It’s easy to see why many secular types consider Christian music a joke. Badly produced, pre-programmed Casio backbeats and plastic saxophones providing the soundtrack to a holier-than-thou message inspires snickers and winces from even those least jaded. OKC’s Soul Williams aims to and succeeds in knocking some sense into that rightfully stereotyped scene.
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.
Jabee with Admirals, eLTeaZee, Taylor Mcenzie, Militant Mindz and Knoble Savage 8 p.m. Saturday The Conservatory 8911 N. Western conservatoryokc.com 607-4805 $10
In grade school, a lot of us were too busy playing Nintendo and sipping Capri Sun to even think about attempting anything artistic. But not Jabee Williams, aka Oklahoma City rapper Jabee.
“I wrote my first rap when I was 7. That’s when I started,” Jabee said. “It just went on from there. I went to the studio for the first time when I was 15, and then, about 16, I met a group called Culture Shock Camp and they put me on the road. I started doing my first shows with them, and that’s when I started getting busy, professionally, with the music.”
With the release of his upcoming 7-inch single, “Stephanie (Super Ugly),” produced by New York hip-hop giant El-P, Jabee is finding himself busier than ever. He’ll premiere the song at Saturday’s release party at The Conservatory.
It’s a chance, he said, for OKC to see how much he’s grown as an artist.
“I think I still have some work to be done as far as what I want to be, but I’ve gotten more polished and professional and am just trying to get myself to an industry standard,” Jabee said. “I try to have an industry standard with everything I do: not just putting out music just because, or rapping just because, but ... having a purpose behind everything.”
For him, that current purpose is to help Oklahoma City become a major player in the hip-hop industry by
showing there is room for everyone to make a name for themselves.
“The hardest part is that OKC is so small, it sometimes feels like there can be only one. They only want one rapper, and that’s it. In big cities, they have a bunch of big rappers. Everybody eats,” Jabee said. “The other problem is that Oklahoma isn’t known as an urban city or even a place that has hoods or ghettos. I think that my story — where I come from, and being able to share that with people — helps. A lot of stuff that we do, we have done for ourselves.”
He also wants to leave his personal mark, not only on the city’s music scene, but in the minds of everyone who hears his music.
“I hope that they get a piece of me so that when I’m gone, when I ain’t here no more and all they got is my voice,” he said, “I hope they just get a piece of me that says, ‘He was here. He did it for us and we appreciate that.’”