Monday 21 Apr

Odyssey of the mind

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey 

with Culture Cinematic and ADDverse Effects

9 p.m. Friday

Twisted Root Gallery

3012 N. Walker Ave.



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Frndz with benefits

Boyfrndz with Bored Wax and The Hitt Boyz

9 p.m. Sunday

Blue Note Lounge

2408 N. Robinson Ave.



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Saddle up

Horse Thief with Deerpeople and Pageantry

8:30 p.m. Friday

ACM@UCO Performance Lab

329 E. Sheridan Ave.



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High heaven

Glow God with Weed, Feral Future and Power Pyramid

7 p.m. Friday

Capitol House


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Darkened tones

Chevelle with Nothing More and Middle Class Rut

6:30 p.m. Monday

Diamond Ballroom

8001 S. Eastern Ave.



04/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · CDs · Pop · Smith Westerns — Dye It Blonde

Smith Westerns — Dye It Blonde

Packages 70 years of pop/rock into one fantastic album

Stephen Carradini April 5th, 2011

You know what’s often lost in hip and new sounds? Good songs. This is why chillwave was doomed. It was awesome, but who remembers it, other than a cloudy haze?

The new wave of “it” bands remember good songs and have decided to write some. Like Brits Yuck and New Yorker Luke Rathborne, the Chicagoans in Smith Westerns have put their heads together to make solid guitar rock tunes on “Dye It Blonde.” Nothing new under the sun, for real.

But the reason that Smith Westerns were on my list of “No way am I going to get into their SXSW sets” is because their guitar rock is the kind you wish existed already. Out of the three aforementioned bands, it’s easily the most accessible. The vocals float above the guitar work in volumes ranging from “coo” (“Weekend”) to “croon.” The guitar is often of that 1950s-style, which is alternately dreamy and forward without being invasive. The airy synths give off a vintage vibe, which is barely possible (they didn’t really have synths in the ‘50s?), but they do.

This band packages all of the great things about 70 years of pop/rock into one set. Bold statement? Yes. They back it up. I could spend several hundred words describing all the songs in detail, but I won’t. Just know that they are each fantastic and worthy of the words. 

The first listen of “Dye It Blonde” made me feel as if I’d heard the disc a dozen times already and loved every spin. This is familiar in all the right ways and none of the wrong ones; you can play “spot the influence,” but they add up to more than the sum of their parts.

You’ll be humming their guitar melodies and vocal melodies. You’ll be queuing it up for your next make-out session. You’ll be putting “Weekend” in the first spot on your summer mixtape. Yes. Get this album. —Stephen Carradini
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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