I’ve been playing the guitar since I was twelve years old and performing music for about as long. When I was 17, I got a job selling guitars at Mars Music on Memorial Road next to Quail Springs Mall and started running around the Oklahoma City music circuit jumping from band to band. Getting booed off stage, pretty much every night, at every venue, wasn’t the best experience of my life, but I got the opportunity to open for some pretty kick ass bands and get to know the immensely diverse culture of Oklahoma’s sound over the next eight years.
We’ve all seen the growth OKC has enjoyed over those last eight years, and I feel obligated to share some of the best, loudest, and most offensive groups Oklahoma has to offer. If you can find the time in your schedule to check out any of these bands, it would be well worth your time. I made an effort to keep the list as eclectic as possible and I think there is a pretty damn good chance you’ll love at least one group off this list. Check them out after the jump”¦
10. Red City Radio
A few weeks ago I went to Red City Radio’s CD release party, and despite getting punched multiple times by multiple people, I had a great time. It’s impossible not to have a good time at The Conservatory, the atmosphere is always good. I think it’s because I feel like I’m attending a house party in what used to be a lucrative meth operation, but whatever it is, RCR fits in well there and plays a good show.
They sound like: Andrew W.K. meets Rancid.
9. Student Film
It’s melodic, it’s catchy, it’s also just plain bizarre and I love it. Student Film represents everything that is innovative, fun and annoying about music.
They sound like: Neutral Milk Hotel meets Simon and Garfunkel meets The Gorillaz
8. Red Eye Gravy
A year ago I made my way out to the Blue Note for a friend’s birthday. Truth be told, I didn’t really even like the birthday boy but they have a shot and beer special for 5 dollars, so I figured the night couldn’t be a total loss. After my fifth Soco and lime a group called Red Eye Gravy walked up on the stage and played a style of music that could only be described as Honky Tonk on crack. Every country stereotype imaginable is embodied in Red Eye Gravy. Their music makes you want to chug a liter of moonshine, take a giant dump on the bar and walk across the street to get a Tweety Bird tattoo.
They sound like: Woody Guthrie drunk on speed.
7. Congress of a Crow
To be completely honest, I’m not the biggest fan in the world of Congress of a Crow, but I felt the need to add a little more dimension to the list. Not that they’re bad, Congress of a Crow is probably the most marketable group in the mix here and I’ve seen them play a dozen or so times. Ok”¦the truth is the lead singer, Danelle Phillips, is hot and I want to marry her on a mountain. That’s why they made the list.
They sound like: Evanescence meets The All American Rejects
6. Powerlines Down
Clark, Tony, Patrick and his perverted ex-roommate started a group called “Powerlines Down” a few years back. I’ve been meticulously following their progress when one day I had the privilege to receive a band demo Patrick sent me. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced, almost like the music was making love to my ears…that or a drunk homeless chick was booty popping next to my head outside KFC. I don’t really know what’s going on most of the time.
They sound like: Savage Garden
5. Dorian Small
If you like synth infused rock and roll you’re sure to have a new local favorite in Dorian Small. An underrated act, their shows are nothing less than a spiritual experience. You may even find yourself making out with a random hippy that’s been fermenting for a few days without a shower”¦and loving every second of it.
They sound like: The Flaming Lips meets The Postal Service.
4. The Neighborhood
I’m not completely convinced that everyone in this band didn’t come out of the womb with a bong in hand.
They sound like: Radiohead and Beck have a love child, that child grows up and eats a lot of mushrooms.
3. Taddy Porter
If you liked anything about the kind of music that came out of the 70’s there isn’t any reason you wouldn’t like Taddy Porter.
They sound like: Your parents favorite 70’s band meets The Hold Steady
2. Mama Sweet
It’s impossible to nail down Mama Sweet. Everyone has a different description of how the band sounds. I’ve heard: Red Dirt Rock, Southern Americana, Bluegrass Funk, and even Psychedelic Country. To me it just sounds like Oklahoma music, a mix of rock, country, blues, funk, folk and Americana. I’ve been to a lot of good shows over the years and can honestly say that Mama Sweet is as good as any of them.
They sound like: Reckless Kelly, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd have a lovechild that grows up and drinks a !@#t ton of whiskey.
Ever heard the song, “Oklahoma Breakdown”? Yah, Stony LaRue didn’t actually write that song, Mike Hosty did. If you haven’t been to see Hosty solo on Sunday, you haven’t really experienced what Oklahoma is all about. It’s about drinking 3.2 beer out of a giant red cup, listening to songs titled, “I make love to Linda Cavanaugh in my mind” or “Fraidy Hole”, dancing to the flickering lights of the “Deli light show” and possibly getting hepatitis.
He sounds like: Mike Hosty