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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
Eileen Jewell 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7 The Blue Door 2805 N. McKinley bluedoorokc.com 524-0738 $15 advance, $20 door
Idaho singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell has quite a bit in common with the songstress of a very similar name. They both hail from less populated regions; both blend rock, pop, folk and country; and both made a go at busking to support themselves early in their careers.
Jewell hasn’t written a hit as big as Jewel’s “Who Will Save Your Soul,” but at least music has never driven her to living in a van.
“It was a low-risk way of experimenting with a life as a musician,” she said. “I made enough money to scrape by on.”
She made the transition to full-time performer using the basic lessons she learned playing curbside for change and spare dollar bills.
“It’s where I realized that playing songs can really put a smile on someone’s face,” Jewell said. “It helped me learn how to play in front of people. I had never really done that before. It was easing into performance and figuring out if this was something I really wanted to do.”
It took a little hopping around to find the proper place to foster a career, however; she began experimenting with music during college in Santa Fe, N.M., then moved to Los Angeles to perform on Venice Beach once she opted for a guitar instead of an office job. Eventually, she found her way to Boston, where she assembled both a following and her first recordings.
“It was my identity in Boston.
People didn’t know me as any other person,” Jewell said. “I like that anonymity, and a certain amount of that is required to be creative.”
There, she also found her sound, or lack thereof. The endlessly genrebending songwriter began indulging in every whim: Americana, honky-tonk, rockabilly, blues and more.
“It’s kind of like vintage rock ’n’ roll, cowgirl noir,” she said. “I don’t get hung up sticking to one particular genre. I just follow my gut, and luckily, my band can keep up. I tend to write to test them and keep them on their game.”
In the past five or so years, she’s released four studio albums, including summer’s “Queen of the Minor Key.”
This newest record sees her doing even more toying and tinkering, not only with genres, but recording her first two instrumentals, bringing along a guest singer and injecting a little whimsy and humor into songs that had previously sounded a little more sorrowful. Even the disc’s title is a self-deprecating jab, plus a look at her coming legacy.
“An old friend on a co-bill introduced me that way. I tend to write a lot in the minor key, and at first, it almost felt like an insult, but sometimes the best way to deal is to run with it,” Jewell said. “Rather than shy away, I decided to make it my thing, to own it.”