Pontiff pontification

Smoking Popes wrestle with spirituality, fame and bad politics on Into the Agony.
Despite the title, Smoking Popes’ Into the Agony was more enjoyable to record than some of the band’s previous releases.

Paranoia simulation

Kevin Barnes takes of Montreal into uncharted waters with White Is Relic / Irrealis Mood.
Musician Kevin Barnes and of Montreal have been pushing the boundaries of pop and indie rock since 1996.

Brain work

Hippo Campus takes on toxic masculinity on its latest album, Bambi.
Hippo Campus guitarist Nathan Stocker said the band’s new album, Bambi, is fire.

Flowering Burch

Austin-based Molly Burch navigates heartbreak and stress on First Flower.
Molly Burch’s debut was inspired by a devastating breakup and featured the subject of most of its songs on lead guitar, but she said recording the follow-up was even more difficult.

Muy Bonito

Kero Kero Bonito stirs a colorful cultural stew.
Kero Kero Bonito are the good kind of weird, widely known for an upbeat and colorful combination of sounds that makes you want to throw on some neon, eat some glitter, and frolic through the nearest city street.

Total misfit

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein avoids the past and rails against Spotify.
Namesake notwithstanding, Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein doesn’t seem fond of digging up the past.

Feeling Lucky

After some false starts, Carter Sampson gives her fifth album the release it deserves.
It seems to be all worked out now, but Carter Sampson said the “rushed” European release of her latest album Lucky felt pretty unfortunate when it happened last May.

Sick boys

Venerable punk band Social Distortion will play Oklahoma City’s Diamond Ballroom on Oct. 24.
To call Social Distortion one of punk’s most influential groups would not be hyperbolic, considering lead singer Mike Ness’ songwriting helped usher in a wave of new sound just as the genre arrived in Southern California.

Metal Country

Swedish band Avatar theatrically explores its metallic realm with Avatar Country.
If metal were a country, Swedish band Avatar’s new album suggests, the boundaries would be hard to define and immigrants would always be welcome.

Class clown

Puddles Pity Party will perform with his signature dour flair at Tower Theatre.
There are some moments of reality TV that become iconic and help launch entire careers.

Up “Elevator”

The New Tribe reunites with new music and fresh perspectives.
Meet the new The New Tribe, (mostly) the same as the old The New Tribe.

Primate primacy

Arctic Monkeys make the Criterion their Tranquility Base Oct. 10.
Through a desire and willingness to upend its sound and confound expectations, Arctic Monkeys transcended its mid-2000s beginnings as a next-step post-punk band drafting in the slipstream of Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines.

Queen Bishop

Bishop Briggs performs at Tower Theatre on Sunday.
Born in London and raised in Japan and Hong Kong, Sarah McLaughlin realized early on what she wanted to be when she grew up.

Divine hammer

Breeders guitarist Kelley Deal discusses the Last Splash lineup’s new album.
In the quarter century between Last Splash and All Nerve, Breeders guitarist Kelley Deal stopped worrying about breaking stuff in the studio.

Track record

Guestroom Records celebrates 15 years of against-the-odds success.
If you’re a fan of vinyl in the Oklahoma City area, chances are you’ve stepped into Guestroom Records at some point.

Are children electric?

Synth-punk legend Gary Numan contemplates the apocalypse and collaborates with his daughter.
Gary Numan’s at his best when he’s looking toward the future.

High rise

California band Mom Jeans returns to OKC after a truly sick 2017 performance.
Listening to Mom Jeans is like being transported back to the early 2000s.

Sensational strings

Béla Fleck is among the headliners at the third annual Banjo Fest.
The sounds of the banjo reverberate through centuries of musical history, but the instrument is no mere artifact.

Pigs fly

Try to keep up with Flock of Pigs at your own peril.
The shaggy college party band Flock of Pigs met at University of Oklahoma, played their first show at Norman Music Festival in 2016 and spent the ensuing years picking up sounds just as quickly as they put them down.

Deliberate Words

Annie Oakley celebrates the upcoming release of its first full-length album, Words We Mean, at The Blue Door.
They just turned 21 this month, but the Babb sisters have been making music together for about as long as possible.

Strong women

The third annual AMP Festival showcases female musicians and artists.
Film Row is about to get even more artsy than usual.

Everything nice

Rainbow Kitten Surprise prepares to unleash a burst of musical influences at The Jones Assembly.
What is genre in the streaming age?

Slay farewell

Legendary metal band Slayer stops at The Zoo Amphitheatre on its farewell tour.
Released in October 1986, Reign in Blood was Slayer’s third full-length studio album, but for many soon-to-be-converted metalheads in the decades since, it remains their first exposure to a lifelong obsession.

Next Issue: Annie Oakley takes a great leap forward in style and substance

P. 27 With the forthcoming release of Words We Mean, the Oklahoma City-based Americana trio Annie Oakley takes a great leap forward in style and substance.

Truth and Soulmatic

The Nghiems battled setbacks at personal tragedies to create their second album.
Carrying amplifiers for a Ben Kweller show got The Nghiems booked on their first gig in 2007, and getting the attention of Broncho’s Ben King at that gig resulted in an invite to record at a storied local studio.

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