POSTED ON JUNE 5, 2013:
Let the New Voices Roar
New music showcase returns
If you like to keep on top of what's hot on the local music scene, chances are you're in the clubs on a weekly basis checking out the hottest bands -- and occasionally some that aren't so hot. Here at Urban Tulsa Weekly, though, we do our best to sort the wheat from the chaff and get down to the best of what our local music scene has to offer. That culminates each year with our annual NewVo (New Voices) music showcase.
In years past, NewVo has followed a variety of formats: we've tried and all-day showcase, an outdoor festival, a month-long series of shows and a single night with multiple clubs and a single cover charge. Over the past few years, however, we've found our groove with a single-night event, showcasing a handful of what are proving to be some of the hottest new bands on the scene in a single location that can house the whole shooting match.
With that in mind, NewVo 2013 is happy to be returning to its home at IDL Ballroom -- 230 E. 1st St. -- next Thursday evening, June 13, in a partnership with the Dog House, Dead Armadillo, Okie Tone and Horton Records to bring you what we think just may be our best showcase yet.
Instead of hopping bars all night, you can get a little bit of everything in one stop as UTW presents RL Jones, SocietySociety, Grayless, Robert Hoefling, Dead Shakes, The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage and Johnny Badseed & the Rotten Apples as part of NewVo 2013. And all with no cover charge.
Robert Hoefling will provide the singer/songwriter fix with a solo acoustic set, while Johnny Badseed & the Rotten Apples brings its own take on alt-country with a distinctly indie-rock spin that meets somewhere between rockabilly and folk with a punk-rock attitude.
Grayless promises to be the surprise of the evening as the sextet that recently broke loose at The Colony continues to create a buzz around town by mixing folk, bluegrass and world beat to create a sound that's soulful and organic at the same time. After quickly gaining traction at The Colony, this group (which includes Chris Kyle and Lance Reynolds -- and how many freaking bands does that guy play in?) has already started spreading its wings and building a following with a strong showing at Backwoods Bash. We're sure you'll be hearing plenty more from this group before year's end as the band provides a perfect vibe for the summer months, making Grayless a perfect addition to this year's NewVo.
If you're looking for indie rock, we've got that covered as well with Dead Shakes and The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage. Dead Shakes only appeared on the scene earlier this year, but the quartet's grimy, garage rock vibe has already landed it at Soundpony, the Yeti and even aside Rude Amps at The Shrine in the past few months. With quoted influences such as The Mummies, The Milkshakes and King Kahn & the BBQ and shows with Rude Amps, you might be tempted to lump this self-described loud, snotty rock & roll band in the punk category, but that would be missing the band's nuance. This group is far more groove- and grit-oriented, making them just as much Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones as Stooges, but the band has been effectively mixing the two sides to keep the audience intrigued and build a buzz.
The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage has been a staple of the indie scene for a couple of years now with regular appearances at Soundpony, Yeti, and elsewhere, playing with the likes of Lizard Police, Rude Amps and Guardant, delivering a distinctly lo-fi and indie spin reverb-drenched surf music. One part punk, one part psychedelia and two parts surf music turns into what The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage dubbed "shit-surf" on its debut, five-song cassette, but local fans aren't scared or misled. Sure, it's a little sloppy and loose, but that's what this stuff is all about. And the irony of being from a land-locked state in Middle America isn't lost on the band with a dark enough sense of humor to run with song titles like "Bloody Beach Blanket" and "Surfin' Kill City."
While NewVo may not have a traditional rapper on the bill this year, we are pulling in Tulsa's only "progressive full-band hip hop" act with SocietySociety for a set that will have the whole room jumping. After a two-year hiatus, the band reformed in late 2012 and quickly picked up where it left off in 2010 with an eclectic mix of punk, soul and hip hop. Who else do you know that can open for a hard rock act (Hell or Highwater) with a great reception and just a couple of weeks later have a room full of college girls whipped into a frenzy as the opener for Aaron Carter. These guys are a powder keg of energy waiting to explode, but the band has its sights set on something bigger than Tulsa with a summer tour already in the planning stages.
Finally, the night wouldn't be complete without a straight up, no-frills rock band, and NewVo is delivering just that with one of the only bands in town to fit the bill in RL Jones. These guys launched with a killer EP in January last year and played some shows out of town, but lost traction with personnel and personal issues. After a pair of back surgeries, Matt Wright is back and ready to rock with his partner in crime, Tom Pritner, as RL Jones springs back to action with new life, some new songs and a new drummer in Brent Blackburn (formerly of First Lady Assassins). This lineup has already played a few shows to knock the dust off, so you can be sure that the band will be rocking at full power when it arrives at NewVo next week.
Make sure and mark your calendars for next Thursday, June 13, and make plans to be at IDL Ballroom for NewVo 2013. It's a full night of Tulsa's best emerging artists and a free night of music for the 18-and-over crowd, brought to you by The Doghouse, Dead Armadillo, Okie Tone, Horton Records and your favorite alt-weekly newspaper, Urban Tulsa Weekly.
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