pop staff reports

This is the month. The month where Norman will rock out to undiscovered bands and local favorite tunes. The month of the Norman Music Festival.

The festival will take place April 24-25 in downtown Norman. The streets will be closed only on Sunday, but Saturday will see more than 32 bands play throughout the day.

So far, the Norman Music Festival Web site has the following bands slated to play on Saturday of the festival:

· Evangelicals

· Rainbows Are Free

· Tony Romanello & the Black Jackets

· Traindodge

· Stephen Rawlings

· Student Film

· Octopus Project

· Colourmusic

· Hush Hush Commotion

· Depth & Current

· Locust Avenue

· Junebug Spade

· Kite Flying Robot

· Midnight - MONTU

· Z’ebre

· Love Button

· Klipspringer

· Mama Sweet

· Lost At Sea

· Miracord

· Jesse Aycock

· Beau Jennings

· Chase Pagan

· Radiant

· The Burning Hotels

· The Orbans

· Odis

· Ishi

· Native Lights

· Bear Colony

(List is subject to change.)

Below is more information on some of the bands that will be featured. Keep checking back with pop for more information as the festival nears.

Hush Hush Commotion:

Hush Hush Commotion is concerned with one thing, and one thing only — making music that is real.

In today’s music scene where bands are more concerned with what’s the latest fad, HHC turns their backs on the trendy, carbon-copy music and recognizes that music can be fun and energetic, without being over-processed and generic. HHC has embarked on a mission to bring real, lasting music which allows the listener to have fun, yet doesn’t insult their musical minds with mass-produced, heartless junk.

Hush Hush Commotion released its sophomore album, “In Control,” August 2009. The new release was received as a strong cohesive unit with one underlining principle — music that is real.

Native Lights:

Native Lights is the collaboration of four musicians who have each in their own way found a niche with their day bands – Johnathon Ford, founder of the internationally recognized instrumental indie outfit Unwed Sailor, Bryce Chambers, frontman for dream-pop darling legends Ester Drang, Phillip Philips, guitarist for long-time Tulsa favorites Dead Sea Choir and Nathan Price, workaholic percussionist and resident drummer for Unwed Sailor, Vandevander and BRONCHO. The band released their first 7” single on Hard Work Records in the fall of 2009. They followed the release with a national tour with Unwed Sailor. Native Lights influences range from Slowdive to Echo & The Bunnymen to The Jesus Lizard. The band stirs up this sound combination in a way that promises to infiltrate the listener with a driving, rythmic wall of sound that leaves your mind and body wanting more.

Photo by Jaret Ferratusco

MONTU

After four college students discovered a connection bound by their love for music, the instrumental jamtronica band MONTU was founded in Norman in early 2008. Band members, Colby Cowart, John Barkley, Jon Godsy and Jeff Cook take precedence in pleasing their audience and it is of utmost importance, to them, that the crowd is continuously dancing throughout their performances.

After only a few years of being together, MONTU has formed a brand of sound with influences of rock, electronica, jazz and trance. MONTU has played across Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Arkansas and the majority of the Midwest, playing at such venues as Cain’s Ballroom (Tulsa) and Owsley’s Golden Road (Denver, Colo.).

ODIS

Although performing live on a nationally syndicated show was an unlikely first step to gain attention for a young band from Dallas, mainstream rock band Odis achieved just that. A chance meeting with on-radio personality, Terry Jaymes of the Lex & Terry Morning Show at a clothing store with frontman Larry Gayao got the band its first big break. In 2008 the band released its debut album “Feel” produced by Will Hunt with a sold-out concert at the House of Blues. Soon after it’s release the album won Dallas Magazine, Quick DFW’s, “Big Album of the Year” award.

This year the band headed to Norman in late January to record the follow-up to “Feel” with producer Chad Copelin of Blackwatch Studios. Despite rumors of Copelin’s quiet personality, guitarist Rob Bastien says the talented producer was “outgoing and passionate,” although he adds that Copelin “pushed us really hard.”

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