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.
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.
Captured! By Robots with Colin Nance 9 p.m. Thursday opolis 113 N. Crawford, Norman
opolis.org 820-0951 $8 advance, $10 door
JBOT’s plan to replace his former bandmates with robots may have backfired when — according to his bio — the machines pulled off a full-scale mutiny and enslaved their former captain and creator. But, hey, it beats the hell out of playing with other people.
“You ever been in a band? Try it sometime. You’ll be making a robot band in two months,” said Captured! By Robots creator JBOT. “There’s the egos, the girlfriends, band members using drugs, people showing up late. It’s still hard to tour with a band of robots, but I think it’s easier than touring with a band of humans.”
The punk-rock octet — or solo project, depending on how you define it — sounds something akin to the Chuck E. Cheese animatronic house band playing on the banks of the river Styx. While not your typical rock band, JBOT is none too pleased with people calling it a joke.
“It pisses me off. We’re a band like anyone else’s band — it’s just that there’s one human,” he said. “Personally, I take it as a slap on the face. Sure, I didn’t know what I was doing when I started building these robots, and the first few incarnations really sucked. Over 14 years and a lot of hard work, it’s really come together. I’d put us up against any other band, human or not.”
As JBOT’s amateur engineering prowess has evolved, so have the robots and their compositions. But where does one go after that?
“I had a goal of making a kick-ass rock band with robots, and I did it. Then what?” he said. “What gets me going is having a desire to do something that no one else has done and having people tell me I can’t do it. That sends me over the edge, and I have to do it. I won’t stop until it’s done.”
The next logical step: an Armageddon-themed tour in the coming year, complete with a new batch of tunes contemplating Earth’s impending end, according to the Mayan calendar.
“It’ll be one, big, possibly last tour, if we all die anyway, so I’m billing it as such,” JBOT said. “All the songs are about the end of the world and how we might possibly go: asteroid, satellite crash, alien invasion ... robot takeover.”