The Rocks Off 200: Stacy Hartoon, Rudz's Punk-Rock Heir Apparent

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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.

We've wanted Stacy Hartoon in the Rocks Off 200 ever since she took over for Mike Sims, who left his post booking bands at Rudyard's in mid-April after a decade of steering hundreds (maybe thousands) of bands into a room many fans consider to have the best live sound in the city. Rudz is beloved among local musicians no matter their style (though punk, garage, glam, metal, hard rock and roots seem to be most common) for its unpretentious attitude and commitment to putting the bands first.

Hartoon has big shoes to fill, but she seems up to the challenge. Her email box starts with "Punk Rock Stacy" -- how cool is that?

Who? Hartoon started as a money-taker working the door at Rudz and eventually worked her way up to bartender and now band-booker; she also slings drinks at Westheimer cathedral Poison Girl and Little Dipper in the bar cluster around Market Square. She has a BFA in Fashion Design from the University of North Texas in Denton, and says she really started going to shows there in the late '90s thanks to "a few great friends."

"I also have been trying to get another degree but nothing has really clicked for me," Hartoon says. "I have decided to take a break so I can concentrate more my fashion design/sewing and booking the bands. I am very excited to have more time to focus on my family and music."

Home Base: "Poison Girl."

Good War Story: "I have only been booking a couple of months...so I don't have too many stories and I don't really want to single out any certain people at this moment," Hartoon wisely says. "As a patron at a show I was trying to watch Frank Black, who I love, and this girl kept bumping into to me and talking to me during the show, at which point I shoved her back several times and a fight almost broke out. My friend had to hold me back because I was so pissed off!"

Story continues on the next page.

Why Do You Stay In Houston? "I love Houston!" she gushes. "This is home for me. I did leave for a few years when I got a job in the fashion industry but came back because I missed Texas so much and my family."

Music Scene Pet Peeve: "When local artists think they are entitled -- when anyone thinks they are entitled," Hartoon sighs.

Five Desert Island Discs:

  • Morrissey, Your Arsenal
  • Cursive, The Ugly Organ
  • Appleseed Cast, Low Level Owl 1
  • Turbonegro, Apocalypse Dudes
  • The Bronx, The Bronx

Best Concert You Ever Saw: "Driving to Chicago for vacation to see Cursive and saw an amazing band that opened for them named Appleseed Cast," Hartoon remembers. "I have been a fan ever since. I can't remember the name of the venue but in was in 2002 or 2003."

First Song You Fell In Love With: "ASK," The Smiths -- "The lyrics really related to me when I was younger."

This weekend at Rudz it's Letters to Voltron, The Dead Revolt and Haksaw Friday; Saturday it's two puppet performances of Bootown's Platahontas at 10 p.m. and midnight.

See the rest of The Rocks Off 200, and a link to The Rocks Off 100, on the next page.


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



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