The Top 10 Houston Music Stories of 2012
Looking back over the major music-related stories around Houston the past 11 and a half months, 2012 was light on the kind of headlines you'll usually see in a year-end "music scene" recap: Obituaries, arrests, venues closing down, malfeasance, bad behavior, that sort of thing. There was some of that, but not as much as most years.
Photo by Jim Bricker Paul McCartney, because we can.
Instead, it seemed like there were an unusual number of happy endings and other postive developments around here, something that makes Rocks Off a little nervous for 2013. So let's just all try to enjoy the good vibes while they last, because they probably won't.
10. Back to La Futura
After shuffling record labels and generally taking their sweet time, in September ZZ Top released their first studio album in nine years, the Rick Rubin-boosted La Futura. It made a more than respectable debut at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 (their highest ever), and most critics applauded the lil' ol' band's good sense to stick to their strong suit: Gutbucket Texas boogie. Writing not about the album but the overall ZZ Top myth, Rocks Off's Brittanie Shey still didn't see the big deal.
9. Old White Guys Still Pack 'Em In
Two packed Houston houses saw beyond-their-years, but not past-their-prime, performances by a couple of '60s icons, Sir Paul McCartney and the Brian-Wilson-inclusive Beach Boys. Next year we already know we're getting Eric Clapton, but the rock geezers everyone is really hoping for are named Bruce and Sir Mick. (And Keef, Ronnie and Charlie, of course.)
8. Walters, Alive and Kicking
After effectively being run off Washington Avenue, then enduring months of permit purgatory, Walters reopened behind UH-Downtown in late 2011, bigger and with fewer D-bags stumbling in for Jaeger shots at last call. Now that it has a real parking lot, finally, Walters has been fully restored to its place as a linchpin of Houston's indie, experimental, punk/hardcore and metal scenes. Long may it run.