A musical celebration of random holidays
A look at what’s happening in the local music scene.
Band of Horses
October is my favorite month.
Every night seems like its own holiday, with Halloween the carrot at the end.
There is a sense of urgency to these beautiful nights. You have to get all your fun in now before our nascent local holidays make their arbitrary appearance. Tulsa’s own Falling of the Trees (aka “ice storm”) and the resulting Downing of the Lines make going out difficult, so get your licks in while you can.
Here is some music (and some holidays) to guide you on your sojourn through our fair city on these great nights.
10/4 Brass Bed
The Soundpony, 409 N. Main St.
Mike Wozniak, co-owner of The Soundpony, celebrates Polish-American Heritage Month (by giving German-American Heritage Month a wide berth) and Chris Lowe’s birthday (half of the Pet Shop Boys) by hosting a killer indie-pop band from Lafayette, La.: Brass Bed.
This quartet, according to its MySpace page, plays actual instruments along with the “touches … intangibles, miracles … (and) ceaseboards.” There may be some spray paint and Robitussin in there, too.
Bursting with “Pet Sounds” pop, Wilco rock and an indie ethos straight out of the Elephant 6 Collective, Brass Bed seems hell bent on making live music entertaining and intelligent. Sure, it’s pop, but there are shotgun blasts of psychedelic wackiness, and it all sounds sublime.
And who doesn’t want to celebrate the Pet Shop Boys?
10/12 Band of Horses
Cain’s Ballroom, 423 N. Main St.
Secularists use Freethought Day, Oct. 12, to mark the anniversary of the end of the Salem witch trials. On this day in 1692, the Massachusetts governor wrote in a letter to the British monarchs that the trials had fallen into a quandary by relying on “spectral evidence,” through which the accusers claimed to see the devil and other spirits consorting with the accused.
And if there is any band touring that could play the soundtrack to these spectral visions besides Band of Horses, I have yet to hear it. The band even has a song on the “Eclipse” soundtrack, yet its members remain strangely silent on the Team Edward/Team Jacob dispute tearing this nation apart.
“Haunting,” “ghostly” and “ethereal” could all be used to describe Band of Horses’ sound. While they are excellent musicians and songwriters, their beauty is evocative of a time when burning a witch might seem like the thing to do.
Lest I give you the wrong idea, the band’s opus thus far includes some of the most gorgeous modern music available. It’s appropriate for just about anything to which you want to attach emotional weight. Whether it’s a gravity-defying bike ride through Edinburgh, Scotland (search YouTube for Danny MacAskill and BoH’s song “The Funeral”) or just another time and place listening to “No One’s Gonna Love You,” there is an undeniable, stunning, spectral beauty to this band.
Just try to avoid burning any witches … today.
10/15 Todd Snider
All Soul Acoustic Coffeehouse, 2952 S. Peoria Ave.
You have Julie Watson, Denis McGilvray and the rest of the crew at the Coffeehouse to thank for booking the talented Todd Snider.
Snider makes the Chicago 7 look like a Tea Party knitting circle. He has 13 albums over 15 years and it’s not all focused on playing piñata with a corpulent, pill-popping radio host; there is an Oklahoman troubadour quality to Snider’s work reminiscent of Woody Guthrie but laced with the wit of Will Rogers.
The hilarious song “America’s Favorite Pastime” about Dock Ellis’ no-hitter with the Pittsburg Pirates on LSD and the biting wisdom of “Money, Compliments, Publicity” are so American, it hurts.
And no matter which side of the aisle you are on, you can still recognize Snider’s calloused, road-wise brilliance when you hear it.