Thursday 17 Apr

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

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Walk to remember

Walk to remember

Now in their second decade together, The Walkmen step up to headline the Norman Music Festival.

Stephen Carradini April 27th, 2011

The Walkmen
9:30 p.m. Saturday
Norman Music Festival Main Stage, Porter Avenue and Main Street

In 11 years as a band, The Walkmen has never had a man walk.

“It’s a band. It’s supposed to be a group of people doing something, not just a business or a name. If one of us left, it wouldn’t be the same thing,” said Peter Bauer, pianist and organist for the New York-based indie-rock group.

You can catch the same five members they’ve always been as headliners of Saturday’s Main Stage at Norman Music Festival.

Because they’ve been together so long, they’ve carved out a unique sound for themselves. Their spacious, elegant, indie-rock sound is punctured by lead singer Hamilton Leithauser’s vicious, damaged howl, creating a tension between beauty and ferocity.

“We’re sort of in our own little inclusive world. Once you’re with us, people enjoy themselves,” Bauer said. “We have no idea how to put ourselves in a place that’s easily digestible to everyone on Earth. I think we put on a good show. You get what you get. If you like rock music, you may like this kind of crap, or you may not. It depends on what kind of crap you like.”

Instead of pandering to a potential audience, The Walkmen just focus on improving with every album.

“Every time you do one of these things, you try to think of some way to make it new,” Bauer said.

Their most recent, “Lisbon,” deepens their experiment with the push and pull between spare and symphonic.

“Things start to sound confusing when you put instrument on top of instrument. We tend to get a bit crazy putting stuff on. We tried to not do that this time,” Bauer said. “As you get to be a better musician, you learn how to do more with less.”

In contrast to that mentality, lead single “Stranded” features a prominent horn section.

“That was one of the first songs we had, and we got sparser from there,” he said. “That was the other side of it, that we wanted to make these grand horn songs.”

Unlike some acts, The Walkmen have goals and intentions when they set out to write. Being in a band is a job, and writing music is what they do.

“We view touring as a necessity. We feel like working is writing songs. We’re pretty good about coming home, taking a few days off and then punching the clock. We get stuff done,” Bauer said. “If we don’t write, we’ll go crazy.”

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