It’s easy to see why many secular types consider Christian music a joke. Badly produced, pre-programmed Casio backbeats and plastic saxophones providing the soundtrack to a holier-than-thou message inspires snickers and winces from even those least jaded. OKC’s Soul Williams aims to and succeeds in knocking some sense into that rightfully stereotyped scene.
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.
The Bright Light Social Hour 10 p.m. Saturday Blue Note Lounge 2408 N. Robinson thebluenotelounge.com 600-1166
The story behind Austin’s four-piece The Bright Light Social Hour reads something like that of the fictitious band Spinal Tap.
Consider this: Three of the four Bright Light Social Hour members boast impressive facial hair, with front man Jack O’Brien’s comically large vaudevillian mustache topping them all. The drummer was plucked out of a high school drum line and the band’s ’70s rock ’n’ roll-meets-disco-and-Daft Punk style originated from The Bright Light Social Hour’s initial state as an art-collective/hardcore rock band with screaming vocals to boot.
“At the time, it was a fad we were into that we quickly grew out of,” O’Brien said with a laugh.
“As we got older, we started not planning what we wanted to play, and this is what we have naturally gravitated toward.”
The outfit has gone from Fugazi to Led Zeppelin and My Morning Jacket, with a propulsive, engaging and decidedly retro vibe that has served it well since 2007, when the quartet ditched the yelling for balls-out guitar rock.
Since that time, the band members finished up their studies at various graduate schools and the group became a full-time gig, one that has them committing serious chunks of time and learning every day.
“We’ve learned to be more tasteful,” O’Brien said. “Rather than, ‘Everyone throw in a solo here or crazy drum part there,’ we’ve learned to write for the good of the song, rather than interesting solo parts.”
Much of that maturity — albeit with a steady stream of silliness — made it onto the band’s 2010 self-titled release, buoyed by outrageous (and infectious) tracks such as the rapid-fire “Back and Forth” and goofy “Bare Hands Bare Feet.”
The band is working on a followup, but has no plans for a release date any time soon.
“We’re working on new material, but the approach we take — having four songwriters — makes it a very slow and meticulous process,” O’Brien said.
“So far, the ones we’ve written are a bit darker and thicker. It’s a harder back-beat and groove. I’m not sure where the rest of it will go, so I’m excited to see what comes out of the rest of it.”