Sunday 20 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 · We’re no angels

We’re no angels

Indie supergroup Mister Heavenly begets its first album. And it saw that it was good.

Joshua Boydston August 24th, 2011

Mister Heavenly with Waters and Seth McCarroll
9 P.M. Sunday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
$10 advance, $12 door

What’s a better way to draw attention to your band than nabbing George Michael to play bass? No, not the one from Wham!, but “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” actor Michael Cera.

Cera — who played a character named George Michael in TV’s “Arrested Development” — is actually a skilled bassist, and singer/guitarist Nick Thorburn of indie supergroup Mister Heavenly saw him as the perfect solution to the gaping hole in its early lineup while supporting Passion Pit and playing South by Southwest.

“We just asked him. We needed a bass player, and he’s a friend and exceptional musician,” Thorburn said. “It might have been a little sensational at first, but I think when the music started, I think that’s where the attention went.”

The mere existence of Mister Heavenly was probably more than sensational enough by indie rock’s modest standards. Coming from acts including Islands, The Unicorns, Man Man, Modest Mouse and The Shins, Mister’s members hatched the simple idea of a quick collaboration. What resulted was something much more.

“We were just mutual admirers of each other’s work,” Thorburn said. “We found a window to make some music together, and it was a really enjoyable process. We just kept going with it. There weren’t many expectations when we started; what resulted was an album and a record deal. That was just a pleasant aftereffect.”

Combined decades of experience bore a certain brazenness to the band and its music, even coining a new subgenre — doom-wop — before even writing a song.

“That was our starting point. That name came before anything else,” Thorburn said. “We needed direction ... something to set the tone. We wanted to establish, and even invent a sound. We’re very aware that’s not how you go about it, but that’s how it ends up happening from time to time. It’s a piss-take, but we did want some ground rules.”

Working in tribal rhythms and an ear for melodies, the result is a oneof-a-kind sound arguably as good as or better than any of the members’ groups. The band currently is celebrating its debut album, “Out of Love,” released last week.

“I’m glad we followed through.

It’s nice when you have an idea to do something with someone, and you can see it through fruition,” Thorburn said. “A lot of times, that casual conversation is an idea but never goes anywhere. We wanted to see this come to life.”

The quality of what’s come out so far has demanded fair dues be paid by each of the guys, who are more than willing to put in the work.

“It’s tricky. We definitely have to do more planning and scheduling, but it’s good. It breaks up the monotony,” Thorburn said. “We are basically living this polyamorous lifestyle, musically speaking. We can stick our dick in another hole, if you will.”

Click below to check out a slideshow of Mister Heavenly's performance at 35 Conferette in Denton, Tex. last spring.

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