Wednesday 30 Jul

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday


113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Downtown Tulsa 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Indie · The Ladybug Transistor —...

The Ladybug Transistor — Clutching Stems

It's all about the tunes, man

Stephen Carradini July 7th, 2011

The Ladybug Transistor’s pop songs are elegant constructions.


They adhere closely to what the band’s press dubs “formalist” structures, which is to say that the verse/chorus/verse format isn’t just used, but praised. The songs aren’t gimmicky, nor are they hip. They’re just really solid, enjoyable tunes.

In that way, they’re pretty much the quintessential Merge band at the moment: Been around since the ’90s without a real breakup, putting out music that stands the test of time, and doing their thing without a care for what everyone else is doing.

Comparing “Clutching Stems” to The Beatles, Paul Simon and even The Eagles isn’t wrong (although The Ladybug Transistor doesn’t trump up the rock aspects of its sound). But where each of those has its own specific time and place, this collection of tunes lacks a tether to any certain era.

Despite this unmoored, free-of-context feeling, the songs remain grounded and relatable. The beautiful, keys-driven title track sets the stage for the whole album, as Gary Olson’s pleasant baritone fits easily over the perky (but not precocious) song.

“Oh Cristina” takes a break from mid-tempo pop tunes to introduce some found sound over a chilled-out acoustic track. The bulk of the song, however, jumps back up to walking pace. If there’s one argument that resists parrying about “Clutching Stems,” it’s that many of these tracks can mesh together in the brain due to similarities in tempo, instrumentation and tone.

Lovers of perfect pop songs will be enamored with The Ladybug Transistor’s latest. It may get a bit tiring for those who aren’t fans of Belle and Sebastian, Fountains of Wayne (minus “Stacy’s Mom”) and Sondre Lerche. —Stephen Carradini
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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