The 25 Best Songs About Houston

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Ron Riering via Flickr
Lots of songs down here...
Bobby Bare, "I Can Almost See Houston From Here"
One of the great homesick songs, Bobby Bare infuses this one with downtrodden ennui as he pines for the warmness of his old hometown. Usually veteran Houstonians are forced to deal with some newbie from Portland telling us all the things that are wrong with the Bayou City, so this one is a refreshing twist; Bare pines to get back to his old hometown and leave the Denver cold behind. It also contains the drop-dead perfect honky-tonk realization: "Funny how much better I can see without my pride." WILLIAM MICHAEL SMITH

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15 Acts to Watch For at Something Wicked 2014

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LIQUID TODD
3:30 p.m. Saturday, Mystic Meadows Stage

DJ Liquid Todd can be heard on two different Sirius XM Radio channels, BPM and Alt Nation. The personable producer has interviewed some of the biggest stars at the biggest festivals across the globe. In addition to his music career, he has written multiple cover stories for the medicinal-marijuana publication, Culture. His early set should get the party started nicely as Todd heats up the crowd with the most popular EDM tracks and pop-rock remixes. JACK GORMAN

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The 10 Best Concerts In Houston This Weekend: PUJOL, Wade Bowen, Mike Doughty, etc.

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Photo by Jaime Goodsell/Grandstand Media & Management
PUJOL
Walters Downtown, October 24

Few feelings can match the exuberance of playing rock and roll in your early twenties. It's a potent combination of arrogance, recklessness and a hint of vulnerability that, done right, taps into the grand tradition of the Stones, the Clash, the Replacements, the Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys. In 2014, the hellion known as PUJOL positively reeks of it.

The Nashville-based auteur is one of the hottest indie acts going right now thanks to Reunited States of Being, his 2012 album reissued for last month's Cassette Store Day, and KLUDGE, the new Saddle Creek LP that embeds the sarcastic smarts of a typical late-night IFC/Comedy Central sketch series into an album's worth of lo-fi bedroom-pop nuggets. Fun stuff. With Screaming Females and Spare Bones. CHRIS GRAY

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UPDATED: Walters Downtown Owner Pam Robinson Passes Away

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Photo courtesy of Walters Downtown
We'll miss you, Pam.
Sad news this morning. Walters Downtown owner Pam Robinson, a fan and champion of Houston musicians for decades, has apparently passed away following a long battle with cancer. Robinson's family released a statement earlier this afternoon on Walters' Facebook page:

Yesterday afternoon we lost our beloved owner, Pam Robinson, to her battle with cancer. She was a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an aunt and a Gaga. She was feisty, loving, badass, smart, passionate and a very understanding person.

We all loved her and what she did for the Houston music community, and through Pamland, she started to help shape many musicians and bands into who they are today. She gave to so many people without asking anything in return, and as Willow, from Hatetank Productions, put it, she was the "Godmother of the Houston Music Scene".



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Local Acts Besiege CMJ For Texas Takeover

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All this week, aspiring rock stars, rappers, DJs and even a folksinger or two have fanned out across Manhattan and Brooklyn for the 33rd annual CMJ Music Marathon. But today New York City's week-long festival will have a pronounced Texas twang.

Lone Star acts, almost two dozen of them, will overrun one venue in particular, a three-level nightclub on the Lower East Side called The Delancey. Dubbed the "Texas Takeover," it's an official showcase and everything, open to all CMJ badgeholders. Representing Houston are a number of acts our readers ought to recognize, among them BLSHS, Featherface, Catch Fever, Ravin' Symone (aka DJ Dave Wrangler), -Us, iPod Ammo, Wrestlers and the Suffers, who close out the whole mess at 10:30 p.m.


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Houston's Best Music Photographer Is...

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Photos by and Courtesy of the Winner
These folks are as happy this contest is over as we are. (Not really -- it's ACL Fest 2014.)
...finally over. After more than six months and 7,000 votes (wow), we have a winner.

Take a bow, Greg Noire. The floor is yours.

"Wow. I am literally amazed by all of this," he says. "My photography got me on this list, but my supporters definitely got me this win. Watching those votes go up was pretty overwhelming -- I didn't realize that there were so many people who enjoyed my work out there."


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Premium Goods Offers Premium Sounds at 10-Year Bash

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Photos by Marco Torres
Bun B onstage with The Suffers
Saturday evening, 8th Wonder Brewery in EaDo hosted a party for one of Houston's most important cultural institutions: the sneaker and apparel boutique Premium Goods (2416 Times Blvd.) was celebrating its 10-year anniversary of existence, and invited a few friends to assist in the festivities. Rocks Off photographer Marco Torres was on hand to capture the highlights.


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The Five Best Concerts in Houston This Week: Watsky, Heart, Jason Aldean, B.o.B., etc.

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Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Watsky
House of Blues, October 21

Last year, the most badass statistical analyst you've ever heard of, Matt Daniels, released something called the Hip-Hop Flow Chart, which ranked several popular rap acts by vocabulary size. I pored over the results like a rap geek and wondered how could Daniels have missed this prolific word-monster. This year, Daniels' version 2.0 of the chart rightfully included San Francisco-based Watsky, and counted 5,651 unique words among the first 35,000 he rapped.

That slotted him alongside some of the very best, names like Aesop Rock (still reigning champ), Sage Francis, Immortal Technique and The Roots. Watsky's new album, All You Can Do, which features more smart and empowering raps from the San Franciscan, who always seems genuinely grateful to be able to do what he does. JESSE SENDEJAS JR.

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VIDEO: Jose Figueroa Is Still Dancing

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Jose Figueroa is still dancing. The Channelview high-school teacher we told you about earlier this month, whose goal was not only to dance to live music every single night for a solid year but also to make a documentary film about it, says he's not much closer to recovering the equipment that was stolen from his car last month, but still believes he might be able to complete the project nonetheless.

Although Figueroa says the police still haven't been able to turn up any information that might lead to getting his stuff back, a friend has donated a video camera that should allow him to complete a crucial part of the process - the introductory video required of Kickstarter users to start one of the crowd-based Web site's fundraising campaigns.

"Not nearly as compact as my GoPro, but a very generous loan that I'm truly grateful for," he notes.


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Houston's 10 Best Bars for People-Watching

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Photo by Ed Schipul via Flickr
Note: List is in alphabetical order.

AVANTGARDEN
A converted turn-of-the-20th-century house, AvantGarden is a bar, community venue and gathering point where creative and artistic people throughout the city come for poetry readings, live music, theatrical productions, independent-film premieres, art exhibits, improv comedy, cabaret, and more. The patrons here are sometimes described as hipsters, but the mostly friendly, non-pretentious people we have encountered here do not exhibit the more negative stereotypes of that sometimes pejorative label.

However, many customers here indeed have a flair for style and can dress pretty flamboyantly. For some serious people-watching, the best times to come are the customer-appreciation nights on Thursdays, when cheap drink specials bring in large and diverse crowds who gather in the patio/courtyard out back, which is illuminated overhead with sparkling lights, putting out a festival vibe.

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