Thursday 24 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Blasting off

Blasting off

Oklahoma, we have no problem. The Rockettops are ready to soar into space from their launchpad at ACM@UCO.

Joshua Boydston February 16th, 2011

The Rockettops with fos and Matt Stansberry Band
7 p.m. Saturday
ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 323 E. Sheridan,974-4700

ACM@UCO is not quite 2 years old, but it’s already paying dividends for its students. See The Rockettops, an indie-rock quartet taking what its players have learned and packaging it into a model for other students to follow.

Singer Jordan Smith, bassist Michael Bewley and guitarist Earl Moreno met at the school and formed the band last summer with drummer Mark Quenzer. Despite being together less than a year, The Rockettops are releasing their debut EP, the appropriately titled “Blast Off,” on Saturday at the school’s Performance Lab; each ticketholder gets the CD for free. Peg the quick progress to school spirit.

“We are there for music, and we all have this common focus,” Bewley said. “The idea that we all want to pursue music professionally has really bonded us together.”

For most in the game of rock, it’s all about coming across as doing as little as possible, whether they are working their asses of or not. But the guys of The Rockettops are up front — and proud — of all the work, time and money they’ve put in. They are quite conscious of the demands involved with being a successful band, and The Rockettops are very much interested in being successful.

“Really, bands are small businesses, and sometimes, you need to think of it that way,” Bewley said. “It’s marketing and getting yourself out there and finding a way to get a return on your investment.”

They’ve been conscious of marketing and branding every step of the way, reading up on the theory behind band names and double-checking to make sure URLs would be available for their choice. They’ve paid top dollar for photos, graphics, recording and design in the mind-set that a group should dress for the gig it wants, not the one it has.

“Everything we do, we make it look as though it’s professional,” Moreno said. “We are working toward the next step, and we don’t want to settle for anything less than what we can do, and that’s helped us a lot.”

Bewley added, “If people see us, go look at our website or photos, and it all looks the same caliber as Lady Gaga’s stuff, then we’ve done a good job,” Bewley said.

Really, bands are small businesses.

—Michael Bewley

“I feel like we dress a little crazier, though,” Quenzer said.

The Rockettops play an unabashedly poppy and accessible brand of indie rock that recalls the radiofriendly bands they draw influences from, including Death Cab for Cutie, Coldplay and Muse. It’s passionate, uplifting and meant to evoke a feeling that all their work is done in good spirit and faith.

“The bigger we get, the more people we can reach,” Smith said. “We love music, we love making it and we all enjoy positively impacting people’s lives in whatever way. We just want to lift people up, whether it’s through a song’s message or watching us perform. That’s a common goal between all of us.”

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