Saturday 19 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 · Blitzen Trapper wears a deceptive...

Blitzen Trapper wears a deceptive 'Furr'

Becky Carman March 5th, 2009

Cool things about Portland: There's no sales tax; it's the hometown of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening; the Willamette Valley was the destination of travelers on the Oregon Trail; and there's l...


Cool things about Portland: There's no sales tax; it's the hometown of "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening; the Willamette Valley was the destination of travelers on the Oregon Trail; and there's lots of locally brewed beer.

Hailing from a city like that, it's no wonder that Blitzen Trapper " Eric Earley, Brian Adrian Koch, Drew Laughery, Marty Marquis, Erik Menteer and Michael VanPelt " is doing pretty well for itself.

The native Stumptowners' fourth record, "Furr," was released last September to much critical acclaim and garnered several "best of" mentions, including a couple from Rolling Stone. Despite the cyberspace response from the new album, frontman Earley said the experimental act's last disc, 2007's "Wild Mountain Nation," likely earned more support from the Web.

"'Furr' hasn't been an Internet hit," he said. "It's been a hit with people that like music and come to shows."

Earley said that, to him, such Web accolades "don't hold much stock, but it's flattering. We sell more records, and we're playing to more people."

While that may be true, the number of listeners who can accurately describe what they're hearing is up for debate. While fan reviews frequently name-drop the likes of The Kinks and the Grateful Dead, the folk overtones of the recent LP's title track " and the group's tendency to discuss wildlife " seem to have misled many critics into thinking Blitzen Trapper is a bunch of hippies.

"Strangely, 'Furr' has three folk songs on it," Earley said. "The rest are everything from hard rock to country, which shows the pathetic inconsistency of either our music or music writers. Probably both."

Ironically, "Wild Mountain Nation" was often derided for its utter lack of stability. Where that album was all over the board, the "hard rock" and "country" tracks on "Furr" at least have the decency to sound like they belong on the same album.

"I write and record songs simultaneously, generally the same day," Earley said. "I wrote and recorded about 40 songs last year; 13 ended up on the album. I had other folks choose and sequence the thing. Most people find the record more cohesive because it sounds more hi-fi, (and) get fooled into thinking we're more consistent than we actually are."

Earley was working on the record prior to joining the band for its current two-month tour, but he said he doesn't write on the road. And although the act's MySpace page predictably lists Pavement and Neil Young, Earley said his current influences vary from the expected ("trout fishing in the mountains, riding motorcycles in the desert and riding horses near the Columbia") to the completely left-field ("Dr. Dre and Black Sabbath").

It's a safe bet that the next record will sound as far away from "Furr" as that album did from its predecessor. But one thing will remain consistent: It'll be produced in Blitzen Trapper's own fertile back yard. "Becky Carman

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