This will not be your typical edition of the Monday Morning Tweets. We will not feature strange tweets from Dean Blevins, awkward conversations with Linda Cavanaugh, and random exclamation points from Regular Jim Traber. This is because Traber deleted his Twitter account and Linda and Dean are just as stunned as we are.
The story and mystery surrounding this development is very bizarre. On Saturday night, because I have an awesome social life, I combed through Twitter and looked for tweets I could use for this week’s post. For whatever reason I decided to pick Traber’s first. The most recent tweet was about one minute old. It was sent by his wife, Julie. And it wasn’t very f-cking nice.
Check it out:
Hi, I’m Matt! Before I get started here I just want to say that this is my first thing for The Lost Ogle and that Patrick’s a righteous dude. He’s been kind enough to lend me space on his site to goof off about local music at the expense of a well-received, extremely popular band, despite the fact that I make very little mention of hot girls. Kudos to you, Patrick.
That all said **sound of knuckles popping** this year’s Grammy Awards get dished out tomorrow and Mumford & Sons are the New York Yankees in a league that —like the MLB— favors big spenders. They’re up for a league-leading six awards (that ties them with Fun. and Frank Ocean for the year’s most nominations), including Best Americana Album for Babel, their second album and a massively popular one by the standards of acoustic, roots-styled tunes in 2012. Babel is a musically powerful if predictable record with lyrics that hold up to scrutiny about the same way soggy wheat-based breakfast cereals hold up against a garbage disposal. (Back in October I spent a LOOKatOKC column on this topic, but for a 100x smarter deconstruction of the band, check out Tom Breihan’s recent post at Stereogum.) There are admirable qualities in Mumford for sure: the pummel and volume of their live performances and their lack of fear to approach big, meaningful themes in their songwriting stand out in particular. But at the end of the day they’re still handsome, polite boys with instruments made of wood and gimmicky poems. (Who happen to have just announced a show in Guthrie, as your rustically dressed friends may have recently pointed out on your Facebook Timelines.)
This all would all be of little consequence to this obscure, local, social blog if it weren’t for the fact that one of the
evil empire’s band’s opponents on its way to total Grammy domination was an exceptionally gifted 24-year-old songwriter from Bearden, Oklahoma. That young man is John Fullbright, whose debut album From the Ground Up was humbly distributed last year to great critical praise from a handful of sharp listeners, NPR’s Ann Powers in particular, who described the record as ”smart and beautifully crafted and surly.” If the Mumfords are the Murderer’s Row Yankees, then Fullbright is probably the Tulsa Drillers (I say the Drillers instead of the Redhawks because they’re a class level smaller and, let’s face it, ONEOK Field is ten times cooler than that ballpark in Bricktown). Fullbright did his thing with way fewer resources, a fraction of the name recognition, and he even did it as a rookie, as From the Ground Up is his first proper studio album.
So here are a five reasons why —even though Mumford & Sons are a vintage boot-in to win everything they’re nominated for tomorrow— John Fullbright deserves this particular scrap of recognition:
It’s mailbag time. Before we begin, here are some random things:
1. Has anyone checked out the new My Bloody Valentine yet? I’m kind of worried about it. Is it worth listening to? Please advise.
2. The WordPress plug-in we use for Facebook and Twitter is acting kind of goofy, so I apologize if we’ve clogged up your feed with multiple back-to-back-to-back posts. I’ve switched to the built-in WordPress version for now. Other than manually updating our posts, does anyone have any good suggestions?
3. Marisa mentioned this earlier, but you should probably check out the Oklahoma City Ballet’s production of Paris Rogue. It should be pretty fun, and according to our sources, is targeted towards the TLO demographic. If you go to the ballet on a date, I’d suggest dining on pizza at The Wedge or Deep Fork Grill beforehand. Afterwards, I’d check out the 51st Street Speakeasy or Patricia’s. One of the two.
4. This week’s “Make an Ogle Wish” is the same as last week. I want to watch a Thunder game from front row, courtside seats. If you’re an Ogle Mole and can make this happen, send me an email.
To the mailbag.
Let’s talk about the Thunder a little bit, readers. I think we can all agree that we’re fans. It’s great when a Thunder game comes on TV. I wish I could watch the Thunder on TV all the time. Hell, I’d even settle for watching the Norman Chrysler Jeep and Dodge commercial where Perk refuses to sing that googy song on a loop. But wouldn’t it be even better if there were more Thunder-related program options? I think so. That’s why I’ve made a list of possible Thunder television shows. These would most likely air on KSBI and make for some great family-oriented shows that all Thunder fans could enjoy. Plus, the production team from Thunderstruck is probably just itching to get the gang back together to film a heartwarming tale!
The Milkman’s Babies
This show would be a reality show centered around the lives of Kendrick and Vanity Perkins, as well as their two sons. We’d get to see Kendrick eating all the foods he tweets about (like Philly cheese steaks and Waffle House), Kendrick Jr. win some Tae Kwon Do trophies, baby Kenxton look like a miniature version of Questlove (seriously, he does), and of course, Vanity terrorizing all the nail techs in the greater OKC Metro area.
Rumble and Digi
This show would start out with the theme song from Laverne and Shirley. Each week, we’d get to see the antics of Rumble the Bison and the Cox Digi as they share a downtown loft apartment. Sure, they argue about how Rumble’s hair clogs up the bathtub drain and Digi always fills up the DVR with episodes of How It’s Made and does that weird robot twerk dance, but through it all, they’re just a couple of friends. Scott Brooks would have a cameo appearance as their landlord.
Lost in all the news and hoopla surrounding the fall of Aubrey McClendon and Chesapeake Energy have been the struggles of fellow fracking giant SandRidge Energy.
The company is currently led by Chesapeake co-founder and former C.O.O. Tom Ward. Although SandRidge is much smaller than Chesapeake, Ward’s new company is eerily similar to the one he co-founded with Aubrey McClendon in the 1980s. Both companies made their mark in natural gas, both have a very large presence in Oklahoma City, and both muddle their books with complicated accounting methods that Commander Data couldn’t comprehend.
Unfortunately for SandRidge, that’s not where the Chesapeake similarities end. Over the past few months, disgruntled shareholders and activist investors have accused Tom Ward of engaging in shady land deals. But don’t worry. The SandRidge board of directors released a statement in late January letting us know that everything is fine.
SandRidge Energy Inc’s board said Friday it had reviewed land deals involving entities controlled by Chief Executive Tom Ward and his family and found no sign of wrongdoing.
The company said in a statement its independent directors would consider requests from investors to hire outside investigators to look into the charges.
Hedge fund TPG-Axon, one of SandRidge’s top investors, had alleged that WCT Resources, an Oklahoma company run by Ward’s son Trent, had run ahead of the company to acquire land, later flipping that land to SandRidge or other oil and gas companies.
Another top shareholder, Mount Kellett Capital Management, joined TPG-Axon in urging the board to further investigate the land deals.
Here’s some good news and bad news for SandRidge. The good news is that they may not have to request that investigation. The bad news is the pesky team of reporters at Reuters — the same ones who effectively brought down Lord McClendon at Chesapeake — did it for them.
Here’s a snippet of an exclusive Reuters report claiming that Tom Ward was involved in potentially shady land dealings that put his own personal interests over that of his company, including it’s shareholders, 2,200 employees and the ad agency they hired to make all those terrible Tree of Life commercials. It was filed by Michael Erman and Colonel Angus and Brian Grow and Anna Driver. Just kidding about Colonel Angus. I just felt like throwing it in there:
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