What to do in Oklahoma on May 19, 2013: See Perpetual Motion Dance Company’s “Water Won’t Wait” (with video)
Today’s featured event:
See the final performance of Perpetual Motion Dance Company’s spring production “Water Won’t Wait” at 2 p.m. today at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center at State Fair Park, 3000 General Pershing Blvd.
“Water Won’t Wait” is a new and original production featuring the modern dance company’s signature blend of stunning visuals and technical ingenuity as it delves into the fear, despair, and courage inspired by the unalterable current of time. “Water Won’t Wait” emerged from conversations between Perpetual Motion’s Artistic Director Michelle Moeller and Aerial Arts Director Kimberly Kieffer, who both recently experienced major life changes.
“The idea is that our lives are like water, so even if there is a wall, we will go right through it,” Kieffer said in a news release. “If we are sharp water, the wall will move out in front of us. If not, we will get beaten up in the process of getting through, but one way or another, we are going through the wall.”
Moeller believes the universal struggle of change will give audiences a chance to bring their own life stories into the production. The choreographers are using classical elements, water, air, earth, to expand and explore the theme of change. More time has also been afforded to exploration during the rehearsal process than previous years because of the magnitude and introspection of the subject matter. In addition to the stage choreography, Perpetual Motion is collaborated with local filmmaker K Edward Van Osdol to create a series of dance films to be interwoven throughout the concert.
This presentation is supported in part by an award from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the Kirkpatrick Family Fund, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. Through state appropriations and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oklahoma Arts Council funds more than 1,200 events annually with an estimated total attendance of more than 3.5 million. Projects funded by the Oklahoma Arts Council generally account for more than $20 million in grants and matching funds distributed throughout Oklahoma’s economy throughout the state’s rural and urban communities.
Check out the videos previewing the show posted below. For more information, go to www.perpetualmotiondance.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Today’s featured event:
Hear local kindie rockers Sugar Free Allstars play from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. today at Uptown Kids in Classen Curve, 5840 N Classen Blvd, Suite 3.
For more information, go to http://uptownkidsstyle.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Best Bets for May 17-19, 2013: Jimmy Webb, Jerry Seinfeld, The True Believers & Tulsa International Mayfest
Here are my picks for the Best Bets in Oklahoma this weekend, as listed in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
1. Listen to legendary songwriter Jimmy Webb, an Elk City native, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Blue Door, 2805 N McKinley. Doors open at 7 p.m. both nights. Information: 524-0738 or www.bluedoorokc.com.
2. Laugh along with Jerry Seinfeld at 7 and 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center, 201 N Walker. Information: 297-2264 or www.okcciviccenter.com.
3. Listen to Austin, Texas, rockers The True Believers with special guest Miho Kolliopoulos at 9 p.m. Friday at VZD’s, 4200 N Western. Information: 524-4203 or www.vzds.com.
4. TULSA — Take in art exhibits, a KidZone and live music from Monte Montgomery, Royal Southern Brotherhood, Will Hoge, John Fullbright and more during Tulsa International Mayfest in downtown. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Information: (918) 582-6435 or www.tulsamayfest.org.
Interview: John Fullbright hits the road following Grammy nomination, plays Norman’s Summer Breeze Concert Sunday
A version of this column appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
John Fullbright hits the road following Grammy nomination
Column: The hard-traveling Bearden singer-songwriter will wrap a series of home-state shows by kicking off Norman’s Summer Breeze Concert Series Sunday night before heading back out on his nationwide tour.
John Fullbright has successfully weathered what he calls “the great Grammy scare of 2012 and ’13.”
“Well, historically speaking if an artist debuts a record and wins a Grammy, that’s usually the last you ever hear from them again,” Fullbright said with a laugh.
“They never really live up to it after that.”
The Bearden singer-songwriter certainly has kept busy in the months since his first studio album, 2012’s “From the Ground Up,” was nominated for the best Americana album Grammy.
His album — funded through Kickstarter.com, released on his own Blue Dirt Records label and distributed via a deal with Nashville, Tenn.-based Thirty Tigers — competed alongside Bonnie Raitt’s “Slipstream,” Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” The Avett Brothers’ “The Carpenter” and the self-titled debut from The Lumineers at February’s 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
“I’m just glad Bonnie got it,” Fullbright said, still laughing.
After all, it was Raitt’s 10th golden gramophone, so it’s safe to assume she is past the Grammy curse stage of her career.
‘Long endless road’
For Fullbright, 25, it’s safe to say that the acclaim for “For the Ground Up,” which he coproduced with Wes Sharon at the latter’s 115 Studios in Norman, has launched a hard-traveling stage of his career.
“I think I’m in Wyoming right now. I’m in America,” he said wryly in a phone interview last week from “a long endless road.”
“I’m running like a chicken with my head cut off, but I think otherwise I’m pretty good. We (musicians) cover a lot of ground.”
From the often understated Fullbright, that’s, not surprisingly, an understatement: Back in late April, his tour schedule boasted 53 dates in 26 states and two Canadian provinces. Of course, that was after he spent much of last month on a European tour that included stops in Brussels, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
“I don’t have a home base right now. You know, I haven’t been home since closing in on like a year now,” he said, adding he still lives in the Okemah-area house he and his father grew up in — it was featured on the cover of “From the Ground Up” — and occasionally wanders through and stays for a couple days.
“If I’m lucky,” he said. “I think it’s still there. I hope it is. I’d be very sad if it wasn’t.”
Fullbright returned to Oklahoma last weekend to play a three-night stand at the Blue Door in honor of the Oklahoma City listening room’s 20th anniversary. He considers the Blue Door the launching pad of his now-burgeoning career: The venue’s proprietor, Greg Johnson, is his manager, Johnson’s extensive music library advanced his songwriting education, and he recorded his initial album, “Live at the Blue Door,” there in 2009.
The recently named Lone Star Music Awards Emerging Artist of the Year called Johnson and himself “extremely lazy ambitious people” who accidentally dragged each other into the music business.
“I never really wanted anything to do with the music business. I just wanted to write songs and be respected by my peers. Like truthfully, I always kind of saw myself having some other job … and it was not great but what I really liked to do was write songs and all that kind of jazz. Greg is kind of the same way: He didn’t want to be in the music business, he just wanted to support songwriters,” he said.
“But it started picking up really fast and we both kind of had to learn quickly about what we had to do to stay in it.”
For Fullbright, staying in it has meant not staying in one spot. After wrapping his Blue Door stand late Sunday, he kept his concert calendar clear for a few days before performing Thursday night at Tulsa International Mayfest.
He and fellow Oklahoma musician Terry “Buffalo” Ware are playing Friday and Saturday in Texas before crossing back to the proper side of the Red River to kick off Norman’s annual Summer Breeze Concert Series with a free full-band show Sunday night at Lion’s Park.
Fullbright plans to keep his touring schedule blank for a few more days before traveling to Kansas May 25 for the Chautauqua Hills Blues Festival. The pace only picks up from there, with shows planned every few days throughout the summer, including a June date at the prestigious Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee and a hometown gig in July at the Woody Guthrie Music Festival in Okemah.
“The bottom line is throughout all this stuff, it’s all about ‘Well, but are you writing songs and are they good?’ You can get really swept away in all this nonsense, and if you’re not writing well, then the rest of it really doesn’t matter. Which is burden for me ‘cause I’m always gone and I can’t really write. I’m always driving around in a car. But that’s the philosophy and I’m sticking to it,” he said.
Presumably, he will try to slow down enough to attend the Sept. 13 Americana Honors & Awards in Nashville, Tenn., where he was nominated this week for emerging artist of the year (alongside Broken Arrow retro rocker JD McPherson) and album of the year.
No matter where he goes, Fullbright is well aware he will be known for the rest of his career as a Grammy nominee.
“It’s nice,” he said. “I like it.”
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Lion’s Park, Symmes Street and Flood Avenue, Norman.
For: Summer Breeze Concert Series kickoff.
When: 6:30 p.m. June 8.
Where: Coca Cola Bricktown Event Center, 429 E California.
For: The Peace, Love & Goodwill Benefit Concert, a benefit for Goodwill Industries of Oklahoma, featuring Tony Lucca, Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons, Matt Duke, Shane Henry and Maggie McClure, and the Kyle Reid Band.
A version of this story appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
After 10 years, Toby Keith pleased with the progress on the OK Kids Korral
The country music superstar has been working for a decade to build the a home-away-from-home for Oklahoma children battling cancer and their families, and now the $8.5 million project is due to open in October.
NORMAN — After a decade of dreaming, planning and fundraising, Toby Keith is pleased to see progress at the OK Kids Korral.
“I see it on paper, I see great graphics, I see the people working on it. I see our goal. … And then you actually drive down there and pull up in the driveway and look at it and go inside and walk around in there and you just go ‘Holy crap. Look at this big sucker. What a beautiful facility for the kids of Oklahoma,’” Keith told The Oklahoman last weekend at his fundraiser for the project.
The country music superstar believes that the donors and fellow celebrities that have supported his goal of constructing a home-away-from-home for Oklahoma children battling cancer and their families are excited about the progress, too.
The proof is in the numbers: The Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic, along with its Denim & Diamond dinner and auction, last weekend raked in more than $1 million toward the project. By comparison, last year’s fundraiser brought in $664,000.
The $8.5 million, 25,000-square-foot lodge on the south end of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is set to open in October.
Making a difference
“There was a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of red tape, hoops we had to jump through. And we had help from a lot of people and we had some resistance from others. Now that it’s up, it’s the buzz of the medical campus,” Keith said backstage May 10 at Riverwind Casino, where the Denim & Diamond dinner and auction kicked off the two-day event.
“It’s immaculate. It kept the lodge look of wood and rock, but it’s got the modern look of 2013 put into it. And I’m just completely amazed. It’s more than I could imagine and I’m very proud of it.”
More importantly, the OK Kids Korral will feature 16 guest suites, a gourmet kitchen, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a movie theater, family resource room and more. It will offer overnight accommodations for families who must travel hundreds of miles from rural Oklahoma towns for their children to receive treatment as well as dayrooms where metro-area families can relax between appointments. It even will have a neutropenic wing designed for youngsters whose immune systems have been badly compromised.
“It doesn’t cost them a nickel to go. It’s just there as an offering of love to kids who are unfortunate. It’s just God shining his light through me,” Keith said.
The OK Kids Korral is the primary project of the Toby Keith Foundation, which makes its mission to “encourage the health and happiness of pediatric cancer patients.” The mission has been a personal one for the Norman resident since Ally Webb, the 2-year-old daughter of his former bandmate Scott Webb, succumbed to cancer in 2003.
Helping other families facing the same heartbreaking situation has made a difference in the superstar’s life. For instance, he got to attend the bell-ringing ceremony when Brock Hart, the 3-year-old Edmond boy who helped Keith break ground last year on the OK Kids Korral, was declared cancer-free.
“You ring the bell when you beat cancer and they check you out of the hospital, and all the doctors come in, the family comes in, your friends. He rang the bell and walked out of there. So, we hope he never needs the OK Kids Korral, but … we’ll always remember him. And he’ll always remember that we were there with him,” Keith said.
“As you get in and you start meeting these people, they become part of your life. … Brock’s amazing, man. Brock is a rock star.”
Continuing a mission
The Oklahoma native hosted his Toby Keith & Friends Golf Classic just three days after returning from his 10-day United Service Organization tour. The superstar performed for hundreds of U.S. troops and their families as his 11th annual USO tour took him to the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii.
“It was different because 10 years we’ve been in the desert. We’d do a week in Iraq and a week in Afghanistan. And a couple of years ago, they said no more Iraq, but do a week in Afghanistan and do another week in the Persian Gulf. So we started landing on aircraft carriers. And then this year … they said, ‘A lot going on in the southern Philippines nobody knows about, special forces guys down there in the jungle,’” he said.
“They were all big shows and great big bases and we surpassed our 200th show,” added Keith, who is already looking forward to next year’s USO tour. “It’s amazing. The USO does a great job. They’ve been doing it for years.”
Keith, 51, will embark on his summer “Hammer Down Tour” June 8 at the Thunder on the Mountain festival in Ozark, Ark. On June 12, he is due to receive the Songwriter Icon Award from the National Music Publishers’ Association in New York City.
“I’ve got boxes full of awards, even the People’s Choice and some of those crazy awards I’ve won over the years, the songwriting was the part of it that meant the most to me. It’s the bloodline … of the music,” he said.
“So when they honor me with something, I put it there with everything. I take a lot of pride in knowing they honored me.”
Although his tour continues into the fall, it’s a sure bet Keith will be back in Oklahoma when it comes time to celebrate the long-awaited opening of the OK Kids Korral.
For more information on the projects, go to www.tobykeithfoundation.org.
The Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center is inviting the public to take a “Last Look” at the exhibit “Bryan Adams: Exposed” beginning at 5:30 p.m. today. The exhibit closes Friday.
Visitors are invited to partake of light refreshments while exploring the exhibition. No RSVP required. Admission is free.
For the past 12 years, Grammy-winning musician Bryan Adams has sharpened his skills as a professional photographer by capturing intimate images of friends and colleagues in the entertainment, fashion and art industries. This beautiful exhibition features select images from his recently released book titled, “Exposed,” a comprehensive retrospective of his photographic work.
“Bryan Adams’ photographs of distinguished personalities from the world of fashion, art and music precisely mirror the major public preoccupations of the 21st century. Exposed comprises of work that is accessible but challenging, offering the audience a creative tension of sorts. It’s my aim to form connections – between art and the individual, between viewing and learning, between the easily understandable and the unfamilar – and this exhibition does it on all levels,” said Mary Ann Prior, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center Executive Director, in the release.
Adams, 53, told me in an email interview that the images in the book and exhibit mostly are taken from photo shoots he’s done for magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire and Interview. He also founded and shoots for the German art fashion publication Zoo Magazine.
Sometimes the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter-turned-shutterbug uses elaborate set pieces, like the roomful of mirrors he arranged for Lana Del Rey after her highly scrutinized “Saturday Night Live” performance last year.
“They all seem to happen quite organically; things happen. I can’t explain it. I usually have a team of people I work with, all kinds of creatives, from hair and makeup to stylists and art directors,” he said of choosing the right sets and props.
“It’s a journey, I love working in the studio and sometimes on location. Candid shots are always being taken, and there is something spontaneous and fun about them … but my preference is the studio.”
To read more of my interview with Adams, click here.
Portraits in the exhibition include a cross-section of international celebrities and emerging stars such as Danny Trejo, Victoria Beckham, Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse, Mickey Rourke, Lana Del Ray, Natalia Vodianova, Mick Jagger, Sean Penn, Queen Elizabeth II, Sir Ben Kingsley and South African rave rapper Yo-Landi Visser.
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, formerly City Arts Center, is located at State Fair Park, 3000 General Pershing Blvd. For more information, go to www.oklahomacontemporary.org.
deadCenter Film Festival to screen “Last of the Mohicans,” give Hunt Lowry the Oklahoma Film ICON Award
Oklahoma City native and acclaimed Hollywood producer Hunt Lowry will receive the 2013 Oklahoma Film ICON Award during the 2013 deadCenter Film Festival.
Lowry will receive the award prior to a free outdoor screening of “The Last of the Mohicans” at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7 on the Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W Reno.
The Oklahoma Film ICON Award is given annually to an outstanding Oklahoman whose success in the film industry brings honor to our state and helps increase the profile of the local film industry. This is the second year for the award, according to a news release. Last year’s recipients were Oscar-winning producer Gray Frederickson and actor James Marsden from Stillwater.
Lowry, a Casady grad, is best known for producing the Oscar-winning epic “The Last of the Mohicans” and the legal thriller “A Time to Kill,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. He started his career on classic comedies like “Airplane!” and “Top Secret” before shifting gears to bring the intense family drama “Surviving” home to be filmed in Oklahoma City. He captured the teen market with his Gaylord Films “A Walk to Remember,” “What a Girl Wants,” “A Cinderella Story,” and the “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” During the past decade, Lowry has produced successful comedies like the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Movie,” and “Thou Shalt Laugh.” Independent film lovers hail the cult classic “Donnie Darko” as Lowry’s masterpiece.
“Just as impressive as any individual film is Lowry’s ability to move seamlessly across film genres and styles, creating visual stories that endure the test of time,” deadCenter Film Festival Executive Director Lance McDaniel said in the release. “He has also served as a beacon to Oklahomans moving to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams in motion pictures.”
Wes Studi, a renowned Native American actor from No Fire Hollow, Oklahoma, will present Lowry with the award at 9 p.m. Studi played the villain Magua in “The Last of the Mohicans.”
deadCenter will offer two free outdoor screenings, in addition to “The Last of the Mohicans,” on the Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens, including the feature-length rockumentary “The Rolling Stones: Charlie is My Darling,” at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, and “Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams” at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 9.
deadCenter Film Festival is Oklahoma’s largest film festival for the past 13 years and one of the “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” according to MovieMaker magazine. This year’s festival is June 5-9 and includes 115 comedies, dramas, hard-hitting documentaries and short films from Oklahoma and around the world. For more information, please visit www.deadcenterfilm.org.
The 2013 Charlie Christian International Music Festival will feature national artists Joe McBride, Najee, and Kirk Whalum in concert June 7-8 at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
They will be joined by All Funk Radio Show from Dallas, Texas, and Grady Nichols from Tulsa. Also featured in the line up are Matt Stansberry & The Romance and the Robert Banks & Classic Edge.
Gates open at 6 p.m. Friday, June 7, and the show starts at 7 p.m. On Saturday, June 8, gates open at 3:30 p.m. and the final concert of the week begins 4:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at www.charliechristianmusicfestival.com or www.okcredhawks.com. For more information, call Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc. at (405) 524-3800.
According to Mark Temple, festival chairman, tickets may be purchased at the following community outlets: Charlie’s Jazz, Rhythm & Blues Store, Hopkins HairCare and Learning Tree Toys and Books.
The festival runs June 4-8 and has three free events associated with it. The opening event, “Ralph Ellison Understood Through Charlie Christian,” will be at 7 p.m. June 4 at the Oklahoma History Center. Music will be provided by TaylorMadeJazz. This event is free and funded in part by the Oklahoma Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Other funding is provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, Friends of the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society Archives, Friends of the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society and BancFirst.
June 5 is the date for the Jam Session at Woody’s Sport Bar and Grill at 7 p.m. Musicians are admitted free, everybody else pays $5.
The Battle of the Bands between Shortt Dogg and the 411 Band takes place on June 6 in Lower Bricktown, on the Lower Bricktown Plaza and is presented by Chevy Music Showcase.
Deep Deuce’s Urban Roots is the place on Saturday, June 7 for a delicious brunch from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. with music by “Miss Muffy” & Friends and stories of Deep Deuce told by Anita Arnold, author, “Oklahoma City Music: Deep Deuce and Beyond. This family-friendly event will feature arts and crafts vendors.
For more information, go to www.charliechristianmusicfestival.com.
The Paseo Arts Association has announced the music and performance lineup for the 2013 Paseo Arts Festival, set for May 25-27 in the historic Paseo Arts District.
Musicians and other performers featured at the festival will perform on one of two stages: the North Stage—near Picasso Café—or the South Stage—in the middle of Paseo Drive, near NW 28 Street. The North Stage, curated by Casey Friedman of Acoustic Oklahoma, features singer-songwriters and acoustic performers of all stripes, while the South Stage features high-energy, louder musicians and some of the event’s most popular returning acts, such as perennial Festival opening act Tarpley’s Tappers (Saturday, noon, South Stage) and Edgar Cruz (Monday, 4 p.m., South Stage)
Music committee chair Amy Young and Casey Friedman have worked since January to curate a strong, diverse group of performers, encompassing every genre from country, blues, and folk to rock, electronic music, and much more.
“This festival, even though it’s smaller than some, truly captures and celebrates the local Oklahoma music flavor.” Friedman said in a news release. “I think we’ve gathered some of the best, most talented, hardest-working musicians in the metro area. I’m really proud of the lineup we have.”
Among the acts she is most excited to see, Young lists Sunday headliners Pidgin Band (Sunday, 9:30 p.m., South Stage), who describe their sound as “experimental Afro-Funk,” and who Young said will “put on a high-energy show that will really get people moving.”
Beau Jennings (Sunday, 5 p.m., North Stage) is another musician that Young mentions. Previously headlining the Brooklyn-based band Cheyenne, Jennings has now made a home in Oklahoma, and has recently filmed a documentary on Will Rogers.
On the North Stage, Casey Friedman is looking forward to a performance by Bat-or Kalo. Kalo is best known in her native Israel, where she became well-known as a child star. She has been in and out of Oklahoma since 2005, and Friedman looks forward to her bringing an international aspect to the roster. Friedman also looks forward to performances by new rising local star Josh Qualls. (Saturday, 7 p.m., North Stage)
The musicians described above are only a few of the 57 acts booked for The Paseo Arts Festival, which will take place on Memorial Day weekend in the Paseo Arts District, Oklahoma City’s distinctive arts community. The Paseo Arts District is located between NW 30 and 27 Streets and Walker and Hudson Avenue.
For more information, go to www.thepaseo.com.
See the full live entertainment schedule after the break.
Today's featured event:
Hear emerging country band Parmalee at 9:30 tonight at the Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan. Doors open at 6 p.m.
The North Carolina outfit has already earned two consecutive Top 40 Country radio hits, including its debut single, “Musta Had A Good Time,” and “Carolina.”
The family band comprised of brothers Matt and Scott Thomas (lead vocals/ guitar and drums, respectively), cousin Barry Knox (bass) and lifelong best friend Josh McSwain (guitar). Influenced by such musical heavyweights as the Allman Brothers, Travis Tritt and Bob Seger, the band’s name is derived from the small town of Parmele, N.C., (population 262), which is home to a gas station, two blinking yellow lights and a small tin-roofed barn dubbed Studio B, where the band practiced on every given evening.
Parmalee was handpicked by Southwest Airlines as the first act to perform for the 2013 season on its Southwest Airlines "Travelin’ Taylor Tour," sponsored by Taylor Guitars. On Monday, the band performed on its Taylor Guitars for passengers at 35,000 feet in midair on a direct flight from Nashville, Tenn., to Houston, Texas.
For more information on the OKC show, go to www.wormydog.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.