It’s easy to see why many secular types consider Christian music a joke. Badly produced, pre-programmed Casio backbeats and plastic saxophones providing the soundtrack to a holier-than-thou message inspires snickers and winces from even those least jaded. OKC’s Soul Williams aims to and succeeds in knocking some sense into that rightfully stereotyped scene.
Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmasyet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
It has been a relatively rocky road for Weatherford alt-country outfit Green Corn Revival, which has seen its share of highs (acting as backing band for rockabilly icon Wanda Jackson) and lows before an (amicable) split in the road led half of the original lineup to forming Honeylark.
Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.
The Oklahoma City metro has a thriving garage rock scene. With seasoned acts like Broncho and Copperheads carrying the modern-day torch, the way has been paved for a flock of gritty, young, guitar-centric acts. But nascent Norman trio Poolboy has a knack for riotous hooks that few of its contemporaries can boast.
Bumping around at Norman Music Festival 4, Tulsa rock photographer Jeremy Charles told me not to miss indie-rock dudes And There Stand Empires. In all the buzz and hubbub of about 8 million bands all playing in three days, I completely blanked, which I now regret, having viewed the video below.
The band releases its self-titled album Dec. 16, and you can bet that I’ll be looking for somewhere to purchase it when I return home to Tulsa for Christmas. The video includes snippets of songs and plenty of footage of the band hashing them out in-studio. Jarod Evans and Chad Copelin of Blackwatch Studios both appear to have produced it, but the thing to watch for here is just how many notes (guitar, xylophone, piano) they can squeeze into a single section of music.