Thursday 10 Jul

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

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

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.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"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.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

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.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0

Kyle Reid & the Low Swinging Chariots - “When I Was Young”

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.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · The Octopus Project grabs Norman...

The Octopus Project grabs Norman in its tentacles for a show

Danny Marroquin July 31st, 2008

At one point during Josh Lambert's studies at The University of Texas, he tested boundaries in a few music theory classes, but left them for the wide open spaces rock 'n' roll allows. "I got burnt ou...

At one point during Josh Lambert's studies at The University of Texas, he tested boundaries in a few music theory classes, but left them for the wide open spaces rock 'n' roll allows.

"I got burnt out on that quickly," Lambert said. "I felt like everyone in there was not really interested in music. They were interested in impressing people or whatever. We never talked about how music made you feel or why something was awesome. Just why this chord is augmented. It just didn't jibe with me at the moment."

Weaving fluid sonic landscapes, The Octopus Project's latest album, "Hello, Avalanche," contains elements of the formal in pretty piano lines and elements of the alien with a sci-fi theremin. The Austin, Texas-based band's mostly instrumental songs owe part of their pivoting energies to the minds that voraciously accumulate music.

Lambert listens to everything. In a five-minute span, he'll rotate German electro pioneers Kraftwerk and Texas heavy metal act The Sword. Considering he first heard The Velvet Underground and Nico's "All Tomorrow's Parties" when he was 14 years old while on a trip with his parents, one could expect his future band to search outside the verse/chorus/verse paradigm. But for Lambert " the Project's guitar player and keyboardist " even the house and van are potential instruments.

"We'll record anything around the house with a cool noise," he said. "That's kind of what we are about: figuring out new sounds from anywhere. We don't really have any boundaries or anything."

The theremin " a type of early synthesizer responsible for the warbling alien effect in many Fifties B movies " provides the closest thing to a signature element in "Hello, Avalanche." At the Norman Music Festival earlier this year, the doll-dressed and ultra-focused Yvonne Lambert compelled audiences as she waved an outstretched hand over the instrument's antenna like she was wielding a wand.

The Octopus Project's music projects a digital wash that differs from club electronica, thanks largely to scattershot guitar tones and oscillating drum tempos. Josh Lambert said the band works closely together when recording, pushing away any snippets the members don't all agree on.

"We tend to just start writing with kind of just exploring in mind," he said. "More like a sculpture or something, when you have a hunk of something and you are trying to figure out what it is. You are trying to whittle things down. The end result becomes something, but we never start off with that in mind." 

The result is an atmosphere that's ethereal by virtue of the instruments, but active and human by practice. The latest release gives the impression that Lambert hears music in his dreams " and he does.

"Ninety-nine percent of the time, it turns out to be the stupidest thing I've ever made up," he said. "I have dreams all the time where I'm like, 'Oh, my God, this is the most amazing song I've ever heard.' I'll wake up and grab a keyboard and it'll be so ridiculously stupid. It never works out." "Danny Marroquin

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