Monday 21 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 · 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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