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.
Maroon 5 with Train and Matt Nathanson 6:30 p.m. Thursday OKC Zoo Amphitheatre 2011 N.E. 50th zooamp.com 364-3700 $42.50
Pop-rock chart favorites Maroon 5 and Train have made for one of the season’s top tours. That doesn’t mean they were positive they’d get along.
“You’re always a little nervous. It’s like, ‘Man, I hope these guys aren’t dicks,’” Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine said. “But they’ve been really cool, and it’s a great combo.”
It helps that the two groups are some of the century’s biggest hitmakers. With the pair responsible for “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Drops of Jupiter,” “She Will Be Loved” and “This Love” between them, there’s a whole lot of sing-alongs on display, and Valentine thinks he knows why. Kind of.
“The secret, if there is a secret, is that it’s only about the songs, and writing songs that resonant with people.
It’s a continual challenge,” he said. “On the surface, it might not feel like there is much there. There’s lyrics about the same stuff over and over again and simple melodies, and that seems easy, but you really have to work through a lot of ideas to find that one that is memorable enough. If you don’t have the songs, you don’t have anything.”
Against the Madonna model of pop stardom, Maroon 5 has not yet opted for a total re-invention, although some more electronic moments made their way onto the band’s latest album, “Hands All Over.” There is a reason for not straying far from its poppy, neo-soul roots.
“I guess we have a pretty unique sound already. We staked our claim on that and we’re really going to own it,” Valentine said.
Hopefully, the five guys’ minds will align in time to release another record quicker than the four-year lag between previous albums.
“It’s going to be a leaner approach,” he said. “We might be going backwards, in a way, and going way more on the organic side: recording more things live, experimenting with record with tape. On the other side, we’ve talked more about programming and electronic music. There’s all kinds of directions you can go. We’re a little scatterbrained in that regard.”
Of course, time must be made for front man Adam Levine’s spot hosting NBC’s “The Voice,” as well as Valentine’s side project, JJAMZ, with ex-Phantom Planet and Rilo Kiley members.
But at the end of the day, it all comes back to Maroon 5, and Valentine doesn’t think any of them will ever get out.
“We’ve been doing this for so long, we’ve basically been institutionalized. We don’t know how to do anything else, so we’re pretty much stuck doing this,” he said. “We know that we’ve carved our niche in the world, and that if we continue to work hard, we aren’t going anywhere."