Wednesday 16 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: Karkwa/Geographer/Abigail Washburn

French language, swooning and pseudo-banjo

By Stephen Carradini March 18th, 2011

Next door to The Buffalo Lounge was the M for/pour Montreal party, where Polaris Prize winner Karkwa (pictured) was playing. I stepped in and caught most of their set, which sounded like a French-speaking version of Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" if that album wasn't so sad. The stately and important feel was there, as well as the vital energy missing from the previously mentioned album. Karkwa's whirling, complex soundscapes were anchored by guitar and pounding piano and augmented by two drummers, making for a very full, enveloping sound.

After grabbing some dinner and doing a quick interview, I hustled over to Geographer's set. They only played for twenty minutes and flipped the breaker three times with their songs, but it was incredible anyway. The lead singer's lithe, gorgeous voice propelled the tunes and set the audience to swooning. He played guitar and keyboards, while the other two guys held down cello/electronics and drum duties. Their swirling, easy set rode the line between dreamy and direct, finding an easy-going space in the middle. It's a sound that washes over you, and it was well-done. I just wish the venue had better electrical work, so we wouldn't have missed any seconds of their set due to power loss.

Leaving Sixth Street for the first time for the entire festival, I kicked it on out to Antone's to watch banjoist Abigail Washburn at my girlfriend's recommendation. Although she didn't play her banjo much (what's the use of being a celebrated banjoist if you don't play the thing?), she sang well and was incredibly enthusiastic about her band, her songs, her instruments and her new album. She excitedly explained that "City of Refuge" was "less folky" than material she formerly recorded, as she co-wrote it with more indie-minded musicians. (Drat.) Nevertheless, the set was enjoyable, if not what I expected.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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