October is here, which means it’s the season for tricks, treats, scary movies and pumpkin spice lattes. It’s also a really great month for live music in the Oklahoma City metro! This was a hard list to whittle down, with so many great shows that are coming up. If you’ve got others that you’re stoked on, put ’em down in the comments below.
The TLO Metro Music Showcase is sponsored by Play It Loud, a web documentary music series produced by independent filmmakers Outsiders Productions, and Grand Casino. The second season of Play It Loud drops on October 25th, featuring a slate of four new artists. Until then, go back and catch up on the first season to see incredible local artists like Carter Sampson.
Wednesday, October 3rd
Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City
Everybody and their dad is a Pixies fan these days, but the true heads love their bassist Kim Deal’s side project that turned into something bigger: The Breeders. Although they’re mostly known for alt-rock radio mainstay ‘Cannonball,’ the band has plenty of other great material. Their first album, Pod, was one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite albums ever, and its producer, the legendary Steve Albini, also considers it one of his finest efforts.
Oklahoma’s International Bluegrass Festival
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 4th – 6th
Cottonwood Creek Flats, Guthrie
Do you like pickin’? What about singin’? Strummin’, perhaps? There will be all of that and more at Oklahoma’s International Bluegrass Festival. Over the course of three days, bluegrass artists from around the world will hit the stage and play music that has a deep resonance with Oklahomans. There will be plenty of local acts, but if you’ve ever wondered what bluegrass sounds like through the lens of artists from Switzerland or Japan, this isn’t to be missed.
Friday, October 5th
ACM Performance Lab, Oklahoma City
Three years ago, singer and producer George Lewis Jr., also known as Twin Shadow, was nearly killed in a bad accident on-board his tour bus. Even though he suffered brutal injuries, he’s still out hitting the road and performing his dreamy and moody brand of synthpop. It’s like the angst of new wave…reinvented for the post-irony generation.
Sunday, October 7th
The Depot, Norman
It’s not a flowery exaggeration to say that Kyshona Armstrong is a music therapist. Sure, her soulful interpretation of the blues may cut deep, but when she’s not on stage for fans, she actually works as with people in correctional facilities and in the mental health field, teaching the soothing properties of playing music. To make things even cooler, she’s playing at the historic Santa Fe Train Depot in Norman, which is a really sweet building.
Father John Misty
Thursday, October 11th
The Jones Assembly, Oklahoma City
Father John Misty is a pretty divisive performer. Formerly of indie rock bands like Fleet Foxes, FJM strikes a nerve. Some people love his ironic and occasionally psychedelic lyrics; others think he’s another pretentious singer-songwriter. If you don’t have your mind made up yet, maybe seeing him live would help.
Friday and Saturday, October 12th & 13th
Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City
Although she graduated from Union High School in Tulsa, Melinda Doolittle is now living in the Nashville area as a professional singer. She made her name as a finalist on American Idol but also has had a long career lending her vocal talents to gospel musicians. Expect her live shows at the Civic Center to be a crowd-pleasing blend of standards and songs from musicals, as well as pop and soul.
A Hawk and A Hacksaw
Wednesday, October 17th
Although A Hawk and A Hacksaw get lumped into the ‘folk’ category, they’re not what you’d expect. Think less Appalachian and more Carpathian. Accordionist Jeremy Barnes was formerly the drummer for Neutral Milk Hotel and eventually moved on to an obsession with traditional eastern European folk music. With violinist Heather Trost, the duo plays music that makes you feel like you’re wandering foreign streets in Hungary and sipping from a jug of table wine.
Thursday, October 18
Walker Adams Mall – University of Oklahoma, Norman
Local rock group The Nghiems seem to fly under the radar of many metro music listeners, which is a shame. This will be your chance to catch up and hear them play songs from their latest album, Soulmatic, which you can hear for free on Bandcamp. They kinda remind me of Arcade Fire but stripped down with less pomp. Also, their drummer James Nghiem is a super funny and sweet dude, so that’s a +1 to me.
Sunday, October 21st
Farmers Market, Oklahoma City
It’s hard to imagine right now, but there was a time when DJ music wasn’t solely focused on skin-melting frequencies and hard drops, like the dubstep scene that will, apparently, never die. Holy Goof, from Coventry, England, is a throwback to the olden days when it was more about building groove through a four-on-the-floor thump and wavy basslines. Bring your dancing Adidas to this one.
Saturday, October 27th
Grand Casino and Resort, Shawnee
We all know and love Billy Ocean, so he doesn’t need an introduction from us. Instead, a few fun TLO facts about our tangential relationship from the Grammy Award-winning Trinidadian-English R&B hit machine from the 80’s – Patrick’s first concert ever was seeing Billy Ocean at the Oklahoma City Zoo in 1989. Also, I helped get Billy get certified as official yacht rock on the genre-defining podcast ‘Beyond Yacht Rock’ (skip to 19:45 if listening to grown men discussing smooth music is your bag).
TLO Metro Music showcase is sponsored by Play It Loud. Like to see your show listed? Contact Lucas at @fernetbroncho.