Friday 11 Jul
 
 
CD reviews

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
 

They ‘Probably Get That a Lot’


They Might Be Giants invaded Cain’s last night; setlist and photos ensue.

By Matt Carney February 2nd, 2012

A high school teacher of mine first played They Might Be Giants for me in class, and while I can’t recall which song he picked, I do remember purchasing “A User’s Guide to They Might Be Giants” sometime soon after that. While I didn’t quickly fall in love, I returned to that compilation album in college, mostly because I was fond of John Linnell’s sweet and endearing, if bizarre songwriting.

As such, the band’s punchy rock sound was initially pretty overwhelming for me, since I so often listened to its songs for the humor in the lyrics. It was sort of like catching a left hook with my face, unexpectedly.

Last night, Linnell and John Flansburgh — aided by drummer Marty Beller, bassist Danny Weinkauf and guitarist Dan Miller — gave Cain’s Ballroom a show it’s never seen before and will never see again, replete with plenty of their signature deadpan comedy, crowd-goofing, a Black Sabbath-soundtracked puppet show and, of course, a slew of its very best songs that touched on practically every era of TMBG’s 30-year career.

“Istanbul” got a gnarly, Flanbsburgh-led (very much the showman of the band) guitar solo early on that reminded people, “Oh, yeah, they rock.” I wouldn’t have imagined that ballroom full of nerds jumping up and down so hard that I couldn’t take a steady photograph, but it most definitely happened.

“Birdhouse in Your Soul” was aged and bloated compared to its tight, poppy original arrangement, but I suppose that’s what happens to songs when you play them day in and day out for 20 years. “Marty Beller Mask” was one of the songs off the band’s rarities disc “Album Raises New and Troubling Questions,” and while I would’ve loved to hear its excellent performance of Chumbawamba’s “Tubthumping,” “Marty Beller” is arguably much funnier.

Opener Jonathan Coulton deserves a gold medal in the art of deadpan. The guy’s songs are all informed by boring corporate culture, and he manages to imbue them with a goofy, lovable quality that’s purely endearing. He was the perfect opener.

I would like to see TMBG again, if only to hear “The Statue Got Me High,” which was sadly missing from last night’s festivities. Let’s just hope the group makes the trip all the way to Oklahoma City on its next go-round.

Setlist:
• “Can’t Keep Johnny Down”
• “Celebration”
• “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”
• “The Mesopotamians”
• unknown song
• “Clap Your Hands”
• “Ana Ng”
• “People vs. Apes”
• “Birdhouse in Your Soul”
• conga line
• “Withered Hope”
• “Old Pine Box”
• “Marty Beller Mask”
• unknown song
• “We Live in a Dump”
• puppet show
• “Cloisonné”
• “Alphabet of Nations”
• “Fingertips”
• “Cowtown”
• “Particle Man”
• “When Will You Die”
• encore break
• “How Can I Sing Like a Girl?”
• “Doctor Worm”
• encore break
• “The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)”
• “Dead”
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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