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OKG Newsletter


Topic: blogs

VOTD: ‘Fat Man’ in a little video

Song not autobiographical.

John Fullbright’s one of Oklahoma’s finest songwriters and one of our most disciplined students of Woody Guthrie’s school of often-critical, politically and socially conscious lyrics. And he’s not half-bad at tickling the ivories, either.

Fullbright recently performed “Fat Man,” about a selfish prig who “plucks life like a rose,” at the annual Cherokee Creek Music Festival in Cherokee, Texas, where it was filmed by Americana enthusiasts Music Fog:



Neon Indian — “Hex Girlfriend”

Here’s the earlier-promised video of Neon Indian performing at the second night of The Flaming Lips’ New Year’s Eve Freakout, shot by Nathan Poppe and myself. Alan Palomo shows off some serious confidence with those dance moves:



Colin Stetson — “Those Who Didn’t Run”
2011 was Colin Stetson’s year, releasing a lauded album of dystopian saxophone innovations that landed just outside of OKSee’s Top 10. If you can watch the 10 surrealistic minutes of nature shots that comprise “Those Who Didn’t Run” without losing focus, then you are a champion:



POLIÇA — “Lay Your Cards Out”
Once a folk singer up north, Channy Leaneagh (formerly Casselle) met up with Bon Iver collaborator Mike Noyce when she joined up with Wisconsin stoner soft-rockers Gayngs. The result is the avant, Auto-Tuned POLIÇA, and it kinda makes me wish she’d have stuck with more natural-sounding ways of making music. But, to each his own:



“Shut Up and Play the Hits”

If such a thing as a “perfect band” existed, or at least a band that acted exactly as it should, LCD Soundsystem was that band. Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace shot a film following front man James Murphy during his last couple days of LCD’s band-ship, which included a Last Show Ever for the record books. If the trailer’s any indicator, it looks fantastic:



by Matt Carney 01.12.2012 2 years ago
at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

MPFree

Free music for you from The Rapture, Laura Gibson and a bunch of artists in ol’ Norman-town.

Economy — “Winter Recording Fiasco”
I have no idea what Economy is, nor anything more about the “Winter Recording Fiasco” than what the musical collective posted to its Bandcamp page, but judging by that information, it’s the Zanzibar! Records folks exploring their weirdness.

These songs are droning and creepy, pulsing with what sounds like bass keyboard and rhythmic lyrics like “keep the species alive.” They’re also topical enough to title a song after a certain dictator of North Korea, recently deceased.



The Rapture — “Sail Away” remixes
While The Rapture’s full-length fell a little more flat than I’d hoped, it had a couple of standout singles, and “Sail Away” was one of them. Cut Copy gives a signature tribal contribution, Aeroplane’s starts out sparse before blowing up into a full-on house rave, and Cosmic Kids win the award for choppiest chop-up. Their spacier, hypnotic take, complete with long-echoing, mixed-up vocals is about as different from the original as you can get. Thanks, DFA Records!



Laura Gibson — “La Grande”
Plaintive, pretty singer/songwriter Laura Gibson visits Opolis in February with Breathe Owl Breathe. Take this opportunity from NPR to get to know her.

Josh Sallee — “Ride Out”



What immediately grabbed me about this song was the cheesy, Grandma-giving-the-thumbs-up art, which initially triggered what I call a “whack-novelty” reaction deep within my brain. Then the track kicked in and I got all excited for his forthcoming album, “Probably Flaws.” Dude’s got skill, and it’s fun listening to him dance around the melody on the “Birthday Sex” sample. As solid a local hip-hop track as I've heard in a while.

by Matt Carney 01.16.2012 2 years ago
at 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Lights, camera, action!

How the Culture Chic got tube-tied.

This weekend, I did something for the very first time: I was on TV.

Before the taping, I spent a fair amount of time running through a plethora of scenarios that included me tumbling off stage, freezing up and having no words or actually sleeping through the spot.

I just knew this would happen.

Or this.

Luckily, I wasn't climbing on a piano or married to Kim Kardashian, so none of the terrible things happened. In fact, it was a lot of fun, and I got to chat with some lovely ladies at KSBI about fashion and style and places to shop in OKC.

Lynn Hester, Pat Becker and Kari King welcomed me into the studio and sat me down on the red couch. Their smiles made me calm down a considerable amount. They were pros and gave me a few quick tips before we went back on air.

Guess I did OK, because they invited me back! I look forward to sitting down and chatting with them again. Make sure to stay tuned into KSBI to keep tabs on all things Oklahoma.

by Jenn Scott 01.16.2012 2 years ago
at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

The Flaming Lips to collaborate with Ke$ha

‘The Blah Blah Blah Song,’ anybody?

Last week, Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne revealed that the band was putting the finishing touches on its latest project, a collaborative album bundling together work with artists including the likes of Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Edward Sharpe, Yoko Ono and more to be released on Record Store Day. He further stated that the band was hoping to team up with still more artists like Lykke Li, Erykah Badu and … Ke$ha.

It looks like one of those names is about to be checked off the list.

Mack Hawkins — sound engineer and drummer for The Non — revealed on Facebook Monday night that he is headed to Nashville, Tenn., this weekend to engineer and co-produce a track with The Flaming Lips and slut-pop quasi-rapper Ke$ha.

“We knew that she was a fan,” Coyne told Rolling Stone. “There are a lot of these sort of druggy outlets out there that people get connected through. She’s a freak.”

Coyne also said he hopes to do some sort of “weird rap” for the track.

Singer/rapper/glitter enthusiast Ke$ha rose to fame in 2010 on the heels of chart-toppers “Tik Tok,” “Blah Blah Blah” and “We R Who We R.” She is currently working on her second full-length album, set for release in early summer.

Photo by Matt Carney
by Joshua Boydston 01.17.2012 2 years ago
at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

OKS Chatter: Nick Wheeler

In which OKSee receives a brief comment from a real, live All-American Reject.

I was but an impressionable teenager (not impressionable enough to buy clothing from Hot Topic, I ought to point out) in middle school when I bought All-American Rejects’ self-titled 2003 debut.

 At that time, actually talking to the power-poppers, even via a medium as anonymous and impersonal as the Internet, never seemed much of a possibility, so getting a couple of questions answered by guitarist Nick Wheeler is quite a career highlight, even if my tastes in music have progressed a little ways beyond mall-pop nearly 10 years later.

That said, the first single from AAR’s forthcoming “Kids in the Street” (release date TBA) is “Beekeeper’s Daughter,” which is pretty much only available on that old-fashioned medium, radio. Stay tuned to Oklahoma Gazette for a future story on the album.

OKSee: What was the biggest obstacle in recording "Kids in the Street"?

Wheeler: We always try to step outside of our comfort zone, not only in the studio, but in the writing process, too. If we don't uproot ourselves completely and really push ourselves to play a different instrument, or say something we haven't said before, the art would simply repeat itself.  

On "Kids in the Street," our producer, Greg Wells, really guided us into some new territory, and keeping with a less-is-more approach, we tried to made every part count. Probably, one of the hardest things to do is put a song away and say that it's "done.”

But probably the biggest challenge while making "Kids in the Street" was letting the imperfections, caused by our most spontaneous approach to record making yet, live on the final master. There's something honest and beautiful about letting the blemishes show sometimes.

OKS: What do you think is the optimal situation for playing "Beekeeper's Daughter”? International fashion show? Saturday-night house party? Sexy photo shoot? Other?

Wheeler: D: Other.

Just kidding. I think our music is always a great listen while driving. I listened to "Kids in the Street" a lot during the mixing process by taking my dog on long walks, leaving my phone at home, and just losing myself in it. Our music has always been a great escape for us, as well as our fans. "Beekeeper's Daughter" has a lot of good sing-along moments, and can really be turned up in any setting, but, like a lot of songs on this record, has a groovy sex appeal to it.

by Matt Carney 01.18.2012 2 years ago
at 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Bone luge!

No bones about it: OKC is on the starting end of a new food fad.

Who says Oklahoma peeps aren't trendsetters? People who don't live here, that's who.

This weekend, Oklahoma's own Ludivine served up a special birthday shot … through a bone. That's right: Turns out a hollowed-out bone turns into a perfect path for your favorite liquor.

This isn't Ludivine's first experiment, and it doesn't look to be the last. In fact, today the downtown restaurant received a nod from abcnews.go.com about its unique decanter.

Bone luging, the wave of the foodie/boozer future, has begun to sweep the nation for those who are willing to try something a little more, well, primal.

You saw it in OKC first.

Now, go luge a bone or something.
by Jenn Scott 01.19.2012 2 years ago
at 07:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

VOTD: Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce

Watch and read along with the new Springsteen single.

The first single from Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming “Wrecking Ball” is out, and it’s got a lot of The Boss’s signature touches on it. Including, but not limited to: big-rock drums, rich strings and protest lyrics that’ll undoubtedly get adopted as a mantra by simpler-minded mainstream fans across America like “We take care of our own / Wherever this flag is flown.” With an evangelistic twist, he might as well have titled it “Born Again in the USA.”

Give “We Take Care of Our Own” a listen, and read along with the lyrics yourself. All this SOPA/PIPA, Occupy movement and corporate-bailout business has undoubtedly fueled the Jon Stewart-watching Springsteen into recording what an early press release described as his “angriest” album ever.

While it isn’t wholly predictable, I’m going to try my hand at forecasting the subject matter on “Wrecking Ball”’s tracklist:

1. “We Take Care of Our Own” — A pointed criticism leveled at the federal government’s lack of empathy toward the lower-middle class. (I had the benefit of, you know, actually listening to the song on this one.)
2. “Easy Money” — A biting rocker mocking the 1 percent.
3. “Shackled and Down” — An emotive, first-person drama about torture by waterboarding?
4. “Jack of All Trades” — A ballad about Joe the Plumber’s bid for office?
5. “Death to My Hometown” — A gray-hued love letter to a down-on-its-luck Asbury Park.
6. “The Depression” — The recession.
7. “Wrecking Ball” — Something about the subprime mortgage crisis?
8. “You’ve Got It” — A winsome love song set amid a recessing economy?
9. “Rocky Ground” — Your guess is as good as mine here.
10. “Land of Hope and Dreams” — Throwback to the pioneers, y’all!
11. “We Are Live” — A swelling piano anthem reminding the listener to embrace his or her democratic responsibilities?

Wrecking Ball” is available for pre-order and set for release on March 6, on Columbia Records.


by Matt Carney 01.19.2012 2 years ago
at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

OKS Chatter: Matt Moran

The singer for new Altus band The Typist chats about keeping up with music culture in southwest Oklahoma.

It’s tough work doing everything yourself.

Living in Altus, the post-pop-punkers known as The Typist do a lot of music-related things themselves (read on for more about that), and that includes purchasing and operating their own recording equipment. Turns out, they did that quite well.

There’s a lot of enthusiasm in “Midwestern High Life”’s 10 tracks — specifically, the big-rock keyboard melodies, but also in the earnest, aggressively sung and shouted lyrics that mourn busted-up relationships and reconcile the future against the prospect of leaving where you grew up and fell in love (see: “Midwest”).

Singer Matt Moran was nice enough to answer a few questions about the birth of his band and what it’s like recording music in a place like Altus. Read on, and be sure to give “Midwestern High Life” a listen, below.

The Typist plays The Conservatory tomorrow night with Frank Smith and O Fidelis.

OKS: How did you guys set up this show with Frank Smith and O Fidelis?

Matt Moran: We’ve got a little bit of a history playing The Conservatory with old bands. I was also in a band that played with O Fidelis at the benefit for the UCO Jazz Lab a little while back. That’s how we got that going.

OKS: What other bands have you guys played in?

Moran: Our bassist, Patrick [Bellamy], and I were in You’d Prefer an Astronaut, which was a post-rock band that was in the vein of This Will Destroy You-type music. I’ve been in a few older punk bands from a waaaaay that played Conservatory. It was a pretty youth-punk-type deal.

How did The Typist come to be?

Moran: I’d been in and out of bands, and I started doing stuff on my own. I’d been doing it for a while and I decided, "Y’know, I should probably start recording and playing new songs for people." So I recorded a short little EP — five songs, acoustic — but I realized that I was just meant to do the band thing. I got help from my friends Justin [Strickland, drummer] and Patrick, we started playing the songs and then decided we needed to write songs as a band, and get everybody involved. We came up with an album’s worth of material, so we decided to record it.

We were like, “Well, we can go to a studio and lay this down,” but we decided that we wanted to take the time we wanted to take and not be limited by studio money. So we threw all our money together, bought some recording gear and spent the last two and a half months recording it, day in and day out.

We didn’t even actually add our keyboard player — who’s my brother, Daniel [Moran] — until last month. He came in and laid down a lot of keyboard parts, and as soon as he was finished, we just looked at him and said, “You’ve got no option; you have to be in this band. You just completed it. You made everything sound twice as good.”

OKS: What did Daniel bring with his keyboard? Was he playing a lot of riff-type stuff, or what?

Moran: He was doing a lot of Hammond organ stuff. I happen to be a religious follower of Charles Gillingham of the Counting Crows, and my brother came in and did that type of thing. He nailed it.

OKS: Do you guys all live in Altus?

Moran: Yes, except for Daniel. He lives an hour north, in Elk City.

OKS: What are some of the challenges of living and recording down in the southwest?

Moran: I guess the biggest challenge is just playing as much as you can. Down here — most people don’t know this — we actually have a pretty good music scene. It has a very DIY aesthetic about it. Everything we do, living in Altus, we have to do everything ourselves. If we want to get a show together, it’s the old DIY thing of finding a place, renting it out, getting a sound system, getting everything together yourself, promoting it as much as you can, and trying to do all that.

We like to come up and play in the city as much as we can, because we feel like it’s one of the really good places to be. For so many reasons, we remain here, but we try to make the best of what we got. I think it instills a good work ethic into us.

OKS: What sorts of venues do you guys play in for shows in Altus?

Moran: We’ve done all sorts of shit. We usually rent empty halls out and put it on, but we’ve done house shows. I’ve done a show in a storage shed, which was actually a pretty fun time. We packed about 50 people into it.

OKS: That’s impressive. Do you guys have something like a record store down there?

Moran: We don’t have a record store, but we have a really awesome music store that’s actually helped us out a bunch. Our drummer works there, and they’ve really helped us out and backed us up.

OKS: How do you stay up with new music?

Moran: Largely the Internet. We’ve got friends who are way more into that than we are. I go to Size Records every time I’m in the city, but otherwise, we’ve got to keep up with it online.

OKS: Through the Internet, you’ve got just as much access as me at my desk or somebody in New York or whatever. Do you feel it’s a big enabler for you guys, like you have the same opportunity as anybody else?

Moran: Yes, definitely. That hits the nail on the head. It’s kind of an equalizer for us. It’s not like we can go up and socialize with people as much as we want to, or go to the places we want to go on a regular basis. We have to socialize and keep up with music online, then make the trip when we can. 

OKS: What are the biggest limitations in being physically removed from the music scene in OKC, where you’d like to be more involved?

Moran: Mainly, it puts a limit on the camaraderie you can have. It’s a small social network that we have, and you don’t get to connect with people as much as you like to. When you can’t have that regular connection, it makes it difficult.

OKS: How does that frustration factor into you guys’ music?

Moran: Because of the tighter circle, we all know each other — musically — really well. You’ve got limited resources and limited people to make things happen with, so you really get to know each other. You grow to be a family.

Our drummer, he’s an incredible drummer. When he tells me something, I know exactly where he’s coming from, what he’s talking about. There’s nothing that ever gets lost in translation from instrument to instrument, player to player, or whatever.

OKS: If you had to sit down and talk it out as a band, what band would you say informed your music directly?

Moran: Like our biggest influence? I’d have to say probably a band like Manchester Orchestra. Very direct rock ’n’ roll with Southern sound and a distinct keyboard.

OKS: Who wrote the lyrics? You?

Moran: Yeah, that was me. It was an interesting feeling to write all the lyrics for a record.

OKS: Had you never done that before?

Moran: I had, just mostly for my personal music before. Never with a band.

OKS: So were you apprehensive going into it?

Moran: It honestly did, because these other guys are really great musicians. I didn’t want to do them a disservice. I didn’t want them to walk away thinking, “This should change, that should change.”

OKS: Did anybody else in the band try to offer advice on the lyric-writing, or do they understand it to be your thing?

Moran: They leave it to me, but they’re very free with the advice on the vocal melodies.

Listen to The Typist’s first album, “Midwestern High Life,” below. You can download it for $5.


by Matt Carney 01.20.2012 2 years ago
at 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

VOTD: A Flips two-fer

'Is David Bowie Dying?' to hear the Flaming Lips' cover of 'She's So Heavy'?

Remnants of The Flaming Lips’ epic, two-part New Year’s Eve Freakout #5 continue their fallout across the Internet with a pair of Delo Creative videos that I proudly helped to shoot.

First up is a trippy new track called “Is David Bowie Dying?” It featured special guest Alan Palomo, whom you may know as Neon Indian. I spoke with Palomo after his second-night opening set before the Lips went on, and the guy was one of the most endearing, friendly musicians I’ve ever encountered. Watch him and Steven Drozd get into a fight to see whose instrument can make more video game bleep-bloops:



And second is The Lips’ Nels Cline-assisted cover of The Beatles’ blues-addicted guitar standard “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” They played it both nights, each with the jam stretched for more than 15 hypnotic minutes. I seriously thought my arms were going to give out from holding my camera up for that long. My personal challenge to you: Watch this thing all the way through. If not, then here are a couple of highlights:

• Alan Palomo’s nerdily enthusiastic fist-pump.
• A signature Nels Cline-contorting-his-body-so-frenetically-that-you-think-his-neck’s-gonna-snap-right-off-his-shoulders-’cause-he’s-kinda-old crazy extended guitar solo.
• Fans looking pissed because of all the instrumental wanking going on.



by Matt Carney 01.26.2012 2 years ago
at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

VOTD: Odyssey to Tulsa

Tulsa’s Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey plays ‘Lost in the Battle for Greenwood’ ... in Greenwood.

Ah, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. One of my hometown’s finest treasures. It’s the QuikTrip of eclectic, often improvisational fusion jazz.

The band recently headed out to the Greenwood District in Tulsa with This Land Press to shoot an impromptu performance of one of the songs on its most excellent, most recent LP, “The Race Riot Suite,” which tells the mostly untold story of the Tulsa Race Riot in 12 songs.

Also of note is pianist Brian Haas’ melodica, which is much more convenient than lugging a piano around the streets of Tulsa. Watch:



by Matt Carney 01.30.2012 2 years ago
at 07:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
 
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