I later caught up with synth player Ryan Engleberger and multi-instrumentalist Graham Ulicny to talk about the band’s hometown, extroversion and why its debut EP is named “Oblange Fizz Y’all.”
OKSee: What’s the music scene in Athens like right now?
Engleberger: Athens is really interesting, because there’s this constant tension between people like Graham and I, who are townies who moved there because there’s a lot to offer that isn’t related to the University of Georgia. Then there’s the U of Georgia side that’s Andrew and William. We actually represent a pretty good merger of townies and school kids.
Sometimes people who write for publications take sides and create divisions when there aren’t really any. But we all play with each other. It’s hard not to be influenced by one side, if you’re the other.
OKS: What’s each side specifically known for?
Engleberger: I think the stereotype is that the townies are a little weirder. Then the UGA side is frattier.
OKS: Explain the title of your EP. Because I don’t know how to pronounce or what the hell it means.
Engleberger: The title is actually a combination of a couple of ancient, now-defunct languages. And also English. You can find “fizz” in the Oxford English Dictionary. To fizz. To have fizzed. Having been fizzed.
Graham Ulicny: Desperately want to fizz. To fizz oblangley.
Engleberger: Right. “Oblangle” is a combination of words from ancient languages. There’s a symbol from a Mayan word, a Latin word and not Czech, but a precursor to Czech. There’s a combination of that, the deep linguistic studies we all do. I think mostly, it’s just from the sonic, train-of-thought conversations we have that don’t always make sense, but have to do with us making sounds and reciting things that we maybe have half-learned before. It just kinda came up.
OKS: Did you guys study linguistics in school?
Engleberger: I totally made that up. I studied Latin for a bit, I guess.
OKS: Why do you guys go full steam ahead into synthesizer-driven melodies?
Engleberger: I think the melody-heavy part is because of pop songs. Pop songs are all about melody. We wanted experimental elements, but mostly we want to record songs that people will listen to and enjoy, you know? We want to mess with them and take them out of their comfort zone, but in order for them to get into it, there has to be a good melody. Graham studied jazz, and it’s all about melody. A lot of really complicated stuff spins out of that, but that’s the basis.
Ulicny: It’s about a communal experience. There’s a lot of ways to enjoy music in a crowd, but we’re always looking to encourage people to be extroverted. And the best way to do that is to have something relatable, like a melody. And energy onstage.
OKS: And you guys are nothing if not extroverted, onstage.
For the little rocker in all of us. Or at least those of us who one day hope for little rockers of their own.
Eclectic Matt Carney
I am not a father. Nor do I harbor plans of becoming one anytime soon.
I’d like to spawn a kiddo sometime in the next eight or more years,
although the technicality of finding a lady nice enough to want to help
me out with that is kind of a wild-card factor. Makes such things
difficult to predict.
Beautiful, alien music gets a beautiful, alien concert film.
Documentary Matt Carney
If you missed last night’s chance at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, but
like music, watch “Inni.” If you like film, watch “Inni.” Even if you
liked Sigur Rós’ other concert documentary, “Heima,” go see “Inni.” I
personally guarantee that it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Watch Milagres put on a mobile show before their date with Opolis last month.
Probably the single thing I regret most from the month of October was going home for the night instead of sticking around Opolis to hear Milagres’ harmonic indie goodness. So far, this month’s biggest regret is virtually the same: I ditched out on the Future Islands show, again, to catch up on my Zs.
As much as I love hearing live music, not being a zombie is also very important to me.
Getting to reprise my role as a sound guy and ride around in Jonathan Fowler’s “VDub Sessions” Vanagon with Milagres and the namesake of Peter Wolf Crier was a more-than-nice consolation prize, however, and the song “Halfway” even managed to latch its irresistible hooks into my brain, which has since been unable to dislodge them.
As always, Nathan Poppe’s “VDub Sessions” work is terrific. We even managed not to crash the van, although some poor freshman — admit it, you did it the first month you lived in Norman, too — drove the wrong way down Gray Street mid-performance. Almost everybody in the band noticed, including the singer for Milagres, which earns them all bonus points for performing under duress. Watch:
‘Monsieurs and madams, straight from Stillwater, Oklahoma, America: Other Lives!’
Nobody from Oklahoma’s had a bigger year than Other Lives, what with the release of a fine album, successful tours across the States and Europe, and the recent announcement that they’ll be opening the first leg of Radiohead’s upcoming U.S. tour. It’s hard to believe that one of the last times I saw them, they were playing for maybe 50 people inside Opolis.
Well, they look to be building on all that success with more shows in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to the dates accompanying Radiohead. They’ll be touring with a fellow mini-orchestra that goes by JBM, which I can assure you you’ll most definitely like if Other Lives make your kind of music. Those dates are listed below.
12.05.11 - Crepe Place - Santa Cruz, CA * 12.06.11 - Cafe du Nord - San Francisco, CA * 12.08.11 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR * 12.09.11 - Media Club - Vancouver, BC * 12.11.11 - The Tractor Tavern - Seattle, WA * 12.14.11 - Hi-Dive - Denver, CO * 02.06.12 - Jackpot Music Hall - Lawrence, KS 02.07.12 - Ciceros - St. Louis, MO 02.08.12 - Waiting Room - Omaha, NE 02.09.12 - 7th Street - Minneapolis, MN 02.10.12 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL 02.11.12 - The Basement - Columbus, OH 02.13.12 - Ninth Ward - Buffalo, NY 02.14.12 - Drake - Toronto, ON 02.15.12 - Sala Rossa - Montreal, QC 02.16.12 - Great Scott - Boston, MA 02.17.12 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY 02.18.12 - Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA 02.21.12 - Red Palace - Washington, DC 02.22.12 - Brillobox - Pittsburgh, PA 02.23.12 - The Southern - Charlottesville, VA 02.24.12 - Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC 02.25.12 - TBD / Pour House - Nashville, TN / Charleston, SC 02.27.11 - American Airlines Arena - Miami, FL ^ 02.29.11 - St. Pete Times Forum - Tampa, FL ^ 03.01.11 - Philips Arena - Atlanta, GA ^ 03.03.11 - Toyota Center - Houston, TX ^ 03.05.11 - American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX ^ 03.07.11 - Frank Erwin Center - Austin, TX ^ 03.09.11 - Scottrade Center - St. Louis, MO ^ 03.11.11 - Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO ^ 03.13.11 - 1st Bank Center - Broomfield, CO ^ 03.15.11 - Jobing.com Arena - Glendale, AZ ^
* w/ JBM ^ w/ Radiohead
Included in the announcement was this awesome hour-long video of them performing for Le Mouv, which appears to be some sort of French radio station/media outlet. Please let me know if that’s not the case, as I do not speak French. I’ve seen a ton of these shows as they’ve played for KCRW, NPR’s Tiny Desk series and plenty of others, but few are this long and none are on such a glossy, professional-looking stage as this. Watch:
And don’t worry, Okies: Other Lives’ Twitter handle has assured me they’re looking to book a return-home show sometime in late January. Keep your calendar cleared. It’s gonna be an incredible homecoming.
Tulsa-born pinup St. Vincent plays six songs, expresses love for Robert Fripp and Dimebag Darrell.
In case you missed it, Tulsa-born Annie Clark recorded one of the year’s best albums in “Strange Mercy,” a rich, artful record that’s spiked with moments of morbidity and unexpected sonic textures, mostly supplied by her unique approach to guitar playing.
That style is on clear and wonderful display in these videos from a recent show shot by MTV Hive. Be sure to check out the Frippy, trippy guitar solo on ... well, all most of these songs, but especially “Northern Lights,” which races its way to a climactic finish. Early album standout “Your Lips Are Red” gets a seriously badass, almost metal-heavy facelift here. Also, Annie earns super bonus points for the end-of-show, noisy, crowd-surf move. What I would give to be that lucky stagehand...
Yeah, so come play a hometown show please, Annie. Also, tweet @OKmattcarney if you’d be interested in dating interviewing a fellow Tulsan who loves your music. OK, you got me. I really did mean “dating.” I promise Taylor and I are through.
Bret McKenzie and Kermit the Frog sing an original song from ‘The Muppets.’
There is a poster promoting “Flight of the Conchords”’ second season on
HBO in my office. Thus, any video of Bret McKenzie playing or writing
songs on the fly are an automatic VOTD, doubly so when accompanied by
That’s the case here, thanks to The New York Times magazine, which corralled the New Zealand comedian into a studio to talk about his work composing original songs for the new “Muppets” movie and even perform one with the little green guy. It’s a fun little feature, and most definitely worth your time (click through to watch). Turns out writing songs for Muppets is extra-tricky, as McKenzie learned.
Also be sure to read Rod Lott’ssuper-exclusive interview with Jason Segel. And pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Gazette for a review of the film, which also opens tomorrow.
Local filmmaker, musician team up to shoot a video on a camera that fits in your pocket.
Kyle Roberts is at it again.
You may recall the filmmaker from one of the year’s flat-out best local music video, for The Nghiems’ pixilated dreamy, poppy “Dum Dum Dah Dah.”
Or maybe it’s from his hilarious, attention-grabbing stop-motion work on “Battle of the Bonds.” Either way, he’s returned to the Internet by teaming up with Chase Kerby’s pretty, new alt-rockish act, Defining Times, to film a video completely on a GoPro HD Hero 2, a camera so small you can pretty much take it anywhere. In this case, it looks like Kerby and Roberts chose a local park.
Watch the happy-go-lucky, skater-boy video for “Limelight,” and listen to the band’s EP below:
Don’t be sad, indie kids: Los Campesinos! will cheer you up with their most dramatic, mature album yet.
Indie Matt Carney
While their fourth LP in as many years doesn’t peak quite as high as
their 2008 debut, “Hold On Now, Youngster ...” (which was hallmarked by
an absolute crusher of an indie-pop single in “You! Me! Dancing!”), Los
Campesinos! have crafted another terrific record in “Hello Sadness,” a
compelling, aggressive, twee listen.
New Bon Iver video kicks off a series promoting the deluxe re-release.
Googling “Hinnom, TX” will produce a bunch of pages about song lyrics, but no directions to any city. That’s 'cause it doesn’t exist! Except in Bon Iver’s excellent self-titled album, which former OKSee helmsman Stephen Carradini and I recently agreed upon as a definite Top 10 OKSee Record of 2011.
This song really stands out from when I caught the band’s Kansas City set at the Uptown Theater a few months ago, mostly just because it was kinda humorous visually. Those lofty-pitched backing vocals came from Reggie Pace (a stout, cheerful black man) and Michael Noyce (a skinny, mousy, mop-haired white guy), who were standing at opposite sides of the stage. Opposites attract to form beautiful tones, I suppose.
Watch as the sun does its best impression of a living being:
AS-OF-THIS-MORNING UPDATE: The band’s posted all 10 of the aforementioned videos to its official YouTube page. Gorge yourself on these visually stunning vids, friends.