Amazon's Funniest One-Star Classic Album Reviews

7558348144_d2d34fd0f4_z.jpg
Photo by Nathan Rupert via Flickr
As a music writer, it can be beneficial to seek out other music reviews to see what people are thinking, aficionados and trolls alike. Let's look at Amazon, a popular site where I admit I've spent a bit of money and time. You can find anything here, down to your most basic grocery-shopping needs.

As with all other comment sections, really, Amazon's consumer reviews can be deafening. These critics have opinions that they absolutely have to defend, or else they just want attention. Others just get really excited sharing their naysaying opinions, and sites like Amazon provide a wide audience. Today we thought we'd help widen some of these reviewers' audiences (hopefully alongside our own) with a top-notch, annotated selection of Amazon's one-star album reviewers.


More »

What's on the Musical Menu at These New Houston Spots

LastChanceSaloonatFrontierCity.jpg
Photo by Billy Hathorn via Wikimedia Commons
Last Chance Saloon at Frontier City, Oklahoma, 1959
Just three months into 2014, Houston already has a fair amount of newly opened restaurants and bars that host live music. Seeing that the Greater Houston area is large, diverse, ever-changing and all kinds of grand, we all could have probably guessed that. It's still early in the year, but here's what's already come along so far.

More »

Texas Women Keep State Respectable in 2014 Pazz & Jop Poll

Categories: Lists

Trailer-0115.jpg
To paraphrase Hank Williams Jr., thank God for Texas women.

Houston native Beyonce, whose surprise eponymous album was released after many writers had already turned in their 2013 best-of list, and Lindale's Kacey Musgraves -- whose Same Trailer Different Park was a thoughtful and tuneful counterpoint to the bro-country spewing out of Nashville like so much F-150 exhaust -- both landed in the Top 10 albums list of the 2014 Pazz & Jop Poll, a nationwide survey of more than 450 music critics sponsored by our sister paper the Village Voice and announced Wednesday morning.

That's the good news.


More »

10 Albums From 2013 You Should Have Heard

Categories: Lists

Terry-Allen-1231.jpg
Photo courtesy of Lance Cowan Media
Terry Allen
Terry Allen, Bottom of the World
You can yack on all day about Kevin Fowler, Josh Abbott or some other artless, vacant, party-popular, Texas good-ole-boy bands, but the old salts know that Terry Allen's music is that real Texas deal. On his first new material in 14 years, Allen touches all the bases with wit, depth, verve, and insight. Allen's songs quietly punch like a heavyweight. WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

More »

Justin Timberlake's Top 10 Collaborations

slide_timberlake.jpg
www.livenation.com
Justin Timberlake, the former *NSYNC member, Mouseketeer, and Mr. Britney Spears, will grace H-Town with this dreamy blue eyes and Jacksonesque dance moves as he hits the Toyota Center stage tomorrow. Although JT has always been a star, shining bright as the de facto leader of the world's most popular boy band of the late '90s and early '00s, which carried him into a successful career as a solo artist, the last year has provided a new direction for the Memphis, Tenn. native.

No longer is he the goofy-haired kid singing happy-go-lucky pop hits for the tweens. His image is all mature, sexy, and naughty, dapper with his suit and tie and grownup blonde coif. Yet Justin is still at his best when paired up with an equally cool rapper, singer, producer, or group. Timberlake has seemingly been featured on more tracks with others than most of his contemporaries, almost keeping pace with OutKast's Andre 3000. We present to you the Timberlake Top 10 List of Collaborations & Duets:


More »

The Seven Scariest Houston Rap Songs

Categories: After Dark, Lists

NIP-1022.jpg
Rappers are scary. Some of them live in Houston. With Scary Season (aka Halloween) around the corner, we decided to visit some of the most spooktacular rap songs Houston has ever produced.

No Halloween party is complete without these seven Houston rap songs.


More »

Five Odd Local Spots Where We'd Love to See a Show

Sculpturworx2-Eide-1008.jpg
Photo by Kristin Eide
Inside David Adickes' old SculpturWorx studios
If you enjoy live music, chances are you have your favorite venue. Whether you love a smaller room because of its intimacy and cheap beer prices, or you prefer one of the larger (and pricier) venues because they provide seats with a view, we here at Rocks Off know that each venue plays a vital part in Houston's thriving music and nightlife scene.

But for all of the city's wonderful venues (and businesses that sometimes act as makeshift venues) we rarely get a chance to watch a concert in a space that wasn't originally intended to host music acts.

This week, we took a look at some of Houston's hot spots in an attempt to find local spots where we wouldn't mind watching a concert. Of course, this list is theoretical, but we certainly wouldn't turn down the chance to watch some of our favorite bands here.


More »

Five Totally Original Music-Inspired Halloween Costumes

Categories: Lists

Rock_of_love_2_girls.jpg
Photo courtesy of VH1.com
Group costume idea that doubles as every guy's dream-costume? Hmmmm...
Halloween costumes used to be about novelty and flexing your creative muscles. I distinctly remember the simple pleasure of spray-painting a couple of boxes silver, slapping some bicycle reflectors on the front and calling myself a robot. Who cares if I was five and inexplicably being allowed to play with paint cans? That shit was fun.

And who says that adult costumes have to abandon that same artistic whimsy?

This year, before you head to the store for an overpriced package of flimsy nylon that at least 50 other people will also be wearing, try brainstorming up something a little, you know, original. And if you lack your own originality, no excuses: Here are five fun, musically inclined ideas to get you started.


More »

The 10 Best Songs Less Than 30 Seconds Long

Categories: Lists

shortsongs1.jpg
Songs so short you can sing them while crossing the street and be done before you reach the other side.
Look, I'm a very busy man, and by that I mean that someone put the ENTIRE run of Seventh Doctor stories online for free, and I can't be bothered talking to you people about music all the dingalong day when that's waiting for my rapt attention.

Unfortunately, the editor was all like, "Write or you don't get paid," and I was all like, "You're not my real mom," and, well, it didn't get any better from that point. [Ummmm... -- ed.]

So music journalism, let's see... a pop song is three minutes long and it goes ABABCAB. That's what Mr. Radio taught me, at any rate. The truth is, some folks can do more in a few seconds than a prog-rock anthem can do in ten minutes. Today we salute the tweet-level tunes, songs just long enough to cleanse the artistic palate while you wait for the next episode to cue.


More »

Five Genius Songs Written at the Last Minute

Categories: Lists

Pinball-Wizard-0924.jpg
Funny thing about songwriting. I can speak from personal experience: sometimes you spend days, weeks, or years getting a song right, and sometimes you just throw some crap into a microphone at the last minute and hope that someone doesn't hate it.

In the hands of master musicians, though, that last-minute Hail Mary is often the unfiltered smoke of genius. There's even a word for it in Portuguese, desenrascanco. It's the reason that people who work with David Bowie always keep the tape running. Even though he says it's just a practice run, it's probably going to be a sudden work of brilliance.

Today we salute you, hits and anthems that have about as much thought behind them as the average crammed seventh-grade history test.


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...