waka winter classics this week: Cain’s Ballroom

As we mentioned last week, this month is full of wakarusa’s waka winter classics. These are battles of the bands held in venues all around our region giving small local bands a chance to win a set at wakarusa in the coming summer. This week we’ve given each of the classics’ bands a listen and have our picks for you.

First up is Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa on January 9th. The bands are:

We The Ghost
“Urban Acoustic, Indie, Reggae, Singer-Songwriter, Rock n Roll… Call it what you will, Midtown Tulsa’s We The Ghost has an unexplainable chemistry and authenticity that cannot be faked.”
We The Ghost has a really finished sound and is on a level above the average hometown band I think of when I think of the Waka Winter Classic. The band consists of Beau Tyler (lead vocals, acoustic guitar and synth), Jocelyn Rowland (violin and backing vocals), Dain Samuelson (djimbe), Jimmy Dean Adams (drums and backing vocals), and Matt McHan (lead guitar and backing vocals). It’s definitely the violin that gives this band it’s unique sound. Somehow the classical undertones it brings make the music sound like a mashup and the result is a really fun, different kind of sound.
Jumpship Astronaut
“Jumpship Astronaut began as an experiment in melding the danceable sounds of electronic music with guitar-driven indie rock, resulting in a stellar combination bolstered by polished pop sensibilities and a penchant for strong melodies.”
I would describe Jumpship’s sound as “gritty boyband”. The band consists of: Ryan Bryant (vocals and guitar), Chris Bourland (synth), Scott Dunn (bass and synth), and Kris Davis (drums). They are a newish band and their first album comes out in March.
The Dirty Creek Bandits
“With the rock recipe complete their stew will folk you up!”
The Bandits are: Justin (guitar and vocals), Wesley (guitar, vocals, and harmonica), Brandi (vocals and tambourine), Steve (guitar, mandolin, and keys), Jason (bass), and Eli (box drum and washboard). First off, any band with a tamborine girl and a washboard guy wins. Second, these catchy folk, bluegrass, psychadelic rock sounds did more than just catch my ear. I’m a fan. It’s like the Beatles learned what bluegrass is!

The Loaded Dice
“Many describe their sound as rockabilly, rock ‘n roll, and they are often compared to The Black Keys and the Kings of Leon.”
If you’re looking for a full on rock band, with piano that gives them a White Stripes-ish sound, here you have it.
The Younglings
“After a revamp in the fall of 2012 the band moved its lead singer to drums to continue the two piece musical onslaught. The band has taken influences from bands such as Manchester Orchestra, The Black Keys and The Queens of the Stone Age. With their new musical setup they are focusing on a new album to be released in the spring of 2013.”
Must every band compare themselves to the Black Keys? The Younglings at least achieve the comparison better than the previous band, in my opinion.

So, The Younglings would have been my pick, if The Dirty Creek Bandits hadn’t won my heart. Who’s your pick? Who do you think will win? We’ve got our fingers crossed for The Dirty Creek Bandits over here!

Southern Fried Christmas Music

I’m really not a huge fan of Holiday music. That being said, I do remember decorating our tree as a child while listening to Gene Autry, Dolly Parton, and other country Christmas classics. This playlist honors that tradition. Enjoy and Happy Holidays

vampire weekend at the AMP

vampire weekendMy view is not quite the same as most, but I could still hear every word – and that’s what counts. I’ve been known to join the little crowds behind the AMP on the bike trail when there’s a show going on. Some people bring coolers, or chairs. But I just lean on my bike and groove. (Sometimes I bring cookies.)

A couple of weeks ago Vampire Weekend was in town. You can’t really take a picture of music … case in point above, but it was pretty incredible. I heard a lot about them on NPR when their new album came out in May. Until then, I had kind of written them off as one of those ’emo’ bands from High School with Death Cab and other more embarrasing bands. But I really like their new album, it has a fresh feel while retaining their own style and sound.

If you get the chance, go see them! Loiter outside like I did, or you know, pay money… their backdrop was beautiful (I saw pictures later) – though it kind of blocked my view.

Michal Menert at George’s Majestic Lounge

menertWe went to see Michal Menert’s Space Jazz tour last Tuesday at George’s. The crowd took a few hours to grow, but by the time M.M. got on stage there was a pretty decent group for a Tuesday night. We did some work for his tour during the week prior (hanging posters, getting the word out, etc.) and so I was “on the list” and got to go for free. Fancy, I know! The music was super groovy. According to my parents, the jazz station was my favorite when I was little. So, apparently I like jazz. Although, jazz is definitely just a touch of what Michal Menert’s music sounds like. It’s definitely dubstep with everything from world music to classic jazzy tunes mixed in.

Michal Menert’s tour is really huge, so there’s no excuse for missing it! Check out his upcoming shows and go dance your face off!


music monday: farmer’s market musicians

On Saturday we rode our bikes up to the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market on the square and found three super great local musicians gracing the crowd with their talent.

farmer's marketThere was this cowboy (above) playing Hank Williams Sr.’s “Your Cheatin’ Heart” which is a favorite of Brooke’s. I like it because it’s easy to play on my ukulele. We did a little jig as we passed him and were on to the next corner where these three (below) were playing smooth jazz! They were Brooke’s favorite becuase, well it’s a three piece band, on the street.

farmer's marketLastly, was this firecracker playing reggae with nothing but his little guitar that is so worn down it has a hole in it. He was my favorite, but I have a soft spot for dreadlocks and skateboarders.

farmer's marketCowboyWhat kind of music is there at your local farmer’s market? Have you ever thought about popping out with your guitar and singing to the world? If so, we think you’re super brave and we’d love to hear about your experiences!