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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

Kyle Reid & the Low Swinging Chariots - “When I Was Young”

Every artist should be the star of their own creative life, which makes Kyle Reid’s steps out of the shadows of the many ensembles and supporting roles he has played in Oklahoma bands over the years to front and center on stage feel like a just journey.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
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Music
 

Lyrical leprosy


The pop-punkers of The Cute Lepers would like to ship FM mainstays and Billboard hits to a colony of mediocrity.

Joshua Boydston September 14th, 2011

The Cute Lepers with Something Fierce, The Easy Lovers and Black Magic Animals
8 p.m. Friday
The Conservatory
8911 N. Western
conservatoryokc.com
607-4805
$8

What happens when your marginally successful punk-revivalist group winds down? If you are Steve E. Nix (!), you just start another one.

Nix’s original group, The Briefs, lost steam when members lusted for lives not dictated by tour schedules. With the few still interested in the road, he formed The Cute Lepers, which functions quite differently than the band from which it was born.

“I wanted to start up a band that I could do no matter what. This would be my group, not a democracy,” Nix said. “It’s pretty much my vehicle, but in the last few years, it’s turned into a pretty badass band with a solid cast I hope sticks around.”

Check out The Cute Lepers website to stream their music for free.

It helps that all the Lepers share such an open disdain for today’s popular music and all those making it. The Lepers’ brand of ’70s-era pop punk — à la Buzzcocks — leaves no room for Auto-Tune. They fittingly memorialized that sentiment in their debut album, “Can’t Stand Modern Music.”

“As a huge fan of music since childhood, I always had my ear to the radio, but I can’t do that anymore, because the music is so awful,” Nix said. “There’s great underground music and some solid major-label acts, but in general, music is factory-assembled, catering to the lowest common denominator to sell Big Macs.”

That sentiment has carried through each of the Lepers’ first three full-lengths, including the current “Adventure Time.” The album originally was titled “Make the Girls Cry” until a stubborn toddler proved to derail that signifier.

“The photo shoot for the album cover didn’t work out the way we wanted. The idea was that the whole band would be circled around a little girl crying while we were pointing and laughing, but that little girl there wouldn’t cry, no matter how hard we tried,” Nix said. “Her dad was like, ‘If you really want, I could probably make her cry.’ We were like, ‘No, don’t hit her.’” The young-at-heart crew still approaches music with the enthusiasm and vigor of acts half their age, making sure each day brings about fresh discoveries and fun. That outlook is fostered through raucous live shows, hard partying and detours that include dropping off band members on the sides of interstates and in the middle of the woods to kill time during 10-hour car rides.

What’s the point of being in a punk band if all the time isn’t “Adventure Time?” “It’s reflective of being 16 and into punk rock, hopping on the bus to head over to the skate shop or punk-rock record store,” Nix said. “We try to maintain that in everything in life. Every new city we come into, it’s just a new adventure.”

Photo by Victoria VanBruinsse

 
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