Eliza Rickman Brings Tour Somewhere Different: a Comic Shop

Categories: On the Road

Screencap from "Start with Goodbye, Stop With Hello"
There's plenty of places to play in Houston, but one of the more unconventional places that's been hosting comics lately is 8th Dimension Comics and Games. In general they pick up a more specialized crowd such as chiptune artists and other acts that appeal to the geek demographic, but tonight they'll have the comparatively mainstream Eliza Rickman.

The multi-instrumentalist and singer -- she'll be bringing everything from a toy piano to handbells to a glockenspiel for the performance -- is on her way to New Orleans to work on another set of her excellent and innovative music videos, hitting up cities for shows on the way. She played the more conventional Warehouse Live her last time through through, but thought that the comic shop was a better fit this time around.

"Why wouldn't I come play in a comic shop?" says Rickman. "A fan emailed me saying that they hosted shows, and since my show is very adaptable and involves a lot of humor it seemed like the perfect fit."

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A Hill Country Romantic Getaway, Starring Shinyribs

Photo by Nan Palmero/Flickr Commons
Gruene Hall
For this month of wine and roses, Rocks Off recommends a romantic jaunt to Gruene, Tex. Cue Dating Game theme music and announcer voice: You'll sweep your sweetheart off his or her feet with leisurely antiquing, sumptuous cuisine, a cozy bed and breakfast and an evening at Gruene Hall, the state's oldest operating dance hall!

Saturday's evening's performers at the venerable music venue are Austin smooth operators Shinyribs and opener The O's, the Dallas duo of John Pedigo and Taylor Young that specializes in "good-timin' music," including more than a few love songs.

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The Continuing East Coast Adventures of Children of Pop

Note: this is the second installment of the tour journal written by our friend Chase DeMaster, aka Houston chillwave-jam specialist Children of Pop, about his and homie Gabe Lopez's recent pre-#snowpacalypse trip to the Eastern Seaboard. When we left off, the pop-children were headed to their gig at Lower East Side indie room Pianos to meet up with one of their people from back in H-Town. We are now #veryjazzed to bring you Part 2.

Photos courtesy of Children of Pop
Chase DeMaster: ""MAN DOWN" -- lost my toothbrush in cargo cabin of bolt bus, NYC-D.C."
My friend Ben Godfrey gets to the venue early. Ben and I have played music together for a few years now; he a songwriter and me his guitar player. His band is the best band I had the pleasure of playing in. Ben and I find harmony in our conversation, and we are making the best of the evening.

Most recent is his sarcastic Twitter account where he spells things incorrectly, and gives tips on how others can spell incorrectly. It's great. Like young people with trading cards, we show each other our most recent emoji screen. I think he is impressed with my layout. It feels good. I show him Gabe's "Whale Fart" algorithm and we laugh.

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Children of Pop Sent Us This Rad Tour Journal

Note: Right now we are very high on Houston chillwave/dream-pop auteur Chase DeMaster, sultan of the #veryjazzed empire, and his merry band of accomplices known as Children of Pop. Recently they headed off to give select East Coast cities a taste of the CoP flavors, hyping the second pressing of their "Pre-Madonna" EP, and we asked them to let us know how it went. They exceeded all expectations.

Photos courtesy of Children of Pop
Chase DeMaster: "That photo was taken in the NYC subway as the artist was between the Titanic theme song and some french fries. 'I'm lovin' it.' Life is chill."
Sunday night Gabe and I boiled down our gear/clothes/merch into two backpacks. 2K15 motto, "Travel. Light." I couldn't sleep so I take some Nyquil (Drank) and jam on my new drone machine. It is a small box with three triangle oscillators (tone generators) with three knobs controlling pitch/frequency.

I show Gabe how it works and he takes it for a spin. We play a game of MTG*. He, my nostalgic sliver deck and I, my new knight deck. Knight deck is very quick and I take the game in 7 hands, 0-12. Fun. My wife Holly wakes us up with her morning-person banter/chants @ 4:30. Uhhhhh.

Gabe and I miss our layover in LaGuardia at the expense of a few slices +. We kicked it for about an hour as they have a shuttle from NYC to Boston every hour or something. We catch up on emails during the "Airplane mode" period. Sitting in an exit row, we are briefed/quizzed on our abilities as quasi-emergency personnel.

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Houston Firm Books First-Rate Austin EDM Fest

Photo by Marc Brubaker
Major Lazer: Ghostland Observatory in 2009
It seems like only two weeks ago that we were talking about the upcoming year of dance-music festivals. At the time we were talking about the heavyweight lineup that UME had assembled for this year's Spring Break on South Padre Island. Today we have a different festival with a different type of lineup, but one that is just as exciting.

Out in Austin, the Euphoria Music + Camping Festival is joining the ranks of Levitation and South By So What as early-2015 festivals worth checking out in the Lone Star State. Although it is decidedly more electronic than those two, they're doing their part to remind folks that Texas festivals exist outside of ACL, FFF Fest and FPSF.

So who is joining the previously announced headliner Pretty Lights?

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#30DaysInLA: An Exhausting, Red Bull-Fueled Musical Feast

Categories: On the Road

Photos by Marco Torres (except indicated)
An awesome show each night for 30 days, Red Bull Sound Select showcases its magic.
During the month of November, Red Bull Sound Select presented an innovative music showcase in Los Angeles called #30DaysInLA. A different show or event, at a different venue, each night, for 30 nights. The shows include big names such as Juicy J, Chance the Rapper, Cut Copy, and A$AP Mob, but also present the program's rising stars such as Houston's Wrestlers and the Tontons, as well as Los Colognes, Thurz and more. Rocks Off's Marco Torres was on hand for a week of the thirty shows and captured these highlights.

First things first: what is Red Bull Sound Select? According to a poster I found hanging on the wall of the Red Bull's North American headquarters in Santa Monica, the program is defined as:

...an artist development program and music discovery platform to help break emerging artists hand-selected by the most influential curators in the industry.

That sounds really cool, but what does it have to do with Houston?

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The Best Things Overheard at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014 (NSFW)

Photo by Cory Garcia
From a chalkboard that asked, "What does Texas mean to you?"
"Hey do you want a Red Bull?"
"No thanks."
"It has vodka in it."

"Let me know if you're gonna do something stupid so I can record it and post it online for karma"

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The Best & Worst of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2014

Photo by Cory Garcia
Boyfriend can work any stage, even when the stage is a wrestling ring.

New Orleans rapper Boyfriend knows how to command a space, even when that space is a wrestling ring. As she danced, stomped and rolled her way around the space, tossing gifts out in to the audience, occasionally borrowing hats and sunglasses and getting up close to sing to different members of the crowd, I couldn't pull my eyes away from her set.

Her songs are good, though, the good type of repetitive-catchy, but actually seeing her perform -- and the chaos that comes with it -- makes them shine. After the set, I was told it was only a taste of what her shows are like. If you'll excuse me, I'll be kicking myself for missing her set at Fitz last week. CORY GARCIA

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10 Reasons to Look Forward to Fun Fun Fun Fest Every Year

Photo by Marco Torres
Welcome back, 2012
The Weather
Sure it makes me sound like a curmudgeon, but I hate summer festivals. Oh sure, the music is great, but the heat, good lord the heat. It's just exhausting. Even ACL runs the risk of getting mighty uncomfortable if October decides not to play nice.

By the time November rolls around, though, even the warmest days are pleasant and the cooler days are just an excuse to wear those awesome hoodies you've been keeping in storage.

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The 10 Best Acts of Voodoo Music Experience 2014

Photos by Jim Bricker
Legends of the Game: OutKast
The 16th annual Voodoo Music + Arts Experience has come and gone, leaving the rich taste of Hurricanes and filé gumbo in our mouth and the sweet sounds of Foo Fighters, OutKast, Arctic Monkeys and the rest of the festival's stacked lineup.

Taking over New Orleans's City Park every Halloween weekend, Voodoo has become a festival unlike any other. Featuring a diverse set of bands and DJs playing across four unique stages and allowing its patrons the adult playground of the Big Easy during off hours, it has shaped itself into one of today's top-tier music events.

There was no end to quality music over the three days, and only a few minor mishaps (looking at you, Ms. Lauryn Hill...), but some acts were just a little bit better than the rest. There was no shortage of contenders, making this list rather tough to whittle down, but these are the ten best acts of this past weekend's Voodoo Experience.

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