Wednesday 23 Jul

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

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

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.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"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.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

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.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Soundcheck: 'This Machine'

Soundcheck: 'This Machine'

OCCJ adopts the message of Oklahoma's greatest folk singer to fight injustice.

Matt Carney August 31st, 2011

Woody Guthrie didn’t die in 1967.

Well, yeah, he did. But his legacy carries on well after Huntington’s disease claimed his body on Oct. 3, 1967, and not just in the folk genre he mastered. His legacy is one that was hell-bent on tearing down authoritarianism and replacing it with tolerance and understanding.

“Woody was a social conscience as much as he was a musician, songwriter or poet,” said Russ Florence, who’s helped to coordinate the “This Machine” public service project for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice. “The music was the vehicle to tell a broader story and speak on behalf of people overlooked/left out.”

These days, the OCCJ has picked up where Guthrie left off by incorporating many of Oklahoma’s best musicians with photographers, web designers, video producers and media professionals to produce a series of public service announcements. The music provides the muscle in the organization’s never-ending fight against bias, bigotry and racism.

“It’s definitely a grassroots movement,” Florence said. “All the people involved in this effort see the need for this message to be delivered to Oklahomans.”

While stylistically different, each artist’s message and painted guitar is clearly rooted in Guthrie’s vow that “This Machine Kills Fascists.”

Last year, the campaign produced concerts, ads, a website and a social media campaign. Keep your eyes open for a couple of TV spots premiering this month to mark the campaign’s re-launch. For more information, visit —Matt Carney

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