Friday 18 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 · Four experienced musicians seize...

Four experienced musicians seize the day in indie pop band Feel Spectres

Chris Parker December 24th, 2009

Holiday Toy Drive with Feel Spectres and Starlight Mints9 p.m. tonightOpolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman447-3417$12 advance, $15 door, 21 and over$14 advance, $17 door, under 21There's a sense that as yo...

Holiday Toy Drive with Feel Spectres and Starlight Mints
9 p.m. tonight
Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman
$12 advance, $15 door, 21 and over
$14 advance, $17 door, under 21

There's a sense that as you get older, you must give up your youthful idealism and childhood fancies. While there may be a certain truth to that, there's certainly no reason you have to go gently into that good night. This is the discovery of Oklahoma City quartet Feel Spectres.
The members leveraged chops culled from playing in various local acts in the 1990s, and channeled their remaining innocent verve into a quirky, smart, indie-pop combo.

The genesis of Feel Spectres goes back to sometime last year when scene vets Mike and April Mays, Allen Cory and Matt Goad started meeting to indulge in a mutual love for making music, but the sessions grew into something more. A decade earlier, Cory and both Mays had begun another band for fun, named Loretta. In fact, Cory introduced Mike and April to each other. But as marriage, school and professional lives intervened, the outfit dissipated without ever really taking the public stage.

"You sit around and all of sudden, you think, 'I'm more than my 9-to-5,'" said Cory, who also drummed for the Reverb Brothers in the '90s. "I said, 'Why don't we get together and we'll do something?'"

Getting Serious

The Spectres started in earnest after one-time American Boyfriends and Starlight Mints member Goad joined the original trio on guitar/vocals. After a half-dozen practices spent "hammering songs into place," Cory said the four had a practice where everything gelled, and they all sensed it.

As the band became more serious, practices became more regular, and the quartet decided to document its progress with recordings before ever even booking a show. That was 10 months ago, and the Feel Spectres have progressed considerably since. In late August, the group played its first show, and the momentum has been steadily building.

Feel Spectres move with slick, sinuous swerve, from the dreamy, The Church-like psych-pop of "Secret Man," with its resplendent backing vocals, to the psychobilly rave-up "Vampire Bop," and the spunky, spiky, post-punk groove of "13 Dead Cats."

However, nothing captures the act's cockeyed sense of humor and hook-lined temperament better than the satirical "Blow Up the Moon," which takes nuclear proliferation to its natural end. After all, who needs waves when you live in Oklahoma? Of course, it's all in good fun.
"Don't get me wrong," Cory said. "I know that all life on earth is dependent on the moon. I watch the Science Channel."

The Feel Spectres' tracks were produced by Chris Harris, who released the songs on his new label, Nice People Records. The forthcoming full-length disc has entered its final stages.
"Early next year, we'll be having our CD release," said guitarist Mike Mays, an architect at Elliott + Associates. "We already have the majority of the songs complete. We're just doing some fine-tuning and a little bit of vocal work."

Older, Wiser

The whole "older, wiser" aspect has enhanced the endeavor and, in many ways, made it possible, according to bassist April Mays, who toured nation-wide in the '90s with local major-label act Radial Spangle, before mothballing the rock 'n' roll lifestyle for a while.
"Now, we actually have the flexibility and freedom to go record and play when we want to. When you're younger, you don't have that freedom," she said. "With the experience we have, it's a lot easier to record. Because we have a lot more experience, we can just go in and lay it down. We already know what to expect, we're ready for it, and it's much more relaxing and fun because that's what we're doing it for."

Her husband concurs.

"When I was younger, less established and didn't have a day job and a career for that matter, I think I would tend to put too much emphasis on some visions of grandeur that this was going to be something other than what it is," he said, "which is just four people getting together and loving what they're doing at the moment."

But the Feel Spectres aren't likely to be a fly-by-night enterprise. With age, its members have gleaned an appreciation for the value of perseverance and dedication. The Mays currently are building an extension on their house for a practice space/recording studio " an opportunity these hometown lifers credit to where they grew up.

"It's very economical," Mike Mays said. "We couldn't afford to do that a big city like New York, and it's that kind of freedom to do what you want on your terms that living in Oklahoma allows." "Chris Parker

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