Friday 25 Jul

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

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

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.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Energetic songwriter finds a fan...

Energetic songwriter finds a fan in local rock veteran

Danny Marroquin July 24th, 2008

Two singers set apart by a generation have been united by the city that launched their careers.


Chainsaw Kittens' Tyson Meade and Philip Rice of The Neighborhood are both original singers with an ear for melody and the voices capable of carrying it above layers of messy guitars. Both will play solo sets at the Opolis on Saturday, delivering a union of old and new Norman rock.

Tyson Meade and Philip Rice will play at 9 p.m. Saturday at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford St. in Norman. Tickets are $8 advance, $10 door. Call 447-3417.

Meade, lead singer of Defenestration in the Eighties and the Kittens in the Nineties, has written songs that thrashed alongside The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer and Everclear when wry, adventurous rock 'n' roll was on the radio and everywhere else. He has become a kind of music shaman heralded among Normanites.


His former Kitten bandmate Trent Bell runs the Bell Labs recording studio in Norman and lends his production ear and knobs to a slew of national and local bands, including The Flaming Lips, Starlight Mints and, more recently, Rice's The Neighborhood. 

Bell passed a copy of The Neighborhood's debut, "Our Voices Choked with Fireworks," to Meade after the singer returned from his new life teaching English to Chinese students in Shanghai.

Meade said he immediately became a fan.

"Some records I hear and I think, 'Oh, this is a cool band. They'll be really cool later,' because the songs sometimes are not completely there," Meade said. "But The Neighborhood record had sort of an immediate sound. But it also had, I hate saying maturity, but maturity that a lot of bands just lack."

When Meade talks to Rice, he's in good spirits and very curious about the younger singer's next steps.


Meade is hopeful that the large attendance at the recent Norman Music Festival, which featured sets from The Neighborhood and a reunited Chainsaw Kittens, is a sign of a regeneration of an art-friendly town.

The Neighborhood was also tapped to open for the Kittens at a secret, invite-only pre-festival show at The Conservatory, and when Rice's band took the stage for a festival set the next day, Meade was watching.

"There are certain places that the Kittens would play that I would never ask my relatives to come to," he said. "We played this festival, so this huge group of family was there. And, you know, selfishly, I got to see The Neighborhood play twice."

Meade's sincere, sometimes uplifting, heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics are delivered with his dexterous voice, alternating between Little Richard falsettos and Ian Curtis lows " a large reason the Kittens' catalogue sound fresh even today. Rice's voice travels nearly as intensely. Both singers said the solo acoustic form to be heard Saturday will showcase their songs as they were originally written.

"There's no immediate structure, and the only person I have to follow is myself," Rice said. "It allows for the ability to just organically tell a story, instead of being a hyped-up rock show."

"Which is cool in its own way," Meade said, "and that's what took me many years to realize: that a song, or the way it starts, can be just as cool to people listening."  

Meade closed the conversation with advice " a variation on the art-for-art's-sake argument which has served him well over the years, and will be a balm to young, striving singers like Rice well into the future.

"Always just completely believe in what you are doing," he told Rice. "Just really keep that positive energy and just enjoy it. You may become super-popular or you may leave a legacy of sorts and not be a super-popular band. But whatever happens, I think that the ride — for me, anyway — was definitely worth it." —Danny Marroquin

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