The Oklahoma Film & Music Office announced its plans for the 2011 South by Southwest Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas.
So, while we were catching up on MP3s, stuff happened in OKC music.
1. Red-dirt lifers The Red Dirt Rangers signed to a Nashville label. John Cooper, Ben Han and Brad Piccolo are recording their Luna Chica Records debut with Oklahoma producer Steve Ripley now, and the album should be out this spring. Mad props!
2. While I’ll be writing this up in full soon, just wanted to give a shout-out to the Okies in Colourmusic, who signed with Memphis Industries. They will be releasing “My ____ Is Pink” May 10, and, just to steal your thunder, it actually is about sex. No, really. Not a joke.
3. Rock ’n’ roll ain’t always the thang. If you’re in the mood for something different, you should check out a concert of organ and handbells 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 10600 N Council Road. I really enjoy organ concerts (the organ program at OU puts on amazing concerts that my friends and I enjoy attending), and think it is an oft-maligned instrument. In addition, three handbell choirs will be playing. If you’ve never heard handbells, you’re missing out. Their ethereal, reverent sound is like nothing else. All that said: You should go. It’s free.
1. “Movement” by Dam Mantle. An orchestra gets chopped up and chillwaved. Brilliant.
2. “Mighty (Painted Palms Remix)” by Lord Huron. A cascading dance track with dreamy vibes and African-style vocals.
3. “Rocky’s Theme” by Rocky Business. Rap and low-key synth-pop get mashed up to great effect.
In previous years, Norman Music Festival has done an incredible job of bringing acts to town that would rarely, if ever, come here. Of Montreal, Dirty Projectors and The Polyphonic Spree are were headliners that sparked an “oh, man, I can’t believe that they got them” excitement.
This year’s main stage doesn’t feature an artist like that. With the exception of Ty Segall, four of the five national touring acts on the main stage have been in the metro before (two of them in Norman!) within the last two years:
• The Walkmen: Meacham Auditorium, October 2009
• Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears: Diamond Ballroom, June 2009
• Peelander-Z: The Conservatory, October 2010, among other concerts
• Foot Patrol: Opolis, May 2010
Here’s the full Saturday main stage schedule, in reverse:
9:30 p.m. — The Walkmen
8 p.m. — Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
6:30 p.m. — PeeLander-Z
5 p.m. — Ty Segall
3:30 p.m. — The Fortune Tellers
2:30 p.m. — Foot Patrol
1:40 p.m. — The Non
12:50 p.m. — Penny Hill Party
Headliner letdown aside, I’m relentlessly stoked that The Non finally made it to the main stage, but I’m baffled that they’re opening for The Fortune Tellers on the bill. The Fortune Tellers are an on-again/off-again band based in the metro and, uh, Greece.
I’m also surprised in a good way that Penny Hill is opening the main stage (and a band, I’m assuming, as the “party” bit). Good for her!
Headlining other stages: jam band dude Keller Williams on the Jagermeister Stage, Mississippi indie-rockers Color Revolt (not to be confused with Colourmusic) on Sooner Theater Stage, and Austin indie-pop group White Denim at Opolis.
But the most exciting headliner of the entire festival is on Thursday night at Opolis, as Norman indie-rockers The Neighborhood are re-forming. Philip Rice (now of Visions of Choruses), Matt Duckworth (now of Stardeath and the White Dwarfs), Blake Studdard (also Visions of Choruses) and Eric Mai threw down some of the best rock that the metro has heard in recent years, and it was a shame that it fizzled out a couple years back. And now they’re back for at least one show, and perhaps more. This is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, headline of the festival.
NMF4 is scheduled for April 28-30. The Gazette will be there, tweeting and blogging away, just as at SXSW.
But not really. Name’s Matt. Stephen’s off to graduate school on full scholarship, so I’m the new blogger ‘round these here parts.
Quick hits: Leo. Favorite non-Flaming Lips local band is Colourmusic. I know the lyrics to“Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” back-to-front. Random fun fact: My brother is on a first-name basis with Dan Marino. I’m still looking to replace a big LCD Soundsystem-shaped hole in my heart. Taylor Swift’s first and second albums have been known to rattle the speakers in the privacy of my car, on occasion. Big supporter of dance rock.
Underrated: The Drive-By Truckers’ “Brighter Than Creation’s Dark”, dance rock in general, post-“Girls Can Tell” Spoon, Lost in the Trees, and the Rolling Stones’ “Some Girls.”
Overrated: Passion Pit, Animal Collective, My Morning Jacket’s “Z,” and probably James Blake, too, but you’d have to put a gun to my head to make me admit it. Also, everything U2's recorded since “The Joshua Tree”. Though let it be known that “The Joshua Tree” is so unbelievably good that you can’t possibly overstate how good it is.
Let’s get on with the vids, then.
Broncho rapidly ascended to the near-top of my fictional All-Okie Festival bill when I bought their debut album a few months back. Caught them at the Soundpony in Tulsa a little while ago and, sure enough, the Internet warlocks at Delo Creative were there with a butt-ton of camera equipment in tow. I think I speak for the entirety of this state when I say these guys are gonna make it big. And soon: