Ex marks the spot as American Boyfriends reunite for two shows, reminding us ‘What Love Can Be …’

Pumpkin Fest featuring American Boyfriends, Feel Spectres, Skating Polly and Pumpkin Festival Chorus
11 a.m-3 p.m. Saturday
First Christian Church
3700 N. Walker

American Boyfriends and Feel Spectres
9 p.m. Saturday
VZD’s Restaurant & Club
4200 N. Western

Maybe the recent influx of local band reunions has inspired pioneers of Oklahoma City’s music scene to dust off their guitars.

Or maybe the circle of life has brought aging hipsters to financial security and a desire to relive their wilder days without fear of going broke.

Whatever the cause, the latest in a series of ’90s and early ’00s group reunions is set for Saturday, when the long-defunct American Boyfriends take the stage for a double-header that starts 11 a.m. at First Christian Church’s Pumpkin Fest and continues at 9 p.m. at VZD’s Restaurant & Club.

Ignited by member Richard York’s return to Oklahoma, the American Boyfriends reunion lineup is comprised of the same four performers on the act’s lone album ” “What Love Can Be “¦”: songwriters York and Matt Goad (also of Feel Spectres) on guitar, vocals and keyboards, and Eric Harmon and Matt Johnson (of Chainsaw Kittens) on drums and bass, respectively.

“I left Oklahoma in 2004 to go to New York City for personal reasons and to explore a professional opportunity,” York said. “Both were fruitful, but finite. It was a great learning experience for me in a number of ways, but now I’m working my way back to Oklahoma for the primary purpose of focusing on music.”

York admitted that, in his absence, he’s lost touch with the local music scene, though he still considers Oklahoma City his “musical home.”

“I look forward to catching up with the music I’ve missed out on,” he said. “I visited OKC for the first time in over five years back in June, when the Feel Spectres had their CD release party. Skating Polly opened up for them. They’re an interesting, refreshing new band, and the Feel Spectres are like a veteran all-star combo. This show will be a diverse sampling of what the scene was and is.”

Nostalgia aside, to York, the metro’s scene presents a venue of promise ” one to which he hopes to contribute upon his potentially permanent return.

“All I know is I’m aiming to return to OKC to work on music,” he said. “When I moved to New York, I didn’t really pursue new musical relationships.”

Like the rest of the group, however, York’s musical talents have not spent the past seven years lying dormant. Goad’s Feel Spectres released their first record earlier this year, and Harmon and Johnson both played in the Chainsaw Kittens reunion show at 2008’s Norman Music Festival.

York, while arranging his new life in New York, wrote and recorded on his own, and took on a couple of musical projects here and there, including a collaboration with Matthew Alvin Brown of Oklahoma City’s The Fellowship Students.

“I’ve got a ton of new song ideas, many of which I feel are as good or better than the stuff that’s come before,” York said. “I’d really like to share that stuff with as many people as possible. With the music contacts, connections and support system I’ve got there, I know that OKC is the place ” more so than any other ” to make something happen.” “Becky Carman

Becky Carman

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