Friday 25 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 · Zounds! What sounds!

Zounds! What sounds!

Cultural progressives band together to form Zanzibar! Records, a label working to push the Norman music scene into the national spotlight.

Charles Martin March 23rd, 2011

Zanzibar! Presents: Zebre and FRMR
10 p.m. Wednesday
The Deli, 309 White, Norman, 321-7048

On a brisk March night during the tail end of downtown Norman’s art walk, founding members of Zanzibar! Records huddled outside a storefront, discussing the difficulty of starting a record label in the digital age, all while splitting a 12-pack of Blue Moon and giving directions to manic, roaming Flaming Lips fans in search of $200 that Wayne Coyne supposedly stashed somewhere on Main Street.

It’s just another night in a college town that has music fans buzzing with excitement about the vital cultural undercurrent slowly transforming Norman into a progressive hub of American indie rock. Zanzibar! Records recently stepped to the forefront by rallying an army of veteran scenesters, hoping that a little structure might help propel their beloved town into the national spotlight.

To glimpse the fruit of Zanzibar!’s efforts, check out the label’s monthly showcase tonight at The Deli, featuring Zebre and FRMR. “Growing up in Norman, I’ve always seen a certain level of hopelessness among the artists, knowing we aren’t in New York or L.A.,” said label president Ben Lindesmith. “But when you are around a group that supports one another and what they are doing, that hopelessness disappears.”

Named after Lindesmith’s recording studio and founded last November, Zanzibar! sports a swelling stable of 15 state acts, and will have its own stage at April’s Norman Music Festival.

To support that amount of bands, Kara Joy McKee, vice president of promotions, said roughly 40 people are called upon regularly to help with projects, extending from video production to distribution.

“We make some of the highestquality products in the state,” she said.

“No,” Lindesmith said. “We make the highest-quality products in the state.”

“Well, right,” McKee said. “They are very bad-ass.”

Chase Spivey, vice president of production, added organizations like Zanzibar! are important because they create breeding grounds for ideas that can have lasting effects on culture, while giving musicians ample opportunity to do what they do best.

“Artists are very industrious and like to be busy all the time,” Spivey said. “That is what is so enthralling about this label. We get new artists who have traumatic things going on in their life, and this is an avenue that they can put their efforts into.”

Lindesmith hopes to build Zanzibar! into a significant online media producer as a way to promote talent and generate enough income to sustain the label in the absence of album sales, which used to be the industry’s lifeblood. Whether or not it’s viable in the long run is irrelevant to him, compared to the viability of Norman’s music scene.

“A lot of people within Zanzibar! are talking about how this will be a major music hub. It is inevitable,” he said. “It doesn’t even matter if our record label is involved. It will still happen, and we just want to do what we can to move that along.”

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