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.
Baby Tears with The Fucking Party and The Copperheads 8 p.m. Friday The Conservatory 8911 N. Western conservatoryokc.com 607-4805 $5
History doesn’t foretell too much in the case of Baby Tears. The noise-rock trio from Omaha, Neb., possesses an unpredictable track record of gigs that makes it impossible to pinpoint exactly where the next one will go.
“There is no typical show with us,” said guitarist/vocalist Todd VonStup. “It’s unstructured in a good sense. Sometimes we’ll play four songs and the rest is just noise and feedback. You and I will never know what’s coming beforehand.”
It’s a perfect match for the band’s signature sound, a purposefully harsh and scratchy one more concerned with expanding the bounds of music than cozily fitting into popular song structure.
The dark and ominous vibe comes from the group’s affection for the likes of Dwarves and Slayer, and the finished product paints an effective portrait of Buffalo Bill’s underground prison, albeit a smidge less sinister than the band’s seemingly cruel moniker.
The music is a stark contrast to VonStup’s work in rowdy party-punk band The Shanks before that outfit threw in the towel a couple of years ago.
“This one feels very unstructured. We can do whatever we want,” VonStup said. “We can do a noise set, something really droney, or we can do these 60-second punk rock songs. It’s fun to play all the different styles of music we like, write it and make it our own.”
Although unstructured — and, by extension, rather chaotic — Baby Tears represented a challenge to VonStup, where his musicianship needed to be ratcheted up a notch.
“I was used to this really sloppy, drunken music,” he said, “and I’ve had to tighten up to play with people who are really good with their instruments.”
That controlled chaos made its way onto the band’s recently released 7-inch effort “Homeless Corpse” and free-fordownload, debut full-length album “Rusty Years,” a proud moment for all three of Baby Tears’ members.
“We did the whole thing from start to finish,” VonStup said. “We wrote all the songs, recorded all the songs, mixed all the songs. We did all the artwork ourselves, and it’s something all three of us have wanted to do.”
The band plans on hopping back to recording sometime very soon, with ideas for a cover EP (tracking anything from metal to country favorites) and a full experimental disc dedicated to pure noise.
VonStup said, “We are wanting to cover all corners of music.”