Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmasyet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
It has been a relatively rocky road for Weatherford alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, which has seen its share of highs (acting as backing band for rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson) and lows before an (amicable) split in the road led half of the original lineup to forming Honeylark.
Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.
The Oklahoma City metro has a thriving garage rock scene. With seasoned acts like Broncho and Copperheads carrying the modern-day torch, the way has been paved for a flock of gritty, young, guitar-centric acts. But nascent Norman trio Poolboy has a knack for riotous hooks that few of its contemporaries can boast.
Baby Tears with The Fucking Party and The Copperheads 8 p.m. Friday The Conservatory 8911 N. Western conservatoryokc.com 607-4805 $5
History doesn’t foretell too much in the case of Baby Tears. The noise-rock trio from Omaha, Neb., possesses an unpredictable track record of gigs that makes it impossible to pinpoint exactly where the next one will go.
“There is no typical show with us,” said guitarist/vocalist Todd VonStup. “It’s unstructured in a good sense. Sometimes we’ll play four songs and the rest is just noise and feedback. You and I will never know what’s coming beforehand.”
It’s a perfect match for the band’s signature sound, a purposefully harsh and scratchy one more concerned with expanding the bounds of music than cozily fitting into popular song structure.
The dark and ominous vibe comes from the group’s affection for the likes of Dwarves and Slayer, and the finished product paints an effective portrait of Buffalo Bill’s underground prison, albeit a smidge less sinister than the band’s seemingly cruel moniker.
The music is a stark contrast to VonStup’s work in rowdy party-punk band The Shanks before that outfit threw in the towel a couple of years ago.
“This one feels very unstructured. We can do whatever we want,” VonStup said. “We can do a noise set, something really droney, or we can do these 60-second punk rock songs. It’s fun to play all the different styles of music we like, write it and make it our own.”
Although unstructured — and, by extension, rather chaotic — Baby Tears represented a challenge to VonStup, where his musicianship needed to be ratcheted up a notch.
“I was used to this really sloppy, drunken music,” he said, “and I’ve had to tighten up to play with people who are really good with their instruments.”
That controlled chaos made its way onto the band’s recently released 7-inch effort “Homeless Corpse” and free-fordownload, debut full-length album “Rusty Years,” a proud moment for all three of Baby Tears’ members.
“We did the whole thing from start to finish,” VonStup said. “We wrote all the songs, recorded all the songs, mixed all the songs. We did all the artwork ourselves, and it’s something all three of us have wanted to do.”
The band plans on hopping back to recording sometime very soon, with ideas for a cover EP (tracking anything from metal to country favorites) and a full experimental disc dedicated to pure noise.
VonStup said, “We are wanting to cover all corners of music.”