June 2016: Musical Vampires

Having been immersed in the culture of music for so long, occasionally you reach a point of saturation.  A point where it all sounds and looks the same.  That it can be a song, artist, album, genre or entire cross-section of music.  I like to compare it to being a musical vampire.  Where you suck out all the lifeblood of a piece of music until it becomes part of your own DNA.  You listen to that new song you can’t get out of your head 100 times.  Then, you don’t care if you ever hear it again, because it now lives in your heart.

This is indicative of our culture at large these days.  We pounce on something quickly, devour it for all its worth and then move on.  Be it a news story (Harambe), a viral video (Chewbaca lady), or a song (Uptown Funk for one example). That’s not to say that certain things don’t have staying power.  Such as, I haven’t listened to Pat Green’s Carry On record in 10 years or more, but I still know every note.  And, if it came on randomly somewhere in some situation I’d be overjoyed.  But, I’m not going to be the one to cue it up.

I think that’s why, we as a web community, are seekers. We’re always searching for the next big thing.  Chasing the dragon of that first time we heard Robert Earl Keen or Randy Rogers.  It’s why I, and many others, don’t just listen to Texas/Americana/Red Dirt/Folk/Country.  To limit the boundaries is to limit the mind.  Restricting creativity and discovery only harms the art.  Look beyond what you know and search or the light. It may come in the form of blues, funk, pop, rock, hip-hop or even EDM. I spent 3 days at a multi-genre music festival last month and the only artist I saw close to what would fit in OKOM’s most specific terms was Jason Isbell.  He was amazing as usual.  However, I took in other acts that fit in the broader terms of what we dig: originality, soul, authenticity, groove, smart lyrics and feel. These being acts like Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, Florence+The Machine, The Revivalists and more.

I thought about all this as I was clicking through the Lone Star Music album tournament voting process.  I was encountering records I hadn’t listened to in years.  It forced me to intentionally go back and revisit some of my musical building blocks.  From the moment the first note hit on “Down and Out” or “Number”, I was taken back to a very particular time and place…and it felt like I never left.  Because I hadn’t.  Those songs are part of my musical DNA.  I’d repeatedly imbibed them many years ago until they became a part of my being.



-My thoughts on the Baylor fiasco: here.

-While my podcast is on hiatus due to a variety of reasons, I encourage you to check out The Co-Write podcast from Bobby Duncan and Donovan Dodd.  Smart, funny and musically diverse.

-Rainiest May I can recall, but it seems like it rained a lot last May too.

-Greenfest is just a few weeks away, buckle up.

-I wish our beaches were half as cool/clean as those in the Florabama area. One of the only things Texas finishes 2nd in.

-I met a fellow Texan the other day who doesn’t like Whataburger.  I contacted Austin for deportation papers

-I kept this one short because I just wrote nearly 10,000 words about Hangout.


This months’ recommended album:  Quaker City Night Hawks – El Astronauta . This Fort Worth collective provides crunchy, spacey guitar rock that is equal parts Skynyrd and Zappa.  Songs can be far out and direct all at once.  They groove for days and the tones are inimitable.  Perfect summer record.

-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.”-Mark Twain

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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