Back on deck
Tulsa Sound: A look at what's happening in the local music scene.
We have all been there — getting the details of an incredible night of music just a little too late. It’s the worst.
Such is the life of those who found out about DJ Soulfingaz after his retirement. He appeared monthly at Soundpony and other locations, playing the most obscure, dirtiest soul/funk music anyone had ever heard. His playlist became the stuff upon which religions are based.
The material Soulfingaz played was freakishly good but completely unheard of before his shows. Past songs included The Prophet and His Disciples’ “The Pusher,” The Soul Believers’ “The Popcorn” and Yvonne Thayer’s “Yeah Yeah Yeah.”
“I used to spend $500 on one record, and I just can’t bring myself to do that anymore,” says Soulfingaz, aka Anthony Carrera.
The availability became an issue, too.
“There used to be record stores here, but anymore you have to get them online,” he says. “There’s a few record stores left, but you can only really get them as LPs. There’s a guy in Oklahoma City, Charlie’s Records, that’s really the only record store I know that’s left (for funk).”
Contrary to popular opinion, Soulfingaz was not born in the back room at Stax Records but actually here in Oklahoma. He says he first heard rare funk at a hip-hop show.
“My brother and his friends had brought down Cut Chemist (an American disc jockey, formerly of Ozomatli and Jurassic 5) to Oklahoma City, and he did a funk set of old 45s,” he says. “This is back in 1998, 1999. That’s when I started hearing rare deep funk.”
He started collecting records in the mid- to late ’90s and simply began playing music he liked.
There is a long history of one DJ influencing another and so on. And each DJ makes it his or her own sound by adding or subtracting elements. Soulfingaz brought rhythm, brass and soul to honest but ignorant music fans.
Soon his fans were downloading soul and funk MP3s, instead of indie, punk or alternative tracks, to their iPods.
Cut to this time last year.
“It had stopped being fun,” he says. “The place I was doing it at wasn’t working out.”
Soulfingaz called it quits. His decks spun no more.
It was big news to his fans and bigger news to the ones who missed the Soulfingaz-led party.
But as with most things, time changed his perspective. Soulfingaz will make a return visit to his former stomping grounds, Soundpony, Nov. 25.
“I don’t know if I consider it a triumphant return or anything,” he says. “It’s (the frequency of shows) probably going to be spread out more. Some times were great. And some times were ‘ehh.’ But the best times were always at the Soundpony. That’s why I want to have it there again.
“ … It has been a long time coming. I’m definitely going to make it fun.”
His return is the day after Thanksgiving. Go easy on the stuffing or you’ll regret it on the dance floor.
November's best bets for live music
11/1 Mates of State, Cain’s Ballroom
Since Mates of State’s 2009 DFest show here, we have been waiting patiently for the band’s return. This husband-and-wife duo from Lawrence, Kan., has been playing since 1998 and made a name with just a synth and drums. It’s incredibly good music that qualifies as indie rock, but it could also be called shameless pop.
Mates of State’s résumé is the dream of most indie acts: Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, All Points West. The duo has even been the house band for “This American Life.”
But when you hear these two live, it seems like you’ve heard them before. Or at least should have. Word has it they’re nice folks, but their music might be nicer.
11/19 Darrell Scott, All Soul Acoustic Coffeehouse
This singer/songwriter series brings in a talented player as well. Scott knows his guitars about as well as he knows the human condition. There is a weight and heaviness at times to his music that makes one think about a lost love or a perfect moment from his or her deepest memories.
He writes comfortable music dealing with some uncomfortable emotions. Apparently, he is doing something right — his songs have been recorded by Keb’ Mo’, the Dixie Chicks, Brad Paisley, Faith Hill, Sam Bush and Travis Tritt.
Oh, and when he is not doing his own thing, he backs up Robert Plant and his band, Band of Joy.
11/7 Dr. Dog, Cain’s Ballroom
This psychedelic, lo-fi rock act from Pennsylvania has been touring in one form or another since 1999. In 2009, the band signed with Anti-Records and released “Shame, Shame” in 2010. It is a departure from the musicians’ earlier recordings, as they actually spent time setting up “microphones” and used “technology.” I kid, of course, but you can tell they cleaned up their sound. They are infectiously fun to listen to and sound like they are from New Orleans rather than the Keystone State.
This is one of those bands that will sound great at the Cain’s.
And the lower the “fi,” the better.