Tuesday 22 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Sticky situation

Sticky situation

How does a band follow backlash? Internet sensation Tapes ’n Tapes ended its label deal and went back to the basics: the music.

Joshua Boydston February 16th, 2011

Tapes ’n Tapes with Oberhofer
9 p.m. Tuesday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
opolis.org, 820-0951

With the 2000s came a new trend: blog bands. These were acts that came out of nowhere, riding a wave of buzz built solely by music blogs.

But with the quick rise came the inevitable backlash, and the poster child for that unenviable situation is Tapes ’n Tapes, the indie-rock fourpiece that performs Tuesday at Opolis in Norman. After self-releasing “The Loon,” the Minneapolis group’s positive reviews and Pavement comparisons led to shows with the likes of Spoon and The Black Keys, along with a record deal from XL Recordings.

Whether or not Tapes ’n Tapes succumbed to the sophomore slump with “Walk It Off,” doesn’t matter, because people already acted as if they had. Blogs dismissed the quartet as a flash in the pan. Tapes ’n Tapes shrugged off the claims and soldiered on.

“We could worry about the past and try and analyze it, but we were really fortunate,” front man Josh Grier said. “We just want to make music and have people listen to it, and blogs opened that up.”

Not that the guys are appreciative of the “blog band” label.

“I just think it’s a pigeonhole term,” Grier said. “I don’t think anything is black and white ... so when people call us a blog band, I think it seems silly. We were a band long before any blog wrote about us, and we’ll be a band long after any blog cares about us.”

They are now taking steps to put that in the past, focusing on music and doing it on their terms. Partly for a fresh start and partly because it didn’t need the connection anymore, Tapes ’n Tapes cut ties with XL to continue forward as independent artists.

“We were at a crossroads, and we knew we had to make a decision. There was always a possibility of doing things on our own again, so the first step was knowing we just wanted to make another record. After we were done with that on our own, the next logical step was to just release it on our own,” Grier said. “It’s a risk putting things out on your own. You are the one responsible for the financial situation behind it, and you can’t put failures on anybody else.”

Looks as if there is no need to place blame; the group’s third album, “Outside,” came out in January and has been a resounding success. With Tapes ’n Tapes being revered for live shows, many fans claim the band managed to bottle its jangly, infectious energy with the new disc.

“It was a focus while we were recording: keeping things light and relaxed; having a positive, good vibe in the studio; and that overflowed into us,” Grier said. “We were capturing more of us in that way, putting a lot of feel into what we were playing.”

The tides are turning — bloggers be damned — and the guys are looking forward to a long career of doing things for themselves, by themselves.

“I’m proud of how much we’ve done on our own,” Grier said. “We can make our own timetables and make the decisions we think are best for us, and that’s the thing that excites me the most. To be able to execute without it conflicting with someone else’s plan … that’s exciting.”

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