Oh, what a season it's been. Christmas is roughly a week away, and while the hectic pace of the season has got some of us frazzled, for others time has flown by so quickly. It's hard to believe the holiday is nearly here. Nevertheless, Christmas approaches and the parties and craziness continue on.
In the spirit of the season, many of our local acts have been playing local shows to help celebrate the holidays and we've still got a couple of big Christmas shows yet to arrive within the next week. While they may not be as big as last week's Red Dirt Christmas or the Trans-Siberian Orchestra extravaganza, they should be just as fun for Tulsa's music fans.
For Our Friends
The show that promises to offer a little of something for everyone has become the annual event that local music lovers of all genres look forward to. Friday night, Dec. 18, Fat Lip presents PDA's 3rd Annual Christmas Gala at Bob's. It's a six-act show that covers rock, pop and hip-hop, and somehow manages to do it all without coming across as schizophrenic or forced -- much like PDA's music.
Doors open at 7:30pm and music starts at 8pm with high-school pop-punk rockers Head Over Hills opening the show. Before the evening is done, you'll get tastes of rap with Navigator, progressive hardcore with Refuse Thy Name, and indie/shoegazer with Motive for Movement.
One of Tulsa's hottest bands of the moment, Eric and the Adams even shows up for the party to balance the pop end of the spectrum before PDA closes out the night with a typically high energy set.
This is one you won't want to miss as it's PDA's last advertised performance of the year, and probably last show in Tulsa for quite some time.
In case you haven't heard, he's moving to the land of milk and honey-or perhaps, more appropriately--land of Hollywood and Vine in January. Yes, that's right: He's moving to Los Angeles with his sweetheart to follow his heart and take a shot at going big on the west coast. Not only will this be a fun show, but a great way to send off our best local rapper on a high-note.
Tickets are only $10 in advance or $12 at the door, and it's an all-ages show.
If you've been looking for something new or are still looking for the perfect gift for a friend that's always on top of all the latest in local music, you won't want to miss The Physiques' CD release party at The Marquee Friday night, Dec. 18, at The Marquee. This Claremore-based rock act has been flying under the radar and channels indie and garage rock with a touch of psychedelia but is ready to step out of the shadows with its debut disc.
Hints of Interpol and Cold War Kids collide with The White Stripes and even hints of Smashing Pumpkins for a startling sonic brew that captures the band's raw energy. In a live setting, the band is still loose limbed and ragged, but that's what rock and roll is supposed to be about. There's a lot of potential here, and the band only promises to get tighter as it continues to develop.
Cody Clinton and the Bishops share the bill and balance the evening with the band's straight-forward, Americana rock.
A room like The Marquee is the perfect place to experience Clinton and connect with his personal songs informed by the likes of Tom Petty, Neil Young and John Mellencamp.
If you don't want to just buy a CD, but actually be a part of it, then you'll want to be at Mercury Lounge on Friday night as Brandon Clark Band and Travis Kidd and the High-Mids take the stage at 10pm. Hank Charles brings out his recording equipment and each band plays for roughly an hour and a half, recording the show for possible use or release in the future. Clark and Kidd both truly shine with their live performances, so they've decided to give it a go by recording live and see what they walk away with before locking down in the studio to start multi-tracking again.
Expect a few of your favorites from each of them along with a handful of new songs -- especially from Clark, whose band has continued to evolve with the addition of guitarist Brandon Autry within the past few months.
Both bands feed off the audience, so this is your chance to add to the band's performance and maybe even hear yourself on a future release, if you're cheering (not jeering) loudly enough.
For the Kids
The show that indie-pop fans should be waiting with baited breath for is Starlight Mints' first Holiday Toy Drive show at the Marquee on Tuesday, Dec. 22. It's one of three shows the band is holding this year (the others are in Dallas and Oklahoma City) to raise money for local food banks and homeless shelters and collect gifts for kids and families in need.
While it's an honorable cause, it just adds one more reason to get excited about The Mints' return to a Tulsa stage. The group released its fourth disc, Change Remains, in June to what seems like alarmingly minimal buzz. The band has taken a slight turn with the new disc, moving further away from its semi-orchestral "chamber pop" sound and exploring more electronic avenues in what proves to be the logical next step from Drowatron.
The fact that this disc hasn't garnered more attention and praise is amazing, because it's slightly stripped back approach ultimately proves to be perhaps the band's most accessible disc to date.
Change Remains is more direct and succinct, and my favorite Mints disc to date. Even with a more streamlined approach, the band hasn't lost its quirkiness or personality.
"Black Champagne" serves up a huge pop hook while "Zoomba" simmers with a psychedelic, funky groove worthy of the Flaming Lips and "Power Bleed" gurgles with electronic trippiness. How can you not love this record from a band that has always been a local and critical darling?
If the new tunes aren't enough to get you worked up, perhaps the fact that the band will be playing at The Marquee will help. It provides an opportunity to see one of our favorite Oklahoma indie-pop acts in a small venue with great sight lines and consistently excellent sound. To make the show even more exciting, Aqueduct returns home to provide direct support along with Stillwater based psych-pop act Deerpeople opening the show.
Tickets for this show are available at Under the Mooch for only $10 with a wrapped toy donation or $12 online or without a toy. Admission will be $15 at the door, and it's an all-ages show; although, there will be a $2 surcharge for the under 21 crowd. Not only will the toys be donated to kids in need via a local charity, but proceeds from ticket sales will also be donated to a local food bank and homeless shelter.
Just when you think things can't get any crazier around the holidays, you just need to look at the calendar. Even the local shows are going nuts this week. I've already thrown you highlights of some of the most anticipated shows, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you need a few tips to get you pointed in the right direction for something else this weekend, read on.
Thursday night always seems to provide an opportunity to kick off the weekend early, and this week is no different. This week we've got the usual suspects, such as Cairde na Gael at Arnie's, Dustin and Jesse's Higher Education at Eclipse and Matt & Ben at Bruhouse. The real highlight for Dec. 17, however, is the CD release show for KRSNA the Scarecrow at Flytrap Music Hall. Zeke Duhon, Midnight Shift and The Televised will open the show and tickets are only $7 at the door.
We've already established that Friday night is busy with PDA's Christmas Gala, The Physiques' CD release and the live recordings with Brandon Clark and Travis Kidd at Mercury Lounge. If you're looking for something different, there's still more to choose from on Dec. 18. Blues fans can settle in with a beer and screaming guitars with Steve Pryor at Arnie's, while straight up rock fans will congregate down the street at Flytrap for Rescue Signals, Baron Von Swagger and First Lady Assassins with Crazylove and Carvolue opening the show.
Meanwhile, local indie-rock fans can't afford to miss the Panda Resistance CD release at Soundpony with Daniel(s) opening the show. See page xx for C.M. Rodriguez' preview.
Saturday night offers a full array of options for local music fans as well. If you love Americana, you can't go wrong with Turnpike Troubadours at Mercury Lounge or Jesse Aycock at Arnie's. As always, Soundpony has the goods for indie-rock fans with Lizard Police, Sweet Baby Jayzus and 2+2 On the Moon. The surprise gig of the weekend, however, is Pajama Jammi Jam at Flytrap Music Hall with Flavor Flav (yes, the one of Public Enemy and VH1's Flavor of Love) with DJ Good Ground. Tickets are $10.50 in advance or $15 at the door with pajamas/$20 without.
If you're in the mood to catch a local legend, Saturday night also provides an opportunity to see Leon Russell at The Wormy Dog in Oklahoma City for only $20. It's a great room with a small stage and good sound. Tulsa act Miniver Cheevy (featuring Beau Charron and Brandon Holder, formerly of Fuzz) opens the show and guitarist Cody Clinton will even debut a couple of his solo tunes as well.
Finally, the weekend wraps up with a couple of big holiday choices. Locally, KHITS "Jingle Ball" with Justin Beiber, Bowling For Soup, Kristina Debarge and Press Play is at Mabee Center with Stars Go Dim opening the show at 7pm. Tickets are still available for only $25. If you need something a little more "Christmas-y", though, and missed the group last week at BOK center, you've got one last chance to see Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Ford Center in OKC.
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