Thursday 31 Jul

Power Pyramid - The God Drums

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

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.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

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.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

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.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · The gap

The gap

The bluegrass of Black Canyon bears roots darker than the rest. Proof is in the Oklahoma City act’s newest material.

Joshua Boydston June 27th, 2012

Black Canyon with Beau Jennings & The Tigers and Defining Times
9 p.m. Friday
Blue Note Lounge
2408 N. Robinson

Credit: Nathan Poppe

Although less than two years old, the Oklahoma City Southern folk act Black Canyon already is a whole new beast.

“Black Canyon has changed a lot over the past six months,” front man and founding member Jake Morisse said. “Things are getting a lot louder.”

There’s a fairly simple explanation:

Founding member Jordan Herrera departed last year, leaving Morisse to find new players, which he has in Riley Jantzen (ex-Mayola), Tyler Hopkins (The Nghiems) and Kurt Freudenberger (The Pretty Black Chains). As Morisse tells it, loud and vicious is what these guys wanted the group’s core to be.

“I’m a punk-rock kid,” he said.

“That’s what we all are.”

It’s never more apparent than a Black Canyon live show — a communal experience that demands the crowd participation of a Southern revival. The quartet considers you a fifth member, there to stomp, clap and holler.

“I can’t fucking stand just standing around and being too cool for everyone else. How long can you stand with your arms straight down at your side?” Morisse said. “That’s not Oklahoma. We’re a passionate state, obviously.”

Passion carried through to the band’s new record, born out of a trying period for Morisse.

“With this one, I came to a point where I was dealing with a lot of stuff,” he said. “I was figuring out a job, trying to sort out my life. Drinking had gotten heavier than it normally had been, and that scared me. So I started writing songs.”

Black Canyon’s debut, last summer’s Battlefield Darlings, was a concept album, creating a narrative of lovers torn apart by the Civil War. The new one is almost purely biographical. It sacrifices fiction for no-holds-barred, unadulterated, sometimes-brutally honest truth, and there’s nothing more punk rock than that.

“I didn’t want any bullshit. I wanted this to be as honest as possible. It’s about me being drunk a lot, having trouble with women and being depressed by the thought my mother might like my brother better because he’s religious and I’m not,” Morisse said. “It’s stuff I don’t want to talk about at the end of the day with people. It’s not good bar conversation.”

Hey! Read This:
Black Canyon SXSW live review  
Jake Morisse interview 
The Nghiems interview   
The Pretty Black Chains' Awakening CD review  
The Pretty Black Chains interview   
Riley Jantzen and the Spirits' Feathers CD review     

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