We Nominate In the Ice Bucket Challenge...

Challenge accepted.
Even in today's viral culture, this "Ice Bucket Challenge" to raise money for ALS research has taken many by surprise. Instead of quickly blowing over like so many digital fads, this one continues to yield more famous (and not-so-famous) people getting doused on Facebook and YouTube every day. Apparently now everybody has to do it (see above).

The phenomenon -- which is actually more than a month old but has hit critical mass within the last week -- has been largely propelled by athletes, entertainers and members of the media. Therefore, cynics might suggest the challenge is just a way for narcissistic attention-seekers to get some cheap publicity without doing much more than whip out their checkbooks (if that). But ALS has felled a lot more people than just the ballplayer from whom it takes its better-known nickname of Lou Gehrig's Disease -- such as the musicians Charles Mingus and Leadbelly, and perhaps someone close to you or your family.

So it's all in good fun and for a most worthy cause, but let's be real: the challenge has caught on mostly because watching someone get a freezing bucket of water dumped over his or her head will never lose its appeal. Right here, as a matter of fact, we can think of a number of people in the Houston music community we'd love to see get drenched...and wouldn't you know it, here they are. Just doing our part.

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Paramore & Fall Out Boy at The Woodlands, 8/1/2014

Photos by Francisco Montes
MONUMENTOUR featuring Paramore, Fall Out Boy & New Politics
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
August 1, 2014

Haters gonna hate, but Paramore and Fall Out Boy make great rock music. Any band that gained notoriety during the post-pop-punk-emo boom of the mid-2000s has been pigeonholed into a very specific category -- namely, much of the general public doesn't consider them to be credible rock and roll.

Fall Out Boy has certainly experienced a great deal of this backlash, despite continuing to mature as a group and output good music. Many of the bands of that era could not grow past it; Paramore and Fall Out Boy, who are co-headlining this summer's MONUMENTOUR, are both talented exceptions. Touring together was a wise and logical choice.

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Five More Musicians Who Need Emojis

Photo by Marco Torres
Ghostface Killah, circa-2011, pre-emoji.
Last week a new app launched called Hi-Art that birthed unto the world a new round of emojis, including musician-based ones. The most notable name was Ghostface Killah because, well, I think we can all agree that we'd rather text a Ghostface emoji than one of Jason Derulo.

This is only the first round, of course, so I can't help but wonder who we're going to get next from Hi-Art. I mean, if this is all the first pack has to offer, they may need some suggestions on where to go next. In the spirit of that, here are five more I'd like to see end up on the app sooner rather than later.

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apps, Emojis

The 20 Most Beautiful People at Electric Daisy Carnival 2014

Note: this article is a gift from our good friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly.

All photos by Christopher Victorio
You thought only homely people went to Electric Daisy Carnival this past weekend? Think again! This year, per usual, the bold and the beautiful made their way to Las Vegas for parties that lasted all night long.

Here are the concertgoers, shot by Christopher Victorio, whom we found particularly enchanting.

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UPDATED: The Best and Worst Things at EDC Las Vegas 2014

Note: Our L.A. Weekly sister blog West Coast Sound sent a team to the Electric Daisy Carnival, this weekend's EDM extravaganza in Las Vegas. This article was written by Dennis Romero.

Photos courtesy of LA Weekly
UPDATE (June 25, 1:45 p.m.): See correction at end. What's it like partying with 134,000 of your closest friends?

After a fourth year covering Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, the size and scope of America's largest electronic dance music festival (and, really, one of the country's largest music events, period) still just leaves us breathless.

This is the definition of massive. That this culture has gone from warehouse raves with one laser and a few hundred people to a 1,500-acre event so large that the only way to avoid an hour-plus worth of traffic is to arrive by helicopter is astonishing, especially if you were part of the scene in its early days.

What's not to like? We'll start with the worst:

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Raver's Death at EDC Vegas Under Investigation

Note: Our L.A. Weekly sister blog West Coast Sound sent a team to the Electric Daisy Carnival, this weekend's EDM extravaganza in Las Vegas. This article was written by Dennis Romero.

Photos by Christopher Victorio/Courtesy of LA Weekly
The Clark County Coroner is investigating the death of a 24-year-old who collapsed outside Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas Saturday morning.

An autopsy was being conducted this weekend, but results aren't yet available to the media, an official at the coroner's office told us. If drug use is suspected, it's likely that a cause-of-death determination will be put off until investigators get their hands on toxicology test results.

The raver, who collapsed outside the three-day festival at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, was identified as Montgomery Tsang of San Leandro, Calif. He was pronounced dead at a University Hospital at 6:15 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.

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This Year's Electric Daisy Carnival Headliners Are Just Awful

Note: Rocks Off's L.A. sister blog West Coast Sound sent a team to the Electric Daisy Carnival, the annual EDM extravaganza in Las Vegas. This article was written by Dennis Romero.

Photos courtesy of L.A. Weekly
Big isn't always better. The fourth installment of Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas is drawing 100,000 people per night.

The challenge facing its L.A.-based promoter, Insomniac, is how to balance what has now become radio pop, with electronic dance music's underground roots.

In order to live so large, with one of the biggest festival stages in North America, the music has to be over-the-top. We're talking Steve Angello, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Afrojack. Unfortunately this is often...

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Video: What Would Drake Fans Do to Meet the Man Himself?

Photo by Marco Torres
By now you've heard all about the craziness that was Houston Appreciation Weekend, four days so over the top that we've already had to bust some myths on the subject. And sure, while the movie premiere and the pool party and the Astros game were all cool, it was the big show at the not particularly big Warehouse Live that had the most buzz. It's not every day you get to see one of the top 5 most popular rappers alive in a space that small.

Houston Appreciation Weekend was about giving back, and (as you may have heard) to get into the show you had to put in work. The end result was a large crowd who gave their time to make the city a better place, all lined up around Warehouse Live.

And since they weren't going anywhere, it seemed as good a time as any to find out more about the type of person who volunteers for a concert ticket.

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Say Anything & the So So Glos at Warehouse Live, 6/15/14

Photos by Violeta Alvarez
The So So Glos
Say Anything, You Blew It!, the So So Glos, The Front Bottoms
Warehouse Live
June 15, 2014

Sunday night my DeLorean took me straight back to 2006, and drove 88 miles per hour to Warehouse Live's four-band showcase starring Say Anything. Despite never having been a particularly rabid fan of the headliners, I'd listened to a good handful of their songs: they were always associated with bands I loved back when the Warped Tour was still the biggest highlight of the summer. Even so, nothing they did ever particularly grabbed me with the exception of 2012's "Burn a Miracle."

Sunday night's show was an experience that didn't necessarily change my feelings toward Say Anything, but at least I know why: I have no particular connection with this band because they never "got" to me in the way that others of the time did. Post pop-punk emo is successful when it taps into its audience's own thoughts and emotions (read: it's called emo for a reason). If a listener connects with the lyrics, it becomes a personal experience; if not, it all pretty much sounds exactly the same.

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20 Bands to Check Out at the 20th Vans Warped Tour

Photo by Marco Torres
This year, like last year and many before it, fans will brave the heat in search of good tunes.
In the last 20 years we've seen a lot of summer tours come and go. What was once a semi-thriving industry that saw a tour for every type of music fan under the sun is now a handful of radio-rock festivals where the band names change but the music sounds the same (yeah, we're talking about you, Mayhem Fest and Uproar Fest).

The exception to this is the Vans Warped Tour, which has seen tons of festivals come and go during its insane 20-year run. While its roots are in punk and hardcore bands, Warped has survived by changing with the times; the harder stuff is still there, but there's also the poppier stuff and the electronic stuff too. While they don't book big headliners, year in and year out Warped manages to book a solid enough lineup that kids sweat all day in the sun to scream along while their parents hide in the Adult Day Care or what little shade exists.

If you found yourself looking at this year's lineup and realizing you didn't know a single band on it, don't fear. If you can escape from the office today (or you're catching the live stream they have up), here are some bands worth losing your water weight for.

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