A five-piece of former “Motherbitches” gathered around its communal kitchen table on a Monday afternoon, indulging in stories of drunken fan squabbles, Oklahoma City’s finicky music scene and the romance that started it all six years ago.
Now known as Em and the MotherSuperiors, the psychedelic soul outlet opted to drop “Motherbitches” from its name shortly after dropping its EP, Sorry If I Gleeked on You …, in 2011. Although it had the consequence of 200 fewer “likes” on Facebook, the freedom to re-brand exemplifies an advantage of being a “total do-it-yourself band,” guitarist Scott Wade said.
A classical guitar instructor at U.S. Grant High School, Wade keeps daily tabs on at least 10 music marketing websites, researches available venues and festivals for shows, and maintains the group’s in-home recording studio.
“We’re able to be a poor man’s band and have actual jobs and support what we really want to do,” said his wife, lead vocalist Emily Alexander. “So technology is on our side in that sense.”
Despite their day jobs, Wade and Alexander frequently convene on music they’ve written together and separately, which spans power struggles, politics and the occasional love song.
“It’s cathartic, right?” said Tim Jennings, the band’s “No. 1 fan” turned permanent pianist.
Cathartic could be one word to describe the indie act’s live performances. It seldom uses a set list and formally rehearses just as rarely, despite living in the same Portland Avenue abode, Jennings said.
Alexander said, Em and the MotherSuperiors rely on instrumental and
vocal improvisation to give audiences an originally imperfect
“The energy of it is so off-the-cuff, and it’s unpredictable,” Jennings said. “And the crowd really feels that.”
The band will play EP favorites and tracks from its first full-length album, Churches into Theatres, at
Friday’s show at Kamps 1310 Lounge alongside two fellow local groups
with female lead singers, Feathered Rabbit and Honeylark, a
pretty much friends and family,” said bassist Nate Alexander. “We’re
really just wanting to play music, so everybody can have fun with us.”
continue debuting songs at various gigs, including the inaugural OK
Woodstock Music & Camping Festival, scheduled for Aug. 3-4 in
Sparks, approximately an hour’s drive from the metro.
Wade and Alexander hope that Churches into Theatres, expected around Aug. 15, will allow them to take to the road, with stops in Tulsa and Colorado before hitting both coasts.
“We were born and raised here in Oklahoma,” she said, “and we’re just ready to get out there and live our dream.”