Tulsa music scene thrived in 2012
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 5:56 AM
For more Read more music news at Tulsa
World reporter Jennifer Chancellor’s blog.
If 2012 was any hint of what 2013 has in store, well, brace yourself Green Country.
The past 12 months unleashed a torrent of world-class tours, albums, award-winning music and songs - and many of them raced through Tulsa.
Tours included the astounding visual-audio feat of Roger Waters' "The Wall," live and larger than ever. Locally raised musicians like St. Vincent partnered with legendary indie-rock powerhouse David Byrne (Talking Heads) for one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year. Oklahoma's own John Fullbright earned his first Grammy nomination - for his solo debut, no less.
Here, we round up the best of the best in this 2012 white-hot musical year in review.
1. Roger Waters: The Wall Live, BOK Center Roger Waters welcomed fans with arms spread wide, Christ-like, as war erupted around him. Pyrotechnic blasts of gunfire brought down a fighter plane as the sad story of lead character Pink erupted. In this version, however, the crowd became Pink and the erected wall trapped us all.
Read the full review at tulsaworld.com/wallreview
2. St. Vincent, Cain's Ballroom Musician Annie Clark, aka St. Vincent, swept into her Tuesday night tour stop at Cain's Ballroom with aplomb and delicacy, perfectly balancing her power-driven rock with casual banter. She blended stories of her youth in Tulsa with "hate mail" to her current home of New York City, and worked in songs from her three studio albums, "Marry Me," "Actor" and "Strange Mercy." There was nothing that even remotely resembled predictability in Clark's 90-plus-minute set.
Read the full review at tulsaworld.com/vincentreview
3. Jack White, Cain's Ballroom This guy boasted two sold-out shows that bookended 2012. The blues-inspired but rock-conceived sound with a dash of soul - especially in the new releases - let the audience know that what their ears fell in love with over the past decade is still there.
"A lot of people say it's good to be back, but it really, really is good to be back in Tulsa," White said. "There is something special about this town."
Read the full review at tulsaworld.com/whitereview
4. Rascal Flatts, The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa The Picher-tied country powerhouse joined Oklahoma's Vince Gill to lead not only a day of golf but fundraising for military families most in need through Owasso-based Folds of Honor. Bandmates Joe Don Rooney, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus had a capacity crowd of nearly 2,500 people clapping, standing and singing with local fans, golf celebrities, military personnel and their families, dressed in everything from Marine uniforms to tuxedos and everything in between. Their intimate set was more like a honky-tonk party than anything else - a very rare treat for their Oklahoma fans.
Read the full review at tulsaworld.com/gillflatts
5. Eddie Vedder, Brady Theater Touring in support of his solo album, "Ukulele Songs," Vedder's set on the first night of his two-show Tulsa stop showcased his talents, both vocally and instrumentally. ... Vedder wove through his set list in groups of songs, alternating between Pearl Jam favorites and his solo work and mixing in an impressive array of covers in his encore performance.
Read the full review at tulsaworld.com/vedderreview
1. John Fullbright, "From the Ground Up." This Grammy-nominated full-length studio debut from the Okemah native has nearly everybody buzzing, from National Public Radio to American Songwriter magazine.
2. St. Vincent and David Byrne, "Love This Giant." Tulsa-raised St. Vincent has exploded into the realm so few musicians ever truly tread. Fans love her, critics, too, and even iconic and influential former Talking Heads ringleader and cred-heavy David Byrne. She's fully legit.
3. JD McPherson, "Signs & Signifiers." Local fans will know this R&B/rockabilly/rock 'n' roll revival album first made ripples as an indie release more than a year ago. It got its official Rounder Records release and tour support this year. It's always worth a listen. And guess what. It was the No. 1 radio-played Americana album this year, according to Americana Airplay ratings and The Americana Music Association. He beat Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, Old Crow Medicine Show and, well, everyone. Well done!
4. Shiny Toy Guns, "III." Members Jeremy Dawson and Chad Petree go way back to their childhood days growing up in Shawnee. The band's third electro-pop-dance album sings with surreal depth and introspection.
5. Wanda Jackson, "Unfinished Business." The First Lady of Rock still rolls with her 31st (you're reading that correctly) studio album, she recruited alt-country powerhouse Justin Townes Earle (son of Texas country music man Steve Earle) to help with this collection of new and re-thought rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, gospel and even folk classics, including a cover of Woody Guthrie's "California Stars," originally put to music by Wilco and Billy Bragg.
1. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, "Americana" and "Psychedelic Pill." What a comeback. The band's first albums of new material in close to a decade hit the shelves in the same year, with sold-out tours that debuted the music before anyone knew the words.
2. Bruce Springsteen, "Wrecking Ball." This turbulent, honest album has what the genre has been missing: Storytelling rock anthems about America and its working class that aren't pompous, booze-laced odes to overindulgence.
3. Fiona Apple, "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do." Her baroque, piano- and jazz-infused pop deconstructs emotion, redefines it then tears it apart all over again. It's a lyrical punch followed by a hug, then a slap.
4. Jack White, "Blunderbuss." Believe it or not, rock 'n' roll's most prolific musician (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, Dead Weather) just released his first solo album.
5. Swans, "The Seer." Post-punk at its most unpredictable, and that's saying a whole heck of a lot. The NYC icon has expanded into territory that can only be heard to be imagined - or understood.
1. Broncho, "I Don't Really Want to Be Social."
2. Tame Impala, "Elephant."
3. John Fullbright, "Gawd Above."
4. Jack White, "Sixteen Saltines."
5. Rascal Flatts, "Banjo."
6. St. Vincent, "Cheerleader."
7. David Byrne and St. Vincent, "Who."
8. Charlie Wilson, "My Love is All that I Have."
9. PSY, "Gangnam Style."
10. Avett Brothers, "Down With The Shine"
Original Print Headline: Top-flight acts made stops in Tulsa
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Among the best of the year’s Tulsa-area concerts were Rascal Flatts at The Joint (shown), Jack White at the Cain’s and St. Vincent at the Cain’s. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Among the best of the year’s Tulsa-area concerts were Rascal Flatts at The Joint, Jack White at the Cain’s (shown) and St. Vincent at the Cain’s. KEVIN PYLE/For The Tulsa World
Among the best of the year’s Tulsa-area concerts were Rascal Flatts at The Joint, Jack White at the Cain’s and St. Vincent at the Cain’s (shown). MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Neil Young & Crazy Horse made a comeback with two albums of new material in the same
year. BARRY BRECHEISEN/Invision/AP