Tuesday 22 Jul

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

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Fantasmagorical


Winning a Grammy, playing with Prince — it’s been a magical time of late for the Latin funk outfit Grupo Fantasma.

Joshua Boydston June 1st, 2011

Grupo Fantasma
8 p.m. Friday
Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman
Opolis.org, 820-0951
$10 advance/$12 day of show

Grupo Fantasma
Credits: Daniel Perlaky

Grupo Fantasma’s experience with Prince may not have been chummy, but it was certainly memorable.

“He made it clear from the get-go that he wasn’t trying to make new friends and wasn’t interested in hanging with us. He liked our music and wanted to experience that music, to not only take something from it, but enrich it with his own,” bassist Greg Gonzalez said. “It was strictly a musical relationship, but that was part of the beauty of it.”

The legend behind “Purple Rain” invited the Austin, Texas-based Latin funk outfit to back him at shows both stateside and across the pond, but not after some grueling practice sessions.

“There was no hanging out, joking and messing around. It was getting to work, and when Prince gets to work, you better keep up,” Gonzalez said. “He doesn’t miss a beat, and if you are off on something, he’ll hear it and point it out to you.”

Of course, that work paid its dividends, not only in playing with the icon to monster crowds in stadiums, but also helping Grupo Fantasma realize its other ambitions … and more.

“We had lots of expectations and goals starting, and most of those things that have occurred, but a lot of unexpected things have happened, too,” Gonzalez said. “Certainly a Grammy was the most unexpected of all.”

The group won a Grammy for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album last year for “El Existential.” It had been nominated two years prior for “Sonidos Gold,” but after that, the category expanded from Latin Rock or Alternative, crowding the field.

“We were like, ‘Great, now we have to compete against (Latin rapper) Daddy Yankee,’” Gonzalez said.

When making “El Existential,” the guys opted for a more collaborative approach — no small feat for an act with upward of 10 players. The unexpected, true-team win at the Grammys proved an enormous validation.

“Just the fact that they noticed us was so huge. We’ve always been outcasts,” Gonzalez said. “It’s the pinnacle of most people’s musical careers, and it’s something we can be proud of for the rest of our lives.”

As monumental as the trophy was, he still thinks of the time working with Prince as some of the best of his musical career.

“That’s my pinnacle. It’s the kind of a musical experience that you can only dream of. Having a Grammy is cool, but in my mind, playing with Prince is more special,” Gonzalez said. “I’m pretty sure fewer people have played with Prince than won a Grammy.”

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