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.
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.
The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?
Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.
"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
K.C. Clifford 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday The Blue Door 2805 N. McKinley bluedoorokc.com 524-0738 $15-$20
Credit: Kriea Arie
It’s not at all uncommon to hear musicians comparing their new albums to their children. Months are spent laboring over every detail. An intimate bond exists with something in which they’ve invested their entire soul. There’s an optimistic apprehension to the idea of letting this creation move into the world on its own accord.
Oklahoma City Americana singer songwriter K.C. Clifford is being afforded a whole new insight to all of that.
Being six months pregnant, she will release an album and birth a child in the span of about three months. The former is even dedicated to the latter.
“I can tell you that pregnancy — the whole ‘giving a child life’ deal — is the most creative thing I’ve ever done. It’s creative literally on a cellular level, and so it’s an interesting thing to experience physically and emotionally and spiritually,” Clifford said. “Just the idea that there’s a little person inside of me: That’s crazy.”
From musician to mother It’s a hectic time in her household. Not only is Clifford unveiling her new record Tuesday, but her husband, David Broyles, is right in the thick of releasing a four part EP with his own band, Dr. Pants.
“I’m rarely thinking about it all at once,” Broyles said. “I’m probably either thinking about the work I’m doing in the present, whether it be Dr. Pants or K.C. Clifford, or I’m thinking about becoming a dad. There’s a lot happening, but it’s all pretty great stuff.”
Everything points to this wild period being worth it. Clifford and Broyles cannot wait to usher their first child into
the world, and Clifford — being the heartfelt, compassionate songwriter
à la Patty Griffin that she is — can hardly wait to experience her
surroundings through a new set of eyes.
a whole new perspective of everything,” Clifford said. “When you see
the world through a kid’s eyes: that wonder of the first time you smell a
flower or see a plane in the sky. There’s so much joy and wonder around
us that we are conditioned to miss. I think it’ll be inspiring.”
a baby on the way has forced her to alter her normal approach to
promoting a new record — namely lengthy, arduous tours right on the
heels of the release, but that’s OK with her. Family comes first.
had to adjust my expectations of myself in terms of what I can handle,”
Clifford said. “I’m hoping the record will stand on its own and find
its own place in the world. I’ll do all I can to support it, but it’s
going to look different this time.”
Playing Tag If
Clifford had any questions of how the process of recording her fourth
studio album would go, it was answered early one morning with a trio of
serendipitous radio plays.
“One of the first days I drove to the studio, I heard Paul Simon’s ‘Cecilia,’ then I heard The Beatles, and then something from Chicago 17 all
in a row,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is a going to be a good day. Any
day that starts with these three songs is going to be awesome.’”
Laughs, smiles and playful experimentation with sounds and instruments
marked her time recording her latest album, The Tag Hollow Sessions. The pleasant experience working at Norman’s Blackwatch Studios is reflected in what may be her happiest record yet.
This stands in stark contrast to the last effort, 2010’s Orchid. Although
co-produced by Will Hunt — drummer of Evanescence, Static-X and Black
Label Society — the disc did not come quite so easy.
“Orchid was like creative child birth for me.
That needed to happen for me, emo tionally and creatively.
There were labor pains. It was painful, and it was a serious record,” Clifford said. “Tag Hollow represents
a different season in my life. There’s joy back in it, and I did some
fun things on it I hadn’t done before. I laugh, because I think back on
this record and realize I didn’t cry once. I didn’t shed a tear in the
making of the record, and that’s awesome for me.”
She’s incredibly proud of this effort — dubbing it “a true K.C. Clifford album” — and so is Broyles.
can honestly say at least two of my favorite K.C. Clifford songs of all
time are on this record, possibly more, and there’s some stiff
competition there,” Broyles said.
album — written in seclusion at her family’s cabin at Spavinaw Lake in
northeastern Oklahoma — is Clifford’s ode to the Sooner State.
my story of ending up in Oklahoma when it was the last place on earth I
thought I’d end up, then having it become this place that I love, that
I’m so proud to represent as I travel across the country,” she said.
“I’m excited to let the world see that, and represent the 405 a bit.”
Tomorrow’s tune While
album promotion and live shows will slow down soon, music will remain a
huge role in the Clifford/Broyles household. The focus turns to
pressing matters — like whether the baby’s first record will be Tag Hollow or one from Dr. Pants, perhaps?
“Neither, actually. We’ll fight over whether we play Abbey Road or Revolver first.
It’ll definitely be The Beatles,” said Clifford, noting that she’s
acquiring headphones for her belly. “David is in the midst of creating a
baby playlist so she can be properly initiated into our family in
two-night stand at The Blue Door will be her last OKC performance for
quite sometime — she hopes to return to touring in early 2013 — but she
and Broyles can’t wait to navigate this journey.
will definitely be music, but we need to be in the process of
parenthood and just be fully present. We need a chance to be totally
freaked out over having brought a child into the world,” Clifford said.
“David and I are just excited to meet her and see what she’s like, to
foster a life and help her figure out who she is. It’s going to be such