Wednesday 23 Apr
 
 
 photo 85cca911-3826-446b-828b-785107dd2ef3_zpse09f07ac.jpg

 

OKG Newsletter


Topic: Matt Carney

Sundress — Sundress EP

Nearby rockers dream big.


Rock

Matt Carney
Do you ever listen to Beach House and think, “I’d really like this a lot more if the guitars weren’t so passive.” If so, Denton, Texas, rockers Sundress might just be your new band du jour.
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

VOTD: Other Lives get 'Tiny'

Watch Stillwater’s dreariest band perform in NPR’s office.

Is it too soon to officially declare Other Lives “a thing”? Or too late?

Who knows, who cares, as pro-Other Lives band Local Natives sang last year. But this Tiny Desk Show in the NPR music office certainly can’t hurt the theory that they’ve arrived in the public’s indie-minded consciousness. Click through to watch as Jesse Tabish and company turn the media company somber.




by Matt Carney 08.22.2011 2 years ago
at 09:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

The NYT profiles the Coyne compound

‘People assume we are just gobbling handfuls of acid all the time.’

Back in 2008, The New York Times visited Wayne and his wife’s strange digs -then in the middle of a remodeling- here in Oklahoma City. They recently returned to document the compound operating at full capacity.

Click through to read a fun interview with him, and see some really incredible photographs of the compound, shot by Casey Dunn
.




by Matt Carney 08.22.2011 2 years ago
at 02:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

VOTD: The Decemberists watch the end of the world

The super-lit folk-rockers get inspired by DFW.

Something tells me that David Foster Wallace would’ve really enjoyed this reimagining of the game of Eschaton, one of the most hilarious and creative scenes from “Infinite Jest,” his 1,000+ page novel that’s full of them. Simultaneously a huge Decemberists and DFW fan, director Michael Schur (TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) is the big winner here. Read what he told NPR, then watch below.

“The Decemberists are my favorite band, and ‘Infinite Jest’ is my favorite book,” Schur said. “This was tantamount to telling me I had just won two simultaneous Powerball lottery jackpots, on my birthday, which was also Christmas.”

by Matt Carney 08.23.2011 2 years ago
at 09:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Divided no more

Do the math: The reunion of ’90s Red Dirt ramblers The Great Divide should add up to one stellar show.


Music

Matt Carney
College Days with The Great Divide, Cold War Kids, Colourmusic and more
Thursday-Saturday
Tumbleweed Dance Hall
West Lakeview and Country Club Roads, Stillwater
calffry.com
$29-$110
 
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

VOTD: The Flaming Lips / Lightning Bolt — ‘I’m Working at NASA on Acid’

Considerably less terrifying than their previous collab, “I Wanna Get High, But I Don’t Want Brain Damage”

I’m really digging the damaged vein the Lips seemed to have slipped into these last couple of years. 2009’s “Embryonic” was the freaky, border-pushing, psychedelic album they’ve always had in them, but were too busy having fun with sci-fi sing-alongs like “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots” to record.

Anyhoo, check out this new clip from George Salisbury and his Delo Creative http://delocreative.com/nasa-on-acid/ dudes. It’s a really long song, but the Lightning Bolt choral part in the middle is really wonderful. Salisbury does well to represent on video the destructive energy of actually seeing Lightning Bolt perform in person.

by Matt Carney 08.24.2011 2 years ago
at 08:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

Three for all

Three of Norman’s best, loudest bands help kick-start the school year with a whole mess of chaos that costs a whole lotta nothing.


Music

Matt Carney
Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Broncho and Chrome Pony
6:30 p.m. Friday
East lawn, Oklahoma Memorial Union, University of Oklahoma, Norman
ou.edu/uosa/cac.html
free
 
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

OKS Chatter: Steven Battles

Chrome Pony’s ringleader needs something totally contrived to be genuine.

Anybody who follows him on Twitter knows Steven Battles to be a funny guy. A recent tweet: “According to research just conducted, I can sing at the top of my lungs on an airplane for 45 seconds before a stewardess asks me to stop.”

Likewise, anybody who’s seen Chrome Pony perform knows that Battles is not only funny, but willing to go so far over-the-top as to suggest that he might think he’s under the lights on Broadway or in a gigantic bowl amphitheater with tens of thousands of star-struck fans egging him on. It’s a sight to behold.

So when the prettiest Pony and I sat down to discuss his most recent project, we wound up talking about a lot of other stuff, too. Like nightmares and his friend Ryan Lindsey, who was kind enough to join us. Read away:

OKS: So what is Chrome Pony, exactly? Because it’s not a set band. And it’s not you, exclusively. It’s something else.

Battles: People don’t understand enough that Chrome Pony is a person. He is his own person. Chrome Pony is not a band. People get that wrong a lot.

OKS: How would you describe it?

Battles: It’s more of an alter ego, but also, he’s his own person.

OKS: You don’t have a lot of say in it?

Battles: No, not really. He actually came to me in a dream. It felt really real.

OKS: Was it more of a nightmare?

Battles: It was kind of a nightmare. It started when I was writing this song called “Chrome Pony,” and then I had a dream about him. I really don’t know that much about him. I just learn a little bit along the way.



OKS: So he’s this alien guy who likes to dress in nice suits and wear sunglasses at night.

Battles: Yeah, the sunglasses is, like, when he’s on.

OKS: Every time I’ve seen you play, there’s been a different lineup. It feels like a circus sometimes when you have so many people onstage.

Battles: That’s a good description.

OKS: How do you keep that many musicians all on the same page? Or do you?

Battles: So much of Chrome Pony is tracked music. That’s the way I shift the show dynamically is by adding or just going through a rotation of musicians. There are people I’ve played with more often, who are core members.

OKS: Do you ever write music with a certain player in mind?

Battles: The only people I’d really written music with are either producers or — the only other person I’ve ever sat down and written stuff with is [Broncho guitarist] Ben King. But he’s a producer as well, he’s produced a lot of stuff I’ve done.

But yeah, I rotate musicians because everyone brings something different. They all write their own parts and things shift dramatically when you change a drummer or add a guitarist. It’s a nice way to counterbalance the repetition and generate some new tracks.

It’s totally a circus. That’s the fun thing. It’s fun to have different friends onstage with you. Some people bring a darker energy, some people bring a lighter energy.


OKS: How many people have played guitar for Chrome Pony?

Lindsey: I played! Me, Jarod [Evans, Blackwatch Studios], Ben, Derek Lemke [Depth & Current], Derek Knowlton [The Pretty Black Chains], Brady [Smith, Gentle Ghost], Brine Webb. Kind of.

Battles: He just grabbed a guitar and got onstage at Norman Music Fest. He’s supposed to play with me some time, legitimately. We didn’t even talk about it. He just jumped up there.

OKS: For a lot of the music that’s made around here and Oklahoma City, I’d say Chrome Pony’s pretty unique. You’ve got some electronica, but that’s mostly DJs. You’ve got Kite Flying Robot in Tulsa, who make electronic rock, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

Battles: I don’t feel like what I do is a whole lot different than what a lot of my friends do. The stuff I write comes from the same place as what they do. I just happened to choose a lot of synths and big beats because it’s cheesy and it’s fun and I like that stuff. I feel like it’s a little cheap and I like it.

One of the more unique things about my music — and it’s not necessarily a positive thing — is that I just go for it. I like to go for a big, pop sound. And like I said, it’s cheap. And I don’t exactly take myself seriously.

I feel like a lot of people around here making music, especially new bands, are kind of afraid to just go for it. You’re in Oklahoma; you have to go for it.

Lindsey: Songs like that are more genuine, anyway.



OKS: The first time I heard “You’ve Got to go Through the Darkness,” I just thought, “What the hecccccck? This is totally different.” It was you making a big song just because you can. That’s the kind of song you wouldn’t have written if you weren’t taking yourself seriously and decided to just go for it.

Battles: I actually wrote that song in high school. But it was completely different. It was the wussiest little song. I did it really fast at first and recorded a different version of it later, in college. I slowed it down and that was, like, a redemption song, so I had to go big.

It was funny, ’cause I was having a hard time [in college], and wound up drunk at a piano and just started belting this song out. I was like, “Yeah, that’s how this song’s supposed to go.” Duh-duh-duh, duh-nuh-nah. That was the redemption part.

OKS: Ryan, you said songs like that are more genuine, anyway. Is it because you’ve got less inhibition about it?

Battles: Yeah, I feel like if you lay yourself out there, there’s something innocent about that.

Lindsey:That’s the art that I see as being genuine. When a person doesn’t let back. It can be subtle. It doesn’t have to be a huge production.

Your first show at Norman Music Fest, the year before, is still my favorite. ’Cause Steven had been working on this project, none of [his close friends] had heard any of it. He was being secretive about it. We were sharing a room, and Steven was just getting quiet about stuff, taking off here and there, going to work with people on stuff. We knew, “OK, he’s got this show, he’s playing after us, so maybe we’ll find out.” And sure enough, Steven shows up in this suit and trench coat, er, a black duster and shades. And it was nighttime and it was hot.


So I figured he’d had something up his sleeves. And then I found out that he’d had something up his sleeves for two months. He was being pretty shifty around the house. It blew my mind. All of us that had been dealing with Steven in that way, we were all surprised. I remember looking at Ben [King] and Chad [Copelin] and smiling so big. And Jarod [Evans]. We all just knew; we didn’t have to say it: “So this is where Steven’s been the last two months.”

Johnny's on Istiklal (Feat. Crystal Vision) by Chrome Pony

OKS: So it sounds like you really need the inauthenticity and the grandiosity of the character to get yourself out there.

Battles: Exactly. That was how I got myself to do it. Since I could hide behind this made-up thing, I could go for it. I’d been nervous, but I’d been in the dungeon working on it with my friends B [Bryan Bryanson] and Katie [Wicks, both with Chrome Pony, Crystal Vision], and that was my hangout for about three months.

Lindsey: It was good for me to see somebody working hard at something, turning down hangouts that I normally wouldn’t turn down to go work on music. That’s just the way Steven does it. When he knows he needs to work, he won’t let his friends distract him. Or keep him up until 6 in the morning so he loses the next day from being worn out. Or the next day because he slept all day. [Laughs]

Battles: I was really nervous because I got that slot. There was a lot of nervous energy. That first show, I hardly moved, I just stood up there at the mic. [Laughs]

OKS: Tell me about this connection with B and Katie. It sounds like that’s what started Chrome Pony.

Battles: My original idea was to start a music project where I didn’t have to have a band. Because I don’t like carrying gear. And the less people in the band, the less you have to split the money. [laughs] I don’t want to carry anything, I make more money, I can get drunk and sing.

I got to know them through Tate James [Delo Creative who directed his video for "Love in a Genocide"]. He hooked us up. I just Facebook-messaged them for a bit. They were running Dance Robots, Dance! at Opolis. I showed up there one night and Katie just attacks me. Gave me a big hug and I realized, “This is gonna work out.” Then I met B and learned he’s the sweetest guy in the world. I went over to their house and showed them some songs I had, and we talked about some stuff I was working on.

OKS: Was it hard showing them those in-progress songs?

Battles: Yeah, it was. I had some songs I’d recorded at Blackwatch, which were “Everything All the Time” and a few others. I didn’t think I’d use those. But those wound up on the album. It got a lot easier as we worked together, because we got to be really close friends.

Everything All the Time (Feat. Crystal Vision) by Chrome Pony

Originally, we were just going to make these songs, and then they were going to spin them, but I eventually decided, “Hey, I kinda wanna play.”

OKS: So you were writing them with the thought that they were just going to be for DJs?

Battles: Yeah.

OKS: So how do you write now?

Battles: I usually start on piano or guitar. Then I start building it in Logic and try to make it as dancey as possible. Also, I do a lot with different producers. I’ve been kinda spoiled by working with them, though. When you start playing shows, it kinda distracts from the writing process.

OKS: Yeah, especially for an act like yours where a lot of planning goes into the performance.

Battles: Yeah, I focused on building the show for a while. Now I’m kind of in writing mode, and I’m shifting that into producing new songs. I’m working on a bunch of different projects right now.

OKS: What else are you working on?

Battles: I’ve been writing a soul/gospel album with Ben King. And I’ve been working on some other, smaller electronic stuff with Costa [Stasinopoulos, of Dead Sea Choir] that’s pretty weird. I’m getting money together to track the soul/gospel record with the Blackwatch guys. And I’m working with a producer named Will Hunt, from Fort Worth, that I’m working on some stuff with. It’ll be more like the darker ’80s hits, pop stuff.

Chrome Pony will play with Lindsey’s band, Broncho, and Stardeath and White Dwarfs on Friday, on the east lawn of the University of Oklahoma. Battles says he’s lining up a Tulsa show in September. Follow him on Twitter because he’s hilarious.

Chrome Pony photos by Nathan Poppe

by Matt Carney 08.25.2011 2 years ago
at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

MPFree: Upcoming indie bands and locals aplenty!

Doing the legwork so you don't have to.

It’s been a slow couple of months for interesting new music from established acts, be they indie or mainstream. Other than Kanye and Jay-Z’s epic collaboration on “Watch the Throne,” we haven’t heard much from the usual suspects.

But that’s not to say times are tough! Plenty of great music is streaming and downloadable right now, both from up-and-coming indie acts and locals. Here are my picks for the week.

Thundercat made himself known to indie audiences when he guested on Flying Lotus’ excellent “Cosmogramma” last year. FlyLo reciprocated by producing his debut LP, “The Golden Age of Apocalypse.” Stream it over at Hype Machine.  

Tulsa and Enid have combined to give us Good Morning Grizzly, a pretty, pop-rock project that put this first big track up for download. It’s called “Stars and Satellites,” and you can snag it at the band's Bandcamp page.

Hazy, Swedish, mix ’n’ mash duo jj have a new track up for download at Gorilla Vs. Bear. The lengthily named “You Don’t Know How Much It Would Hurt Me If You Said You Were in Love with Me,” it’s certainly creepier and sexier than anything they’ve previously recorded.

GVB is also streaming this new track from Twin Sister, who recorded one of the best songs we heard last year in “All Around and Away We Go.” Give ’em both a listen.

Okie Chase Kerby (The City Lives) is getting back into the pop-rock game with Defining Times. Their debut EP was up for free download earlier in the week, but now it’ll set you back $5. I call that money well-spent.

Peter Bjorn and John stopped by KEXP’s studios in Seattle to play a couple of tracks off their latest record, “Gimme Some.” Watch “Breaker, Breaker” (complete with cowbell!) below.



Ho, boy. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for. Much like the sneak peek at the single they set loose a little early a few weeks ago, New York dance-punk gods The Rapture streamed an in-studio listening party for their new album, “In the Grace of Your Love.” You might recall me blowing my top over “How Deep Is Your Love” a few weeks ago. This stream has amplified my anticipation for the album a dozenfold.



Oklahoma City rapper and good guy Jabee put out a remix to the track “Beautiful Day” off his “Lucky Me” mixtape. Give ’er the ol’ download and listen.

Also, Stephen Malkmus recently played a set of his new material at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. There, he also announced the winner of his blowjob contest. I promise it’s not as gross as you think.  



About a week ago, we heard a titillating tweet from James Blake promising a mysterious Bon Iver collab. It is now here and it is glorious.

by Matt Carney 08.26.2011 2 years ago
at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 

VOTD: Broncho rips Guestroom a new one

Okie punks whip up a frenzy at their album release show.

If you’ve still yet to attend* a Broncho show, you are mistaken.

Luckily, you’ve got a chance to fix that problem tomorrow, when they play the OU campus with Stardeath and White Dwarfs and Chrome Pony. If this video of their recent vinyl-release show at Guestroom Records doesn’t get you excited for it, then you might need to reevaluate your existence.

It’s also worth pointing out that this thing, shot in black-and-white by Nathan Poppe, is probably one of the budding director’s finest spontaneous works. The gritty close-ups and use of contrast is top-notch, and as they say, he’s not afraid to get right in the middle of the fray.


*I use the term “attend” loosely here. A Broncho show is really more like something you survive.

by Matt Carney 08.26.2011 2 years ago
at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close