Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmasyet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
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.
ACM@UCO Rocks Bricktown with The English Beat, Colour Revolt, Horse Thief and more 5 p.m. Thursday-2 a.m. Friday across Bricktown acm-uco.com 974-4700 free
The English Beat
UPDATE:The English Beat will play ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan, at 9:30 p.m. tonight, Friday, April 20, since last night's show was canceled due to rain.
British ska legends The English Beat are as much a part of cinematic history as they are musical, what with being responsible for the bubbly music that scores Matthew Broderick’s rush home near the end of the ’80s comedy classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Broderick gave front man Dave Wakeling a memento from the set: the baseball tossed into the stands during the Cubs game.
“Unfortunately, I let the dogs and kids play with it,” Wakeling said. “There’s no other use for a baseball in England.”
The Beat’s legacy goes far deeper than soundtracks. As forefathers of ska, they forged a genre known as 2 Tone — an amalgamation of ska, punk, New Wave and reggae — marked by a socially conscious message that holds true today.
“A lot of the original lyrics were written in the ’70s and early ’80s in the midst of a recession and class warfare,” Wakeling said. “They seem to be resonating quite ominously now.”
Juxtaposed against that message is the dynamic that led to the group’s destruction in 1983, dissolving into such notable acts as Fine Young Cannibals and General Public before Wakeling reformed The English Beat with an entirely new lineup, mostly on accident.
The band is enjoying a sustained revival of ska music, playing for fans new and old despite not having releasing new material in quite some time. “We have couples bringing their grown children,” Wakeling said. “They know all the words because they were strapped in the back seat and forced to listen over and over.”
After headlining Thursday’s ACM@UCO Rocks Bricktown event, the near future will find Wakeling re-releasing more English Beat and General Public tunes, and hopefully touring with both groups, ideally alongside fellow Brit rockers Big Audio Dynamite — as long as the end of the world doesn’t arrive first.
“I’m getting scared,” Wakeling said.
“Everything feels so well-planned that it probably is the apocalypse.”
7 Favorite Band Names from the ACM@UCO Rocks Bricktown Lineup
An Airbag Saved My Life 2. Cryptic Incarnation 3. The Sucker Punks 4.
Funk Bandit 5. Giraffe Massacre 6. Leo Goes Grr 7. Psychic Milk