No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
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.
“In any relationship, communication is very key,” said singer Keith
Sweat about his forthcoming book of romantic-relationship advice, “Make
It Last Forever.” “As a man who has always known what he wants in a
relationship, it’s been an easy subject to analyze.”
Sweat, who appeared Saturday at Riverwind Casino in Norman, has been cultivating relationships with fans for years, since debuting solo with the monster hit “I Want Her,” ushering in the new jack swing style of the late 1980s. “Twisted” and “Nobody” came with the second wave in the mid 1990s, both Billboard hits which likely played at your junior high or wedding dance.
“It’s a norm when people have grown up with you,” said Sweat, now 50. “It’s normal for people to feel like they are a part of their childhood or part of their first love or when they first got married or whatever.”
With that rapport solidified, his current station has him touring; producing his most recent album, last year’s “Til the Morning”; and hosting “The Sweat Hotel,” a syndicated, call-in radio show where listeners bring confessions and stories to the man behind the mic.
Listen to “Nobody” again. Who wouldn’t want to hear his advice on relationships?
“A lot of times relationships break up because two people do not know how to communicate,” Sweat said. “They talk at each other, not to each other. That destroys many relationships. If I got a woman yelling at me, as opposed to saying, ‘Can I talk to you a minute? This is bothering me’ … you might say the same thing, but it’s the way you say it that makes me more receptive or not receptive.”
STILL IN THE GAME He’s listening to his listeners.
“They want to fix whatever’s broken. [Their relationship is] not what it used to be in the very beginning,” he said. “They’re trying out ways to fix what has been broken or what has been messed up, so they try and find ways to fix it.”
But can he fix them?
“Most definitely,” Sweat said. “It’s not even a problem.”
Just don’t call him a doctor in the field.
“No, I don’t feel like a love doctor,” he said. “I feel like Keith Sweat, who will let people call on me and ask for advice.”
Sweat, who grew up in Harlem listening to The O’Jay’s and The Isley Brothers on the radio, approaches his music the same cavalier manner: It’s just business-as-usual.
“Basically, I have a built in audience. I’m already established from back in the day. It’s not hard at all for me. It’s an audience that’s been very loyal to me,” he said. “I have a catalog that’s very wide and long. It’s been one of those things I’ve been able to sustain from back in the day until now.”