BRRRRR: Chilly Songs About Cold Weather

Categories: Craig's Hlist

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It works like this: when it's hot out in Houston, we fantasize about freezing weather, parkas, knit caps, and cuddling up in bed with someone warm. When it's cold, really cold, for those few scattered days all we want to do is sit on a patio in shorts, sip margaritas and look at all the bare skin walking by.

Now, it's been at least a thousand degrees in Houston for the past, what, three months? (Rocks Off checked with all the local weather sites, we promise.) Buildings are melting like ice cream, dogs and other small pets are literally evaporating into the sidewalks, and sweat hugs your body like a slippery loved one.

It's hot, Houston, but that don't mean we can't make it a shivery winter wonderland in our heads.


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Riot Riot Upstart: Songs For The UK Riots

Categories: Craig's Hlist

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A few days ago, in the midst of the worst of the rioting going on around London, which has now dominated the headlines for the better part of a week, someone on Twitter remarked "If Americans rioted every time the cops shot somebody we'd have no time for cocaine and jerking off."

That made Rocks Off snicker, but it was also a sadly true statement, aside from the coke and onanism. Substitute Subway and So You Think You Can Dance for those two on this side of the pond and you see what he means.

The shooting of reported London criminal Mark Duggan at the hands of undercover police in Tottenham is at the center of it all. Watchdogs and early forensic tests are stating that Duggan didn't fire on police. His death brought violence and mayhem on the British capital that hasn't been seen in decades.


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Comfortably Numb: Songs For Your Deathbed

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"My ride's here."
Rocks Off has never died, it's true. Though we sometimes find ourselves dying in small doses day to day when we spy an old man clip his toenails in the nude at the gym, or we open up a dozen emails from record label PR folk touting a five-date national tour.

Living humans are obsessed with dead humans, and our own deaths are built up in our heads to be these grand, painless things, full of friends and family surrounding us in a bed, as we drift off into...well, we have never died so we aren't too sure what happens.

Being huge, monstrous music fans, like you no doubt are if you are reading Rocks Off, you may have thought about the perfect music to soundtrack your final few minutes here on Earth. When Joey Ramone was saying his farewells to the world in April 2001, he was listening to U2's "In a Little While," from All That You Can't Leave Behind, released the year before.


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KMAG, These Are Our Favorite Four-Letter Bands

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AC/DC: The Only Four-Letter Band That Matters
The other day while we were tooling around with a collection of music we had inherited from some family members that had passed away, we realized that of all the compact discs that we had in the box, the Miles Davis, the Ravi Shankar box set, the Thelonious Monk, the thing we were playing loudest was ABBA's greatest hits.

This was also the same shameful night when we grabbed the Beach Boys collection out of the crate and played "Kokomo" before we even could get to "In My Room." There is a moral to that story somewhere, but we think we really wanted to get that down on record, in case someone ever tries to claim we only listen to obscure bullshit.


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10 Albums Guaranteed To Blow Your Car Speakers

Categories: Craig's Hlist

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G N' R: Keeping Best Buy In Business Since 1987.
It started innocently enough, leaving a friend's house in the Heights, when during one of our epic air-drum solos to the Foo Fighters' "Bridge Burning," we heard the speakers on the left side of our car, a hearse-like HHR, just pop and die, reducing Taylor Hawkins drum work to a tinny whisper on the left side, and muffled and weird on the right side. We obviously stopped our dangerous air-drumming on 610 North and felt helpless.

The next day everything seemed fine in the car, as if nothing happened the evening before. The speakers were fine, audible, with no damage heard. We were listening to Robert Ellis' new album Photographs and taking mental notes, since we were working on a music feature on him at the time. Our worst fears from the night before gave way to "Westbound Train" and we were distracted.


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Mellow Gold: Our Favorite Lite-Rock Hits Ever

Categories: Craig's Hlist

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...and so are your moustaches.
A few months ago, we did an extensive blog, maybe too extensive, on those made-for-TV compilations like Jock Jams, Monster Ballads, and AM Gold. What started out as a larky exercise in how to rag out the search engine on YouTube, turned into another chapter in our recurring obsession with lite-rock from the '70s and '80s - the stuff we are all supposed to hate, yet holds melodies that make our ears melt in pop ecstasy.

The whole thing reached an ugly head during our first DJ set at Leon's Lounge a few weeks back. After we were finished spinning our wheels on Judas Priest and The Stooges, we started taking the volume down a few notches and started in on Gordon Lightfoot and 10cc in a totally non-ironic way.


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Somniloquy: Songs About Talking In Your Sleep

Categories: Craig's Hlist

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Somniloquy is the clinical term for talking in your sleep. It's certainly one of the most embarrassing medical condictions we can think of, besides cancer or something, because you are very much at the mercy of your own subconscious, that freaky little bastard in your head that makes you find women that look like your mother attractive, or gives you sex dreams about your eighth-grade English teacher.

It's also one of the most played-out and tired subjects of pop music, popping up in tracks from The Cars to early pop singer Billy Murray, of whom you would only be a fan if you are over 120 years old or really into HBO's Boardwalk Empire.

Is there a cure for sleep-talking? Yeah, you should probably drink to excess so that you enter a near-coma state where your motor functions nearly shut down. That, or get super-high and get your friends to record it. We read that in a medical journal somewhere.


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Carry That Weight: The Best Bands Pegged As The "Next Beatles"

Categories: Craig's Hlist

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Laugh now, but remember when Definitely Maybe came out?
How much pressure must it be to have someone, probably some flacky music journalist running out of metaphors and superlatives, call your band the "Next Beatles" just as you start your rock career? That's like being called the next Jesus Christ, the next Michael Jordan (right, LeBron?), or the next Madonna (sup, Gaga?). It's hard enough trying to keep a group of four or five men or women together without worrying about trying to attain the standards of a band that will be lauded as biblical heroes for the next few hundred years.

But alas, every few years, someone gets an itchy typing finger and throws the "next Beatles" tag on some gang of fresh-faced rockers who have a clean, meaningful, power-pop sound and a few million screaming female fans. Hell, we remember a few voices calling the Jonas Brothers the next coming of the Fab Four, even if they only comprise three members. Now a few years removed from JonasMania, that's seems kinda cute and alarmist.


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The Best Summer Movie Soundtracks Of The '90s

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This movie is old enough to drive.
Summer is officially here, even though it's been ball-dripping sweaty since at least early May. This is also about the time that we are already steeped in big-budget Hollywood summer would-be blockbusters, the kind of movies that have fast-food promotions and shitty toys that break before Labor Day. You know, fun movies you don't need to think about until they come on one lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon. Like Matthew Broderick's Godzilla.

One of the best things about growing up in the '90s was the movie-soundtrack industry, which fed us all sorts of second-rate songs left off major albums, unlikely collaborations, and left-field covers. We bought most of the soundtracks of the movies we saw, even from the other seasons of the year, because no girls liked us, which meant extra cash.


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Happy Father's Day: Country Songs For Country Daddies

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Monica Fuentes
In country music, fathers are either saints with strong hands capable of spinning wonder and magic, or grim drunks who want nothing more than to beat their wives and children and induce general misery. After spending a lifetime listening to some of these songs, some bringing tears to our eyes (screw you, Conway) we can only hope that one day our own kids will write about us in a glowing twang, remembering the time we killed a bear with just a can opener while landing a passenger jet blindfolded.

This Sunday is Father's Day, a day to honor all of our fathers who worked so hard to make sure we were brought up clothed, fed and reasonably content. Craig's Hlist's own father is a lucky guy, seeing how his birthday was last weekend and this coming weekend holds Father's Day. It's like two straight weeks of love, hugs and presents.

He got a new rifle last weekend.


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