What Is to Be Done About Children of Pop?

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Children of Pop has been lighting up the Houston music scene over the past year, hustling the way that dedicated musicians should. Following an album release, Chase DeMaster's musical alter ego has played countless headlining and supporting slots, sometimes even DJing or hosting a troupe of local acts. And though we've come to know him fairly well by now, perhaps, he's already shown that the unexpected is what he does best.

Rocks Off caught up with Children of Pop to discuss his upcoming 7" release, "Pre Madonna," which will get an official release party this Saturday at Fitzgerald's.


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Bastille at NRG Arena, 11/7/2014

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Photos by Jack Gorman
Bastille: Too much too soon?
Bastille, Ella Eyre
NRG Arena
November 7, 2014

As a writer, I try and keep up with the times by brushing up on Top 40 artists as much as I can, but like anything else in life, not everything is going to stick. For me, Bastille hadn't stuck, but it's my firm belief that a band should be given the chance to convince you in a live setting before making a final assessment.

That said, things started off wonderfully thanks to their opening act, Ella Eyre. She is, without a doubt, a lit stick of dynamite just waiting to explode. Sure, Eyre is gorgeous and so much fun to watch live, but more importantly she is full of raw talent as a singer and songwriter.

Vocally, she takes after her fellow bluesy-toned English crooner, Adele. But whereas Eyre could belt out ballads left and right, her energy reads more along the lines of Katy Perry when she was back on the Warped Tour. Of course, it doesn't hurt that all of her songs are high-energy, and Eyre has the passion and guts that bands dream of when booking their touring mates.


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[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

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LIQUID TODD
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

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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"

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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

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MTV
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

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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

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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...

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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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