Sunday 20 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Girl grows up

Girl grows up

Pain, terror and tragedy gave birth to Girlyman, a group specializing in some of the most sunshiny songs on earth.

Joshua Boydston January 11th, 2012

7 p.m. Sunday
Performing Arts Studio
200 S. Jones, Norman


Given the silly name and bright, Simon & Garfunkel-inspired harmonies, Brooklyn folk-rock act Girlyman sounds like it was born out of a happy place. The thing is, it wasn’t.

“Our first rehearsal was scheduled for Sept. 11. We were putting together press kits and complaining about how crappy doing it was … what an upstream battle it was getting your name out there,” said singer and guitarist Doris Muramatsu, describing that day in 2001. “Then it happened. For all of us, it was a wake-up call, and music felt like a necessity. It felt like something we needed just to experience joy again, and there was no doubt in our minds that being in this band was what our calling was.”

Those events not only gave an urgency to the band, but also a light undertone, stemming from the perspective rewarded in 9/11’s aftermath, and manifesting itself in the tongue-in-cheek moniker.

“You realized not to take things so seriously. We knew just to do it for the fun and joy of it,” said drummer JJ Jones, formerly of Po’ Girl.

Audiences at Sunday’s show in Norman will witness how that approach has taken Girlyman from playing to handfuls in coffee shops for a $12 payday to supporting Indigo Girls on tour and having a music video directed by comedian Margaret Cho.

The momentum nearly came to a halt when Muramatsu was diagnosed with leukemia in late 2010.

“We thought that was it. No more touring, no more recording,” she said.

“I found out it was a treatable form, but it was challenging even still through my recovery. I couldn’t see how we were going to make another album, but we did.”

With cancer in remission, Girlyman recorded the soon-to-be-released “Supernova.”

“It’s a dying star,” Jones said. “They give birth to new stars in the energy they shoot out, and that made so much sense this year, because it felt like something was dying, but then there was a whole new wave of transformation and hope that came out of it. The whole record really reflects that.”

Not coincidentally, the disc is Girlyman’s loudest and liveliest to date.

“It’s not a folky sound. It’s a full, rock sound,” she said. “It was like, ‘Wow, we’ve really changed.’”

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