Thursday 24 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Wonder woman

Wonder woman

Texas native Carolyn Wonderland lives for playing the blues. Just don’t ask her to fly.

C.G. Niebank February 16th, 2011

Carolyn Wonderland
9 p.m. Saturday
Oklahoma City Limits, 4801 S. Eastern, 619-3939

Many people might regard television-based talent competitions as a fast and convenient route to fame and fortune, but Austin, Texas-based blues singer/ guitarist Carolyn Wonderland has doubts about the value of such career shortcuts.

“I have an aversion to music as a competitive sport,” she said. “So I’m definitely one of those anti-‘American Idol’ kind of people. You know what? Go out and play it in clubs for 30 years and then let me hear ya.”

Wonderland, playing Saturday at Oklahoma City Limits, grew up in a musical household. Her mother sang with a band and plays guitar, while her grandmother played fiddle and taught her to play piano. After being loaned a cornet from an aunts, Wonderland taught herself to play trumpet.

“I cannot remember a time without either listening to or playing music,” she said.

By the time she was 15, she was gigging regularly with a band at Fitzgerald’s, a live music club in Houston that has hosted such music legends as Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Brown and Tina Turner.

More recently, Wonderland derives inspiration for her songwriting from many directions.

“Oftentimes, songs will show up while I’m driving, and I just have to wait till I get somewhere to write them down,” she said. “Sometimes, they show up in a dream, like ‘The Farmer Song’ was a guy in overalls standing there, playing a banjo, singing it to me, so I woke up and wrote it down.”

In 1999, Wonderland moved to Austin, where she appeared regularly at Antone’s and lived in her van, partly out of convenience; by then, she was playing as many as 300 shows a year.

Although she has been a frequent traveler for a long time, her experiences with airlines have soured her on flying to gigs.

“We so prefer driving,” Wonderland said with a laugh. “Any chance we get to not be on an airplane, we’ll take. I hate the way I’m treated. I guess I look like a stoner guitar player. Now, every time I get on a plane, I think, ‘Is my guitar gonna make it?’ I’ve bought a seat for my guitar, and it even has frequentflier miles, and they still refused to seat it at one point, and I got off the plane and said, ‘Well, I guess I’m driving to Cleveland — awesome!’” Wonderland chuckled as she described a recent airport experience, when her outspokenness collided with the intimate aspects of new “enhanced” search policies, as a female Transportation Security Administration screener began running her hands over Wonderland’s body.

“I have a big mouth, and these new touch-you-in-spots-you’re-notsupposed-to-be-touched rules really, really caught me off-guard,” she said. “My hands were up over my head and I blurted out, ‘Whoa, that’s fucking ridiculous.’ I didn’t slap her hand away — I stopped myself before I touched her — and as soon as I realized I let the F-word out of my mouth, I saw the police walking toward me, and I thought, ‘Aw, man, I’m not gonna catch this flight.’”

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