Thursday 24 Apr
 
 
CD reviews

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
 

Master Folds


Miss Ben Folds’s ACM@UCO master class last night?

By Matt Carney November 3rd, 2011

Worry not, for OKSee was there taking notes for you.

The quick hits: ACM@UCO head honcho Scott Booker tossed open-ended questions Folds’ way for about an hour, which he spent detailing his start and several of the early business decisions he made. About 500+ sat in rapt attention, cheering and occasionally even gently heckling the two men on stage. Wayne Coyne sat front row, which Folds acknowledged during the interview.

Booker ended his bit, opening the floor to questions from the audience. The line formed long quickly, and OKSee took off for the Ra Ra Riot show a few questions in. However, it was more than enough time to hear some great, enlightening banter from Booker and Folds, particularly the nature and function of the artist within the modern music business. Also, he made a buncha funnies.

I’ve gone through my notes and assembled a highlight reel of sound bites that are below. Enjoy.

On growing up singing in the South, where the stereotype that musically minded boys were all homosexuals:

“My father said I had a terrible voice.”


On breaking his hand while defending his roommate from bullies at the University of Miami, and subsequently flunking a test and losing his music scholarship:

“I threw my drums in the lake.”


On his experience working on a music publishing deal in Nashville:

“I enjoyed it, sort of. I didn’t get any royalty money for three or four years because of the bad contract. ... Ben Folds Five happened because I got so scared of the Nashville thing.”


On the transfer from working on a Nashville hit-making assembly line to his own solo project:

“Suddenly I realized all the things that were getting me rejected were suddenly valued. ... Then I heard Liz Phair’s ‘Exile in Guyville’ ... and that set me off. I knew about The Replacements, but I didn’t really know about indie stuff.”


On the piano he lugged around during those earlier BF5 years:

“I borrowed a lot of money to pay for that first piano. It was in constant danger of getting repossessed.”


On the business end:

“We got a business manager who explained we needed to borrow money to pay taxes.”


On 550 Music’s (a division of Sony Music Entertainment) promotion of the single “Brick”:

“They treated ‘Brick’ like ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’: Release two rockers, then a power ballad. And it worked.”


On signing to a major label:

“It was a relief. It meant I didn’t have to move my piano anymore.”


On working as a producer:

“I like being the producer when I’m brining to life something that wouldn’t be music otherwise. The Nick Hornby collaboration, for instance.”


On certain of his works being considered “novelty” or a joke:

“My biggest frustration is the words ‘novelty song.’ I don’t know what that means.”


On Elliott Smith, with whom he toured (and whom Booker briefly managed):

“He’s such a great songwriter technically. He was trying to write Beatles songs, and people heard him for what he was, which was desperate.”


Odds and ends:

“I was writing waltzes about Howard Cosell and stuff.”

“We got a tour manager who’d worked for Slayer.”

“We spent money on a producer; we liked his name, Stiff Johnson.”

“After ‘Brick,’ I started pulling favors. Like, ‘OK, I want to make a spoken-word record with William Shatner.’”

“Rivers [Cuomo, of Weezer] was off on an island somewhere, laying in the sun. I think that’s where he got the song.”

“[‘Weird Al’ Yankovic] is the most not-weird man I’ve ever met.”

“One of my best friends is Bob Saget.”

Folds performs tonight with the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center. Tickets are still available at the box office and online at okcciviccenter.com. “The Best Imitation of Myself: A Retrospective” is out now.



 
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