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? On the Rocks Off 200, we like to give our subjects the opportunity to air a grievance or two about the local music scene. (Happy Festivus, everybody!) In the year and a half or so we have been doing this, some of the complaints we get are legitimate, others can be a tad overblown, but most people who respond come up with something.
But not Another Run. The progressive-leaning modern-rock quintet, which combines the jagged riffs and irregular time signatures of post-hardcore with the more garage-based anthemic approach of the White Stripes or Kings of Leon -- tempered with a few pretty, introspective ballads -- is bursting with enthusiasm for their Houston peers. They don't have a cross word to say about much of anything.
"The truth is, Houston is the place to be," gushes lead singer/keyboardist/auxiliary drummer Adrian Grammer. "There is really so much talent in this city, it's crazy to say that Houston doesn't have a good music scene."
Grammer is not shy about the exclamation points, to put it mildly, but he's got good reason to be so optimistic. As they mark ten years as a band -- their lineup solidified with the addition of a lead drummer and second guitarist in 2009 and 2010 -- Another Run is going full steam into 2014. Their 2011 EP I'll Be There has seen airplay on 94.5 The Buzz, Pandora and cable's Fuse channel. They even have their own MTV.com page.
Last but certainly not least, they just happen to be the Houston Press Music Awards' reigning Best Modern Rock champs, and holders of a Texas Buzz Music Award for Best Alternative Rock for good measure. This year they've shared bills with the likes of Hawthorne Heights, O Brother, Girl In a Coma, New Politics and Glassjaw in October, a show Grammer says made them especially excited. Friday they will officially release a single from their upcoming EP Just Pretend, "Hunt Me Down," at Warehouse Live.
"We are very grateful to Houston for giving us these honors," says Grammer, naturally with an exclamation point.
Home Base: Another Run's enthusiasm for the local scene could well spring from the fact that the five members have lived pretty much all over this area. According to Grammer, that includes Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City, Sugar Land, Katy, Spring Branch, Downtown, the Heights and Montrose. They've probably played every place with a PA system and TABC license in those places too, but Grammer says their favorites are Warehouse Live, Fitzgerald's, Walters and Scout Bar.
Good War Story: Somewhat like Jesus, Another Run had just left Chicago, on their way to Austin. It was Grammer's shift to drive.
We headed out into the night on the longest stretch of the journey thus far. The sky started changing as everyone began to fall asleep one by one. Aware of the fact that I was now the only one awake, I began to realize what was happening.
The atmosphere around me was transforming from black to green, to blue and back. It soon became apparent that I was in the middle of a tornado storm! I didn't stop for anything! I just kept driving as fast as I could possibly go through the pounding rain and howling winds, and somehow we all made it out alive!
Story continues on the next page.
Why Do You Stay In Houston? "Houston is a wonderful city, with amazing people, great fans, and a long list of incredible bands," Grammer says. "As we all know it is a very spread-out city, making it hard for some to keep up with the different genres of artists and musicians within that enrich this city's culture."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: "It's time for the scene, the city, and the musicians to get the recognition they deserve," offers the singer.
Five Desert Island Discs: Grammer: "Today, I'm feeling..."
- Pink Floyd, Meddle
- As Tall As Lions, self-titled
- Ours, Precious
- Doves, Lost Souls
- Kenna, New Sacred Cow
Best Concert You Ever Saw: "That's a hard one, Grammer admits. "I've been to so many amazing concerts. I'm trying to decide between seeing Black Sabbath in San Antonio with all of the original members - no explanation needed there - Sigur Ros at Verizon Wireless Theater, who are absolutely incredible live, or seeing The Mars Volta play at Numbers on their De-loused In the Comatorium tour!
"How about seeing Sunny Day Real Estate at Warehouse Live, as well as Rival Schools," he continues. "Every time I see the band OURS live, it is the best show ever. I could go on and on... I'm a concert junkie!"
First Song You Fell In Love With: Dio, "Jesus, Mary & the Holy Ghost" - "Riding with my dad and brother when i was a kid, no joke, heard this on the radio and fell in love," Grammer says. "End of story"
See the rest of the Rocks Off 200, and the Rocks Off 100's 2013 alumni, on the next page.
THE ROCKS OFF 200
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
THE ROCKS OFF 100 2013 ALUMNI
Crystal Toliver, Source of That Yello Echo You Hear Mr. Castillo, Song-Sniping DJ DJ Big Reeks, The Chief Waxaholic Melane Gutierrez, The Coffin Queen Folk Descendent Kevin Taylor Kendrick Eloy Contreras, Deathrazor's Sharp Thrash Vocals Robert McCarthy, Guitarist From Beyond Justice Tirapelli-Jamail, The Manichean's "Quiet One" Charlie Horshack, LP4's Guitar Warrior Kathryn Hallberg, Little Girl Gone Tessa Kole, PuraPharm's Voice and Vice Richard Griesser, Vintage Camera Hound With Enviable Archive Downfall 2012, Sci-Fi Metal Storytellers Kevin Choate, Drum Like You're Screaming DJ Rockwell, Booth Pimp and Party-Rocker Ash Kay, the Freakouts' Punk Vocal Head-Butt Pat Kelly, The Godfather of the Suffers Michelle Miears of BLSHS, Siren In the Machine DJ Remix, Genre-Hopping Mix Maniac Kahna, Brutal Nation's Metal Booking Queen DJ Ill Set, Enemy of Wack Tracks Shane Tuttle, Updog Owner and Album-Cover Designer Electric Attitude, Renegades of Funk Sama'an Ashrawi, Trill Gladiator Recon Naissance, A Rap While Matt's Guitar Gently Weeps DJ Klinch Asks, "Can You Dig It?" Jose "Chapy" Luna, Percussionist Con Corazón Love Dominique, Wicked Heart R&B Chanteuse Chris Gerhardt, Mastermind of Giant Battle Monster The Jobe Wilson Band, the Boys From Chambers County Kimberly M'Carver, Missouri City's Nightingale DJ Panchitron, Stirring the Cumbia/Moombahton Melting Pot D.R.I's Kurt Brecht, Thrash Zone Supervisor Sloan Robley, The Last Houstonian Banshee Jack Saunders, Dealer of Grit & Jangle Richard Ramirez, Noise God and Black Leather Jesus Mike Meegz, Scoremore's Houston Lieutenant Jacqui Sutton, Houston's "Jazzgrass Lady" Robin Kirby, Silk and Sandpaper Songwriter Billy Dorsey, Grammy-Winning MARATHON Runner David DeLaGarza, Don of Tejano Stars La Mafia Jason Puffer, Your Psychedelic Sex Panther Tobin Harvell, Fitzgerald's Unflappable Floor Manager Walter Suhr, the Straw That Stirs Mango Punch! Tony Garza, La Orquesta Salmerum Founder OG Ron C, Chopstar King of the Purple Dome Football, etc., Giving Emo Back Its Good Name Angela Jae, Renaissance Artist Shellee Coley, Voice of the Northern Woods Blaggards, Houston's St. Paddy's Day House Band DJ Meshak, Hongree Records' Sound Selecter K-Rino, South Park Coalition's Southside Maven DJ Candlestick, One Niceguy and a Very Busy DJ Danielle Renee, Only Beast's Destroyer of Walls Felipe Galvan of Los Skarnales Kristine Mills, Houston's Brassiest Voice Brian Davis, Punk Drummer, Horror Composer Elroy Boogie, Top-Notch Turntablist Sean Ozz, Wizard of The Abyss Alyssa Rubich, Angel of Instability Alphonso "Fonz" Lovelace, Righteous Drummer Frank Zweback, Funkmaster General OG Bobby Trill, Bombon Beatmaker Beau Beasley, Organist for the End of Time Rapid Ric, Mixtape Mechanic Dwight Taylor Lee, the Wandering Bufalero Coline Creuzot, Soulful Pop/R&B Singer Cristina Acuna, Cactus Music's Twitter Fingers Clint Broussard, Blues In Hi-Fi Man Now Back On FM Nortnii Rose, Houston Ska's Greatest Hope Ramblin' Chase Hamblin, the Man Who Will Be Paid Chris Alonzo, Bringing Night Flight to Facebook
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