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.
John Fullbright’s one of Oklahoma’s finest songwriters and one of our most disciplined students of Woody Guthrie’s school of often-critical, politically and socially conscious lyrics. And he’s not half-bad at tickling the ivories, either.
Fullbright recently performed “Fat Man,” about a selfish prig who “plucks life like a rose,” at the annual Cherokee Creek Music Festival in Cherokee, Texas, where it was filmed by Americana enthusiasts Music Fog:
Neon Indian — “Hex Girlfriend”
Here’s the earlier-promised video of Neon Indian performing at the second night of The Flaming Lips’ New Year’s Eve Freakout, shot by Nathan Poppe and myself. Alan Palomo shows off some serious confidence with those dance moves:
Colin Stetson — “Those Who Didn’t Run” 2011 was Colin Stetson’s year, releasing a lauded album of dystopian saxophone innovations that landed just outside of OKSee’s Top 10. If you can watch the 10 surrealistic minutes of nature shots that comprise “Those Who Didn’t Run” without losing focus, then you are a champion:
POLIÇA — “Lay Your Cards Out” Once a folk singer up north, Channy Leaneagh (formerly Casselle) met up with Bon Iver collaborator Mike Noyce when she joined up with Wisconsin stoner soft-rockers Gayngs. The result is the avant, Auto-Tuned POLIÇA, and it kinda makes me wish she’d have stuck with more natural-sounding ways of making music. But, to each his own:
“Shut Up and Play the Hits”
If such a thing as a “perfect band” existed, or at least a band that acted exactly as it should, LCD Soundsystem was that band. Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace shot a film following front man James Murphy during his last couple days of LCD’s band-ship, which included a Last Show Ever for the record books. If the trailer’s any indicator, it looks fantastic: