Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Favorite Sooner State musicians/bands/singers

Ah, why yes ... it is TUNESDAY! I have something a little different today. Seeing as I have O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A on the brain (sorry if my ramblings have been incessant), I am going to dedicate today's post to musicians/bands who are natives of the other (read: lesser) bank of the Red River. By no means is this a complete list; nope, I just picked the first few I like that came to mind. Who all did I neglect? Plenty. If you think I erred by not including Color Me Badd and Hanson, give me an earful in the comments section below, folks.

St. Vincent

Yes, yes, yes, Annie Clark really is a Lake Highlands lady (she learned to play guitar at Zoo Music on Garland Road, was a member of LHHS' Espree and frequents Mi Cocina on Skillman when in town); BUT ... didya know she was born in Tulsa? Now you do.

Fans of uncomfortable comedy will appreciate her trademark doe-eyed, blank-stare appearance in the pre-Portlandia video for "Laughing with a Mouthful of Blood." I saw her at the Kessler Theater last year; as you can see from this video, she is capable of performing with a schosche more energy


The Flaming Lips

The first of several two bands that formed in Norman, Okla., the Lips are the first band I remember hearing that I couldn't firmly classify. Really, they're just weird in all the right ways. From experimenting with boomboxes (Wayne looks incredibly young in that vid) and backing up Beck (I fell in love with them at the gig held at UT's Bass Hall on the same day as this ACL video) to having the official state rock song to now recording music with Ke$ha, the Lips are best described as unconventional. And how about this! You (yes you) can see both the Lips and St. Vincent, among several notables, at one convenient concert — KXT's Summer Cut on June 1.


The Starlight Mints

The other Norman band, the Mints are quirky like the Lips but not nearly as psychedelic. I saw them open for husband-and-wife duo Mates of State at a show in Dekalb, Ill. — a college town that is a lot like Denton, except where there should be a Fuzzy's Tacos, Mr. Chopsticks, Sweetwater Grill and a Jupiter House there are just rows and rows and rows (and rows, too) of corn. 

Garth Brooks

Yep, I am including this guy only because of his kick-ass shirts. Naw, not really. Say what you will about his early '90s fashion or personal life, ol' Garth (didya know his first name is really Troyal?!?!) is one helluva showman — which I define as someone I would pay good money to see perform, regardless of whether I love his or her music.

Another native of Tulsa, Brooks penned quite a few excellent songs (just don't sing them at karaoke, please; you are not Garth, and that's OK). I started to appreciate his music in high school. I played bass and sang a bit for three years in my school's version of "Glee" (South Garland High School's Showboaters). Counting auditions and performances, I must have played half his catalog between 1994 and 1997.

Of all those songs, "The Change" holds the most meaning, especially as I prepare to run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Each year, the Showboaters perform a poignant song during their 30-song, Big Show set. In recognition of the tragedy at the Alfred. P Murrah Federal Building that claimed 168 lives on April 19, 1995, we performed this song with the video playing in the background. It was an emotional and powerful performance. I can still hear the singer, Brandon, and the music we played behind him. But, more than anything, I can hear the end of the song. As our instruments faded to silence, all that anyone could hear were people crying and sniffling. Both nights. For at least a minute. That, my friends, is the power of music. And that is why I love it so much. It moves us in so many ways.

I may not PR on Sunday, but I will run my best race with a great sense of purpose. In one way or potentially many, I am confident my experience in Oklahoma City will change me.


That Pink Girl said...

Now see, I was going to give you sh!t when I saw Garth just waiting at the bottom of the post for my pithy commentary. And then you went and made it all profound and meaningful.

Racing an event with such powerful emotions behind it can be tough. When I ran MCM I saw so many wounded servicemen competing alongside me. Catching a glimpse of a prosthetic limb, or a blind athlete with his guide...then seeing that US Army jersey or Semper Fi tat...I had a pretty good idea of how those physical losses occurred.

When you pass by the Gates of Time or see the empty chairs, you can choose to either be punched in the gut by the sobriety of it all OR allow those same emotions to give you a second wind. To run with endurance for those who cannot.

Wishing you swift feet my friend. Every marathon changes you at least a little. If you do it right.

Robert Tracy said...

Thanks, TPG! I really appreciate hearing your experiences and words of encouragement!