Thursday 17 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 · Queen of Monroe ditches old...

Queen of Monroe ditches old moniker and set list of covers to focus on new material

Charles Martin January 14th, 2010

Queen of MonroeCD Release of "Blood, Batteries, and Turntables"Saturday, January 16Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman$5 or Free Entry with $10 CD purchaseStowing a lengthy set list of covers is an unnerv...

Queen of Monroe
CD Release of "Blood, Batteries, and Turntables"
Saturday, January 16
Opolis, 113 N. Crawford, Norman
$5 or Free Entry with $10 CD purchase

Stowing a lengthy set list of covers is an unnerving move for a band wanting to transition its fan base to all-original shows. But the members behind Queen of Monroe decided that with the release of their second album, "Blood, Batteries, and Turntables," it was time to win followers solely on the strength of their own songs.

"We've been busting our asses for the last two years writing new songs and putting everything we had into them," said guitarist Scott Sunderman. "We built a decent fan base playing half covers and half originals, but we are working toward being artists, and that is really the concept of the new album: being an artist collectively."

The group's keyboardist and creative leader, Ricardo Sasaki, made a name with the Bolivian rock band Octavia, but has become a behind-the-scenes staple of the metro music circuit with a hand in shows from the Zoo Amphitheatre to the Norman Music Festival. Queen recorded the new album at Sasaki's studio, Ares, which shares a wall with the Opolis in Norman.

Unlike the previous "Circles," Sasaki said his fellow musicians were more comfortable making this album more of a collaboration, rather than just handing him the reins.

"The first album was more polished, and when we recorded it, we'd only been together for six months," he said. "There wasn't that chemistry from having played together, but with this album, you can tell the chemistry came together."

The act previously had gone by the name Citizen 5, which had been a reference to the members' multicultural backgrounds, but Sunderman said recent stylistic changes were enough to merit a new moniker.

"Plus, there are now only four of us, and Citizen 5 didn't really work anymore," he said.
The original bassist, Jason Long, left to take a job in Texas, according to the group's MySpace page.

There are audible differences between "Circles" and "Turntables." The new sound retains the production sheen and pop-rock tendencies, but with noticeable progressions in quirkier tracks such as "I'm a Pinwheel and I'm Spinning" and "Doll Pet."

Queen of Monroe debuts the disc with a Saturday show at the Opolis.

"Having our own studio meant we weren't restricted by time. We gave ourselves nine months to record it," Sasaki said. "Now we are working on improving the live show so we can improve people, but play a little less often. There are fewer places that allow you to (play) just original stuff, but it's what every member of the band wants to do."

Sunderman admitted that although their tenure as a cover band is over, he knows that the time spent rehashing rock standards in metro bars was a major contributor in forging their chemistry.
"Plus," he said, "playing those covers paid for the new album."
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