[Video] EDM Fans Turn Out For Something Wicked 2014

It's been interesting to watch Something Wicked grow over the past three years. Walking into the festival on Saturday, it was easy to forget that in the grand scheme of things it's still a very young fest. Quite frankly, between the lineup and the stage designs, the people behind the festival have done a real good job making it feel like an Event as opposed to Just Another Houston Music Festival.

That's probably why it attracted folks from all over the state and beyond to attend. On social media, there were tweets of people spending 12 hours in a car just to rage in Houston. Not bad for a city that isn't particularly associated with EDM.

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15 Acts to Watch for at Something Wicked 2014

3:30 p.m. Saturday, Mystic Meadows Stage

DJ Liquid Todd can be heard on two different Sirius XM Radio channels, BPM and Alt Nation. The personable producer has interviewed some of the biggest stars at the biggest festivals across the globe. In addition to his music career, he has written multiple cover stories for the medicinal-marijuana publication, Culture. His early set should get the party started nicely as Todd heats up the crowd with the most popular EDM tracks and pop-rock remixes. JACK GORMAN

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A Day to Remember at NRG Arena, 10/1/2014

Photos by Jack Gorman
A Day to Remember
A Day to Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, Chiodos, Motionless in White
NRG Arena
October 1, 2014

It's always good to see a band, no matter how big or small, swing for the fences. The reality is that while you can start a rock band and tour the world, you won't always be able to pull of your dream stage show. For every Kanye-built mountain or Gaga multi-floor castle, there are dozens of rock bands stuck with little more than a banner and a dream.

And so it's nice to see a band like A Day to Remember in a venue like NRG Arena, because while they might not be able to sell the venue out, they can certainly make good use of the space. For the Parks and Devestation tour, that meant building a Mount A-Day-to-Remember-Rushmore with the band members' heads, a fake campfire, a human hamster ball and a fancy graphics package.

It may not be Mount Yeezy, but by God it's good to see a band that teens love celebrating the fact that rock music is awesome.

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Maybe It's Time to Retire the Term "Boy Band"

Photos by Jack Gorman (unless indicated)
The real stars of last Friday's One Direction concert
One week ago today, tens of thousands of Houston's biggest One Direction fans -- most of them accompanied by their parents -- flocked to the gates of NRG Stadium, toting signs, glow sticks, and homemade T-shirts. It was strange to realize that only 13 years ago, I was on my way to watch 'NSYNC perform on their PopOdyssey Tour at the Astrodome, now run down and dwarfed by its newer neighbor.

What was even more surreal, however, was realizing that though the Dome is a monster, its capacity would have never been large enough to house the crowds hoping to catch a glimpse of the world's biggest act on their current tour. Then or now, it's not likely that any other band would have been able to pull the same size crowd.

Then again, a lot has changed for pop music in the last decade.

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Just Give Blue Ivy Carter All the VMAs, Please

Are we tired of twerking yet?
Sunday night was the billionth year for the MTV Video Music Awards, and only one thing can be taken away from the whole unfunny shebang: just give Blue Ivy Carter all of the VMAs, now and forever, and let's be done with the whole thing. Seriously.

So in case you were wondering (or were smart enough to skip it), the whole show -- from Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" yawn-fest to Miley Cyrus' well-intentioned but still somehow totally stunt-queen stand-in antics -- was just kinda meh. Everything but Blue of course, but we'll get to that. Here's what happened.

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One Direction at NRG Stadium, 8/22/2014

Photos by Jack Gorman
One Direction, Five Seconds of Summer
NRG Stadium
August 22, 2014

To thrive, boy bands need the right combination of personality and passion. Good songs help too, but you can get away with decent music (at best) if the members of the group have enough charisma.

Personality goes a long way, and with enough of it people will fall head over heels for you, they'll scream themselves hoarse for you, they'll make posters for you and, most importantly, they'll spend lots and lots of money on you...or at least get their parents or legal guardians to do so. NRG Stadium saw an abundance of personality and passion under its roof Friday night, as the two biggest boy bands around and thousands and thousands of their biggest local fans spent the final Friday before school starts together.

Thanks to One Direction and Five Seconds of Summer, there are going to be a lot kids keeping quiet come Monday. Screaming wears a voice out.

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Prepare Yourself: One Direction Comes to Houston Tomorrow

The world is an often dark and ugly place. Ferguson. James Foley. Ebola: things that we'd all like to avoid, but things we can't (and shouldn't) ignore, at least not in this hypermedia age that we live in.

That's not to say that the times we live in are worse than any other times, just that we've never had as much access to misery at our fingertips as we do now. Which might explain why at least a few of us are looking forward to escaping the darkness, if only for a few hours, at the biggest concert event of the year.

Yes, we're talking about the big One Direction show at NRG Stadium tomorrow night, a show so massive it's hard to believe that it exists. But of course it does. We all need some light in our life.

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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 past 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