Watch Norman Music Festival alumnus The Polyphonic Spree go over the top for the holidays.
The Polyphonic Spree are kind of like a lot like a cult, led by charismatic, robe-wearing front man Tim DeLaughter. This awesome video for “It’s Christmas” sorta feels like you’re at a Christmas Eve service for some religion that holds the first season of “Glee” among its doctrines. Watch:
OKSee wholeheartedly supports just about every endeavor undertaken by Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer yelper Karen O with a certain fervent-ness that’s only reassured by this incredible cover of Led Zeppelin’s mountain-shattering classic, “Immigrant Song.” It’s in support of the now-available soundtrack for the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” assembled by none other than Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor.
Directed by creepy filmmaker David Fincher, the eerie collage of often-unknown, strangely morbid images, fits right in with NIN’s aesthetic, as does Karen O’s forceful moaning. Watch, but not if you hope to concentrate on your work immediately after:
And there stands And There Stand Empires, one of Tulsa’s best new bands.
Bumping around at Norman Music Festival 4, Tulsa rock photographer Jeremy Charles told me not to miss indie-rock dudes And There Stand Empires. In all the buzz and hubbub of about 8 million bands all playing in three days, I completely blanked, which I now regret, having viewed the video below.
The band releases its self-titled album Dec. 16, and you can bet that I’ll be looking for somewhere to purchase it when I return home to Tulsa for Christmas. The video includes snippets of songs and plenty of footage of the band hashing them out in-studio. Jarod Evans and Chad Copelin of Blackwatch Studios both appear to have produced it, but the thing to watch for here is just how many notes (guitar, xylophone, piano) they can squeeze into a single section of music.
Download a bunch of free music for your holiday season.
Sorry to have waited so long to provide you, noble OKSee reader, with quality tunes for your Christmahannukwanzika season, but I figured that the Blackwatch Studios and Nice People compilations would tide you over until I could find a spare couple of minutes to compile all the festive stuff that’s filled up my inbox like a stocking since about mid-November.
Highlighting this little collection is a pleasant surprise that The Nghiems’ front man, David Nghiem, just sent, called “Holiday in the OK.” He recorded it at Blackwatch with Will Hunt, James Nghiem (also from The Nghiems), Tyler Hopkins (The Nghiems, Black Canyon), Chad Copelin (Blackwatch) and Gazette contributor Becky Carman. It sounds like a lazy, perfect holiday spent with your family. Love it.
I don’t give two snowballs about anything else in this song, it’s by Guided by Voices and opens with the lyrics “Start off the day with a Krispy Kreme doughnut / Sweet as life can get.” New favorite for the holidays.
I really, really, really want to hear Tom Waits take a stab at this one. I suppose Red Wanting Blue will have to do.
Merge Records — “Winter Sampler” OK, none of these songs appear to have anything to do with the holidays, but they’re from Eleanor Friedberger, The Mountain Goats, Superchunk, Wild Flag, Archers of Loaf and the rest of the usual Merge suspects. And oh, lookie there — you can nab free Christmas tunes from She & Him and Julian Koster down at the bottom of the page!
Cartoons are today’s gift suggestion. I’ve got three sets to recommend — one for kids, one for tweens, one for adults.
For kids, it’s “Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete Seventh Season.” If your house is anything like mine, your mind has absorbed this Nick character’s underwater adventures just by being within earshot. “7th Season,” available now for $26.99, contains all 50 episodes on a four-disc set, with bonus animated shorts.
For tweens, it’s “Conan the Adventurer: Season Two, Part 1.” Did you happen to catch our review for “Season One”? Well, this is a lot like that, right down to being 13 episodes on two DVDs. Sporting funny names in episode titles like “Curse of Axh’oon” and “The Vengeance of Jhebbel Sag,” it’s available now for the odd price of $19.93.
For adults, it’s “The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Second Season,” the quite-funny chronicles of the 20-something Tim (creator Steve Dildarian). Concerned with the discomfort comedy that characterizes such shows as “The Office,” fellow HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and virtually everything Ricky Gervais ever has touched, Tim is often as solid as the show’s MVP guests, which, in these 10 episodes, include Aziz Ansari (TV’s “Parks and Recreation”), James Urbaniak (of Adult Swim’s genius “The Venture Bros.”) and alt-stand-up fave Paul F. Tompkins. The two-disc set is out now for $29.98.
Move over, turtle doves! The 2 Movie Guys unleash a roasted chestnut for Christmas viewing.
Maybe it won’t boast the same perennial power as the Grinch, but Oklahoma City’s 2 Movie Guys are getting their very own Christmas special, Charlie Brown!
“2 Movie Guys’ Intergalactic Holiday Showdown” features KAUT-TV 43’s weekly host duo of Ryan Bellgardt and Lucas Ross, here being abducted by aliens who mistake them as leaders of Earth. (As if!) Awaiting them in space are as many CGI creatures as a $500 budget will allow. Guest starring is local legend John Ferguson, aka Count Gregore, as the “not-so-evil Duke of Mukedon.”
“2MGIHS” — as it would appear in marketing, if this were a studio tentpole — is set to air at 5 p.m. Christmas night on KFOR-TV 4, and again as part of a two-hour 2 Movie Guys marathon on KAUT that begins at 6 p.m.
As part of that marathon, the comedy team’s three previous specials will re-air, featuring appearances by Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Conan O’Brien, Michael Caine, The All-American Rejects, the Oklahoma City Thunder Girls, B.J. Wexler, Bart Conner, Nadia Comaneci, Linda Cavanaugh, Kevin Ogle and killer robots.
You’ve been pwned, Tim Allen. (Not that you weren’t already.) —Rod Lott
My OKSee predecessor, Stephen Carradini, and I received hundreds of physical copies submitted to our little cubicle in the back of the Gazette offices this year, in addition to the hundreds of digital solicitations from PR companies, in addition to the occasional, much-appreciated, personal hand-changing of musical media, be that CD, vinyl or yes, even cassette tape.
It’s a ton of music to listen to, but we were up to the task. The sonic wheat’s now sorted from the chaff, and not in any particular order. So peruse our list for those quality albums you may have missed, recall a few you’ve forgotten and hopefully even find a new artist to love in the process. Let’s get started.
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!
What with last week’s 2011 retrospective, the holiday season and all, I’ve recently
lagged behind in posting local music videos. Important lesson learned: It’s
dangerous falling back of OKC’s creative folk, as they just continue to pump
new stuff out by the hour.
For starters, Delo Creative (the dudes behind Change Yr Life OKC) have a new series
they’ve dubbed “Be Nice to Your Kids” (BNTYK, for short), which they christened
with a pair of videos of The Boom Bang playing in a dirty men’s room. For
whatever reason, it just makes sense. Watch “Vietnomnomnom” and “Sugar Ray
More exciting though are these two energetic vids from post-punk-rockers Chud,
who cover themselves in glowing paint while they tear through “Handsome
Vampires” and “Control, Alt, Complete.” Something shatters near the end of the
latter song. What it is, who knows? Check back soon for a BNTYK session with
Also, I’d be remiss to neglect this nutso Flaming Lips cover of John Lennon’s
nutso classic “I Am the Walrus,” also shot by Delo. NYE is coming, folks, and
rumors abound of Beatles covers for the visiting Mrs. Ono. Watch Steven Drozd
completely lose his mind, below.
If you missed this ridiculous Zane LaRue-shot Chrome Pony video for “Christmas
Babes,” his contribution to the Blackwatch Christmas album,
then I pity you.
Also, Nathan Poppe snuck into Blackwatch Studios to do this simple, elegant one-shot of
Beau Jennings covering Woody Guthrie’s lone Christmas song, assisted by the
awesomely-bearded Daniel Foulks. This winsome beauty’s called “1913 Massacre”
and it makes “Blue Christmas” sound about as happy as “Super Bass.”
Photos from the second night of the Flaming Lips' two-night NYE stand.
Jeez, what a weekend.
By the time Denton, Tex.'s Neon Indian took the stage at the Coca-Cola Center in Bricktown Sunday night, only about half as many people were in attendance as the night before. Much of the place's atmosphere seemed diminished for this, and the fact that ringing in 2012 was day-old news.
Nobody told Wayne or Yoko Ono, though, and each celebrated the stroke of midnight for January 2, 2012 with as much fervor as January 1. That ineffable enthusiasm seemed to stoke fans' fire more than any single piece of music possibly could, but Alan Palomo of Neon Indian really gave them a run for their money with the "Hex Girlfriend," "Deadbeat Summer," and "Polish Girl"'s disco beats, splotchy synths and catchy choruses. And dance moves. He's pretty well set in that department.
Another Plastic Ono Band set featured the previous evening's murderer's row of talent, fronted by Yoko's indecipherable but enthusiastic yowling.
"Race for the Prize," "Drug Chart," and a Palomo-assisted version of "Is David Bowie Dying?" all made the Lips' cut tonight. I swear, "Sweet Leaf," "Worm Mountain" and "Race for the Prize" all in a row is just enough gets me so amped up I could go run four or five marathons. It was the usual mess of ephemeral chest-beating and affection. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go hibernate the rest of Monday away.