The dog days of summer are definitely here: The temperature continues to climb; we're retreating from the patios back inside for the air conditioning; and the calendar continues to split at the seams. If there's one upside to it all, at least moving indoors puts us back in front of some of our favorite local stages.
It's a good time for it, too. As local shows and CD releases continue to scroll up on our calendar, we can re-acclimate while taking in some of the coolest new tunes in town.
With that in mind, there might be no better timing or title for Cody Clinton's new solo EP, Dog Days Comin', to arrive. Clinton officially introduces the new songs to Tulsa Friday night, July 9, with a CD release party at The Marquee.
This is no extension of The Bishops or even his association with Pilgrim, however: It's Clinton exploring his solo side -- with a twist.
Anyone who's familiar with Cody Clinton and the Bishops knows him as a straight-up rocker with a southern tinge and a commercial appeal. Add a touch of Neil Young here, a pinch of Beatles or dash of Stones there, and well ... you get the idea.
Even when playing the role of guitarist in side projects Pilgrim or Miniver Cheevy, Clinton mines a classic rock vibe -- usually with a healthy dose of British Invasion to keep things sparkling and upbeat.
When it came time to do a solo project, however, Clinton said, "I wanted to make something a little less mainstream and a little more weird."
Lyrically, Clinton spreads his wings and steps out into cinematic, film-noir territory with songs such as "Black Clad Girl" and "Lipstick and a Gun," but that's by design. When discussing his inspiration and influences, Clinton is just as likely to name directors such as Quentin Tarantino or the Coen Brothers.
The result is something Clinton likens to "Spaghetti Western" music, drawing inspiration not only from Tarantino's imagery but definitely the feel and soundtracks of his movies.
Although not quite the guitar line that's indelibly linked to Pulp Fiction on everyone's minds, using reference points such as Nancy Sinatra and Dick Dale, certainly pointed him in the right direction. "Black Clad Girl" even steps into Johnny Cash territory before the EP takes a psychedelic turn with "Lipstick and a Gun" and gradually morphs into its own creature as Clinton's Beatles influence seeps out in the final two tracks, "The Call" and "Who Are You Lying To?"
When Clinton said, "I wanted to make something more moody and less bubble-gum, a bit darker ..." he certainly achieved his goal. The ironic twist of the disc isn't really in the change of sound, however. It's more in how the recordings changed Clinton's direction.
By bringing in Desirae Roses to sing on a pair of songs, the project became more of a duo project than a solo outing. As a result of singing together on the disc, the pair started performing acoustic shows together and has created a distinct sound and musical entity as "Desi and Cody."
In fact, the collaboration worked out so well that Clinton is planning a second EP that will put the spotlight more on Desirae. The two will tie together as an intermingled pair as the songwriting process continues in the same vein and the artwork has already been planned out. The cover for Dog Days Comin' is the first part of a comic strip. When matched up with the second disc, the strip will be completed, as will the song cycle.
The real question on compatibility between the two discs arises in the fact that producer Jordan Elder has since moved to Brooklyn, but Clinton isn't worried. With Nathan Price engineering at Black Watch studios, Clinton will collaborate with Eric Arndt to produce the next disc and make the pair a cohesive whole.
Even without an extension, Dog Days is an engaging listen that examines the manifestation of personal demons, a Black Widow spinning her web and staring down death, depression and alienation. Somehow, though, Clinton manages to tell his tale with a light at the end of the tunnel and enough redemptive value to want to experience it all again.
The release party for Dog Days Comin' is Friday night, July 9, at The Marquee. Vandevander and Wink Burcham open the show as Vandevander pulls double duty and serves as Desi and Cody's backing band for the evening. Cover is $8 in advance or $10 at the door and will include a copy of the EP.
Trust me: It's dark, yet engaging -- and after a few listens you'll already be wondering how it will all play out on the next EP, so don't hesitate to find your own copy of the disc.
Although there are a number of shows worth your time this weekend, I'd be remiss to not make specific mention of the show that has been planned to pay honor to the memory of Missy Eubanks, who was killed on Friday, May 7. While details are sketchy, it appeared to be a drunk driving/hit-and-run accident at 6th and Peoria that saw Eubanks die from her injuries.
Close friends have arranged for a huge party at Flytrap Friday, July 9 to honor her memory. The evening begins at 7pm and concludes at 2am with live music by Orphium, Sam & the Stylees and Dirtfoot. DJ Kylie, Shannon Chambers, DJ Moody and DJ P will be splitting up the rest of the evening to keep the audience entertained and dancing throughout the night.
All of the bands and DJs have donated their time and service, as has Flytrap, so there's no overhead for organizers. The evening has been arranged as a benefit and fundraiser with a suggested donation of $5 for entry, a silent auction of artwork and a raffle planned, with all proceeds going to educational and support funds for Missy's 10-year-old son, Jackson.
Photographer Benjy Russel, who is best known as photographer for Shiny Toy Guns, as well as a number of other local artists will have their work posted as part of the silent auction and a number of door prizes have also been donated, so anyone who attends has a good chance of walking away with something while helping a good cause and paying tribute to a friend.
Organized by Josh Lynch, Christopher Schreiner, Gregory Topor and Brannon Crain, the goal, as close friend Havala Keogh-Wilburn explains it is "to pay tribute to Missy and how she touched everyone's life that she came in contact with."
Even if you didn't know Missy, this is a good opportunity to support your fellow music lovers and help provide for her son -- and if you love to dance, you won't want to miss it.
How can you possibly choose what to do when there are so many cool shows to choose from? One option is to bounce between shows and try to catch a little of each, although that isn't always easy -- or cheap. The other is to scan through the local listings, figure out what appeals to you the most, mark a back-up plan and head out. As always, we've got the highlights; although if you want a full listing, you can always hit our Live Music section to find even more shows on Page 42.
Thursday nights are best for hanging out and relaxing and one of the best places to do that is the patio at Hunt Club, where Steve Lidell will be strumming away on July 8. If you're looking for a dose of country with a splash of rock and roll (some people tend to call it Red Dirt), you may well want to join the party with No Justice at Woody's Corner Bar (formerly Dirty's) grand opening celebration. Things may have been relatively quiet as of late, but Woody's promises to bring some exciting band to the stage and help revive the corner of 2nd and Elgin.
On Friday night, July 9, Woody's welcomes Bo Phillips Band for more Texas Country and Red Dirt. Meanwhile, it's always a party at Arnie's when Alex and the Anders take over the microphone. Of course, you already know about the aforementioned "Tribute to Missy Eubanks" at Flytrap and Cody Clinton CD release party at the Marquee. Perhaps the biggest show of the night, however, is the return of Thrice with Kevin Devine, Bad Veins and The Dig opening the show.
Also on Friday is a private house concert with Shotgun Party, which will appeal to Americana, country and western swing fans. RSVP by calling Nathan Pickard at 734-0287. The show starts at 8pm with a suggested $15 donation.
On Saturday, July 10, Flytrap welcomes Joseph Israel and Josh Heinrichs (of Jah Roots) for a full night of reggae. Looking around town for something different, Wighead plays Soundpony, Woody's continues the celebration with Two Steps Back, and The Eclipse Brings Electric Attitude to town with The Doldrums opening the show. Of course, the rockers out there will want to party with Baron Von Swagger and Crazy Love at Shenanigan's and country fans will want to check out Mary Cogan's CD release party for Bury Me in the Red Clay at The Ivey at 9pm.
If you're ready to dance on Saturday night, however, you've got to get to Crystal Pistol. DJ Robbo's band, Recorder, returns form a six-month hiatus with new tunes and a high energy show that always entertains. It's a free show, so come see why Recorder is nominated in the Best Dance/Party Band and Best Live Stage Performance categories of this year's ABoT Music Awards. Electro-duo Bruner will open and DJ Kylie will spin a set afterwards.
On Sunday, July 11, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band returns for a show at the Tulsa PAC. For anyone who loves good storytelling and crack musicianship, this will be the show of the week.
Monday night's highlight is the Scream the Prayer Tour at the Marquee. This year's headliners are Maylene & the Sons of Disaster, For Today, Blessed By a Broken Heart, A Plea For Purging. Doors open at 6pm, so arrive early, because this tour consistently sells out when it comes to Tulsa.
Finally, the week wraps up with Against Me! at The Marquee with opener First Lady Assassins on Tuesday, July 13, followed by Delta Spirit (who created a real buzz at DFest last year) at Bob's on Wednesday night, July 14.
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