Cut Copy at Warehouse Live, 11/9/2013

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Photos by Jim Bricker
Cut Copy
Warehouse Live
November 9, 2013

It's been a busy week in Houston for live music, but especially if you're a fan of shaking your booty. While most of the area hipsters were busy getting their fun (fun fun) on in Austin, we benefited from the festival overflow in a big way this year. Cut Copy, one of the acts I was most disappointed about missing at FFFF, made their way to Warehouse Live Saturday night for their first area club gig ever.

It had been since their 2011 FPSF performance that Cut Copy had been in Houston, but they made up for lost time with an energy-filled performance to a packed-out Ballroom. I wasn't really sure how many people would make it to the show, but it turned out to be a nearly sold-out event by the time the Australian indie/dance-rockers took the stage.


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Brrr! The 10 Skimpiest Costumes at Something Wicked

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Photos by Marco Torres
What is it about EDM that compels folks to walk around in their unmentionables?

Houston's second annual Halloween EDM festival, Something Wicked, took place over the weekend at Sam Houston Race Park, and boy did we ever get an eyeful. Both guys and gals chose to suffer through the somewhat chilly night by wearing nothing more than a bra, a cape, and a pair of undies. Rocks Off stopped several festival attendees and asked them to bare it all for our photographer's camera.


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Paramore at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 10/27/2013

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Photos by Violeta Alvarez
Paramore, Metric, Hellogoodbye
Cynthia Woods Pavilion
October 27, 2013

Well, they've done it again.

On the way to Cynthia Woods Pavilion Sunday night, I realized that it had been about six months to the day since I reviewed Paramore at Bayou Music Center in April. Back then, the band's opener was rougher and more experimental, and the crowd was just learning Paramore's new songs as the band favored older material.

In six short months, a lot has happened in Paramore's world. Their self-titled album debuted at No. 1, their tour has been selling out across the country, and "Still Into You" just hit No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sunday night's show was considerably more arena-ready and injected with the confidence a group gets from reestablishing themselves as a bona fide rock band and not a flash-in-the-pan teenybopper pop-punk group.

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Black Flag at Walters, 8/26/2013

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Photos by Jim Bricker.
Black Flag and Good for You
Walters Downtown
August 26, 2013

News that hardcore punk legends Black Flag were heading through Walters on their current tour of the U.S. and Australia inspired no small amount of excitement around these parts. After all, the band hasn't played Houston (or much of anywhere, really) since at least the mid-'80s. But it inspired a lot of questions, too.

Namely, why now? Was guitarist Greg Ginn getting the band back together (or some new-fangled version of it, anyway) just to show up Keith Morris' competing troupe, FLAG? Where, exactly, did he dig up long-lost singer Ron Reyes, and who were the new guys in the rhythm section? Were they in any condition to do proper justice to the angst-riddled anthems that once caused audiences to degenerate into violent mayhem?

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people wanted to see those questions answered live and in person on Monday night. Weeknight or no, Walters was as crowded as it's perhaps ever been, with several generations of punkers showing up ready to see if this new Black Flag was worthy of name.

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Up All Night to Get Lucky With Bun B, Fat Tony, Riff Raff, Nosaprise, Red Bull...

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Photos by Marco Torres
Saturday night, the eyes of the world were on Houston. The North American Finals of Red Bull's BC One B-Boy competition was taking place at Warehouse Live. As hundreds packed in to the venue, tens of thousands watched the livestream online.

Just south of the city, in a graffiti mecca known as The Kingspoint Mullet, iced-tea makers Lipton, in association with Vice Magazine, presented their widely popular Brisk Bodega party, hosted by local DJ collective Bombón and featuring performances by Fat Tony, Riff Raff, and the Trill OG himself, Bun B.

We at Rocks Off do our best to bring you premium coverage of the Houston music and party scene. The following is my personal timeline from a long, exciting, and tiring night in H-Town.


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Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms & Fastball at Arena Theater, 8/17/2013

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Photos by Jim Bricker
Why are all these people onstage during Smash Mouth's set?
Under The Sun Tour
Feat. Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms & Fastball
Arena Theater
August 17, 2013

The '90s were an interesting time for music, especially in the realm of pop. It was an age of one-hit wonders, and as a band it seemed like it took a whole lot more than that one catchy song to keep you on the map. Saturday evening at Arena Theatre featured an onslaught of 90's bands that were good enough to take that next step and not fizzle off with the rest of the Aqua's and Baha Men.

In a show billed as the "Under the Sun" tour, Arena's spinning stage hosted Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms and Fastball -- a grouping of bands responsible for more hits than you'd probably realize. Over the course of three hours, these four bands had no problem bringing the '90s nostalgia to full tilt.

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Kanye's "New Slaves" Video Bomb: An Eyewitness Account

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Photo by Charne Graham
There he is...
Between his video premieres and SNL performances, Kanye West managed to confuse me in a good way all weekend. So it's Friday night in Chicago and I had planned my night of catching up on television shows I've missed all week. But I checked my Twitter and my timeline was filled with Kanye West tweets.

At first I'm thinking, "Shit, what did he do now?" but no, this time it was something good. Kanye tweeted that he was premiering his new video by projecting it on buildings across the world tonight. Several locations in Chicago were listed on Kanye's site.

I immediately started to grin an unstoppable grin and had my moment of being a complete fan, with lots of oh-my-gods, so I geared up for this treasure-hunt adventure Kanye set up for us. I chose to go to the University of Chicago location, which only gave the address of an intersection. This somewhat reminded me of that movie Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, where Michael Cera and Kat Denning's were looking for that band Where's Fluffy. The only difference was that I was on a mission to look at a Powerpoint presentation from Mr. West on a building instead of a live performance.


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Slip Slidin' Away: My Life as a Rock Journalist With the Houston Press

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Photo by Marc Brubaker
The author watching Free Energy at Fitz in 2011.
I had a hernia operation in the early summer of 2006, and had nothing to do all day but hobble around with cool cane a borrowed from Grandpa Hlavaty and play on the Internets for two months or so.

I had developed the injury while working at Domino's, but it was cool because their insurance helped pay for it, and the cool pills that came with the painful surgery.

That summer while trolling around on Craigslist for stray local writing gigs, I saw that then Houston Press music editor John Nova Lomax had put out a call for freelance music writers.

A-ha.


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The Best Hip-Hop at SXSW 2013

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Photos by Marco Torres
Snoop Lion premiered his movie, Reincarnated, at this year's festival... then rocked Lionfest at the Viceland showcase with Major Lazer.
I remember going to SXSW a few years ago without a place to sleep, less than $100 to spend, no agenda, badge, wristband, or RSVP. I bar-hopped up and down Red River, made friends, snuck into Stubb's, ate cheese pizza and drank Lone Star.

After years of busting my ass as a music photographer and writer, I've been upgraded to staying at the Hilton, carrying a music badge around my neck, and getting exclusive access and invites to the kind of parties, showcases, and backstages that most people can only dream about.

And you know what? Both experiences are equally amazing and fulfilling. Here is my list of the Best Shows of SXSW 2013:

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Tags:

Austin, SXSW

Last Night: Sprint All-Star Jam Session Concert With Ludacris And Ke$ha

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photos by Marco Torres

Sprint Pre-Game Concert feat. B.O.b, Ludacris, and Ke$ha
All-Star Jam Session at George R. Brown Convention Center
February 17th, 2013

Sunday afternoon, as I was counting down the minutes until I had to leave an amazing All-Star day party, where I was making friends with a beautiful girl, drinking a beautiful drink, listening and dancing to beautiful music... I began to dread the news that I received earlier in the week.

The headliner for the Pre-Game concert was to be Ke$ha.

Ke$ha!

Not exactly the All-Star caliber of performer I was hoping for. I mean, she has a damn dollar sign in her name! I'm a grown ass man, dawg... I don't exactly wanna see a blonde, auto-tuned "singer" covered in glitter waving her private parts in my general vicinity.

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