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 Flaming Lips’ longevity has allowed them to cover a lot of sonic terrain over the years. Yet they’ve arguably become more adventurous with age, jeopardizing a good portion of their fan base in favor of fascinatingly bleak experiments in sound, beginning with Embryonic in 2009 and, more recently, The Terror.
Lacking a Jeff Goldblum connection or thorough understanding of genetic engineering, the band still chose to host a special screening of the film at the legendary Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, during a recent two-night stand. Dig a little deeper, however, and you might find something there.
“It’s the perfect combination of story and spectacle. It’s got good content and it’s visually ambitious. I think that we can relate to that,” said Joshua Epstein, one half of the Detroit outfit. “We want people to have fun at our shows, and we want to do things that are exciting, but at the same time, we want to have good songs. That’s the point of it all: You’ve got to have substance to go along with the flash.”
The duo certainly showcased a good bit of both last year, balancing a penchant for neon patterns, bright bow ties, NASCAR suits and Popsicle-tossing with standout songwriting in its full-length debut, “It’s a Corporate World.” All of 2011 was better than the two could have expected upon forming in 2007.
“Both of us had been in a lot of bands before, so coming into this project, we kind of just wanted to cut loose,” Epstein said. “There were no expectations or intentions, other than to have fun and write some quality songs.”
Attracting attention through their moniker, they first got permission from NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt Jr., who now counts himself among the group’s growing number of fans.
Top-quality, radio-friendly pop anthems helped, too, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is earning the dividends now, putting a smile on many a listener’s face.
“You make it hoping that people will listen, but never really expect them to unless you are really arrogant,” Epstein said. “I’m surprised they have, and I hope it means something to everyone that listens, even if it just makes them happy for a split second.”
The duo hopes to release its sophomore album before year’s end, while making 2012 as good as 2011.
“Right now, it’s about not taking what we have for granted and working harder than ever,” Epstein said. “I’m just happy that Daniel [Zott] and I get along so well and make music so easily together. It’s really fun for me to go over to his house and play. Honestly, I think I’m happiest that I made a new friend out of this.”