by James Nghiem
One of the best parts of any festival is wandering into some strange bar or venue, with expectations unknown, in the off chance that you might stumble onto some new remarkable talent. Here’s a map I made for you to make your stumbling less accidental and hopefully more enjoyable. One thing this state has, that I think goes unnoticed a lot of the time, is a wealth of interesting bands. Couple that with some great national acts, and there’s something for everybody this weekend. And if you get lost, here’s another map. The latter should make finding these people a lot easier.
1. D.C. Pierson
D.C. is part of the legendary Internet sketch group that not only nurtured the Childish Gambino before he got serious, but also spawned the feature-length comedy “Mystery Team.” Making the jump from dropping viral Youtube clips every other month to making movies would be the group’s crowning achievement if it weren’t for the quality output of its former members since the split. Pierson, one of the group’s key actors and writers, brings his brand of high-level absurdity to Norman on Thursday night. It’s been year’s since his sketch days, and I couldn’t be happier with the possibility of being front row witnessing how much he’s evolved as a comic since then. DC Pierson will be at the Sooner Theatre on Thursday at 7:30 P.M.
2. Brother Gruesome
Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s criminal to not know about this band considering the insane level of Todd Jackson’s songwriting ability combined with their foul/frail visceral performance style. I rarely get a chance to see these dudes play but when I do, it’s a pleasure. Check them out. Brother Gruesome will be at Dreamer Concepts on Saturday at 7:00 P.M.
3. Caleb McGee
I’ve known this dude for years and during that time he’s been carrying his guitar around Norman like some kind of homeless man with a blindingly golden voice trying to bless the night with every note. I don’t know what more to say about him. He’s been seen on that American Idol audition stage. He’s also been seen covered in blood in a weird Norman art gallery. He’s a wild man and a wild talent. Go watch him at the fest. Here’s him doing his best Sam Cooke impression. Caleb McGee will be at Abner’s on Thursday at 10:00 PM
4. Gross Beast
Two of the garage-ist punks in Norman have joined forces to defy your expectations. Tommy McKenzie, of the Boom Bang fame, and Derek Lemke, of Shitty Awesome, have put together something haunting and atmospheric in the studio, dubbing it Gross Beast. Always known for their showmanship, I can’t wait to see what they do on stage. Gross Beast will be at Guestroom Records on Friday at 5:15 P.M.
5. Them Apples
In this case Aulbry Freeman’s and Cait Moore’s voices compliment each other’s perfectly. They’re folky, rocky, poppy, melodic and heartfelt. Check them in a not so intimate Brewhouse setting this Friday at 9:00 P.M.