Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmasyet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
It has been a relatively rocky road for Weatherford alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, which has seen its share of highs (acting as backing band for rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson) and lows before an (amicable) split in the road led half of the original lineup to forming Honeylark.
Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.
The Oklahoma City metro has a thriving garage rock scene. With seasoned acts like Broncho and Copperheads carrying the modern-day torch, the way has been paved for a flock of gritty, young, guitar-centric acts. But nascent Norman trio Poolboy has a knack for riotous hooks that few of its contemporaries can boast.
Depth & Current with Lizard Police and Paint Scratcher 9 p.m. Thursday Opolis 113 N. Crawford, Norman opolis.org 820-0951 $8 advance, $10 door
Recording music inside his home in the out-of-the-way Oklahoma town of Amber, Depth & Current singer/ guitarist Chris Harris often heard some bizarre sounds via CV radio that weren’t always necessarily his own.
“Living out in the country, I would hit these distortion pedals and hear these crazy preachers and alien conspiracy theorists and government conspiracy theorists,” he said. “It was pretty insane.”
It’s no surprise, then, that his band’s eponymous debut LP seems narrated by a relatively normal person stuck in a warped society headed for ruin. It’s a sonically sophisticated record — a heavy, noisy, post-rock work of Gothic texture, shoegazing moods and occasionally triumphant lyrics.
With years of experience as an indie record-label owner and engineer, Harris was able to generate the band’s desired sound by way of careful microphone placement, Scott Twitchell’s booming drums and Derek Lemke’s talents with whatever gadget was laying around the studio.
“Derek’s kind of a guitar wizard,” Twitchell said.
“I’m a noise wizard,” Lemke replied, prompting laughs from the others.
“Yeah, he can do that shit with any instrument,” Harris added.
The trio vowed to make a lot of literal noise at tomorrow night’s CD-release show at Opolis, despite lacking a live bassist.
“They’re the same songs ... but it’s a little more raw, I guess,” Twitchell said.
Added Harris, “We use sequencers for our live shows, so everything’s all timed to the music. We’re able to fly in bits and pieces of sounds from what you’ve heard on the album — or maybe even an alternate take of something — and re-create the same kind of soundscape ... but it’s more intense live.”
That’s thanks to the pure, huge volume at which they play, as well as their very psychedelic light show, which they alter as the situation demands, as with last spring’s Norman Music Festival set.
“We just threw up a couple flood lamps, punk-rocked our entire set and got off the stage, to get out of the way for the other bands,” Twitchell said. “If this is something we can really take our time and set up for, we’ll do it to the click and we’ll do it really trippy, and we’ll get the entire rig going.”
If the overall effect surpasses the seemingly damaged environs of Depth & Current’s disc, then a host of music fans may share post-show nightmares.
“Well,” said Harris, “that was kind of the point.”