Saturday 19 Apr
 
 
CD reviews

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
 

SXSW: Oh Look Out / Whiskey Shivers


Geek-inspired power pop and magnificent bluegrass

By Stephen Carradini March 19th, 2012

Oh Look Out
Credits: Stephen Carradini

On Oh Look Out's debut album Alright Alright Alright Alright Alright, the band's geek-inspired power-pop is a blast of alternately sincere and tongue-in-cheek fun. Their live performance of the material from the album is perhaps even more entertaining. The band, which sported four different keyboards in addition to their guitar/bass/drums standards, created a cheery, upbeat environment with their performance and stage banter.

The audience in the tiny bar responded with glee; a woman "in her 60s" danced jubilantly, while other younger audience members gobbled up the free CDs that the band offered from the stage. With clear vocals, interesting melodies, solid songwriting and palpable enthusiasm, there wasn't much to dislike. Closer "Bass, Not an Eight-Track" is a perfect nostalgia anthem; it's got pounding choruses, yell-along verses, and that x factor that makes a song a hit. If you're a fan of Weezer, Dr. Pants, Anamanaguchi or video games, you'll be really into Oh Look Out. I look forward to hearing more from them and seeing their audience grow (as it should and will). 

I rushed across downtown to check out Holy Fiction's set, and was treated to about half of Whiskey Shivers' set. The audience at the bluegrass five-piece's set was even more enthusiastic than at Oh Look Out, as multiple couples were two-stepping, swing-dancing and slow-dancing to the band's vibrant sound. I'm a big fan of bluegrass that draws cues from modern melodies, and Whiskey Shivers delivered a home run on that template.

Whiskey Shivers\' barefoot bluegrass ruled.
Credits: Steph
In addition to being incredible instrumentalists and vocalists, the band had a remarkable sense of humor. One of the band's tunes was diverted in the bridge into a three-way conversation that functioned as a small, hilarious play with everyone talking over everyone else. It felt impromptu and lively, even if it wasn't; the band was clearly having a blast. Their cover of Tom Waits "Long Way Home"  sounded magnificent, as well; It was an incredibly apt and well-performed choice. Even though I only caught half their set and hadn't heard of them before, Whiskey Shivers delivered one of my favorite sets of SXSW; it's hard not to love a band that has earned the adoration of everyone else in the room, especially while witnessing what made them adore. And they were all barefoot. What's not to love?

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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