The Rocks Off 200: Erin Rodgers, the Keys to Glass the Sky

Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the original Rocks Off 100 at this link.

Photo courtesy of Erin Rodgers
Who? Describing Glass the Sky's music is difficult, the way describing a dream is difficult. It's not a fully-formed thing most of the time. Instead, their largely improvisational and atmospheric songs weave in and out of structure, yet never seem to lose their firm, melodic grip.

One of the linchpins of the band's sound is Erin Rodgers, who lends an ethereal keyboard and vocal presence as well as some clarinet when the situation is called for. Music has been her life for as long as she can remember; she says a song is playing somewhere in her head 100 percent of the time. In school she focused on the clarinet, and eventually learned the piano after her parents acquired an ancient model that had been on someone's front porch for years.

Though Rodgers picked up the guitar to try and get into the live-music scene, she disliked the instrument and jumped at the chance to ditch it after a former band broke up and Glass the Sky started auditioning for a keyboard player. She's been with them ever since.

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For No. 42: Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?

Categories: Weird Holidays

Bob Sandberg via the Library of Congress
While most of us are off sweating our taxes today, there is at least one cause for celebration. Today is Jackie Robinson Day, celebrating the anniversary of Robinson's first taking a major-league baseball field with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first African-American MLB player, Robinson blazed a trail that ended 80 years of segregation in the sport and paved the way for generations of gifted athletes.

Since 2004, it's become an annual tradition to honor the man who in many ways most defined the true national pastime, embodying as he did both skill undeniable and the place of freedom and equality that America is supposed to represent in ballparks across the nation. This year, for instance, Historic Dodgertown will host an exhibition game, and each player at tonight's Astros-Royals game at Minute Maid Park will wear Robinson's jersey number, 42. That number has become symbolic of the movement towards equality in professional sports, and has been retired at every MLB park. So honor No. 42, here's a playlist of songs about the one and only Jackie Robinson.

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The 13 Best Things About Coachella's First Weekend

Note: The first weekend of Coachella, Southern California's version of FPSF, has just concluded Sunday (or early Monday) in the high desert outside Palm Springs. Our friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly made it through the whole blessed thing, and kindly brought us this recap.

Photo by Timothy Norris
Round one of Coachella is over and damn, was it a good one! We're all sore, sunburned and smiling. Here's the best of what we saw during another memorable weekend in Indio.

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Old Testament Tales That Fit Today's Musicians

In April 2014, one of the hottest figures in Hollywood is an old-timer called God. He's the subject of Noah and God's Not Dead, two films that have somewhat surprisingly charted multimillion-dollar grosses this Easter season.

Whether the actors and producers are true believers isn't the point. Their personal salvation might not be assured, but it seems their bottom lines have been saved by bringing The Big Guy to the big screen. But in secular music entertainment, God's archrival gets all the run.

Whether the Stones are sympathizing with him or Jay-Z is illuminating on him, Satan rules, and folks like Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne have ridden Old Scratch's coattails all the way to the bank. The only time music artists ever mention God is when they're receiving a trophy at some awards show, right before they head off to a drug-laden orgy.

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The Nine Worst Things About Coachella's First Weekend

Note: The first weekend of Coachella, Southern California's version of FPSF, has just concluded Sunday (or early Monday) in the high desert outside Palm Springs. Our friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly made it through the whole blessed thing, and kindly brought us this recap.

Photo by Timothy Norris
Coachella's first weekend was amazing this year! Except when it wasn't. Here are the parts of the festival that rubbed us the wrong way.

Saturday Night dust storm (above)
Conditions may not have been as bad as they were during last year's Red Hot Chili Peppers set, but Saturday night's dusty conditions were still pretty awful. The winds started picking up when the sun started going down, and by dusk, the sky had turned a coffee-stain brown and festivalgoers were wiping desert residue from their eyeglasses and exposed skin.

Dust got everywhere -- in the cracks of your smartphone, for starters, and then, later, in your scalp, nose and bronchial tubes. It's a disgusting affair and a reminder to bring a handkerchief next time. ADAM LOVINUS

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Upcoming: Lisa Marie Presley, Marc Anthony, Aerosmith, Slash, Diarrhea Planet, etc.

Categories: This Just In

Aerosmith: With Slash. Mon., August 25, 7:30 p.m., $39.50 TO $155.00. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., Spring, 281-363-3300.

Andy Grammer: Sat., July 12, 7 p.m., $20 to $24. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, Houston, 713-862-3838.

The Antlers: Mon., July 21, 8 p.m., $15 to $17. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, Houston, 713-862-3838.

Bad Veins: Sat., May 24, 8 p.m., $10 to $12. Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, Houston, 713-862-3838.

Bash: Sun., April 20, 8 p.m., $3 to $7. Super Happy Fun Land, 3801 Polk, Houston, 713-880-2100.

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The 50 Most Beautiful People of Coachella 2014

Note: The first weekend of Coachella, Southern California's version of FPSF, has just concluded in the high desert outside Palm Springs. Our friends at LA Weekly and OC Weekly made it through the whole blessed thing, and were kind enough to share their recaps with us. This article is by Katie Bain.

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff
So many Coachella-goers spend months before the festival working on their tans, their outfits, their figures, and their breezy poses.

There's a real glut of fabulousness, we have to say, both among those in attendance at the Polo Grounds and the parties surrounding the festival. Here are the 50 most beautiful people we saw at Coachella.

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Slick Rick at Warehouse Live, 4/11/2014

Photos by Marco Torres
Slick Rick
Warehouse Live
April 11, 2014

Legends don't need a fancy stage, dazzling lighting or flamboyant dance routines. And they definitely do not need a 20-piece entourage to stand with them onstage doing absolutely nothing. All a legend needs is a little bit of your time and a platform on which to showcase his or her talent.

A legend of that caliber coolly strolled into Warehouse Live on Friday night, bringing with him 30 years of experience in the hip-hop game, with a handful of the most iconic rhymes and rhythms ever to be pressed on wax in his back pocket.

Slick Rick. Ricky Dee. The Ruler. The man with the eye patch who carries his own weight in gold around his neck. He's a shining example of what a storyteller is supposed to be: descriptive, enticing, understandable and relatable. No wonder so many rappers point to this man as an inspiration -- he simply has "it."

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Helstar & Venomous Maximus at Fitzgerald's, 4/12/2014

Photos by Groovehouse
Helstar, Venomous Maximus, Sanctus Bellum, Termination Force
April 12, 2014

The list of local bands that can still fill up Fitzgerald's more than 30 years after jamming out on their first power chord is a short one. On Saturday night, the metallic warriors in Helstar proved they can still pull that trick off with a little help from a few Johnny-come-lately friends.

The old club's crowded upstairs room was in fine spirit all evening, with supporting acts Termination Force, Sanctus Bellum and Venomous Maximus drawing plenty of claps and cheers. But the audience's most unconditional love was reserved for Helstar, the Houston metal institution celebrating the release next week of their tenth studio album, This Wicked Nest.

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Jeff Bridges & the Abiders at Warehouse Live, 4/12/2014

Photos by Jim Bricker
Jeff Bridges & the Abiders
Warehouse Live
April 12, 2014

Sometime during Jeff Bridges' headlining set at Warehouse Live on Saturday night, things just seemed to click. It took a little bit for the band to warm up to the room, and more specifically the room to warm up to the band, but after that happened this show became a good one.

I'm not sure if it took the crowd getting over the fact that Jeff Bridges was standing in front of them, but when people finally did get over his celebrity and stopped shouting quotes from The Big Lebowski at the stage, things seemed to fall into place and it became a real show.

Not that Bridges and his aptly named band the Abiders were churning out bad tunes, it just seemed to bore the audience at first -- one that seemed quite excited about the performance heading into the start. Could be that most of the crowd paid the hefty ticket price just to get a glimpse of Bridges or yell inaudible movie quotes at him, but after they realized that it wasn't just him acting out his "Dude" persona, the unrest throughout the room was noticeable.

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