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.
Remnants of The Flaming Lips’ epic, two-part New Year’s Eve Freakout #5 continue their fallout across the Internet with a pair of Delo Creative videos that I proudly helped to shoot.
First up is a trippy new track called “Is David Bowie Dying?” It featured special guest Alan Palomo, whom you may know as Neon Indian. I spoke with Palomo after his second-night opening set before the Lips went on, and the guy was one of the most endearing, friendly musicians I’ve ever encountered. Watch him and Steven Drozd get into a fight to see whose instrument can make more video game bleep-bloops:
And second is The Lips’ Nels Cline-assisted cover of The Beatles’ blues-addicted guitar standard “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” They played it both nights, each with the jam stretched for more than 15 hypnotic minutes. I seriously thought my arms were going to give out from holding my camera up for that long. My personal challenge to you: Watch this thing all the way through. If not, then here are a couple of highlights:
• Alan Palomo’s nerdily enthusiastic fist-pump. • A signature Nels Cline-contorting-his-body-so-frenetically-that-you-think-his-neck’s-gonna-snap-right-off-his-shoulders-’cause-he’s-kinda-old crazy extended guitar solo. • Fans looking pissed because of all the instrumental wanking going on.