The Top 10 Houston Music Stories of 2012

Categories: Only In Houston

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Photo courtesy of Swisha House
7. Houston Rap Gets Institutionalized
Save the "higher learning" jokes, because this year two prominent Houston universities officially made local rap part of their curriculum. Through the efforts of former Axiom co-manager Julie Grob, a current U of H librarian, the University of Houston completed cataloging its wealth of items related to the late DJ Screw, and in March hosted the Awready! hip-hop conference that included performances and panels such as "Slabs and Syrup" and "The Legacy of DJ Screw." Meanwhile, Swisha House records donated a memorabilia such as cassettes, flyers, and the label's 2009's Houston Press Music Award to the Special Collections department of Rice University's Fondren Library.

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6. Nightculture Rising
Perfectly poised to capitalize on electronic dance music's seemingly overnight surge in popularity, Houston-based Nightculture, Inc. became a publicly traded company (NGHT) early this year -- supposedly the first-ever EDM promoters to do so -- and bought outright the city's top techno temple, Stereo Live, in May. It saw an immediate return on its investment by keeping the dance floor filled with top names across the EDM spectrum, from filthy dubstep to sublime progressive house, and in the fall brought the Houston area its first-ever electronic-music festival (see below).

5. Something Wicked
Although Tiesto had to drop out when the Dutch DJ hurt his back, fill-in Kaskade and other A-list EDM artists such as Zedd, Le Castle Vania, Flux Pavilion, Modestep and W&W helped make Something Wicked's maiden voyage in a field adjacent to Sam Houston Race Park a success. (A personal discovery was Austin's sleek Tritonal.) Certainly a large part of the fun was thanks to the perfect weather, wooded setting, and all the costumes; enough with the Indian headdresses, though. Nightculture announced an impressive official attendance of some 12,000 people earlier this month, and promised to release some info on the 2013 fest soon.

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