Band showcases are nothing new to Tulsa. Be it a festival, a battle of the bands, or something as crazy and full as the Dirty Carny Sideshow. Of course, the ultimate showcase for Tulsa was DFest, and we'll see how Free Tulsa and/or the Black Gold Music Run fill the gap.
The Tulsa Original Music showcase presented by The Edge and TulsaOriginalMusic.com seems to be the event to find the right balance of talent without overloading the bill during the past couple of years. But that is traditionally a winter show and as summer approaches, now is a great time to get a peek at the bands you should potentially be watching.
With that in mind Fat Lip Entertainment (yes, the group that brings us the overloaded chaos of Dirty Carny) is presenting a more manageable showcase at Bob's Saturday night entitled, appropriately enough, Fat Lip's Future Showcase.
The evening highlights 11 up-and-coming bands in a variety of genres, from pop and rock to rap, to present a peek at what the future of our local music scene might entail. The show is hosted by Matt Lip and Ashlee McManus, co-hosts of The Edge's Homegroan show, so you know these acts have promise as the pair gets to hear just about everyone in town, aside from a few indie acts that are too cool to want any airplay.
Doors open at 5pm, Saturday, June 12, and the show begins at 6pm. The lineup includes a mix of new acts and a few older ones that have taken time to establish themselves and start to build a real following such as Infamous and The Secret Post.
The roster of younger acts to watch for includes The Atlas Life, Sweet Action Jackson, Amanda Byers, Gravedigger's Jokebook, Fairview, Josh Sallee and SoGen. Finally, a pair of acts that have already started to build a minor buzz are Astellaway and Epifade, both of which deserve some attention before they're dismissed.
Young, new bands come and go. That's just how the band cycle works and is to be expected, so I know not all of these bands will be around this time next year. That's not to be worried about, however. Even if you're not watching and following a specific band, you can be sure that these acts are going to showcase at least two or three musicians who will prove to be key players on the local scene in a few years, whether playing in their current band or spreading themselves out in a few different projects, which has become the norm in Tulsa as of late.
Perhaps the best part of the evening -- and best reason to drop your $10 for a ticket -- is the return of PDA.
If you hadn't heard, one of Tulsa's favorite hip hop artists moved to Los Angeles in January and has been working on his act on the West Coast. He's back for a little summer break, however, and will only be playing one show in Tulsa while he's here, headlining the Fat Lip show.
It's been a while since I last caught up with PDA, whose last show in town was back in December, so I made a quick call last week to catch up and see how the West Coast has been treating him.
Although he hasn't been playing in L.A. yet, he has been working on his next project, which he's planning to release as a free download in July.
Titled Intermission, PDA said that it's just that -- a little break from the heavier overtones of Act II: A Different Victim and Act III: Wasted Talent.
"This one's just a lot lighter and more fun," he said. "Act III was kind of heavy, so this time I just wanted to make something that is fun and light-hearted, that you can dance to or just put on in the car to have fun and feel good."
Once again, PDA's been hard at work in his little studio/laboratory, building beats and creating his own little masterpiece.
This time he's using just two beats from other people, one that Navigator sent to him and another from an undisclosed source.
He also said that he's gone back to using a lot of samples this time, mostly because: "People really seemed to enjoy that -- especially on the songs that used samples that they already knew. This time I'm using a lot of songs that I liked, though, so there are some that are popular and everyone will know and others that people probably won't recognize."
PDA indicated that the record is almost complete, and he's only waiting on a few more feature vocals to finish everything up and get it mastered. He said that he's working with a people such as Navigator and XV, the young rapper from Kansas City who was a star of PDA's CD release show. He also laughed that, "Adam Sandler is one of the features -- kind of, but not really. I sampled him and used it in one of the songs, so he's almost a featured guest."
He's not planning on releasing it on CD, however. Instead, he said that he's planning to release it as a free download, as a gift of sorts to all of the fans that have stuck with him and as something fun for everyone to enjoy. He's also pondering the possibility of a limited hard copy release on vinyl only.
Keeping the release limited and via free download is probably the best way to go right now. By keeping it low-key and doing it this way, he'll be able to get a new product out and avoid most issue with any of the samples.
PDA said that he hasn't played any live shows as of yet. He did audition drummers and had a girl lined up, but she flaked out, so he redirected his attention to working on Intermission, with the intention of using it to build up on and follow up by returning to the stage.
At this point, he's been networking, making himself known and making the contacts he'll need in order to get a few key gigs to get him introduced to the live clubs and stage in L.A.
This weekend, however, that's not an issue. With a quick trip home to visit family and friends, it's a great opportunity for PDA to shake the dust off and make sure his live chops are still up to par. By headlining the Fat Lip Future showcase, he should also help get a few young acts some attention from a bit larger audience than they'd normally see.
Whether you're looking for some new bands and new music or just want to catch up with PDA while you can, this weekend's show should be a great time. Tickets are $10 in advance or $14 at the door with music starting at 6pm. Don't miss your chance to catch PDA while he's back.
Chances are it will be the end of the year before he returns again, so now's a great time to get your summer fix and get a sneak preview of Intermission, as well as a peek at a few of Tulsa's promising new acts.
Fill Your Soul
Amongst the highlights from the weekend, there's one that deserves a little extra attention this Saturday night. Anyone who has followed All Souls Acoustic Coffehouse knows that the venue has consistently put on great shows and they've only gotten better over the past couple of seasons.
Normally, All Souls wraps up its concert season in late spring, but an opportunity came up for a summer show that couldn't be passed. Saturday night, All Souls hosts an evening with Joe Ely, for what might end up being one of the best shows of the season.
After opening last fall with Jimmy LaFavre, closing things out with Joe Ely is a coup. The last time Ely played here, it was a show at Brady Theater for songwriters in the round type show, trading songs and stories with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt and Guy Clark. That show drew rave reviews and is one that people still talk about.
This time, he might not be sharing the stage with Lovett and Hiatt, but we are guaranteed a full night of songs and stories from Ely in an even more intimate setting. This is a show that singer-songwriter fans won't want to miss. Tickets are $25 and going fast, so go to www.ticketstorm.com to get yours before the show sells out.
Summer is here, and the local shows are heating up along with the temperature. There are plenty of highlights this week, so I'll just cut to the chase.
Thursday, June 10, has a couple of big shows to catch, depending on your preference. Red Dirt and Texas country fans will want to catch Wade Bowen with Sean McConnor at Bob's for a great small-scale show. Pop fans, on the other hand, will do good to cool off at Big Splash with KHITS' "Kickass Summer Splash" featuring Jason DeRulo, We The Kings and local favorites, Stars Go Dim.
Friday night, June 11, is a great night for local music with Paul Benjaman Band at the Colony, Jesse Aycock at Arnie's, Scott Ellison at Hunt Club and Billy Joe Winghead at Mercury Lounge.
Flytrap Events Center also hosts Big Smith on Friday, with Tom Skinner's Science project opening the show. Also on June 11, local band Even the Dogs, which just made its national debut on Driven Records, holds its local CD release party at Bob's with Fist of Rage, Raising Adonis and Sixes opening the show.
The big shows on Saturday, June 12, are the aforementioned Fat Lip Showcase at Bob's and Joe Ely at All Souls, but there's plenty more to choose. Reggae fans can get their groove on at Mercury Lounge for a smaller show with Sam and the Stylees, while pop fans can enjoy Admiral Twin at Hunt Club, indie rock fans can catch Ceceda at Colony and people who just like to drink and have fun should check out Alex and the Anders at Arnie's.
Looking out into next week, you can't go wrong with a night of killer guitars as Paul Benjaman and Steve Pryor pair up and trade licks again at The Colony on Monday night, June 14.
Finally, the week's highlights wrap up with the final bog show of the week with Papa Roach at Cain's Ballroom.
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