The Rocks Off 200: DJ Damon Allen, R.O.C.O. Fellow

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.

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One of the most recognizable and nicest gentlemen in Houston's dance-music scene is DJ and promoter Damon Allen. With his signature beard, ballcap, and upbeat attitude, Allen reps Houston to the fullest and is always a great source for any musical happenings around town.

Who? Now host of the all-things-rock R.O.C.O night Thursdays at Clutch City Squire, native Houstonian Allen grew up in the Eastwood/Second Ward area, and says he's been involved in music for more than 25 years, "one way or another."

"I got into hip-hop during the early '80s listening to groups like Whodini, Run-DMC, Afrika Bambaata, and Egyptian Lover," he says. "I have always been fascinated with street culture, music, art, and fashion -- anything raw. My interest shifted from hip-hop to punk rock after middle school, and I played with a ,couple of bands.

"Ever since then I have either been playing music, promoting my own events, or DJing around town," Allen adds.


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Home Base: Allen says Houston remains his home base, but that he has performed in almost every major U.S. city and state either in a band or as a DJ. The latest are Austin and Denver -- "both amazing music cities," he says.


Why Do You Stay In Houston?"Houston is an open canvas," offers Allen. "The opportunities to perform where you want, how you want, and to who you want are abundant. That says a lot about the diversity of the city. It might not always be at the forefront of every musical genre in terms of audience support, but the audiences that do come out are pretty receptive to new music and concepts.

"You have your ups and downs as a performer here, especially if you are doing something that isn't on the pop- culture radar, or that is easily identified with a certain subculture, but that's life as a performer in Houston," he continues. "You do what you love, and you offer it to your city and you see what happens."


Interview continues on the next page.


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