Even in today's viral culture, this "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise money for ALS research has taken many by surprise. Instead of quickly blowing over like so many digital fads, this one continues to yield more famous (and not-so-famous) people getting doused on Facebook and YouTube every day. Apparently now everybody has to do it (see above).
The phenomenon -- which is actually more than a month old but has hit critical mass within the past week -- has been largely propelled by athletes, entertainers and members of the media. Therefore, cynics might suggest the challenge is just a way for narcissistic attention-seekers to get some cheap publicity without doing much more than whip out their checkbooks (if that). But ALS has felled a lot more people than just the ballplayer from whom it takes its better-known nickname of Lou Gehrig's Disease -- such as the musicians Charles Mingus and Leadbelly, and perhaps someone close to you or your family.
So it's all in good fun and for a most worthy cause, but let's be real: The challenge has caught on mostly because watching someone get a freezing bucket of water dumped over his or her head will never lose its appeal. Right here, as a matter of fact, we can think of a number of people in the Houston music community we'd love to see get drenched...and wouldn't you know it, here they are. Just doing our part.
Chris Gray The problem with this game is that before I nominate someone, I'm supposed to publicly have ice water poured over me or donate $100 towards ALS research. This makes me feel like I'm sitting here being a tool by encouraging this thing while not actually participating. It's become ridiculous because it's everywhere, not to mention people are wasting water!
But this challenge is in fact a nice thing, considering a growing amount of people are now actually putting money towards ALS research. Since I'm currently sitting in an overly air-conditioned office I'll stay out of this one, comfortably not drenched in ice water and sounding all privileged. But it would be even more ridiculous to do nothing but publicly comment on this thing. So how about this: I humbly nominate...the Houston Press Music Editor, Chris Gray! I also nominate two wild-card Rocks Off contributors. ALEXA CRENSHAW
Nick Greer Greer and crew have proven themselves up for just about anything, which is why I'd like to see him (and perhaps the rest of the Gs) perform the Ice Bucket Challenge. Considering how creative they've been with music videos in the past, I also think they'd be likely to put their own creative twist on the stunt. Maybe they can even get the staffs of Wire Road Studios and The Corkscrew, their regular stomping grounds, involved. The most soulful redhead in Houston also has quite the hairdo on his dome, which would make for a pretty hilarious video. MATTHEW KEEVER
Any Member of New York City Queens (Besides Kitty Beebe) This summer Rocks Off was nearly a topic of discussion for Alex Jones' Infowars. Surely, there was a nefarious conspiracy against the Houston pop act, its avid followers proposed. How else to explain the band's absence from some of the Houston Press Music Awards' key categories? When a write-in category was added, NYCQ's fans proved they weren't messing around and the band earned its award the old-fashioned way. The people spoke, and the message was heard loud and clear.
So, my entry for this challenge is any member of the band except for guitarist Kitty Beebe. Not that I think she's too delicate for it, but look at her bandmates -- you can tell they're gentlemen who would happily volunteer ahead of her. With a fan base as fervent and large as theirs, there's be plenty of takers to assume the challenge from them. The Queens play Walters Thursday night, so let's see if we can get them to accept the challenge right then and there. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Brian & Olivia, Super Happy Fun Land The one thing some of the thousands of Ice Bucket Challenge videos is missing is creativity. Early on, when the idea was novel and still building momentum, a bland announcement and frigid drenching was fine. As the movement continues, it needs some artistic flair to stay alive. Enter Brian Arthur and by extension Olivia Dvorak, proprietors of Super Happy Fun Land whose musical ventures include the Annoysters and Poopy Lungstuffing.
If you've caught either act, you know neither is short on inspired wackiness. If they can't make your campaign interesting, fun or, at the least puzzling, the idea has run its course. Since Arthur has given far too many musicians to count their first friendly place to play, many would be available and eager to accept his challenge. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
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Allen Hill I would like to nominate my friend Allen Hill, indefatigable singer and bassist for Houston's one and only Allen Oldies Band, for the Ice Bucket Challenge. Not only is he quick to lend a helping hand when needed -- after my heart attack in 2011 he was the main organizer of the Chris Gray Day benefit -- he usually sweats so much during an Oldies Band set that I bet he would love a quick bath of freezing water just about anytime someone offered him one. Now's your chance, Allen! CHRIS GRAY
The Faculty of UH's Moores School of Music, Rice's Shepherd School of Music and TSU's Music Department College. It's where we learn the skills to pay the bills and how to perform a proper kegstand. It's also the place where many young, idealistic people begin their personal endeavors to make their communities and the world a better place through service. The instructors and directors of the city's collegiate music schools are already contributing mightily to us all by spreading their knowledge and love of music. But, they can do more. They can foster in their students a devotion to community service by dumping ice cold water on themselves.
I challenge the principals at these respective institutes of higher learning to challenge their peers around town to the challenge. To the school with the most documented Ice Bucket challengers, I vow to appear at a school function -- including but not limited to black-tie fundraisers -- and paint myself in the school colors, sing the school fight song and take the Challenge right then and there. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.
Craig Hlavaty Former Press/Rocks Off Assistant Editor Craig Hlavaty instantly comes to mind with this one. Not only does he have a great sense of humor for challenges (remember that time he blogged his adventures with Four Loko?) but the guy takes everything in stride. With a heavy following of his work with NewsFix and the Houston Chronicle, Hlavaty has a chance to make a pretty big splash in Houston with his connections in music and media -- not to mention his pull on local celebrities. (I have a feeling he'd get J.J. Watt wet without too much resistance.) ALYSSA DUPREE
A couple of our cheekier souls passed on the chance to nominate someone and sent these snarky photo memes instead, so of course now we nominate them.
WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH
Please donate, generously, to the ALS Association of America at alsa.org.
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