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.
Every artist should be the star of their own creative life, which makes Kyle Reid’s steps out of the shadows of the many ensembles and supporting roles he has played in Oklahoma bands over the years to front and center on stage feel like a just journey.
Mastodon with Opeth and Ghost 6:30 p.m. Wednesday Diamond Ballroom 8001 S. Eastern diamondballroom.net 677-9169 $27-$31
Mastodon is great at naming things.
Now touring behind its fifth album, The Hunter, Atlanta’s reigning prog-metal act stomped its way to critical-darling status by virtue of more than just formidable song sorcery. One can feel writers’ glee by reading reviews of the band’s sludgy, heady, unrelenting approach to rock that manifests in album titles like Leviathan and Blood Mountain.
“The four of us have this really bizarre chemistry where the riffs and the thoughts and the ideas, the lyrical process, it’s out there,” said Troy Sanders, bassist and most guttural howler. “It’s bizarre.”
Each new Mastodon disc warrants extensive explanation to the press of its involved themes and twist-filled plots, which Sanders said can be tiresome.
“We get our ideas lined up for the right answers in advance, because we know we’re going to get asked,” he said. “Thankfully, this album is more of [where] each song has its own story.”
Unlike its thematically rigorous predecessors, The Hunter pinballs across a morbid gamut of topics, including backwoods meth heads, bumping uglies in zero gravity and the death of Mastodon’s accountant’s wife. This marks a major departure from its last album, Crack the Skye, which detailed the journey of a paraplegic who astral-traveled his way into the body of Rasputin before running into the devil somewhere in the ether.
The diversity of material can make a crowd tricky to please, but Sanders said Mastodon will do its best to cover its bases when it plays Diamond Ballroom tonight.
“We’re most excited about our most recent material,” he said, “but we also realize that we’ve built up loyal fans over the last 12 years and five albums’ worth of material.”
On Saturday, fans can check out the group’s contribution to Record Store Day: a cover of The Flaming Lips’ “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton,” which occupies the B-side of the Lips’ 7-inch re-release of that Soft Bulletin song.
“It’s dreamy, it’s got the heaviness to it — it just had the characteristics of a song that we felt Mastodon could do a decent job covering,” Sanders said. “We hoped to do a classy and respectful job.”
10 Awesomely Named Mastodon Songs
1. “Aqua Dementia” 2. “Blasteroid” 3. “Curl of the Burl” 4. “The Wolf Is Loose” 5. “Stargasm” 6. “The Octopus Has No Friends” 7. “Bedazzled Fingernails” 8. “I Am Ahab” 9. “Blood and Thunder” 10. “Mother Puncher”