The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
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.
Lounge music never dies. The bad haircuts and cheesy outfits may have,
but a new generation of performers in the metro still swing with a
thoughtfulness and individuality that made crooners the toast of the
town in the Rat Pack era.
Looking more like a folk troubadour, Dustin Prinz doesn’t fit the stereotype of a lounge performer. But his guitar skills, ability to adapt to the crowd, and litany of original ballads and unique covers — from INXS to Bon Iver — has charmed many a restaurant, bar and lounge owner. He has standing gigs at Bin 73, Rococo, Jazmo’z Bourbon St. Café and the Courtside Club after Thunder games.
These types of gigs differ greatly from concerts, and Prinz feels he’s all the better for it.
“[People] aren’t there to necessarily listen to a musician,” he said. “I’ve built up thicker skin because of it; I don’t expect to get praise after every song. My job is to add to the atmosphere and play good background music.”
right Chrome Pony
Steven Battles better fits the bill of a lounge singer, with his slicked-back hair accenting his suit and skinny black tie, but his foray into it is less conventional.
Performing as Chrome Pony for a few years now, he’s become a local favorite for upbeat, electro-pop shows. But pining for something a little simpler on his schedule, Battles hatched the idea to morph last fall, playing his first lounge set at Picasso’s on Paseo.
He’s since found a regular gig doing said lounge set every Thursday night at McNellie’s in Norman, with hopes to expand to Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
“I’ve always been in love with that old lounge singer idea,” Battles said. “I just had to find a way to do a show for three hours. That’s a long time to do anything, especially play straight.”
He brings a vastly different energy to his lounge shows, tuning out electronics and synthesizers for a pure voice- and-guitar setup.
“I try to make it relaxing and bring my own lighting to set the mood,” he said. “It’s washy and dreamy.” Still, it’s an odd dynamic.
“If it’s a rowdy crowd, I’ll speed it up. If they’re quieter and talking among themselves, I’ll turn it down to more of a chill zone,” Prinz said. “It’s not a showcase; I’m not there to show off.”
Said Battles, “The key word is ‘atmosphere.’ I’m not trying to put on a show for you, I’m just singing songs that you can get into or not.”