Friday 25 Jul

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
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Ward 3

Ward 3

After founding two big bands, Jim Ward finds the third time’s the charm ... by going solo.

Joshua Boydston August 31st, 2011

Jim Ward with The Black and White Years
9 p.m. Friday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
$8 advance, $10 day of show

It’s been nearly a decade of loud guitars for Jim Ward. The Texas native achieved worldwide fame with his original group, hardcore’s At the Drive-In, then by starting the rock band Sparta.

The buzzing in his ears must have gotten to him, because in the middle of the aughts, he ditched the electric for an acoustic, and started plugging away as a solo singer/songwriter.

“There was a desire to play something quieter, something stripped-down, sparse and alone,” Ward said.

“Going from the loudness of those bands to the super-personal, intensity of this … I like the spontaneity of it. There’s a real recklessness there. It’s not so rehearsed, which I kind of enjoy.”

The soft, indie folk maintains the core of the rock melodies that made him a renowned musical force, but it’s a stark departure from the chugging guitars and howling vocals for which he was known.

It took a little time, but Ward released his first EP, “Quiet,” in 2007, with two more following in 2009 and 2011. He assembled the trio into his proper full-length debut, released earlier this month.

“I’ve known for a long time it was going to be a set of EPs that would come together into this singular thing,” he said. “It was in my head the whole time that this is what it was going to be. It had to be tied all together.”

Ward is already heading in new directions. He plans to continue touring through spring, and then leave the album behind for a Sparta reunion tour and LP, followed by more recording and traveling with his other project, the alt-country act Sleepercar.

“It’s a short life span for the solo stuff,” Ward said. “I’ve got too much on my plate to devote myself completely to it.”

Beyond his endeavors, he’s busy cultivating a music scene in his hometown of El Paso. He’s recently opened a recording studio, and debuted a 1,300-capacity concert venue and bar, becoming a Wayne Coyne-like figure in the Texas border town.

“When you are stuck somewhere, you romanticize other parts of the world. When you get to go out and appreciate it, you can come back and know what you have,” Ward said. “You have a studio you can record in, and a venue that you can play in and host your friends, and have a bar to hang out in. You hope that it makes the city a special place.”

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