2013: First Year of the Post-CD Era?

CDs.jpg
Still look great hanging from rearview mirrors.
Things haven't been looking good for CDs for years now. Ever since the introduction of Napster and the first portable MP3 players, the format has pretty much felt doomed. Since the turn of the century, the CD has hung on valiantly, but its disappearance has remained a question of when, not if.

2012, as it turns out, may have been the CD's worst year yet. Early in the year, it was reported for the first time that digital music had outsold CDs. Perhaps more interestingly, old albums outsold new ones in 2012 for the first time since Nielsen Soundscan started tracking U.S. album sales in 1991.

The CD's long reign as the music industry's main revenue source appears to be at an end at last. So, has the MP3 Prophecy finally come true? Will 2013 be the first year of music's post-CD era? And is that good news for the music industry or bad?


More »

A Slew Of New Houston Rap MP3s That Don't Suck

Categories: Mp3s

bun-b-aaron-lacrate.jpg
Bun B (right) with Aaron Lacrate
Here's a story.

Back in late April, early May I had to fight through the most unwanted thing to anyone who owns a Macbook: A hard-drive fail. I'm sure we can curse Steve Jobs, Siri and the rest for making those short-ass chargers, but there's more headache than need be with a hard drive fail.

So I drove to the Apple store closest to me and attempted to transfer everything over to my external HD, which had been gathering dust. Thought it would be smooth. Until I checked the HD later that night and saw all of my music had transferred -- all the way up to T-Pain.

Can you think of any best/worst artist for your music collection to stop on than T-Pain? I'm not saying he's terrible or anything on a Flo Rida level, but I wish the Music Gods had at least let me get past Usher.


More »

New Houston Rappers Salute DJ Screw's "June 27"

Categories: Mp3s

thuggatweet june27.jpg
So sayeth Thugga.

Historically, the importance of DJ Screw's original "June 27" track is monumental. It is, essentially, slurry Houston rap's Sistine Chapel ceiling, responsible for an almost uncountable number of eventuals, including but not limited to Yungstar's momentary transcendence (which had untold effects as well), starting the crystallization of Big Moe's icon status, and making "D Moe" the answer to one of Houston rap's great trivia questions. (Whose birthday were they celebrating when they recorded "June 27"*?)

More »

Preemo's Flight 713: Houston Underground Rap's Newest Star

preemoatkobain sep17.jpg
Larami Serrano
Preemo at Kobain, 2010 Houston Press Music Awards showcase
Preemo has earned a ton of praise this past year; and rightfully so. Concrete Dreams, his first proper full-length showing, remains to be one of the year's three best Houston rap albums.

So when he let loose that he was planning a short-notice mixtape release for September 11 called Flight 713, our alarms went off. It's more than difficult to try to follow up a heralded breakout performance. More often than not it looks like you're just trying to piggyback off of positive press, which makes you look like a preening a-hole, which is the exact opposite of what Concrete Dreams did for him.

So we listened to the new tape with squinted eyes and pursed lips, Preemo's eulogy half-written. To be certain, we listened again. And again. And again.

Hit the jump to see if he came out with his newfound reputation as one of (if not the) best underground rappers in Houston intact, or if he had that medal ripped off his lapel like they did to The A-Team guys in that shitty remake from earlier this summer that was about an hour and 45 minutes too long.

More »

Girls And Richard Julian Both Need Attention

julian and norahjones headstrongpictures sep15.jpg
Headstrong Pictures/ myspace.com/richardjulian
Norah Jones and Richard Julian in the Little Willies
Talking a streak at the edge of the bed
She looked like fresh piece of cake
Unable to get with the things that she said
I pretended I wasn't awake


Unless you have an ear to the New York folk underground or are one of those music fans who gets out a magnifying glass to read all the credits on albums, chances are you've never heard of Richard Julian. Hopefully Julian's latest release, Girls Need Attention (Compass Records), will broaden his visibility because it truly marks him as a talent deserving of wider fame.

Richard Julian, "Girls Need Attention"


More »

Rocks Off Invites You To The HPMA Showcase

JUST GIRL aug6.jpg
Monica Fuentes
Rocks Off and the Houston Press are having a little party on Washington Avenue tomorrow afternoon called the Houston Press Music Awards showcase. We may have mentioned it before. If you'd like to come, we'd love to have you.

Click here to vote in this year's awards and showcase wristband info - bear in mind they go up to $20 from $15 tomorrow morning - or watch Rocks Off's Twitter and Facebook pages all afternoon for your chance to win some. The halls at HP headquarters are cluttered with all sorts of HPMA swag, and Rocks Off has been dodging U-Hauls all morning every time we've stepped out into the parking lot for a smoke.

So we guess it's really happening. We're excited about it - with almost 60 nominees, HPMA alumni and special guests Matt & Kim, Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights and Trae Tha Truth, it'll be hard for anyone to find something they don't like. Won't you please join us?

While we're at it, Rocks Off thought we'd post one more round of HPMA nominee MP3s, and review the ones we already have. First, our previous collections:

More »

Music Award Nominee MP3s: The New Batch

JUST GIRL july20.jpg
Monica Fuentes
Rocks Off hopes you have been voting in this year's Houston Press Music Awards so far, but if you're the stubborn Luddite sort, the ballot will be on page 49 of the print issue that hits newsstands tomorrow or Thursday, depending on how far out you live. Rocks Off thinks all of this year's nominees are pretty far out - sorry - which is why we've taken to posting as many of their MP3s as we possibly can.

Nominees, it's still not too late to send us your songs. Just like we always do, we'll link to the MP3s we've already posted before we get to our latest batch, in case you've forgotten if you've sent us anything or not. You can always send it again, or for the first time, to chris.gray@houstonpress.com. We'll keep posting and posting until the weekend of the HPMA showcase as long as you keep sending 'em in.

Today Rocks Off gives you After Time Has Passed (Best Metal), Dead P.A. (Best Experimental/Instrumental), Footpie (Best Reggae/Dub), Ira Perez (Best Female Vocals), Spain Colored Orange (Best Indie Rock) and J. Sylvester (Best Jazz).

More »

Still More HPMA Nominee MP3s

Categories: HPMA, Mp3s

JUST GIRL july9.jpg
Monica Fuentes
You didn't think Rocks Off would let you escape into the weekend without some more HPMA nominee MP3s, now did you? We certainly hope not. We may be running out of ways to write the same headline, but we're not running out of MP3s. Please send them to chris.gray@houstonpress.com. Also, those of you who have written in asking if Rocks Off still has your MP3s we previously posted, we probably don't, so please send them again.

Remember, wristbands for our HPMA showcase are on sale now for $15 right over here. We are almost ready to reveal the identity of the special guest on the Bud Light outdoor stage at Washington and Silver too, so stay tuned for that.

Today we are happy to bring you A Dream Asleep (Best Hardcore/Noise), Matt Harlan (Best Folk), Krunkquistadors (Best Mainstream Hip-Hop), The Octanes (Best Roots-Rock/Americana), Skeleton Dick (Best Punk), Spare Parts (Best Cover/Tribute Band) and Staci's Edge (Best Rock).

More »

Some More HPMA Nominee MP3s And A Little Showcase Info

JUST GIRL-thumbjul7.jpg
Monica Fuentes
One week from tomorrow, the 2010 Houston Press Music Awards ballot goes live online, so hello this year's nominees, you're running out of time to send us your MP3s so we can post them and show the city (and the rest of the Interwebs) what you sound like. Please send them to chris.gray@houstonpress.com.

Rocks Off is also happy to announce that tomorrow we will bring you the complete schedule of this year's HPMA showcase, which is Saturday, August 7 at more than ten venues along Washington Avenue, including the Bud Light outdoor stage featuring special guests Matt & Kim and Jonathon Tyler & the Northern Lights. And for once, you won't have to worry about parking along Washington, because the Washington Wave will provide complimentary transportation to everyone who purchases a wristband.

Now, for todays crop of MP3s, Rocks Off is proud to bring you songs from The American Heist (Best Punk), Disfrutalo (Best Instrumental/Experimental), Espantapajaros (Best Latin Contemporary), The Failed Attempt (Best Punk), Chase Hamblin (Best Male Vocals) and Tax the Wolf (Best Progressive Rock). More soon, y'all... or so we hope. It's up to you, really.

More »

More HPMA Nominee MP3s? Why The Hell Not?

JUST GIRL-thumbjul2.jpg
Monica Fuentes
Tick-tock, Clarice HPMA nominees. As many of you hopefully found out yesterday, Matt & Kim and Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights will be our special guests at this year's Houston Press Music Awards showcase all along Washington Avenue Saturday, August 7. Tickets go on sale next Friday at houstonpress.com. Just thought we'd mention that again, mostly because a) we want all of you to show up; and b) we need some copy to sandwich around that pretty lady to your right.

Anyhow, the number of nominees who have now sent in their MP3s keeps climbing a little more each day. Hell, we figure we may have about half of them in now. But we could always use more, so the rest of you please stop dragging your feet and send them to chris.gray@houstonpress.com. You'll be glad you did.

So today, just in time for the July 4 weekend, we are proud to bring you five more. Without further ado - OK, just a little - here are Balaclavas (Best LP/CD, Roman Holiday), Glenna Bell (Best Folk), Giant Princess (Best EP, Mexican Easter), Last Soul Descendents (Best R&B/Funk/Soul), Strange Days (Best Cover/Tribute Band) and the Trey Clark Band (Best Country; Best Male Vocals, Trey Clark; Best Guitarist, Trey Clark; Best Bassist, Mike Maples).

More »
Loading...