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.
Vacationer with Tennis and Eureeka! 9 p.m. Thursday Opolis 113 N. Crawford, Norman opolis.org 820-0951 $10-$12
Vacationer’s work isn’t so much songs as aural postcards from Mumbai or St. Croix. The relaxing electro is certainly a far cry from the frenetic pop-punk that made mastermind Kenny Vasoli famous with The Starting Line.
“I always just want to make the music that makes me excited,” he said. “I’d been getting deeper and deeper into electronic music since about 2005. I was itching to see what would happen between myself and a collaboration with electronic producers.”
TSL bandmate Matt Watts suggested Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler from New York City dance outfit Body Language, which programmed a good chunk of Passion Pit’s breakout album, Manners. The three made a fast connection, bonded by similar sensibilities.
“That whole chillwave movement thrilled me … that idea that electronic music could be gazey and relaxing,” Vasoli said. “I wanted to have a pure hybrid of live band music and electronic music.”
While the name Vacationer suited the music to a T, it came only after writing a good deal of what would become the debut disc, Gone.
“The urge for travel and to
use this as a vessel to take us to exotic places kind of came later in
the story, once the vision got realized,” Vasoli said. “We were
listening to old Polynesian records and a hell of a lot of Harry
He’s quite proud of the album, released in March.
the most focused record I’ve been able to put out yet, and the easiest
listen out of all them. It’s got a strong, rolling vibe,” Vasoli said.
“I unashamedly listen to this record a lot, and I’m glad that these
songs have gotten old and still stayed interesting to me.”
weeks since South by Southwest have been a whir, with Vacationer living
up to the amount of travel its moniker suggests. Things are going
swimmingly, and The Starting Line waits on the back burner.
focus is admittedly on this at the moment, but my focus is changing
from year to year. If we get a good offer to do something, I have no
reason to say ‘no,’” he said. “But it’s nice to see this pick up steam.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice, so I’ve kind of got to let this go while