Pop Stephen Carradini
Luke Rathborne’s next five days look like this: opening for tastemakers
Noah and the Whale in West Hollywood, playing the Paste SXSW showcase
and opening for The Strokes in Austin on the same day,
playing the Filter Showcase at SXSW, then hopping on up to his stomping
grounds of NYC to play Bowery Ballroom with Noah again.
Heading back to Sixth street, I grabbed a Philly cheese steak (my second of the fest from the same vendor; I am pretty enthused about these sandwiches) and caught the last few songs of Oberhofer's set. I'm always on the lookout for great pop songwriters, and I definitely saw one in this set. Whether in an electronic medium or a guitar-based one, his melodies are infectious and memorable. His cheery tone helps, too. I'm not sure why a great many geniuses look like scruffy young ruffians, but Oberhofer certainly fits the description. His band went nuts on stage with him, and the songs had a festive air. I expect big, big things from the band, and the set only reinforced that opinion.
I stuck around to hear Lord Huron, another cheery pop band that I've been digging. Their sound pulls a lot from Calypso music, which is the most bubbly of all music genres, but the band still had the songwriting skills to ground the melodies with a overarching sense of seriousness that lent a credibility to the tunes. They went from being carefree pop songs to hard-won happy songs, as you could hear the sadness and seriousness creeping in the margins. It's not often that upbeat pop songs can be truly powerful, but Lord Huron takes after "Graceland"-era Paul Simon in being able to create depth out of unusual forms not known for their emotional resonance. I was sad that technical difficulties cut their set short, but glad that I was able to hear it at all.
With my handy dandy SXSW app, I was alerted to the fact that King Charles was playing just down the street from my location in fifteen minutes. I rushed over and took up residence to hear his afrobeat/classic rock/pop. Yes, all of that happened in his nearly hour-long set, from AC/DC-worthy guitar noodling to tunes heavy on pop moods and vocal harmony with detours into world music. King Charles (the person) got more and more into the set as it went on, going from reserved at the beginning to headbanging with his incredibly long dreads (down to the small of his back!) and breaking the head clean off a guitar by slamming it against cymbals and other stuff. Hilariously, the guitar-smashing came at the end of the second-to-last song; file the closer under "anti-climactic." The set was much heavier and grittier than I expected, but the quick vocals and charming harmonies of the quieter songs were exactly what I was looking for. And who doesn't like seeing a guitar get smashed?
Only one of the four is a true reissue; but c'mon...it's Paul Simon
Pop Stephen Carradini
Some reissues are chock-full of new bits that entice hardcore fans to go
out and buy beloved albums again. Columbia’s reissues of Paul Simon’s
first three albums do not fall in that category.
When I took charge of OKSee from Stephen Carradini (who’s currently crashing with me on his first vacation from graduate school at Auburn), the main change I instituted was posting a music video of the day, almost every day.
I’ve spent the last couple days going back through the archives to tabulate the VOTDs you noble OKSee readers watched the most, and the following are the results. Glad to see you all skewed heavily in favor of locals! So we’re going to celebrate by naming our Video of the Day of the Year (VOTDOTY)!
While digging around, I also found some of Stephen’s most-trafficked video posts from earlier in the year and selected a few choice clips from those, as well as a few of my own favorites I felt deserved some recognition, for better or worse. Somebody went to the trouble of re-imagining LCD Soundsystem's greatest song in Lego form, for crying out loud. pictured, clip from The Nghiems' "Dum Dum Dah Dah"
2011, we’re gonna miss you dearly, so we’re celebrating you all week long with a commemorative series that counts down all the way to OKSee’s Favorite Albums of 2011, compiled by myself, Mr. Carradini and Gazette regular Joshua Boydston.
So stay tuned — tomorrow we’ll look back at the year in photos; Wednesday, we’ll be playing with playlists; and Thursday, we’ll have our list of OKSee Honorable Mention albums before the big reveal on Friday.
The dudes at Delo Creative really nailed this one. Broncho’s pop-punk songs inspire crowds to act more like hardcore-punk freaks, as evidenced by this summer show at the Crystal Pistol in Tulsa. Funny story: I went to this show — suit, tie and all — after attending my freshman-year roommate’s wedding. Don’t regret it (the sartorial choice) in the slightest.
Spoiler: Even after stripping down a Maybach and letting the sparks fly, the hip-hop superstars didn’t generate as much traffic as when a certain local singer/songwriter hopped in the back of a van and covered Otis Redding truer. More on that later.
Y’all got really excited when Paul Simon came to town last month. So excited that you watched YouTube user OkieSully’s video of Rhymin’ Simon entertaining a Civic Center lobby-full of fans a couple hundred times.
Tulsa’s Ol’ Savior hasn’t released an album, but thanks to your efforts, it may well soon. Drummer Nathan Price told me a few months ago that he and Ben King (his Broncho co-conspirator) planned to take a bunch more Ol’ Savior songs into the studio, thanks to all the positive feedback they heard when these two leaked. Huzzah!
The day this stop-motion gem premiered, I was afraid all my social-media platforms had been hijacked by Okie video guy Kyle Roberts — not that that’s a bad thing. Gah, re-watching this video just helps reinforce how eternally catchy and perfect this little song is.
Technically, this one wasn’t even a VOTD. But I asked you if you preferred Tulsa singer Ben Kilgore’s Otis Redding cover to Hov and Ye’s “Try a Little Tenderness” sample, and you responded by clicking on this Nathan Poppe-shot video 500+ times. Good work, Oklahoma.
Also I think my favorite part of this video is how Kilgore, just after nearly bursting his awesome pipes on this classic, finishes it by declaring, “Sweet cheese!”
Everybody and their dogs’ imaginary friends absolutely freaked out when Axe Body Spray announced it was sponsoring a Girl Talk show inside Opolis earlier this month. You guys clicked on this ambitious bit of fan art more than any other video on this blog this year, and lucky for us, the fun’s far from over. “Girl Walk // All Day” is currently going strong on its sixth installment. Click through at risk to your work today.
Carradini and I agree this is probably one of the best songs in the last 10 years. I’ve always loved the video that originally went with it, and this Lego rendition really just sends it over the top for me. The little yellow, face-painted James Murphy communicates all the song’s sentiment almost as well as the real guy.
Mastodon — “Deathbound”
Mastodon was really on a roll there for a while, what with completely absurd album and song titles, and this Muppets-from-hell video. It’s too bad I didn’t get a reviewer’s copy of the album, as I probably would really loved all the campiness.
This comedy star-studded clip for a new song celebrates everything the Beastie Boys were about … a decade and a half ago. Love how they actually got Ted Danson in a restaurant for the line about opening up a restaurant with Ted Danson.
This is literally the creepiest thing I’ve ever watched on the Internet. I was so weirded out. Thankfully, Gazette managing editor Rod Lott is unafraid of such things, and posted it over at Rod & Reel.
Thunderbird Casino — “Casino Lady”
Sorry. I really shouldn’t have put this here. Oklahoma, people!