Category: UCO

ACM@UCO Presents Literati Variety Show in February, Featuring Local Musicians, Writers, Poets

In a multi-act event promoting storytelling and its various forms, the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) presents Literati Variety Show, 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City. Admission is free.

Charles Martin, founder and creative director of Literati Press Comics & Novels, based in Oklahoma City, calls Literati Variety Show a “five-act variety talk program.”

“This is a celebration of storytelling as entertainment as well as a force to give meaning to life,” Martin said. “We are uniting artists from all mediums — music, poetry, comedy, anyone with a good story and the wherewithal to tell it well.”

The Feb. 9 event is presented by ACM@UCO as part of its Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

Martin hosts the show, where he’ll introduce a music and literary pairing by hip-hop act Original Flow and The Fervent Route; a conversation with George Lang, editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Gazette; Heath Huffman, Public Access comedian of note; authors Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall with a performance reading of “The Most Wonderful Wonder”; and Molly O’Connor, founder of OKC StorySlam.

The show is co-organized by longtime local artist, Oklahoma City Arts Commissioner and Istvan Art owner and manager Stephen Kovash. Speaking recently to Oklahoma Gazette, Kovash said one of his goals with this show is to establish a new artistic family in the metro.

“Things are starting to coalesce in terms of Oklahoma writers,” he told the Gazette. “And so I think what Charles is doing here is perfect timing. … There’s hunger for ideas, and there’s pent-up demand, but there’s also a supply that’s pent-up. So maybe if we can get those people together, it’s going to explode.”

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Oklahoma and the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works initiative.

About the Performers

Molly O’Connor:
O’Connor is an Oklahoma City-based multi-disciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her creative and artistic practices include visual art, creative writing, original solo performance work and storytelling. In 2005, O’Connor founded OKC StorySlam, a monthly, competitive open-mic storytelling event influenced by “The Moth Radio Hour” and podcast.

Holly Sampson Hall and Jeremy Hall:
Holly Samson Hall and Jeremy Hall write and perform dark folk music as Welcome Little Stranger. Creators of “The Most Wonderful Wonder” podcast, the Halls explore tragedy, folklore and strange, true tales from the back pages of American history.

Heath Huffman:
Huffman is a stand-up comic born and raised in Oklahoma City. He tells jokes that highlight the absurdity of working out, the quirkiness of his religious upbringing and the peculiar world of cheap Italian food. He also hosts two podcasts — Christian music review show “The Praisedown” with Heath and Alex, and comic book narration show “Paneled,” both of which some people (not him) think are very good.

George Lang:
Lang is a journalist who has worked for Oklahoma Gazette multiple times since 1994. He returned as its editor-in-chief in 2017. In the interim, he also wrote for The Oklahoman. While there, he became its assistant entertainment editor, interviewing about 95 percent of film industry’s A-listers and hosting an award-winning video series about local musicians, “Static.” He hosts “Spy 101” radio show 8 p.m. Saturdays on The Spy (KOSU) and he teaches at ACM@UCO.

Original Flow and The Fervent Route:
Oklahoma City-based music act Original Flow & The Fervent Route mixes high-octane lyrical content with live instrumentation and old-school hip-hop delivery. It also includes ACM@UCO alumni.

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Find more info about Metro Music Series events at acm-uco.eventbrite.com.

For more information about ACM@UCO, visit acm.uco.edu.

NewsOK: Late musician’s friends honor Connor Hicks with ‘Legacy’ album

Oklahoma artists recently paid tribute to Connor Hicks, a local musician who died Dec. 18, 2017 in a car crash. Late last month, his friends — led by singer-songwriter and guitarist Jacob Mann — and family released “Legacy.”

The album includes previously unrecorded songs by Hicks, who had studied at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

In addition to his solo work, Hicks had performed with numerous Oklahoma-based acts, including Matt Stansberry, Shane Henry, Chase Kerby and Mallory Eagle.

The Oklahoman published a Dec. 28 feature about the album:

Hearing the completed album was a little overwhelming, said Hicks’ father, Ronnie Hicks.

“… It was probably the thing in my life that gave me the most joy, was seeing him perform and helping him share it,” he said. “So, it was important to me for as many people to have the opportunity to hear it as possible.”

Journalist Brandy McDonnell wrote of the 2017 wreck:

Connor Hicks, 20, and Jeremy Wallace, 42, died at the scene of an early morning crash Dec. 18, 2017, four miles south of Bowlegs on U.S. 377. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s report, which described foggy conditions, concluded the accident took place shortly after midnight, when Hicks’ vehicle, traveling southbound, crossed left of center and hit Wallace’s vehicle head-on.

Both drivers were Ada-based musicians and members of the Chickasaw Nation.

McDonnell added:

As Hicks’ family has been working with the UCO Foundation to establish a scholarship in his honor, Mann worked with about 20 engineers, producers and musicians to create the “Legacy” album.

“After the wreck, I got with all of our engineers and guys that he had recorded demos with,” Mann said. “His laptop was actually in the car with him, so that was kind of an ordeal getting the files off of that. … Once we were able to get those together, we were able to find six songs that we felt really excited about.”

Stream the album on Spotify:

Happy Holidays! Here’s A Mixtape, From Us To You

The Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) wishes everyone happy holidays, a merry Christmas and happy new year! To celebrate, we curated this Spotify playlist just for you. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Spotlight: Hear New Music From ACM-Tied Act Love Seats

Love Seats, "These Days" album cover

Love Seats, “These Days” album cover

Love Seats is musical project created by Ashton Gary and Ethan Wilcox, based out of Oklahoma City. The indie-rock duo specializes in writing melancholic guitar pop songs with lush orchestration and recording them to tape.

After listening to bands like Ultimate Painting, Whitney and Andy Shauf, the duo wanted to create music in the likes of those artists. Gary and Wilcox bought an 8-track tape machine and started recording demos of their songs while dissecting and studying the production of their favorite records.

Eight months later, the group recorded its debut record, “These Days,” which was released in October.

Hear it now:

Photos: Maps & Atlases and Magic Munchbox at ACM@UCO Performance Lab

Maps & Atlases performed Nov. 1, 2018 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ACM@UCO-tied band Magic Munchbox opened the ACM@UCO Metro Music Series event.

“Now a trio, Maps & Atlases connect the roller-coaster guitar fretting and weighted timbres of their earlier albums with frenetic synth touches,” Pitchfork reviewer Amanda Wicks said of the album “Lightnessness is Nothing New,” released July 1. “The polished result is their most accessible album to date, touching on Peter Gabriel’s fizzy pop proclivities and reaching for TV on the Radio’s early grandness.”

In the brooding-yet-playful vein of Talking Heads or Peter Gabriel, Maps embraces the paradox of what it is to be human — constantly searching and, forever unsatiated, returning with everlasting hope to the ever-darkening fray. The deceptively upbeat “Lightlessness is Nothing New” unveils a gorgeous, complex, slightly skewed take on pop music.

Photos by Tanner Laws | University of Central Oklahoma

 

Magic Munchbox

Oklahoma City experimental funk-rock quartet Magic Munchbox opens for national touring act Maps & Atlases Nov. 1, 2018 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Oklahoma City. The ACM@UCO-tied band includes a student and alumnus in its lineup: Gilson Machtolff on guitar, skeeter on guitar, Michael Vaughan on bass and Robby Andersen on drums.

Photos by Tanner Laws | University of Central Oklahoma

 

About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series

The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.

Check out upcoming ACM@UCO Metro Music Series shows at acm-uco.eventbrite.com!

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

For more information about the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma, visit acm.uco.edu.

Now Hear This: JD McPherson Performs Friday at Tower Theatre in OKC

In October, musician and singer-songwriter JD McPherson led an ACM@UCO masterclass at the school’s Bricktown campus with Scott Booker, ACM executive director, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Film + Music Office as part of the ACM@UCO Metro Music Series.

He takes his critically acclaimed new holiday album, Socks, on tour and performs Dec. 14 at Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City.

JD McPHERSON
w/JP Harris
Doors 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St.
Oklahoma City
Tickets: $17-$20 at ticketfly.com

From NPR’s Fresh Air: A Roots And Rockabilly Holiday Concert With JD McPherson And His Band

JD McPherson never thought he’d make a Christmas album. Then, he says, “I got a bug in my ear.” He and his band perform live in studio from Socks, and McPherson talks about growing up on a cattle farm.

Read more and hear the full interview and studio performance on NPR.

 

From the Los Angeles Times: This year’s essential Christmas albums ranked, from ‘Shatner Claus’ to the irresistible JD McPherson

Rating: Four stars (classic)

The roots-rocking singer-songwriter from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, has put together the kind of holiday album that Louis Prima or Roy Brown would have if they’d ever gotten around to it, and thank Santa for that. It’s an utter joy, a vintage jump-blues/R&B/rockabilly workout devoid of treacly sentiment, but brimming over with child-like spirit — and just enough grown-up skepticism (“Bad Kid,” the title track) to keep things anchored in reality.

He’s written or co-written 11 originals that bring welcome fresh blood into the holiday music canon. Producing the album themselves, he and the band also zero in on a perfectly period musical and sonic vibe for this outing.

Read more from the Los Angeles Times.

From Oklahoma Gazette: ‘Socks’ rocks

McPherson said recording a Christmas album inspired him to return to the ’50s style that characterized his debut album, Signs & Signifiers.

“The language or the vocabulary of early rock ’n’ roll lends itself to that type of material,” McPherson said. “It just works better. We could’ve done a psych-rock Christmas album, but I don’t really think I would’ve wanted to listen to it afterwards.”

Read more from Oklahoma Gazette.

From Rolling Stone: How JD McPherson Blew Up Christmas Album Cliches on New ‘Socks’

Throughout Socks, McPherson’s impressive garage-rock guitarwork channels classic R&B, rock, blues and rockabilly with snappy, growling riffs (“Bad Kid”), slinky, reverb-drenched passages (“Holly, Carol, Candy & Joy”) and smooth, jazzy shuffles (“Ugly Sweater Blues”).

Along the way, he’s pitch-perfectly backed by his four-piece band of Jimmy Sutton on bass, Raynier Jacob Jacildo on keys, Jason Smay on drums, and Doug Corcoran on saxophone, steel guitar and glockenspiel.

Spotlight: ACM Student Caleb Starr’s Promo Video, Music

Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) student Caleb Starr, a contemporary music performance major, recently created this promo video as a class project. We wanted to share it!

It also features his music as solo artist Leotie, which he recently performed live in front of a sold-out crowd at Mac DeMarco’s Nov. 14 concert at ACM@UCO Performance Lab in Bricktown.

Noname: ‘One of the Best Rappers Alive,’ Says Rolling Stone of Metro Music Series Headliner

Chicago-raised artist Noname, aka Fatimah Warner, blurs the lines of poetry and hip-hop through the music she’ll perform during her headlining tour stop March 3, 2019 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Oklahoma City.

Check out her first-ever video, “Blaxploitation,” from her recent release “Room 25” and the related article in Rolling Stone.

Says Rolling Stone of the video: On Tuesday, the Chicago rapper dropped the “film” for “Blaxploitation,” a quick, frenetic cut from this year’s excellent Room 25. In it, she’s nowhere to be seen. Instead, a giant child frolics through Chicago; they’re as large as a skyscraper and play, nap and destroy their way through the city streets. “Chicago Under Siege,” the television chyrons read, “Monster Baby Must Be Stopped.”

The March 3 concert is part of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s (ACM@UCO) continuing Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

Tickets are $25 at acm-uco.eventbrite.com. Original Flow and The Fervent route will open.

In 2016, her debut album, the “Telefone” mixtape, found the artist introducing herself to a worldwide audience. Describing the project as “an introductory conversation with someone you’re interested in,” she quickly earned everyone’s attention.

In September 2018, her full-length studio album “Room 25” was again received with universal acclaim.

A Rolling Stone headline declared, “Noname is one of the best rappers alive.”

Pitchfork decreed, “The Chicago rapper’s second album is a transcendent coming-of-age tale built around cosmic jazz and neo-soul, delivered by a woman deeply invested in her interiority and that of the world around her.”

Consequence of Sound raved, “Noname turns every head in the house on the compelling ‘Room 25.’ … She doesn’t just make keen observations; she sends those syllables skipping down the tongue.

Spin said the performer: “A complete one-of-one act who continues to grow in real time outside of the limelight, Noname makes a subtle yet strong statement for women providing alternatives to one-dimensional rap archetypes.

She grew up in Bronzeville, a historic neighborhood on Chicago’s southside that has famously attracted accomplished black artists and intellectuals of all types. After releasing “Telefone,” she relocated to Los Angeles, where she’s said she prefers live comedy to high-dollar indulgence.

In fact, NME said of her most recent album, “Much of ‘Room 25’ is not only smartly constructed — it’s laugh-out-loud funny. … It’s flawless.

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Two Unique Concerts Raise Awareness of Homelessness, Food Insecurity While Delivering Great Live, Local Music

In time for the holidays, the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO) hosts events Dec. 7 and 8 that deliver great live, local music while uplifting our community.

Oklahoma’s communities endure a higher rate of food insecurity than the national average, consistently ranking among the top 10 states facing this issue. More than half a million Oklahoma men, women and children struggle with food insecurity every day, and our “week of giving” will help provide much-needed aid to three local organizations — the Jesus House, The Homeless Alliance and Northeast Resource Center.

First, in a showcase sure to move fans jazz, rock, pop, Americana, jam-band and community activism alike, Tulsa-based acts COMBSY and HENNA ROSO co-headline a concert 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Bricktown.

Combsy, Henna Roso, their nonprofit record label Horton Records and ACM@UCO have joined to support longtime urban outreach organizations the Jesus House and The Homeless Alliance.

Tickets to the Dec. 7 event are $10 at acm-uco.eventbrite.com, or guests can donate nonperishable food and good, used clothing items. (Donation suggestions: gloves, hats, socks, blankets, lip balm, hand warmers, coats and lotion.)

Second, the following night is HIP HOP FOR A CAUSE, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 8 in ACM@UCO’s Songwriting Room, 25 S. Oklahoma Ave. (first floor), in Bricktown. The showcase features up-and-coming artists while supporting the Northeast Resource Center with a clothing drive. Cover is $5 or donation of new or gently used clothing.

The events are part of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s (ACM@UCO) continuing Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary.

ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Dec. 7: Combsy and Henna Roso

Chris Combs, guitarist, composer and member of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, released his first, self-titled solo album, “Combsy,” in late 2017. “Combsy” is a lush, groove-heavy album, deftly sourcing jazz, hip-hop, electronic and rock genres with sonic landscapes that appeal to festy heads, jazz junkies and music lovers of all types.

With a stellar lineup of Tulsa and New Orleans musicians, a rich layer of rhythms and horns provide the platform and space for Combs to spread out and explore his nuanced guitar work.

Although far from careful, “Combsy” comes to the ear as curated and intentional and with a healthy sense of both the history and future of instrumental music. The group’s new single, “Fell Through,” was released in October, available on Spotify.

Joining Combsy is Henna Roso, a musical collective dedicated to fighting hunger in America. Blending elements of jazz, funk, and soul Henna Roso creates a unique sonic landscape rich in melody and feel. The band has heart, too, and is dedicated to fighting hunger. It hosts food drives at each of its shows and donates 10 percent of all its revenue to help fight food insecurity, providing sustained support for hunger-related issues.

The event showcases Oklahoma musicians and Horton Records, based in Tulsa and founded by its namesake, Brian Horton. Horton Records is a nonprofit, volunteer-sustained organization providing everything from band management to creating, sustaining and promoting local music and Oklahoma’s musical heritage.

Posted by Queen Caution on Saturday, June 30, 2018

Dec. 8: Hip Hop for a Cause

Nov. 8 Hip Hop for a Cause performers include Kayai, Kuda, Queen Caution, The True CW, Odessa Ireign, Indygo Shai, and DJ Shaheed Ali will be on the ones and twos at ACM@UCO’s main campus, in its Songwriting Room.

Please note this is an 18+ event. For more information about Hip Hop for a Cause, please visit the ACM@UCO event page on Facebook.

Congratulations to Oklahoma Gazette’s Forty Under 40 Class of 2018!

Congratulations to Oklahoma City metropolitan area leaders named as Oklahoma Gazette‘s “Forty Under 40” class of 2018.

This year’s class also includes four ACM@UCO-tied honorees!

Including

• ACM faculty, local entrepreneur and hip-hop musician Jabee Williams
• ACM alum and Tower Theatre managing partner Stephen Tyler
• respected ACM supporter, collaborator and ACM@UCO workshop leader Desiree Yearby, a public relations professional who also founded, owns and operates GotSteeze.net
• former ACM administrative assistant and current DeadCenter Film Festival coordinator and head of operations Alyx Picard Davis

See all 40 of this year’s honorees at okgazette.com.