100 degrees in the place and everyone was sweaty and crammed up against each other like sardines just to see this little British guy scream about how he wants the world to be a better place," Chambers adds. "It just moved me, and I had a great time that night. I also saw ZZ Top. They had furry guitars and did Johnny Cash covers, so that's a close second."
First Song You Ever Fell in Love With: "'My Heart Will Go On,' by Celine Dion."
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See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
Justin Nava, the Voice of thelastplaceyoulook Donnie Houston, Halftime Entertainment Chase Harris, Deep Cuts' Rather Deep Thinker Dave Callier, Grindcore Guitar God Mlee Marie Mains, the Heart of Hearts of Animals DJ Navo, Bombón's Boundless Body-Mover Breelan Angel, Dirty Little Secret Keeper Michael Dauzat, Sr., a Rabbi and a Hate Nick Greer, a G Among G's Chingo Bling, H-Town's Own Versace Mariachi Quenton Rockwell, Melody Man in the Shiny Darks Southerland Nights, An Army of Accolades Stacy Hartoon, Rudz's Punk-Rock Heir Apparent Bowen Lyons, Keeper of the Trimms' Groove Chris Gore, Electronica Guru of BLSHS John Alton, the Madness of Cosmic Bug Loaf Reko Trill, of the Almighty Trill Brothers Jo Bird, Bow-Caster of Fiddle Witch & the Demons of Doom DJ Nando1, Who Fights to Keep the Party Poppin' Randall Hopkins, Featherface Drummer and Brilliant Video Director Roby Deaton, Open-Mike Pocket of Cool Nosaprise, Hurrah! for the Blushing Bridegroom Tony Vega, the Big Easy's Barnburner Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog Michael Anthony Shanks, Houston's Merry Shankster DJ Baby Roo, Vegetarian Hip-Hop Veteran Rachel Bays, Filming Them Softly Punk-Rock "Newcomers" Screech of Death Erin Rodgers, the Keys to Glass the Sky Alex LaRotta, Crate-Digging Fistful of Soul Brother Alycia Miles, Triumphant Soul Singer DJ Piam, Poison Girl's Bacon-Fat Funk Specialist Mister Insane, Host of The Insane Show Jake Rawls -- Kemo For Emo Is Back Santos Pastrana, Sound Engineer and DJ Ninja Heading Upstream with RIVERS' Chris Tamez DJ Dayta, Keeper of That Good Good Matthew Davis Buehrer, Runaway Sun's Globally Thinking Bassist Fat Tony, Third Ward to "BKNY" Noon, Rapper With a Lot on His Mind Matt Cash, Clear Lake's Cassette Tape Wailer Jason Smith, Alkari's Space City Rocker DJ Penetrate, All Lit Up in "Neon Lights" Catch Fever Is Catching On Renée Jonard, Princess of Noise Pollution Junior Gordon, Big Man With a Big Sound Chad Smalley, Blaggards' Barse Player Damien Randle, K-OTIX Man of Action Kevin Anthony, 45 Southbound Man DJ Good Grief Knows How to Have Fun Robert Kuhn, the Well-Traveled Islander Gunnar Cushway, Insko's Feel-Good Utilityman Mario Rodriguez, Tax the Wolf/Bang Bangz's Wonky Power Monger John Smith, Goodtime Continental Club Manager Dwayne Cathey, A Good Man to Scare People With Walter Carlos, Guitar-Punisher of Funeral Horse Ryan James, Putting Up a Good Fight John Cramer, Guitar Apostle of Project Grimm Big Gerb, Houston's Hongree-est MC Steven Higginbotham, Hard-Working Wheel Worker Alisha Pattillo & Her Swaggering, Soulful Sax Brandon Ray, Punk Rocker Turned Filmmaker/Animator The Excitable Boys of Another Run Flash Gordon Parks, DJ as Funky Professor DJ Main Event, Kratez Crew JumpOff Man Odd Hours and Back to Back's Hank Doyle Legendary K-OTIX Producer Russel "The ARE" Gonzalez Dylan Bryson Sings the Blues (Rock) DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow Tom Lynch, New Kid On the Block Ashley Worhol, Goth-Metal Queen of Katy Joe Ortiz, Clockpole's Master of Nonsense Marzi Montazeri, the Man Dimebag Darrell Called a Bad Motherfucker John Salinas, the Beat Beast of Only Beast Homegrown Cowboy Crooner Charles Peters Adam Bricks, NYC Expat Metal Journeyman and Blasé Bassist Alan Hilton Kyra Noons, Houston's Reggae Sunsplash DJ AudiTory, the Maestro of LuvItMane The Nephilim Terror's Death-Metal Growler Danny Carroll Tommy Grindle, Guitarist of Square and Compass The Bailout Bureau's Mysterious "Bob Bovary" DJ Twinkle-Toes, Won a "Dick-Measuring Vinyl Orgy" With Two iPods Beanz N Kornbread, Gmail-Loving Production Duo You(genious), Party Crasher Turned Musical Auteur Daniel Alexander, Klein's Backyard MC