Sunday 20 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Tulsa rockers mint...

Tulsa rockers mint straightforward, high-volume rock currency set for OKC circulation

Becky Carman January 22nd, 2009

Ask any veteran of Oklahoma's punk or hardcore scene about his influences, and you'd likely be able to predict an answer or two ... unless that particular veteran is John Moreland.

Moreland, Wayne Wedge, Nick Flores and Clay Flores — collectively Tulsa's The Black Gold Band — are breathing a little fresh, Midwestern, rock 'n' roll air into some of the danker establishments around the state.

"When I was little, my dad listened to John Mellencamp, Tom Petty, Neil Young and Waylon Jennings," Moreland said. "When I was 5 years old, I loved that stuff. Even when I was in really heavy bands, I was into Bruce Springsteen. I've always listened to stuff like this."

While it's unlikely The Boss would have frequented The Conservatory in his formative years, Moreland said The Black Gold Band is starting to enjoy its time in uncharted territory, although it hasn't always been so sweet. He admitted finding difficulties booking performances in venues more receptive to the band's predicted audience. The silver lining, then, is its diverse fan base — people whose exposure to the music has been a fluke.

"It was kind of hard. We just didn't know what we were supposed to do at first," Moreland said. "We didn't know if we should try to get shows with hardcore bands and play where we were comfortable. We tried to get shows at bars and stuff, like where bands like us would normally play, but we had a really hard time doing that. It's not like punk rock. You can't just go to a bar and say, 'Hey, give us a show.' It took us a while, but now we have a good medium between the two. A lot of people have liked us that really surprise me, that I thought were going to hate us."

That rings especially true in the last year, as the title track from "Endless Oklahoma Sky" — the act's debut record — was a top-10 finalist in the Oklahoma Historical Society's official state rock song competition. No paltry feat, as Moreland's song was pitted against the likes of Leon Russell, Elvis Presley and Three Dog Night, in addition to more contemporary, major-label acts.

"It's really weird, and it's really cool, but at the same time, we're not putting too much stock in it," Moreland said, laughing, "because we're not going to win."

That sort of frankness lends itself to the band's songs. Moreland said he sees the correlation between the Americana rock of his childhood and the punk rock of his adolescence.

"I got into punk rock because it's the same kind of quality in the songwriting," he said. "It's just straight-ahead, good songs with no gimmicks, where the words actually mean something."

He and the band are currently working on the follow-up to "Endless Oklahoma Sky" with Stephen Egerton (of influential punk bands ALL and The Descendents) at Tulsa's Armstrong Recording. Moreland said the recording is going well, although the group has no cemented release date as of yet.

"It depends on when it gets finished," Moreland said, "and it's up to how much money we have, I guess." —Becky Carman

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