HPMA Showcase: Rocks Off's Top 7 Discoveries

Rocks Off also asked our folks covering the HPMA showcase to tell us their favorite new artist they saw Sunday - not necessary new, just new to them.

Alkari BS Aug 4.JPG
Photo by Barry Sigman
HPMA Showcase: The 12 Best Artists of 2012

SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase -- The Bands

SLIDESHOW: HPMA Showcase -- The Crowds

Alkari: How have I never seen these guys play before? They gave me a bit of a Bob Mould/Pixies vibe - angsty, swirly rock stuff. Their drummer was a hardass and their lyrics were complex and thoughtful. Plus, they seemed to be having a great time playing with each other. The back room at Reserve 101 was a good spot. Intimate and with decent sound. BRITTANIE SHEY

Caretta Aug 6 1.jpg
Photo by Groovehouse
Caretta Bell: In her royal blue gown, Bell looked like a gospel singer. But flanked by a pair of voices whom it would hardly be fair to call "backup singers," she reached deep to deliver one of the best examples of the currently popular neo-soul I've seen in this city in a while.

Bell has a silky, unforgettable voice and a likable, magnetic stage presence while her band accompanies her with as much subtlety and finesse as any band we saw all day. We'll definitely be tracking her down at her regular monthly gig at Fox Hollow in Third Ward. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

DRUM JW Aug 6.jpg
Photo by Jason Wolter
D.R.U.M.: The best new discovery for me was, hands down, D.R.U.M. To me, they were like reggae for people who don't normally listen to reggae. I liked how the singer basically gave the audience a mini-lesson on Bob Marley. I thought it was a great way to connect with the audience because, while not everyone listens to reggae, I think we can all agree that Marley is a music legend.

A great moment occurred when the singer encouraged people to start dancing. Though most were probably eating from the nearby food trucks, some did. CHRISTINA LYNN

Female Demand: Armed with only a drum kit, a bass guitar and a helluva lot of pedals, Female Demand shook Dirt Bar as though it were something personal, as onlookers either smiled and bobbed their heads or nervously exchanged glances, silently asking one another, "What the hell is this?"

Make no mistake; I was in the former category. And although I had never heard of them before, after a quick chat with Cory Sinclair and Justice Tirapelli-Jamail of The Manichean, I now know where I can purchase their music and keep tabs on upcoming performances. MATTHEW KEEVER

Location Info

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Reserve 101

1201 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Phul Court Sports Bar

1311 Leeland, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Pete's Dueling Piano Bar

1201 Fannin, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Dirt

1209 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge

1201 San Jacinto, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Ben's Beans

1302 Dallas, Houston, TX

Category: General

Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Lucky's Pub

801 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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