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.
Owl City with Days Difference and Unwed Sailor 6:30 p.m. Friday Diamond Ballroom 8001 S. Eastern diamondballroom.net 677-9169 $19 advance, $24 door
Having played Oklahoma twice in three short years of touring, electronic-pop musician Adam Young — operating as Owl City — already has formed fond memories of the Sooner State.
“Some kid in blue sweatpants drew pictures of genitals all over the side of my bus in black Sharpie last time I was there,” he said. “Everyone laughed, though, so it’s cool.”
Friday’s gig at Diamond Ballroom might prove to top the anatomical graffiti, however, because Young gets to share the stage with his Tulsa-grown musical heroes.
“Unwed Sailor has been my favorite band for 10 years now,” he said. “I love how big and epic and progressive their music is … how their songs suggest optimism without the use of words. Instrumental music is an inspiring thing to me, and they really know how to do it right.”
Owl City might be rooted in instrumental inspiration, but Young couldn’t resist adding a thick smear of bubbly — sometimes schmaltzy — lyrics to electro ballads like the 2009 quadruple-platinum hit “Fireflies,” which saw the Minnesotan launch from anonymity to the top of the charts and sold-out shows in a matter of weeks.
“I think one of the moments that still stands out the most is the first show in Minneapolis,” Young said. “I was standing behind the curtain, shaking, so scared. I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can actually walk out there and play for an hour to these people.’ But I made myself do it, and it was so much fun, I couldn’t have been happier.”
His major-label debut, “Ocean Eyes,” hit No. 1 on iTunes, and Young followed it up with this summer’s braver “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”
“It’s more powerful. It’s more aggressive when necessary, and it’s far less processed and Auto-Tuned. It’s just more gutsy and bold. I’m not really a singer by nature, so that was a big step for me,” he said. “The album was written, recorded, produced and engineered all in one room by one person, and I think it has a watertight quality to it that makes for a very definitive final product. My fingerprints are all over it.”
After this current tour, Young plans on hopping right back into the studio to record the next disc, which he hopes will be his most memorable to date.
“I’m already knee-deep,” he said. “The music seems to be getting older and wiser, and I like how an artist can only do what he/she does for so long until the result sounds nothing like anybody else except them.”