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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
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97's in '11


Everything Old — as in Old 97’s — is new again, as the alt-country act keeps churning out ‘Fight Songs’ for fervent fans.

Stephen Carradini July 20th, 2011

Old 97’s with Robert Ellis, The Workweek, Kentucky Knife Fight and The Lusitania
7 p.m. Friday
Opolis
113 N. Crawford, Norman
opolis.org, 820-0951
$15 advance, $20 door

Rhett Miller, songwriter and vocalist of Old 97’s, thinks you can try to be a rock star, or you can try to be a musician.

“When we started out, we wanted to do this years from now, and be proud of our music and the albums we’ve put out,” Miller said.


With almost 20 years of success but no major hits, it’s easy to see the alt-country quartet has succeeded at being the latter, especially with its 1997 breakout album, the fan favorite “Too Far to Care.”

“I think we have been lucky, and we’ve been workmanlike in our approach,” he said. “We’ve never swung for the fences, so we’ve never had a hit, but we’ve never burned out in our fans’ minds, either. We are benefactors of the accrued hours spent doing what we do.”

You can catch Old 97’s on Friday in a rare outdoor Opolis show in Norman, churning out alt-country tunes that are in turns sentimental and forceful.

“We’re not going gently into that good night,” Miller said.

Their tour schedule backs up that claim: They’re touring all through summer and fall, taking a break at the end of the year, and then turning out again in spring 2012.

“We’re touring pretty hard,” he said. “The hardest part of touring now is missing the family. When you’re younger, there aren’t so many chains to make you want to go back home much.”

But he won’t be taking a break, even when he gets home from the grueling tour.

“The guys get to take time off between records. I never take time off. I have to keep swimming, like a shark, or I’ll die,” Miller said.

However, even choosing songs for his solo records — he’s cut four so far — is an Old 97’s effort.

“I tend to let them listen to the songs and pick the ones they like, and the ones they don’t like will become solo-record songs,” Miller said.

The next one is in the distance, although 25 songs already have been amassed. Right now, he’s too busy promoting “The Grande Theatre Vol. 2” with his three bandmates, and fans love it.

“It’s always nerve-wracking to play new songs, but these have been instantly accepted,” Miller said. “‘I’m a Trainwreck’ is something of a fan favorite. We’ve found our groove with this album.”

That’s an odd statement for a group with such credentials.

“We’ve already got a best-of and a live album. And the 20th anniversary will be March 2013, which is around the time the next studio album will come out. And then we’ll go on our 20th-anniversary tour,” he said.

When that happens, it won’t be a victory lap, because the fans keep pouring in. “I feel really proud of our catalog.

We’re drawing more people than ever 20 years in,” Miller said. “I would say it’s unexpected, but it’s not. It was what our plan was: to get old doing this.”

 
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