As previously reported, Oklahoma City-based psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips set a Guinness World Record this week for playing the most concerts in 24 hours in different cities. In conjunction with the third edition of the O Music Awards, they played eight shows across the Mississippi Delta Wednesday-Thursday to break Jay-Z’s previous record of seven concerts in different cities.
The entire frenzied jaunt was live-streamed as part of the O Music Awards, and I’ve already shared several highlights of the record-setting journey.
But I wanted to feature a couple more notable moments, including the Lips’ performance with Phantogram of their ominous new song “You Lust.” Lips frontman Wayne Coyne recently told RollingStone.com that the band is nearly finished recording its next new album. The Oklahoma rock experimenters have been touching up their latest collection of new material a studio in Buffalo, N.Y., and hope to release it this fall.
During the 24-hour tour, Coyne also addressed the Twitter feud that erupted recently between the Lips and Erykah Badu over the nudity-filled video accompanying their excellent cover of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”
The controversy got started when the video debuted, some of Badu’s fans complained and the Texas soul singer tweeted that it was released without her full approval. The Lips issued an apology and yanked the video, but it still launched a Twitter war between the two artists and their fan bases that went on for days.
Coyne indicated during the 24-hour tour that the Lips are considering remaking “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” with Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer.
“At the moment, I’m talking with Amanda Palmer about remaking the video and having Amanda sing it and just be in the video,” Coyne said.
Check out the interview here:
Earlier this week, a group of clowns from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus visited Science Museum Oklahoma to help out with a special Science Live show called “Science of the Circus.”
The performers balanced objects, spun plates, created optical illusions and even demonstrated the science of juggling to the delight of the audience. They also handed out red clown noses to the crowd.
Talented photographer Garett Fisbeck got these great shots of the show for The Oklahoman.
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Fully Charged” continues its run at Chesapeake Energy Arena with performances at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. today and 3 p.m. Sunday. I took my little ones to see “The Greatest Show on Earth” Friday night, and it was one eye-popping spectacle.
To read my interview with Ringling Bros. ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott, click here.
For tickets and information, call (800) 745-3000 or go to www.chesapeakearena.com.
The intimate, affecting family drama “People Like Us,” loosely based on real-life experiences in the life of co-writer/first-time director Alex Kurtzman, opened in theaters Friday. To read my positive review, click here.
Kurtzman has co-written more than his share of summer popcorn movies, including “Mission: Impossible III,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” the first two “Transformers” flicks and J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” reboot. “People Like Us” is a significant change of pace for the Hollywood scribe, as well as for the film’s leading man, Chris “Captain James T. Kirk” Pine. To read my interview with Chris Pine and Alex Kurtzman, click here.
The filmmaker used his box-office clout to recruit some great talents to help him with his directorial debut, including Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”), who contributes a lovely, heartfelt score.
Even better, Rahman also collaborated with indie rocker Liz Phair on the gorgeous end theme “Dotted Line,” one of the best closing songs I’ve heard at a movie in a long time. It matches up with the film’s emotionally satisfying ending perfectly.
Listen to “Dotted Line” here:
Today’s featured event:
Hear Tyson Meade of Chainsaw Kittens fame at 9 tonight and 2 a.m. Sunday at VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N Western.
For the rare home-state performance, Meade will be playing with original Kittens guitarist Mark Metzger for the first time in 19 years, and spreading the word about his plans to record an album in China with Chinese and American musicians, reports The Oklahoman Entertainment Editor Gene Triplett.
“For five years I lived in China, in Shanghai, and the last three of those five years I was running a boarding school and I’ve fallen in love with China,” the singer/songwriter/guitarist/educator told Gene in a recent interview.
“China loves America, loves Americans, and everyone was so good to me there.”
Meade plans to finance the recording and distribution of the album through Kickstarter, with Oklahoma-bred filmmaker Bradley Beesley (“Okie Noodling,” “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo”) directing a video promoting the campaign.
For more information on Meade’s album, check out www.tysonmeade.com.
For more information on tonight’s date, www.vzds.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. 3 1/2 of 4 stars. To read my interview with Chris Pine and Alex Kurtzman, click here.
Movie review: ‘People Like Us’
This blockbuster season, seasoned action-movie screenwriter Alex Kurtzman makes his directorial debut with the intimate, affecting family, a powerfully quiet change of pace from the showy superheroes, animated critters and computer-generated explosions that dominate cineplexes this time of year.
With his writing partner Roberto Orci, Hollywood scribe Alex Kurtzman has penned more than his share of summer popcorn movies, including “Mission: Impossible III,” “Cowboys & Aliens,” the first two “Transformers” flicks and J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” reboot.
This blockbuster season, though, Kurtzman makes his directorial debut with the intimate, affecting family drama “People Like Us,” a powerfully quiet change of pace from the showy superheroes, animated critters and computer-generated explosions that dominate cineplexes this time of year.
“Star Trek” leading man Chris Pine stars as Sam, a fast-talking New York salesman who is summoned back to his hometown of Los Angeles at the death his distant father, a noted 1970s and ‘80s record producer who knew how to score hits but never bothered with figuring out how to raise a child. With his understanding girlfriend Hannah (Olivia Wilde) in tow, Sam reluctantly trudges back home to his estranged, grieving mother Lillian (the excellent Michelle Pfeiffer).
Still bitter toward his dad, Sam gets a shock when he takes a private meeting with his father’s attorney (Philip Baker Hall), who hands over a worn leather bag stuffed with $150,000 and a note instructing Sam to deliver it to a local apartment, the home of strong-willed single mom Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) and her clever, rebellious son Josh (Michael Hall D’Addario).
They are strangers to him, but with a bit of stalkerish investigating, Sam soon realizes, to his astonishment, that Frankie is the half-sister he never knew he had.
With his shady job in jeopardy and deep debts piled up, Sam is averse to turning over the cash, even when he realizes the financial tightrope Frankie, a reformed party girl, is walking with her dead-end job as a bartender.
Still, Sam feels compelled to get to know Frankie, so he conceals his true identity and poses as a new member of her Alcoholics Anonymous chapter. They swiftly develop a close bond — he assures her that he will never, ever hit on her, and fortunately, their budding relationship avoids veering into creepy territory — while Sam quickly becomes a fatherlike figure to Josh.
After becoming such fast friends, Sam struggles with how to reveal his deception and true identity to his long-lost relatives. He also grapples with broaching the topic with his mourning mother.
Pine again employs the potent charisma with which he played reckless young Captain James T. Kirk while showing off unsuspected depth and sensitivity. After nearly stealing the show in “The Hunger Games,” Banks provides both the emotional grounding and much-needed humor of “People Like Us.” D’Addario capitalizes on a potential breakout; his 11-year-old Josh is mischievous without getting too mean-spirited and precocious without becoming precious.
Although it occasionally flirts with becoming too soapy and contrived, Kurtzman, along with his stellar cast and crew, ably imbues the story with a sense of realness. That’s perhaps to be expected since the script is loosely based on his own experiences — about eight years ago, he met his half-sister for the first time, though he always knew she was out there — with additional real-life flourishes added by Orci and third screenwriter Jody Lambert.
The first-time director and cinematographer Salvatore Totino use real, non-touristy L.A. locations to endow the film with an added layer of authenticity. With the story’s roots in ‘70s-era music, the film makes excellent use of Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue,” the Clash’s “Spanish Bombs” and the like, while composer A.R. Rahman (“Slumdog Millionaire”) contributes a lovely, heartfelt score. The Oscar winner also collaborated with indie rocker Liz Phair on the gorgeous closing theme “Dotted Line.”
Even better, the ending lives up to the song. Even if you see it coming, Kurtzman gives the film a satisfying emotional payoff that makes all the soap bubbles drift away.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read my review of “People Like Us,” click here.
‘Star Trek’ star, co-writer explore personal story with ‘People Like Us’
Screenwriter Alex Kurtzman makes his directorial debut with the family drama, which was inspired and loosely based on his own life and stars new Captain Kirk actor Chris Pine.
In between their sweeping cinematic jaunts into “space, the final frontier,” filmmaker Alex Kurtzman and actor Chris Pine are exploring an intimate, deeply personal story of “People Like Us.”
About eight years ago, Kurtzman — who with his writing partner Roberto Orci has penned screenplays to action-packed blockbusters like “Mission: Impossible III,” the first two “Transformers” movies and J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” reboot — encountered a woman at a party who introduced herself as the half-sister he’d never met. The experience helped inspire the fictionalized “People Like Us,” which also marks Kurtzman’s directorial debut.
“In the movies I usually write with my writing partner Bob, we always look for a way to find a personal angle to tell any of the stories that we do. But given the scope of a lot of those movies, there are certain limitations. What excited me about this was the idea of getting to do a movie where you couldn’t cut away to a robot or a spaceship, where the scenes between the characters had to be as alive as anything. And I loved that challenge,” said Kurtzman, talking about the new film with Pine by phone from Dallas.
“I did meet my half-sister when I turned 30, so I was drawing from a lot of personal experience for it. And the whole thing was extremely cathartic and a lot of fun and just a great experience all around.”
Building on his cinematic breakthrough portraying Captain James T. Kirk in “Star Trek,” Pine plays Sam, a fast-talking, self-absorbed salesman whose recently deceased father tasks him with delivering $150,000 to spirited, strong-willed single mom Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) and her clever, troublemaking son Josh (Michael Hall D’Addario), who turn out to be the half-sister and nephew Sam didn’t even know he had. Deep in debt and with his shady job in jeopardy, Sam is reluctant to turn over the cash his estranged father has willed to this secret family, so he conceals his identity and sets out to get to know Frankie and Josh.
“He’s a complete BS artist in the beginning of the film and for much of the film, and he does a great job — or at least he thinks he’s doing a great job — of spinning all the plates at once until things start to unravel,” Pine said of Sam.
“Anytime you take on a character … you just have to find the parts of the character that you can understand. I mean, no matter how bad the individual, everybody has reasons for why they do what they do. Sam unfortunately at 30 is a really emotionally disconnected man who spends the length of the film trying to become a better person. I think that the lie he engages in through the length of the film is really born out of his fear that he will lose this very blatant emotional connection to this human being he is falling in love with, not as a romantic thing but he’s finally after all this time allowing himself to connect emotionally to someone else.”
Although he and Kurtzman conversed briefly during the making of “Star Trek,” Pine, 31, said they bonded much more intensely with “People Like Us.”
“He called me on a Thursday and asked me to read the script. On a Friday, I got it. I read it on a Saturday, Sunday I called my agent, and by Monday it was basically a done deal. It was something I responded to immediately, and it was a beautifully written story and a much smaller story in terms of scope and the slice-of-life quality that it had than I’d done before. And that interested me greatly,” Pine said.
“The fact that it was personal to Alex was definitely interesting, but it didn’t increase the appeal for me. I think when that really came into effect was when we started rehearsing the script and the movie. Alex, thank God, gave us two and a half weeks before (filming when) we began to talk about the script. Clearly, he was going to try to bring this thing to life and you couldn’t help but want to give it your all and do your best.”
“I felt very strongly that rehearsal was really necessary because given the nature of the material and the fact that you watched extreme complicated relationships progress,” Kurtzman added.
Kurtzman, 38, said his closeness to the material made it ideal for his directorial debut. He and co-writers Orci and Jody Lambert all contributed pieces of personal stories to “People Like Us.” From the time he was young, Kurtzman knew his father had been married previously and had two other children, although the filmmaker didn’t meet them until he was an adult. Orci brought to the film his aunt’s story about discovering her father had a secret family she had known nothing about. Lambert added her experiences growing up around show business as the daughter of record producer Dennis Lambert; in the film, Sam’s father is a producer, too.
“It certainly helped in the sense that I felt like I was able to speak from a place of authenticity about the material itself. You know, it took me and Bob and … Jody Lambert eight years to write the script. So by the time we were actually on set doing it, we’d thought about those scenes backwards and forwards in a hundred different ways,” he said.
“But the gift for me was being surrounded by such a talented cast and a talented crew, and everybody was there because they wanted to be there and they were working for almost nothing. I think that it sort of made us a family trudging forward together in a really kind of arm-linked way.” which was part of what was so great about it.”
Next May, film fans will get to embark on another space adventure with Pine and Kurtzman, who reunited with Abrams’ for the as-yet-untitled “Star Trek” sequel, now in post-production.
“What was really kind of fun for all of us on the first movie is that we basically got to show the bridge crew coming together. And I think that the mistake that we didn’t want to make in the sequel was assuming that just because they’re together they’re the finely tuned machine that you fell in love (with) from the original series. They still have a lot of work and a lot of growing to get to that place,” Kurtzman said.
“So it’s a lot of fun I think to watch the characters struggle through a lot of insanely huge challenges. I can certainly speak to the scope of the movie — and as big as the first one was, the second one’s even bigger. And the key for all of us was making sure we were holding on to character the whole time, but I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
“I think the film takes people on a journey from Point A to Point B, and Kirk is still on his way to Z, let’s say. He’s still on his way to becoming the captain that we all know him to be,” Pine added.
“So you’ll probably find pieces of that rebellious Kirk in the new installment, but I think really what Kirk’s personal adventure is about is learning how to be a captain, learning what it means to be a leader of men and women, learning what it means to be a true, responsible kind of fully realized man in a position of incredible responsibility.
“I think the (special) effects and explosions are just as great if not greater in this new installment, but I think it’s matched by really strong and really interesting character development.”
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Ringling Bros. circus is ‘Fully Charged’ this weekend in Oklahoma City
Column: Ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott not only keeps the audience connected with ‘The Greatest Show on Earth,’ he also sings as part of the spectacle, which features more than 100 clowns, acrobats and other performers as well as six Asian elephants, at least a dozen tigers and herds of horses.
Brian Crawford Scott had never even been to the circus when he auditioned to join the one known as “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
By the time he got to see his first three-ringed extravaganza, the San Jose, Calif., native had been hired as the ringmaster of the famed Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.
“I never went as a kid. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. But I was excited for it. I saw some videos and clips on YouTube of old ringmasters and I thought, ‘That’s something I can do,’” he said during a recent phone interview from New Orleans.
“I got the opportunity to go and see the other productions of the circus that were … running at the time, so that kind of gave me a little head’s up. But for the most part, it was just trial by fire. They threw me right into the lion’s den and I got to work right away.”
As “Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Fully Charged,” the latest edition of the venerable institution, electrifies Chesapeake Energy Arena this weekend, Scott, 25, is tasked with keeping the audience plugged into the spectacle.
“As the ringmaster, I feel like it’s all about being the link between the audience and what they’re seeing,” he said. “Aside from that — which is the traditional ringmaster duty — Ringling Bros. ringmasters are now also singers. So I get the opportunity to sing and perform alongside these really awesome acts.” he said. “We have three songs that have been written for this show and … circus music is all very exciting and fun and upbeat. It gets stuck in your head really easily.”
While many Ringling Bros. performers are raised in the circus life, Scott’s parents worked in the software industry in the San Francisco Bay area while he was growing up. In high school, a friend asked if he wanted to audition for a school play. He got a part and discovered he enjoyed performing.
After graduating with a degree in musical theater from the University of Northern Colorado, Scott moved to New York City to pursue a show business career. Less than a year later, he was working as a waiter and performing in local productions when Ringling Bros. held ringmaster auditions. Once again, a friend encouraged him to try out.
“My mother was funny because she knew I was going to the audition, and she was very enthusiastic and she was trying to be a good mother and not blab and talk too much about it. … And then when I told her, she was ecstatic,” . She was so, so, so happy for me. Of course, being my mother she was like, ‘I knew you were gonna get it,’” Scott said.
“My father didn’t know about the audition, and after the audition, it was only two days later that I signed the contract. … So I called him up after I’d already gotten the job and said, ‘Hey, Dad, so how’s it going? Oh, good. Well, I’ve got some good news: I’m gonna leave New York and go join the circus.’ And he was blown away. He was like, ‘You’re gonna do what now?’ But they’re both very proud of me.”
Scott landed the job in September 2010, started working on the new edition of the circus a couple months later and gave his first performance as ringmaster in January 2011 as “Fully Charged” opened.
“I thought I was totally, 100 percent prepared … until they opened up the curtain and I stepped out to do the National Anthem and I looked at the literally thousands — thousands — of people sitting in these seats. And I giggled. I’d never performed to that many people before, and it just totally struck me,” he said. “It was a lot of fun and realizing the immensity of the production and how many people we were going to reach was really, really exciting.”
He is just the 36th ringmaster in Ringling Bros.’ 141-year history, and he is honored to be part of such a legacy. Even after more than 500 performances, he still laughs at the clowns’ gags, thrills at the death-defying acts and remains in awe of the majestic Asian elephants.
“At first it totally blew my mind because … I’d worked with at most with a 30-member cast of a musical, and now I’m working alongside 100 different performers and a 300-member crew total. So the scale of it really just kind of swept me away. But it also was fun to be immersed in all these different languages and cultures. I mean, I’m used to working with a bunch of other actors, but instead now I’m working with a high-wire troupe from Morocco and oh here’s some strong men from Eastern Europe and oh here’s some jugglers from Argentina,” he said.
“It was a fun learning experience to be sure; now it’s like just another day at the office. I’ve gotten pretty comfortable here and … I definitely enjoy it. It has not gotten old.”
“Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Fully Charged”
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
Tickets and information: (800) 745-3000 or www.chesapeakearena.com.
This story was co-written with my intrepid co-worker George Lang. It also appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Setting off July 4 with a big, bold bang
Oklahoma communities are planning musical performances, family activities and lots of fireworks for Independence Day.
The United States’ big 236th birthday might be taking place in the middle of the week this year, but Oklahoma will make Independence Day feel like the weekend with patriotic parades, family fun and fireworks rocketing skyward.
Leading the local festivities is Red, White and Boom!, the annual fireworks-and-music blowout headlined by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. This year, Elk City native and 1981 Miss America Susan Powell joins the philharmonic, conducted by maestro Joel Levine, to perform an eclectic program featuring patriotic favorites such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Broadway songs. The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at State Fair Park, followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. Admission is free. Information: www.okcphilharmonic.org.
And the all-American entertainment continues Tuesday as the Oklahoma City RedHawks take on the Memphis Redbirds at 7:05 p.m. at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive. Fireworks will light up the sky over the ballpark at about 10 p.m., following the game. Information: Ö www.oklahomaredhawks.com.
The inaugural SandRidge Energy Stars & Stripes River Festival will launch from 9 a.m. to dusk Saturday in Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District. The July 4-theme event will feature an array of free family activities such as face painting, sack races and bean bag toss, along with music from DJ Jon Mooneyham, Denver Duncan, At Long Last and Brian Dunning and the Rock N’ Roll Trio. The event includes the RiverSport Challenge run/kayak race, corporate rowing and dragon boat league racing and Olympic Day activities. Evening fireworks cap the event. Parking and admission are free. Information: www.OklahomaRiverEvents.org.
Edmond’s annual LibertyFest is a weeklong celebration of Americana and family-friendly activities. While the past week of LibertyFest included a car show, a kite-flying event and a patriotic performance by the UCO Summer Band, the crowning glory of the festival comes at 9 a.m. Wednesday as the LibertyFest Parade, a 1.5-mile cavalcade of bands, floats and marching groups, winds its way through downtown Edmond. At 6:30 p.m., the University of Central Oklahoma is the location for an evening of food, music, rides and games, followed by a fireworks display at sundown. Information: www.libertyfest.org.
One of the longest-running and most enthusiastic festivals in the area is under way in
Bethany with the Freedom Festival. This event, in its 54th year, begins with pony rides, inflatable bouncing, carnival rides and games at Eldon Lyon Park, NW 39th between Council and Rockwell. On Wednesday, the parade begins at 10 a.m., the annual car show runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the fireworks display, one of the state’s largest pyrotechnics events, begins at 9:55 p.m. Information: www.cityofbethany.org.
The center for family fun at Yukon’s Freedom Fest is Yukon City Park at 2200 S Holly, with concerts taking place at Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W Vandament. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday with “A Tribute to Veterans,” featuring Mike Black and the Stingrays, and a patriotic brass band performance at 7:45 p.m. by Irv Wagner’s Concert Band, followed by fireworks at 10 p.m. Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Freedom Fest rolls out the annual “Cherry Bomb Triathlon,” a car show, a children’s parade, a “best decorated bicycle” contest for kids, a sand volleyball tournament and a hot dog eating contest. Also included are performances by the Roland Bowling Band and Mike Black and the Stingrays. Freedom Fest culminates with a 5 p.m. concert by Superfreak, followed by an 8:30 p.m. patriotic concert by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic with Powell and fireworks. Information: www.cityofyukonok.gov.
Norman’s 37th Annual Norman Day Celebration on Wednesday is a unique kind of patriotic party. Norman Day, which takes place beginning at 4:30 p.m. at Reaves Park, 2501 Jenkins, features inflatable games, pony rides and baby crawl races, followed by performances from John Arnold Band at 5 p.m., Banana Seat at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Information: www.ci.norman.ok.us.
Moore hosts its 18th Annual Art in the Park: A Celebration in the Heartland, featuring live entertainment with crafts, food, carnival rides, car show and children’s activities, from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday. Musical performances include Johnny Lee at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Bad Monkey at 7 p.m. Wednesday, followed by fireworks. Information: www.cityofmoore.com.
Midwest City‘s annual Tribute to Liberty event features live music from Hook at 6 p.m. Wednesday, followed by fireworks, at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park, near Reno and Midwest Boulevard. Information: http://midwestcityok.org.
For a do-it-yourself celebration, head to Wild Horse Park at 1201 N Mustang Road. It is legal to light fireworks in Mustang through Wednesday, and residents will line the outskirts of the park at dusk Saturday to light rockets. Alcohol is prohibited. Information: 376-3411.
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read my recent interview with Chris Cagle, click here.
Chris Cagle “Back in the Saddle” (Bigger Picture Music Group)
Country-rocker Chris Cagle delivers an appropriately titled comeback album with “Back in the Saddle,” his first collection of new material in more than four years and debut effort on indie label Bigger Picture Music Group.
The former Capitol Records artist deftly slips back into the country music mainstream with lead-off track “Got My Country On,” which recently ascended to No. 12 on the Billboard country songs chart, and new single “Let There Be Cowgirls,” both the kind of Southern-rocking rural anthems that have made Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert stars.
But when Cagle croons about “getting it done with my own two hands,” “putting some green in a coffee can” and “loosening the buttons on my blue collar,” he does it with added authority and authenticity, even if such lyrics have become a bit too familiar. After all, the self-proclaimed “redneck rock ‘n’ roller” walked away from his show business career in 2008, moved to Marietta and started building a horse ranch. He then got married and started a family before returning to music.
Marriage and fatherhood seem to suit Cagle, 43, who co-wrote some of the best cuts on “Back in the Saddle” in honor of his wife, Kay, and their three daughters. The Louisiana native obviously had his bride in mind when he co-penned “Let There Be Cowgirls,” a raucous tribute to the women who are “the heartbeat of the Heartland,” as well as the softer, more romantic homage “Southern Girl” and the foot-stomping ode to life-altering love “Now I Know What Mama Meant.” He and Kim Tribble (who co-wrote a track on Aldean’s smash album “My Kinda Party”) collaborated on the passionate love song “Something That Wild,” one of the album’s highlights.
Cagle teamed with Brad and Brett Warren on the heartfelt father-daughter ballad “Dance Baby Dance,” and he boldly steps on his soap box to call out schools, politicians and cultural messengers who “keep washing brains on how to ride that gravy train/and teaching kids that there just ain’t no God up in the sky” with “I’ll Grow My Own,” which the Warren Brothers co-wrote with Casey Beathard (a contributor to Eric Church’s “Chief”).
Cuts like “When Will My Lover Come Around,” “Probably Just Time” and “Thank God She Left the Whiskey” showcase Cagle’s pleasantly weathered drawl, just as “Back in the Saddle” shines a spotlight on the Oklahoma newcomer’s return to the country ranks.
Best Bets for June 29-July 1, 2012: Six Market Blvd., “Bye Bye Birdie” and John Fullbright, Eric Taylor & Michael Fracasso
Here are the Best Bets for entertainment in the Oklahoma City area this weekend, as listed in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
1. Listen to John Fullbright, Eric Taylor and Michael Fracasso trade songs at 8 p.m. Friday at the Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley. Information: 524-0738 or www.bluedoorokc.com.
2. See Lyric Theatre’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie” at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center, 201 N Walker. Information: 524-9312 or www.lyrictheatreokc.com.
3. Catch Uncle Lucius in concert at 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan. Doors open at 6 p.m. Information: 601-6276 or www.wormydog.com.
4. YUKON — Hear Texas acoustic band Six Market Blvd. at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Grady’s 66 Pub, 444 W Main St. Information: 354-8789 or www.gradys66.com.