Only You Can Speak Out Against Celebrity Lip-Syncing

Photo by Catherine wheat_in_your_hair/Flickr Commons
Silence the silence of lip sync
Read my lips: please, enough already with the lip-syncing, Celebrity America.

Thanks to cheap laugh-getter Jimmy Fallon, the unfortunate trend of lip-syncing that resumed on his Tonight Show has found an audience. In his version, megastars "battle" one another by mimicking the lyrics of popular songs. The practice has found enough of an audience to cause Spike TV, purveyor of fine programs like MANswers and Stripperella, to spawn its own half-hour show. The it-is-what-it-is-now-consume-it title of the show, Lip Sync Battle, proves they're not even trying to polish this turd for you, America.

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Music Trends That Should Stay In 2014

Photo courtesy of Big Machine Records
Will we hear even a little less about Taylor in 2015? One can only hope...
Despite what the editors of Rolling Stone want you to believe, 2014 was not, in fact, "another great year for music." In all honesty, it was one of the worst on record for new creations that innovated or inspired. Sure, there were some highlights: Jack White, FKA Twigs, Schoolboy Q, St Vincent. But overall, the year was somewhat of a bust.

The good news is that there is no need to abandon hope for popular music. All that needs to happen is that these dreadful pieces of 2014 need to stay on this side of the calendar when the clock hits midnight on December 31. Here's to 2015!

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Sorry, BeyHive, But We Are All Yoncé'd Out

This past Wednesday night, there was an entire Beyoncé category on on Jeopardy. Just let that sink in for a minute.

Ready? Here we go.

We are all Yoncé'd out.

That means we are over the Jeopardy categories. We are over the album drops. We are weary of the gossip items, blind items, bump watches and Jay Z sightings. That means we are tired of the "Surfborts" and "Single Ladies" parodies. Even the Solange jokes, too.

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Five Classic Bands Who Need New Names

Photo by Jack Gorman
"Queen" + Adam Lambert
As we often talk about here on Rocks Off, band names are important. They're a brand for your merry group of music-playing ladies and gentlemen, but problems can arise when the brand ends up superseding important things like quality.

There are a few bands running around today either in shambles due to the deaths of important members, or just embarrassing themselves while thriving off past glories. It's about time they just did away with the name, because they're only shells of what their brand used to represent. Here are five we'd like to see change their names immediately, if at all possible.

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Noose Left Outside Houston Singer's Home

Photos courtesy of Erica Nichole
Artists are used to criticism, but nothing could have prepared Houston pop-jazz artist Erica Nichole for waking up to find a noose had been hung out side her home at South Rice and Chimney Rock over the weekend.

"I noticed it after I came home from my gig Friday night," says Nichole via email. "Basically, it wasn't there after my friend and I came into my apartment, and then an hour or so later, it was there. I have NO idea who would/could have done this. I have lived here 13 years, and NEVER had an incident like it."

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The Six Least Fruitful Collaborations Ever

Maybe the worst collaboration of all time.
Collaborations are often a dream come true for music fans. Who among us hasn't fantasized about our favorite musicians getting together for a jam session? When it happens though, the results may vary. One pairing you might think unlikely might do great things, where another one you always thought would work might end up being a dud.

Let's focus on the latter, shall we? Much is made of successful collaborations, but the ones that fail go overlooked more often than not. They fall into obscurity, becoming the subject of music trivia. Since we're all about music trivia at Rocks Off, here's some of those failed collaborations for you to pull out the next time you're playing a round of musical Jeopardy.

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Six Bands You Didn't Know Were Still Around

Photo by Marc Brubaker
Five Finger Death Punch... still around.
Tuesday on Rocks Off, we discussed some bands who broke up with barely anyone taking notice, probably because most of those bands sucked anyway. But friends, the suck never stops. It will not end and it will not quit. It is all-pervasive, and it lives on in the spirit of every shitty band who is still performing without you even noticing they're still around.

These are those bands: the worst of the worst scene bands and one-hit-wonders who managed to scrape a career out of jumping on trends and are still going against all odds. These ones didn't break up without you noticing, they just kept plugging away without you noticing, and progressively ruining the world with their awful sounds.

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Six Bands That Broke Up Without Anyone Noticing

Usually when a band breaks up, there's a lot of furor about it, and a lot of mourning, even if the band hadn't done much of anything for a while. At least that's what happens with bands who have dedicated fanbases.

It's a little bit different when it's a band that was a fad to begin with and just quietly dissipates, or a band that just faded into complete obscurity to the point that no one knew or cared that they broke up. So as a notice to all of you who may have failed to hear about these, here's some bands who broke up with no fanfare.

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Dear Arcade Fire: No More Covers On This Tour, Please

Photo by Marc Brubaker
Arcade Fire's Win Butler at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, May 2011
Folks, I have made it no secret over the years that I am no fan of what Arcade Fire does. The Woodlands expats make lightweight pretentious rock for hipsters and bored suburban kids. That's fine, because it's a market that apparently Jason Mraz wasn't quite cornering well enough.

But now they have crossed the line with me. On their latest tour, which pulls into the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on April 9, they've taken to covering classic songs and the results have been pretty much as expected for a band of this, ahem, caliber. So here and now, I would like to respectfully request that Arcade Fire please, please, please stop covering songs I love.

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Five Great Singers in Bad Bands

Photo by Violeta Alvarez
Hayley Williams of Paramore
A couple of months back, we discussed how so many great bands have ended up with some pretty bad singers in them, usually because they couldn't find a decent lead singer around when they started or they started off playing a wildly different style and eventually took a detour that forced their front person to start crooning.

This time we'd like to take a look at the flipside: bands that are pretty awful but somehow managed to land an awesome singer up front. It's a little bit tougher, because bad singers are often the reason a band sucks, but we've come up with some truly terrible bands whose singers would be so much better fronting just about anyone else.

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