With Christmas approaching so all of a sudden, we all respond differently. Some of us stress out, some shut down and others just need to get out and blow off some steam.
No matter what your personality and coping mechanism may be, there's a show this weekend to help you relax, with a few big concerts and a batch of smaller, more laid back shows around town. It's just matter of what you're looking for.
To the Extreme
Lest you think we could finish out the year without DFest popping its head up again, the rebellious little sister, DFest-X, is back and hogging the spotlight this weekend on Dec. 15 and 16. Now in its third year, DFest-X (formerly X-rated, now eXtreme) is the small-scale, winter version of the festival and focuses specifically on hard rock from Tulsa and the surrounding area.
This year, instead of being a one-night blur of heavy metal and gambling on the weather with an outdoor stage, D/X has moved out to the Otherside Club at 69th and Lewis and expanded to become a two-day event. The premise is the same: to showcase the best in Oklahoma metal, but this year the event has moved to a larger, more comfortable venue and the bands won't be overlapping, allowing you to see anyone and everyone without missing a beat.
On Friday the showcase starts with Sand Springs' Christian metal act JLS taking the stage at 6pm. Eight more bands fill out the Friday lineup, playing 30 minute sets with 15 minutes planned between each of them to turn over the stage.
The rest of Friday's bill is completed by (in the order of appearance): Cherish the Memory, Seperation From All, Edinberg, The University, afterEIGHT, Down For Five, My Dead X (formerly Suffer The Masses), and Bush Laden.
On Saturday, Blue Eyed Boy Death Machine kicks off the show at 4:30pm, followed by Kinship of Misery, Aesthetic, Eighty Proof, Bag Eyes, Crooked X, NeverSeT, Fighting Tomorrow, Within Chaos, Hella Back, and Rook.
Once Rook completes its set, the Eye Candy Burlesque troop will wrap things up with a one-hour performance to close out the weekend.
By dedicating a weekend to "Loud Rock" and metal bands, DFest-X has created an opportunity for many bands that may have been too heavy for the summer showcase. While that is a good and honorable cause, the event also helps keep the main DFest conference in the minds of local music fans and serve as a warning shot that the summer festival is now accepting applications for bands who wish to showcase.
Wristbands for DFest-X can be purchased in advance for $12 from any of the participating bands or for $15 at the door and will include admission for both nights.
Doors open at 4pm on Friday and Saturday and set times can be verified online. To check the schedule for details and to find out when your favorite band is scheduled to play, go to www.dfestx.com. For hard rock or metal fans, this is a "can't miss show".
If you're not in the mood to bang your head after being stuck in traffic at 71st and Memorial, but would rather celebrate with a Christmas party, a couple of the year's most anticipated Christmas concerts are coming this weekend to lift your sprits.
First, Fri., Dec. 15, the Hero Factor is holding its annual Christmas show at the Cain's Ballroom. The band has put in some serious road miles this fall behind their new EP on Nobility Records, Battling Chimaera, and spent a week in New York for the CMJ conference as well as doing a string of west coast dates.
Now they are back and ready for a big show at home to celebrate the holidays.
It's not a party without friends, however, so Amsterband and Ho-Hum have been enlisted to open the show and all of the band's local fans are invited to come celebrate the holidays. It's an all ages show and tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door, with the music starting at 8pm.
Also this weekend at Cain's, the Red Dirt Rangers will hold its 10th annual Red Dirt Christmas concert on Sat., Dec., 16. Tickets are $29 in advance or $34 at the door and as always, proceeds from the concert will be donated to children's charities.
Usually the lineup for this Christmas show rotates from year to year, with The Rangers serving as the anchor tying it all together. John Cooper and the boys are still the common thread, but this year Bob Childers, Stoney Larue and Cross Canadian Ragweed will all be returning as well.
As Coop told me when I caught up with him out at Grape Ranch this fall, "Everything went so well last year, we decided to do it again with the same line up."
Granted, Ragweed is a huge draw, but they aren't the only reason to catch this show. The best reason to attend is to see who else will show up on stage unannounced throughout the night.
At last year's show I lost track of everyone, but I do recall cameos by Childers with the other bands' sets, as well as visits from Scott Evans, Brandon Jenkins, and Tom Skinner as the evening turned into a family reunion of sorts.
Plan on being out late and sleeping in on Sunday morning if you go to this show; I had to bail out at around 1:20am last year, and Ragweed was still raging with no end in sight. You can be sure that the Red Dirt Christmas will sell out again this year so get your tickets now and don't risk getting turned away at the door.
Just in case the Christmas show isn't enough Ragweed for you, start making phone calls now to find a hotel room near Bricktown and tickets for Cross Canadian's New Year's Eve show at the Wormy Dog in OKC. And for those die hard Ragweed fans on your Christmas list, don't miss the band's live CD and DVD, Back To Tulsa, recorded this July at Cain's.
For those of you who need to get out and start your weekend early, you've got a few options to keep you from going stir crazy. A couple of tonight's (Thursday) highlights are Tellomar Repair at The Soundpony Lounge, for the indie-rock crowd, and Jazzcow at the recently remodeled and re-opened 8OneEight Martini Bar.
The Cain's Ballroom will be busy tonight (Dec. 14) as well, with The Wreckers and AM (not Cole Deggs, as previously announced) make their first stop in Tulsa.
The Wreckers are Michelle Branch and Jessica Harp, doing the country music thing--and doing it incredibly well. They even scored a Grammy nomination last week in the "Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" category.
This will be definitely be an eclectic show given Branch's background in pop music and the fact that AM is more of an acoustic, folk-rock. To get the evening started, Citizen Mundi will be playing an acoustic set, adding a Latin-pop flavor to the show. Tickets are $24 with doors opening at 7pm and the concert starting at 8pm.
Fans of Salsa, world-beat, and jazz will want to catch Salsa Rhythm Project as they keep things funky at The Continental on Friday night.
Also on Fri., Dec. 15, local blues monster Steve Pryor will be rattling the windows at Arnie's Bar into the wee hours.
And if one night of Pryor's fiery guitar work isn't enough, you can catch him just down the block at the Route 66 Roadhouse again on Saturday. Cover should only be about $5 each evening, so plan accordingly and make sure you bring enough beer money.
On Sat., Dec., 16, Jesse Aycock will be playing at Arnie's as well. Anyone who hasn't heard Aycock's debut solo disc, Life's Ladder, yet is missing out. It's a tasty mélange of blues, folk, country, and pop with an almost psychedelic warmth. All of his material won't hit you initially, however, this disc is definitely one that grows on you and opens up more and more with repeated listens.
It's not often that we get to see Jesse up front as a solo artist since he's been playing the sideman role to Dustin Pittsley and working in a little of his own material.
This Saturday will be a full night of Aycock tunes, however, so plan on staying late and soaking it all in. And don't forget to pick up an extra copy of Life's Ladder -- you surely know someone who needs one in their stocking.
The Rumblejetts are back in town on Saturday for a night of rockabilly at Tulsa's coolest alt-country bar, the Mercury Lounge. As always, cover is $5 and the band should go on about 10pm.
Also on Sat., Dec. 16, is "Wreck the Halls 2006" at the Pinkeye. Wreck the Halls is a hip-hop blowout with 11 acts, including Trip C and Crazy P, Unstable Americans, Krall, RSun, Kawnar and more. Admission is $10 and the show starts at 6pm.
On Sunday, Dec. 17, The Deftones and Glassjaw are at Cain's Ballroom. It's an 18 and over show sponsored by Camel. Only a limited number of general admission tickets were put up for sale and they're all sold out, but you can still check www.camelsmokes.com to see if a local rep has any tickets left.
Isn't it about time for a good holiday haunting? GHOSTS will be making their presence known once again with a free show at the Soundpony on Sunday night. Predictions are for the apparitions to appear around 10pm, so show up with an open mind and a sense of humor.
Then on Monday night, Nick Gibson will be doing an acoustic set at Crow Creek Tavern.
Gibson's a singer-songwriter with an alt-county tinge--he's also good guitarist. He just completed a new CD in Nashville, so we'll definitely be hearing more from him in 2007. Check him out Monday and get a sneak preview.
Calling All Bands
Most people probably aren't thinking about it yet, but it's not too early for any musicians out there to start planning for the summer festival season. Next year's Mayfest is scheduled for May 17-20, 2007 and applications are currently being accepted for performing artists. Make sure to download your applications from the website at www.tulsamayfest.com (go to the artists/performing artists page) and get them submitted by January 12 to be considered for the festival.
It's already been mentioned above, but it bears repeating: DFest is also accepting applications for next summer's event. The festival's mission is to keep at least a 40% share of Oklahoma bands on the schedule, but the number of apps from across the nation is rising every year. We've got some great bands here in town and I expect you to show up and represent us well. Don't wait -- get a jump on everyone else and get your applications in now. Get more details and start the submission process online at www.dfest.com.
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