APRIL 20 - MAY 3 2016 VOL. 12 ISSUE 8
LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT AND NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO PAY ATTENTION
MEET CHEF HENRY YANG ON PAGE 14 | CHILDREN OF THE CORN IN OKC ON PAGE 25
An influx of people have been approaching me to talk about Oklahoma Citys music scene this month.The uptick in show announcements, new venues and more festivals than you can shake a glow stick at have all contributed to these conver-sations. I approach them with cautious optimism. Of course, Im excited at the opportunity of more concerts and acts coming through Oklahoma. At the same time, theres an increased pressure on the city to show traveling acts and Okie musicians that we have an appetite for live music.
I grew more cautious in my optimism as I sur-veyed the Bruce Springsteen crowd at the Ches-apeake Energy Arena in early April. In theory, that Sunday night concert should have been a com-plete blowout. The Boss hadnt been in the metro for more than two decades. He puts on a show thats famously fun for hardcore fans and recent converts. All that was topped off by the fact that he was playing predominantly from his beloved River double album. Recipe for success, right?
It was well attended. Dont get me wrong. How-ever, the blotches of empty seats filling the arena made me wonder why it wasnt packed. Was the
local economy to blame? Were tickets just too expensive? Did Oklahoma City collectively fear the Monday morning hangover from partying too hard with the E Street Band?
I wasnt sure, but I was a little nervous. I didnt want this to be sign of our citys appetite for live music. The modest attendance at ACM@UCOs Metro Music Fest was another contributor to my cautious optimism.If My Morning Jacket doesnt sell out at The Criterion on April 27, Im gonna start getting really nervous. By the way, I hope you enjoy my cover story discussion with MMJ front-man Jim James.
If we want a ton of concerts we also have to prove it. How do we do that? With our feet, our conversations and our excitement. We have to give these acts a good reason to come back.
Sitting in a packed crowd at Ben Folds on a Wednesday night gave me a lot of hope right before I sat down to write this column. I didnt expect such a big showing of support. Folds is great. He comes through just about every year, but it seems like he doesnt leave disappointed.
Thats the sorta night that makes me optimistic. Im here to say that I hope its not the last.
Ben Folds performing live at the Chevy Bricktown Events Center on April 13. [PHOTO BY NATHAN POPPE]
NATHAN POPPELOOKatOKC EDITOR
E D I T O R S N O T Efrom the editor F O L L O W @ N A T H A N P O P P E O N T W I T T E R
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LOOKatOKC EDITORNathan Poppe
PROJECT DESIGNERSEbony Iman DallasBen Bigler
ADVERTISINGJerry Wagner(405) 475-3475
Nancy Simoneau(405) 475-3708
NICHE PUBLICATIONS EDITORMelissa Howell
ART DIRECTORTodd Pendleton
COVER My Morning JacketPhoto by Dave Vann
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from the top L O O K a t O K C
25 | Children of the Corn sequel brings new production possibilities to Oklahoma City
24 | Developer pushes stronger retail mix in Midtown
Blood, guts and corn? Nathan Poppe visits the set of the new Children of the Corn sequel during a stop in downtown OKC.
The effort to create a cluster of retail in the heart of Midtown continues to grow. Steve Lackmeyer fills us in on what youll see in the bustling district.
8 | Getting animated and not beat up with Steven Silva
11| Metro Music Fest 2016 boasted big talent, aimed to build Okie music community
Steven Silva isnt just daydreaming when he sits behind the counter of Tree & Leaf Clothing. Hes designing shirts, working on art and thinking about the next Drink & Draw session. Nathan Poppe talks to Silva about being an artist in Oklahoma.
Metro Music Fest is one of downtowns biggest, brightest festivals but it has a lot to overcome if it wants to be a contender in the music event scene. Nathan Poppe breaks down what went right and wrong at the April 8 festival.
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All about creating a
Tune in to KOSU-FM 91.7 every Friday morning at 6:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. and every Friday afternoon at 4:44 p.m.
and 6:44 p.m. to hear Matt break down the week in music news and new music releases with host Ryan LaCroix.
All about creating a deeper relationship with music.
Tune in to KOS
and 6:44 p.m
The album release cycle is heating up and nows the time to jump on a handful of new songs.MUTUAL BENEFIT LOST DREAMERS
Albums are often like clothes the more wear you put on them, the more you appreci-ate them. They grow comfier. Thats definitely been the case for me with the 2013 debut LP Loves Crushing Diamond from the New York folk band Mutual Benefit who leans heavily on the violin, banjo and soft, hand-played drums for music that invites the listener away from the humdrum noise of everyday life and into a haven for vulnerability and imagination.
Singer Jordan Lee invites us to throw away
our phones on Mutual Benefits new track Lost Dreamers, which picks right up where Loves Crushing Diamond left off nearly three years ago, swimming in lush strings and muted per-cussion. MITSKI YOUR BEST AMERICAN GIRL
One of 2014s best-kept secrets was Bury Me at Makeout Creek, at once a Simpsons reference and an album by Mitski Miyawaki is a New York City singer whose lyrics stand alone as tragic poetry, as invigorating to read on the page as when shes shouting them ahead of a harsh, full-band pummel. Emo, 90s alternative and DIY-fiddling all factored into that record alongside her strong register and brutal, jarring metaphors for happiness and melancholy.
And now shes back with Your Best American Girl, which might just be her best song yet. Dig in and you find that the titles sarcastic; the narrator infantilizes and mocks a boy who cares for her but sees her less as a partner and more like a piece of furniture.
CLASSIXX GRECIAN SUMMERThere are so many sneaky little sounds
popping in and out of this new song from L.A. dance duo Classixx, who make the kind of subtle house music that works on dance floors but also demands closer listening in your headphones.
Snippets of vocal samples sneak in and out of the mix, high-frequency notes repeat them-selves, only to disappear as quickly as they first pulsed, and even that one-two-three-four house beat only seems to be there to set your timing right, its not even present for most of the song. It all sounds very glamorous and yet leisurely.
IGGY POP SUNDAY Sixty-eight-year old Iggy Pops contributions to
music are legion, and heres one more. Post Pop Depression, his 17th solo studio album is out now, cut in secret with Queens Of The Stone Age front-man Josh Homme and a murderers row of session men, including members of the Arctic Monkeys and the Dead Weather. But if a fire-breathing, revved-up record of scuzzy rock and roll is what youre expect-ing from this pack of grizzled veterans a la, perhaps, Hommes other supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures then you might guess again.
Sunday is a midtempo affair that borders on funky; distant in style from the raw power of Iggys punk demolition work with The Stooges in the 60s and 70s. Instead, Iggys clever turns of phrase is anchored by his usual stultifyingly blunt vocal delivery, which lends gravitas to this sketch of an aging capitalist looking back on his life with disap-pointment. And it even comes with a simile for the ages: This street is as cold as a corporate lawsuit.
MOSES SUMNEY EVERLASTING SIGHPart-beat poet, part-auteur Los Angeles singer
and songwriter Moses Sumney combines an unfair volume of talent into a single package.
Look up live performances of this song Ever-lasting Sigh, and you find Sumney on stage alone without instruments manufacturing his own percussion and harmonies with nothing but his hands and looped recordings of his own pliant voice, all sewn up together in perfect time.
Look up the official music video accompanying a more decked-out version of Everlasting Sigh, and, sure enough, he directed that too, in addition to performing and recording the song. Maybe in the future well find something Moses Sumney cant do, but for now, he might as well be Superman.
Mitski. [PHOTO BY EBRU YILDIZ]
Everybody wants some new tunesM A T T C A R N E Yheadphonetics F O L L O W @ O K M A T T C A R N E Y O N T W I T T E R
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By Nathan Poppe
Sometimes Steven Silva makes art so he doesnt get beat up.Its for a good reason though. Silva created hispiece Just Breathe to help support his friend Natalie and raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Natalie has CF and Silva said she wouldve knocked his block off if he didnt finish the piece for an art show at Brass Bell.
When Silva isnt avoiding beatings, you can normally find him behind the cash register at Tree & Leaf Clothing in the Plaza District. Hell most likely be tinkering on shirt designs and helping out customers.
I caught up with Silva and asked him about being an artist in Oklahoma.
Q: Whats the happiest youve been with an artistic creation that youve made or collabo-rated on?
Steven Silva: Im a pretty character-oriented artist, so any time I capture an expression, I like that. But to be honest, Im not sure, com-plete mystery.
Q: Talk me about why you come to Drink and Draw. What keeps you coming back and what would you like to see happen with Drink and Draw?
Silva: The camaraderie, the jokes and the education. I picked up a brush pen because of Edgardo George and Eric Sandhop. Their line-work is off the charts. You try new things and try to stay motivated. Cody Hampton is a guy who just improves constantly, and so it makes me want to stay improving. Youre meeting new artists as well. I just met Kara Mitchell, and she has this great storybook style. New people are coming all the time. I hope that it continues to be a place to hang out and get ideas, and get better. Theres nothing too stuck-up about it.
Above, Steven Silva. Below, Fall illustration. [PHOTO BY NATE BILLINGS, ILLUSTRATIONS BY STEVEN SILVA]
Getting animated and not beat up with Steven Silvaart speaks D R I N K & D R A W
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Q: A lot of artists have to have day jobs and dont get to spend all their time work-ing on what theyd like. How do you bal-ance art and commerce? Is that a sacrifice for you?
Silva: My day job is Tree & Leaf, so the apple doesnt fall too far there. Its a great part-time spot for me, and I get to be around a lot of high-caliber artists and people. I patch together freelance design work to fill in the gaps, and Ive done some weird jobs. I did a badge for a fighter con-troller class in the Swedish Air Force. I did a fake minor league baseball team mascot. Those were fun. I especially try to do jobs for the people I want to see succeed. I do artwork for this great upstart band Haniwa, because I really like them. Ive done a lot of jobs I didnt love for amounts of money that werent amazing. I couldve been a rocket scientist. Better benefits.
Q: Tell me an advantage to being an Okla-homa City-based artist. Also, lets get real, tell me a disadvantage or something youd like to see change.
Silva: Artists are still shaping the local culture. I think just 10years ago, kids in school were like, This place sucks, I cant wait to leave. Now, they go take pictures in front of murals by Dylan Bradway and Jason Pawley, and they put Tree & Leaf stickers on their cars. So, you have maybe a bigger chance to influence.
On the downside, I had a friend in New York who worked for a nonprofit dealing with ref-ugee women. One of her roommates edited sound for movies. The other was a comedian and comedy-writer. They did this stuff full-time; they got paychecks. Those are three jobs you cant just waltz into in OKC. You have to scrap a little more to get paid away from the bright lights. Arts in the same boat.
From left, Florixia and Winter illustration. [ILLUSTRATIONS BY STEVEN SILVA]
art speaksD R I N K & D R A W
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art speaks D R I N K & D R A W
DRINK & DRAWS FREE DRAW HANGOUT
When: 7-10 p.m.April 28, May 12 and May 26.
Where: 1705B NW 16 in the Plaza District.
Nervous System illustration. [ILLUSTRATIONS BY STEVEN SILVA]
Partly Sunny Freakin Silva illustration.
Fresh Air illustration.
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By Nathan Poppe
If I could grade 2016sMetro Music Fest then Id give it an A for effort.This might be the first time youre hearing about the festival, but its been going on for several years in various forms throughoutdown-town Oklahoma Citys Bricktown district. TheAcademy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma puts on MMF, and the school has grown the celebrationfrom an event that only students close friends and families would want to go to, into an exciting daylong festival experiencethat invites nation-ally recognized headliners to perform and mingle with roughly60student-led bands.
Please note:I taught two semesters at ACM@UCO last year so the college is close to my heart.
I just wish Oklahoma City would recog-nize and attend its(arguably) coolest, most ambitious music-flavored event. Dan Deacon and Parker Millsaps headlining sets attracted
a modest, healthy crowd in the parking lot neighboring the U-Haul building, but that main stage was nearly empty from 3 to 6 p.m. Thankfully, the crowdgrew from eight people to a few hundred during the course of the day.
Im not here to cast any blame but rather note the level of talent I witnessed. It wasexceptional. Sure, it was a Friday after-noon and most people had to work, but I wanted to see the crowd size match the musi-cal prowess.
ACM@UCO students and adult lea...