Thursday 24 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Imperial unit

Imperial unit

The friends that play together, stay together — and vice versa, according to the close-knit members of Norman’s Crown Imperial.

Joshua Boydston April 13th, 2011

Crown Imperial with Locust Avenue
9 p.m. Friday
Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman 820-0951

Norman’s Crown Imperial is a no-name, lo-fi, indie-pop band. Or at least it was for its first show.

The group was born as a side project of garage rockers The Mean Spirits, and it had a gig at The HiLo before it had a moniker.

“The Mean Spirits were playing a show, and we had three songs, so we just got up and used their equipment and played them,” singer/guitarist Zach Massey said.

Added drummer Martin Kornhaas, “I think people just thought we were The Mean Spirits.”

After their second show, Massey was scrolling through a register of flower species when he landed on Crown Imperial. It stuck.

“We waited till we absolutely had to,” singer/guitarist Cali Tonnu said.

Just six months later, Crown Imperial already is making a name for itself, playing pure, straightforward and hard-to-describe rock songs.

“I wouldn’t say there’s an aesthetic in mind, other than simplicity — getting to the core of a song instead of the silly, superfluous bullshit,” Massey said. “We wanted to get to the catchy part, focus on it, and build on that.”

They’ve crafted a pleasant, jangly pop noise inspired by The Velvet Underground and Pixies, but it seems to be born out of the bonds of personal relationships more than anything. Kornhaas has been friends with bassist Wesley Dean since high school. Massey and Kornhaas have been Mean Spirits together for more than half a decade, and Massey and Tonnu are an item.

“Hopefully, the friendship aspect comes out in the music,” Kornhaas said. “It’s a big part of it.”

Said Tonnu, “I love these guys. We laugh a lot. Our band practices end up being eight hours long.”

“It’s hard to overstate the personal bonds,” Massey said. “It’s like a family: If we weren’t playing, we’d be sitting around listening to vinyl records and drinking beer.”

The intimacy helped them get over a few hardships, like what could have been a deflating experience playing at the 35 Conferette in Denton, Texas.

“We enjoy the car rides to shows as much as anything,” Kornhaas said. “We thought we’d be playing for tons of people, got to the festival, and played for like 15, 20. In other bands, we would have been really disappointed and slumped back home, but it just a blast riding down there and hanging out with each other.”

Playing home turf Friday at Opolis, Crown Imperial hopes you feel the love through its simple, shoegaze pop, although it seems unlikely love will ever match the love they feel for each other.

“I don’t know what separates us,” Massey said, “but I know this: We’re friends, we’re family, and we want to keep it straight to the heart of the issue, which is the essence of the song.”

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