Oddity + energy



Clay Flores, Austin McAfee, Mitch Gilliam and Nick Flores of Lizard Police

The members of Tulsa pop-punk band Lizard Police revel in their innate weirdness. They wear it like a badge of honor.

When I met with lead singer and rhythm guitarist Mitch Gilliam for a chat one afternoon at the Soundpony — (“The Soundpony is our home,” Gilliam says. “We have songs about the Soundpony.”) — the word “weird” kept popping up in the conversation.

Gilliam describes the unique, percussive guitar technique he and lead guitarist Austin MacAfee employ as weird. Also weird are the basement bars and punk clubs around the Midwest and northeast where Lizard Police has been enthusiastically embraced. He recounts the weird way the band decided on its name, which came from an inside joke about a “super cheesy line from a very obscure, terrible movie.”

So, yes, to recap: Lizard Police is weird. Lizard Police also is loud, fast and energetic beyond belief, and they play surprisingly sophisticated, melodic punk rock that routinely whips their legion of fellow-weirdo fans into a sweat-dripping, arm-flailing frenzy.

Road to somewhere

Gilliam had been playing music with twin brothers Clay and Nick Flores (on bass guitar and drums, respectively) since they were all spritely misfit teenagers in Coweta. He met MacAfee in college, and the two quickly formed a bond based on the fact they were both self-taught guitarists with unusual playing styles. Gilliam and MacAfee started doing some casual experimenting with songwriting and dual guitar harmonies (reminiscent of classic rockers Thin Lizzy), but the lightning bolt that would become Lizard Police didn’t strike until the four friends took a road trip to Dallas in 2009 to see Wales-based indie pop outfit Los Campesinos!.

“On our way back we were so inspired,” Gilliam says. “They were such a weirdo band and they were just killing it. We were like, ‘Why are we not doing this?’

“And that was basically it. We said, ‘Let’s be Lizard Police. Let’s have practice next week.’ And we’ve been playing music together every chance we get ever since.”

Since that auspicious road trip, Lizard Police has released one full-length album, “Make Muscles,” as well as two EP releases, and has built a loyal local following, playing gigs at the aforementioned Soundpony and other venues that embrace the band’s subversive style. The band members also have struck out on the road on multiple nationwide tours, most successfully in college towns, bringing their frenetic live energy to a new generation of young punks.

Gilliam describes the band’s rollicking brand of punk rock as “kind of a post-hardcore, early ’90s, indie kind of a vibe. At its bare bones, I guess you could call it emo, but that’s kind of a four-letter word.”

Although the band has plans to embark on its most ambitious national tour to date, the focus in the meantime is on honing new material for an album the four plan to record soon at Hook Echo Sound studio in Norman.

“We’ve been working on it for way too long, but we don’t want to put out an album that’s just a collection of songs,” Gilliam says. “An album should have a beginning, a middle and an end. People want that album experience. That’s why we’ve been so meticulous about putting this one together.”

If their previous releases and live performances are any indication, I expect equal parts meticulous craftsmanship, off-the-rails exuberance and just the right dose of weird. 


October’s best bets for live music

10/5 Lionel Richie, The Joint

If the joyous, infectious Latin rhythms of pop anthem “All Night Long” were the only good thing Lionel Richie produced, this show would still be worth seeing. Luckily, Richie has plenty more hits to go around, from the classic duet “Endless Love” to the heart-rending ballad “Hello” to the Academy Award-winning “Say You, Say Me.” And that’s not even mentioning his soulful early work with the Commodores. Richie may be a nostalgia act these days, but what’s wrong with nostalgia, especially when it’s this fun? Doors open at 7 p.m.

10/25 Sleigh Bells, Cain’s Ballroom

Have your eyes and ears bombarded by the Brooklyn-based duo that defies classification of any kind. Singer Alexis Krauss inflects her vocals with a sneering, provocative attitude while guitarist and all-around sound-making wizard Derek E. Miller lays down bombastic layers of melodic noise behind her. Lighting designer Bobby Mathias deserves a special shout-out for the inventive visual flair he adds to this parade of sonic exuberance. That bouncy Cain’s Ballroom floor is in for a workout. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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November 2018

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
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Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
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Over the past thirteen years, the Williams Route 66 Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma has become a 26.2-mile party! You might find yourself asking "Is this a race or...

Cost: $110

Where:
Downtown Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74066


Sponsor: Williams, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-408-1208
Contact Name: Ally Lightle
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FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 918-528-7717
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When four lost New Englanders who enroll in Marty’s six-week-long community-center drama class begin to experiment with harmless games, hearts are quietly torn apart, and tiny wars of epic...

Cost: $20

Where:
Studio 308
308 S. Lansing Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: American Theatre Company
Telephone: (918) 747-9494
Contact Name: Meghan Hurley
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Come see the ORU Mens Basketball team vs Ecclesia

Cost: $10-$20

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Ave
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Sponsor: https://mabeecenter.com/event/ecclesia1819m/
Telephone: 918-495-6000
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Come and Support ORU Women's Basketball as they jump into another exciting season. Join in on the fun and purchase your tickets today! All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will...

Cost: $7

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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We would like to invite our Tulsa neighbors to join us for our "Hope House Free Movie Night" in the auditorium Hope House events are open to the public, family friendly, events.  We will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
Hope House
4241 S 37th W Ave.
TULSA
TULSA, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Hope House
Telephone: 918-446-8176
Contact Name: Dorothy Brown

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Every Wednesday Live Event Trivia is at The Willows Family Ales - Show starts at 7 and is free to play! Movie scenes, Finish the Lyric, Classic Trivia, and more! The crew from T-Town Tacos will be...

Cost: Free

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Telephone: (918) 895-6798
Contact Name: Julian Morgan
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Local, Live Music at the The Willows Family Ales taproom EVERY Thursday at 7:30pm. Surprise food vendor to be announced SOON!! 11/1 ---- Eric Himan 11/8 ---- Wendy Nichol Hall 11/15---...

Cost: FREE!!

Where:
The Willows Family Ales
418 south peoria ave
418 South Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: The Willows Family Ales
Contact Name: Julian Morgan

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Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM) will celebrate Black Fly-day Weekend in place of the regular shopping holiday on Nov. 23 and 24.  The Museum plans to open their...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
Contact Name: Kevin
Website »

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Reconnect with family and friends in the garden illuminated with colorful lights. Make s'mores over fire pits, enjoy holiday music and take in the spirit of the season in our magical garden...

Cost: Tickets are $15 for ages 13+; $5 for ages 3-12, Children 2 and under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden

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Philbrook Festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy the most beautiful place in Oklahoma during the most wonderful time of the year. The Museum comes alive with festive holiday events, Santa,...

Cost: $5/Philbrook Members, $15/Public, Free/17 & Under

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Rd.
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Philbrook Museum of Art
Telephone: 918-748-5300
Website »

More information

Philbrook Festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy the most beautiful place in Oklahoma during the most wonderful time of the year. The Museum comes alive with festive holiday events, Santa,...

Cost: $5/Philbrook Members, $15/Public, Free/17 & Under

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Philbrook Museum of Art
Telephone: 918-748-5300
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM) will celebrate Black Fly-day Weekend in place of the regular shopping holiday on Nov. 23 and 24.  The Museum plans to open their...

Cost: Free - $15

Where:
Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
3624 North 74th East Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74115
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium
Telephone: 918-834-9900
Contact Name: Kevin
Website »

More information

We’re serving up our new chef-inspired fondue and traditional brunch options like Alpine Benedict Cheese Fondue, French Toast Fondue, Avocado Fiesta Toast plus bottomless mimosas. Reserve...

Cost: Varies

Where:
The Melting Pot of Tulsa
300 Riverwalk Terrace #190
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Sponsor: The Melting Pot of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-299-8000
Contact Name: Alex Cooper
Website »

More information

Reconnect with family and friends in the garden illuminated with colorful lights. Make s'mores over fire pits, enjoy holiday music and take in the spirit of the season in our magical garden...

Cost: Tickets are $15 for ages 13+; $5 for ages 3-12, Children 2 and under are free.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden

More information

Philbrook Festival is back and better than ever! Enjoy the most beautiful place in Oklahoma during the most wonderful time of the year. The Museum comes alive with festive holiday events,...

Cost: $5/Philbrook Members, $15/Public, Free/17 & Under

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S. Rockford Rd.
Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Philbrook Museum of Art
Telephone: 918-748-5300
Website »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

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TULtalk


Episode 7: Elizabeth Frame Ellison, CEO of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation

Elizabeth Frame Ellison discusses the brand-new Mother Road Market, Tulsa’s first food hall, located on historic Route 66.

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Charitable Events: November 2018

Fundraisers and fun happenings

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Video: Apple Blackberry Crumble Pie Recipe

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Oklahoma Caring Awards

The Oklahoma Caring Awards raised $76,000 for the Hospitality House of Tulsa.

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Santorini Night

A fundraiser for Emergency Infant Services, the event was presented by the Tulsa Greek Festival and kicked off Greek Week.

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