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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
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North Carolina songwriter David Wilcox sees revolution in honesty and adventure in troubled times


Chris Parker June 3rd, 2010

David Wilcox8 p.m. FridayUCO Jazz Lab100 E. Fifth, Edmondwww.ucojazzlab.com340-8552$45David Wilcox's oeuvre might be called coffeehouse music, not so much for the confessional folk connotations " alth...

Open_hand_publicity_MG_8573_7-06x10-58cm
David Wilcox
8 p.m. Friday
UCO Jazz Lab
100 E. Fifth, Edmond
www.ucojazzlab.com
340-8552
$45

David Wilcox's oeuvre might be called coffeehouse music, not so much for the confessional folk connotations " although that's there to some extent " but because it invites the impression of someone with whom you'd engage in a wide-ranging conversation over joe some sunny afternoon.

His 14 studio albums possess an earnest honesty that's not cloying, but unguarded and forthright, expressing a willingness to wade into big topics without the self-important puffery that suggests he has all the answers.

That attitude has found a home in the folk circuit, where audiences are willing to give as much attention to the words as the beat, although Wilcox quickly dismisses the idea that he writes for any particular set of people.

"I tend to think that this kind of communication transcends the way the industry used to sort us according to demographic," he said. "This kind of music because it is, in its essence, just harmonized honesty."

That's Wilcox's approach, whether he's conceiving the "Rusty Old American Dream" as an old, gas-guzzling, steel-frame automobile; imagining a fortune teller salving an artist's ego on "The Customer Is Always Right"; or conflating "Sex and Music," noting how "The abstraction of music's confusing, the directness of sex is more fun / And what you are going to get out of them both, is just what you put in."

His gentle baritone is warm-cotton-soft, sliding smoothly over low-key folk-pop, often with a vaguely jazzy air. The music's effortless, easygoing vibe greases the way for his thoughtful lyrics. Wilcox's understated style tends to circle back round after the lyrics have made their impact.
During his career, he's made it a point to change up the tunings he uses in an attempt keep the music as fresh and surprising as when he first started playing, nearly 25 years ago.

Last year, he released one of his finest albums to date, "Open Hand," which was bolstered by strong songs, from his sweet, haunting "Red Eye," about Photoshopping your expectations, to a striking portrait of an arrogant, self-styled superhero/curmudgeon, "Captain Wanker," and the dystopia of our "(What Happened to My) Modern World." The disc was recorded live to tape with a band in just a week, engendering a vibrant, crackling energy.

"If we're recording on analog, we don't have the option to fix it with the computer. There's no pitch correction, there's no splicing out little mistakes. It ups the honesty and intensifies the performance aspect," he said.

He changed things up again for his forthcoming album, featuring 16 songs he recorded live in front of studio audience. It's recorded digitally, allowing him to correct any mistakes, which allowed him to relax and really focus on bringing the songs across to the audience while also capturing the wide-open ambience of the room. It features a handful of tracks with a more satirical bent.

"The new songs that I'm writing trouble me because they are ironic "¦ something that I'm not acclimated to. It's hard for me to trust the listener," he said. "I hate to say it, but some of these songs are written in such a way that if people were to halfway listen, they could think I'm saying exactly the opposite of what I'm really saying. Like, there's a new song called 'They Call It Torture, We Call It Freedom.'" "Chris Parker
 
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