Six Great Covers of TV Theme Songs

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"Weird Al" Yankovic put his own twist on covering TV show theme songs at this year's Emmy Awards.
Television's influence on our musical vocabulary is vast. These days, singing shows are determining new pop stars. A great TV theme can become iconic -- Sanford and Son, Friends, The Sopranos -- and shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy and Scrubs have become legendary for their in-show musical performances.

Of course, famous bands are paying attention to that too; they get those songs stuck in their head just like we do. Few have a big enough sense of humor to cover a silly TV-show theme, but when they do, it's always something special. Here are a few favorites.


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Relax, It's Okay to Like Weezer Again

Categories: Dig This, Hipsters

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Photo by Emily Shur
Weezer
"Take me back," singer Rivers Cuomo intones in the chorus of Weezer's latest hit single, "Back to the Shack." It's a familiar sentiment from him, going all the way back to the early portion of his career when he sang "I've got to get back" in Pinkerton classic "The Good Life."

Is "Back to the Shack" the return to form he's pining for in its own self-referential lyrics? Not quite. It's maybe the worst out of the recently released singles from their new record, Everything Will Be Alright in the End (in stores today), yet it does a pretty damn good job of sounding like the old Weezer, something the band has consistently failed at for the last decade.


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Milk Is Better Than Drank, Thanks to Beaumont's Purple


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Photos courtesy of Purple
I saw Purple perform live recently and was blown away by their relentless energy and bombastic garage rock. So I was pretty happy to find their video for "Leche Loco," which is so new I was only the fourth or fifth person to "like" it on YouTube.

I had a watch party of three later that evening with my son and a friend, Justin Paxton, from the band Two Buck Drunks. We tried to pinpoint some Purple influences, and heard some Blood Brothers, CKY, bygone locals the JonBenet, and most definitely Kathleen Hanna when the drummer sang. Her name, coincidentally, is Hanna. Hanna Brewer.

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If Bands Sponsored NFL Teams: The NFC

Categories: Dig This

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Photo by Marc Brubaker
Is Snoop finally the man to bring the Rams back to L.A.?
Recently we wrote about the ramifications of KISS and Vince Neil buying their own Arena Football League teams and what it would be like if NFL teams were also themed around bands and musicians. We started by running down the AFC, including our hometown Houston Texans.

This time we're going to examine the NFC and see what teams fit with what bands in that conference.


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football, NFC, NFL

If Bands Sponsored NFL Teams: The AFC

Categories: Dig This

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Recently Vince Neil got approval to start his own Arena Football League franchise in Las Vegas. No word yet on the branding, but we here at Rocks Off are obviously hoping that, like the L.A. KISS, it will be themed around Neil's band Motley Crue.

For those not in the know, the L.A. KISS is KISS' own AFL team, and themed around the band's massive brand. I personally love this idea, and it got me thinking: what if the NFL was equally devoted to music, with bands buying the teams and shaping their images? And if this happened, what would those teams look like?

We decided to reinvent all 32 teams in the league based around their existing personas, and the bands that would (obviously) best fit them. Since Houston's own Texans are a member of the AFC, we'll start off with that conference, then move on to the NFC later.


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Five Contemporary Acts the Houston Symphony Should Take On

Categories: Dig This

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The Houston Symphony performing Handel's Messiah in 2011.
This Saturday at Jones Hall, the Houston Symphony will take on the music of Led Zeppelin, as arranged by conductor Brent Havens. It's sure to be an awesome show, and I personally think it's sort of a brilliant idea. Hard rock and metal have always had elements that gel well with classical and symphonic music.

Deep Purple and Metallica both did it to great effect. But while the orchestra's Zeppelin tribute will surely be fantastic to hear, I can't help but think that this idea could apply equally well to some contemporary acts. Why should classic rock get all the symphonic treatments? Here are five current acts I think would be perfect for the gig.


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Slim Thug REALLY Wants the Rockets to Sign Carmelo Anthony

Categories: Dig This

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Photo by
Oh, what a funny business the NBA is. And nothing is funnier than the league's free-agency season, when Monopoly money is tossed at players who either a) deserve it; b) probably have photos of your GM doing unimaginable things; or c) happen to have the names Jeremy and Lin.

You see, free agency is where the real NBA season lies. It's how Houston came to determine that Slim Thug is our greatest weapon in luring NBA free agents. You thought Dwight Howard came thanks to Chandler Parsons? Nonsense. Slim gets LOYALTY tattooed on his chest as preparation for these things.

This year's prized recruit is Carmelo Anthony, unless you're of the thought that LeBron James may really leave Miami. Why would the Rockets want him? Because he scores 28 a game, shoots nearly 40 percent from three-point land and is a scoring nightmare. It's like James Harden but, you know, taller and fonder of headbands.


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10 Acts We'd Pay to See Play in a Graveyard

Categories: Dig This

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Photo by Groovehouse
Tom Araya of Slayer
Typically, tour announcements come and go with little fanfare around here, especially when it's a band like Austin natives Spoon. We love Spoon a lot, and frankly would like to see Houston's name on more tour announcements like the one that recently caught our eye, albeit for an entirely different reason.

Spoon's new album, due next month, is titled They Want My Soul; in keeping with the theme, the band will be playing at the Fairbanks Lawn of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles. That got us thinking. Again, no offense to Spoon, but there are loads of artists we'd pay to see play in such a spooky locale that might be more setting-appropriate.


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Five Sample-Using Songs That Deserve Grammys Now

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Photo by Marco Torres
Wu-Tang Clan
Recently the Grammy Awards announced changes to the annual music awards' criteria and categories, the most notable being now permitting songs that utilize samples in the songwriting categories, specifically Song of the Year. This is huge news for many electronic artists and rappers, obviously.

But why wasn't this always the case? It seems like the often stodgy judges behind the Grammys have unfairly excluded a lot of amazing works of art from winning awards just because they featured samples or interpolations. Here are some of the best songs which should have won that couldn't before this rule change.


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Nine Bands Named After Songs by Other Bands

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Photo by Mark C. Austin
Radiohead
We here at Rocks Off spend a lot of time thinking about band names. It's one of the most important things about a band, because it's the face of your brand. After all, a metal band is not going to get off the ground if it's named after a My Little Pony character. Once upon a time, you were doomed to failure if your name was too offensive to be sold in stores.

So once again we turn to the inspiration behind band names, and take a look at some who decided to name themselves after their favorite songs by other bands. After all, if it was a badass song, there's no reason it can't be a badass band too.


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