Patrice Pike at Summer Breeze By Doug Hill For POP
Sunday Patrice Pike and her current band will be performing in Norman as part of the Summer Breeze Concert Series. They will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in Lion’s Park, 450 S. Flood. Pike is an independent rock vocalist and guitar player with an international fan base. She began performing at age 16. Early project Little Sister released album “Freedom Child” (Bay Leaf Productions, 1991) when she was barely old enough to enter the clubs they were playing. A few years later many of those same original songs were recorded “Live at Club DaDa- Free Love & Nickel Beer” (SBK Records, 1994). On one of the song introductions in the raucous saloon, Pike’s voice sounds like a little kid. The band changed their name to Sister 7 the next year but the constant was Pike’s dynamic vocals and exciting live performances. Pike first struck my radar July 1, 1998 covering Lilith Fair. Sister 7 was relegated to the Second Stage at that large festival but First Stage performances by Indigo Girls and Sinead O’Connor paled in comparison. POP editor at the time Tami Watson-Althoff was also present that afternoon taking photos. We still recall the performance vividly. “I’m looking forward to going to Pike’s Summer Breeze show this summer,” Watson-Althoff wrote in a Facebook message. Patrice Pike’s passionate stage presence, the band’s heart-felt songs along with a gutsy delivery felt, looked and sounded like a rock trifecta. Indeed, around that time Sister 7 had a top ten Billboard hit called “Know What You Mean.” Gentle but insistently musical it could be studied as a perfect song with its tight guitars, well harmonized vocals and magically tender lyrics. Pike is a petite woman but her vocals are massive. She’s a regional stylist with a Texas honey drawl that makes me melt. Sister 7 was signed to Arista Records in
the late 1990’s. Although that band disintegrated it didn’t dim Pike’s enthusiasm for new projects. One of her strongest suits is song writing and she has never stopped. In a video-taped live performance introduction Pike recently described one of her new compositions, “What’s The Trouble (With You),” as being about the power of words. “Moments they feel so much longer when your touch has gone cold,” she sings in that tune. It’s a heart-rending plea to a partner to talk so she may listen. Pike is a word smith who writes her lyrics with care and precision. I was able to connect with Pike last week while she was on the road and asked about her song writing talent. “I have honed that skill after being inspired by other great song writers,” she said. “As a kid I was a fan of good songs but didn’t understand the craft, but knew how they made me feel.” She was exposed to her parents and grandparents extensive record collections, listening very carefully. Later, she met many songwriters and learned the various opinions people have about what makes a good song. Pike credits that for being at the root of her abilities. “Taking people on a journey with my words brings me a lot of joy,” she said. Entering the third decade of her career, Pike feels energized artistically. “I feel like I’m still growing and grateful to be doing what I love,” Pike said. She is excited about coming here in no small part because of Oklahoma friends such as Pride Wright. The OKC native produced her new album “Live and Then Some: Brushwood Lounge Vol. II.” It’s her second live recording with Wright. “We’d hoped to get just a couple of songs, but liked them all so much I postponed my studio album,” she said. Pike doesn’t like the “nastiness” between some Texans and Oklahomans and intends to bring us plenty of love in the park Sunday. photo by Doug Hill
In the Mountain in the Cloud By. Andrew W. Griffin For POP
For their sixth album, Alaska natives Portugal. The Man (abbreviated as PTM) still embraced the exciting, dreamy, jammy rock sound that have endeared them to growing numbers of fans. Yes, Sarah Palin isn’t the only interesting person to emerge from Wasilla. “So American,” the first song, absolutely soars with its big chorus and Beatlesque strings. The bass-and-drums interplay between bassist Zachary Carothers and drummer Jason Sechrist really boost Gourley’s dynamite vocals on “Floating (Time Isn’t Working My Side)” while a slice of 90’s Britpop, mixed with glam vocals straight
A New Frontier By Jamie Carrick For POP
Nothing breaks up the monotony of a move like a great concert — especially if it’s the first concert you’ve ever attended. Last Friday and early Saturday, I moved out of one apartment and into another one nearby. But, thankfully, I got some relief Saturday night when I went to see the indie rock band Switchfoot in concert at Frontier City. The group is comprised of Jon Foreman on lead vocals, brother Tim Foreman on bass guitar and backup, Chad Butler on drums and percussion, Drew Shirley on guitar and backup, and Jerome Fontamillas on keyboards, backup and “everything else,” as Jon put it. Having never been to a true concert before, I didn’t know what to expect. When the gates of the ampitheater opened at 6 p.m., many people at the front of the line ran forward, despite workers saying, “No running.” From the group’s first song, “Mess of Me,” I was hooked. The beat from the bass drum pulsed through me, pulling me into all the hype. I immediately found myself singing along. The hits included “This is Your Life,” “Gone,” “Stars,” “The Shadow Proves the Sunshine,” “We Are One Tonight,” “Awakening” and “Oh! Gravity.” Switchfoot also blended songs together.
out of 1973 make “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)” seem almost timeless in its rock-centric approach. “In The Mountain In The Cloud” takes PTM into some new territory. Gourley’s fuzz guitar buoys the disarmingly happysad track “Senseless” while horns brass things up on the prog-pop of “Everything You See (Kids Count Hallelujahs).” The album ender, “Sleep Forever,” uses those strings to solid effect and has Gourley singing about living a slacker life where he doesn’t have “to work forever.” Don’t go into this album thinking this is some retro, jangly Brian Jonestown Massacrestyled record. This is T.Rex for the 21st century. Atlantic Records (2011) For example, “Love is the Movement” seemlessly transitioned into “Meant to Live.” At one point, lead singer Jon Foreman took our minds off of the heat, transporting us to “Oklahoma City, California, a cool city on the beach ...,” before seguing into “Only Hope,” which was in the movie “A Walk to Remember.” Switchfoot also gave a preview of what’s to come by performing three new songs off their new album “Vice Verses” — “Dark Horses,” “Restless” and “The War Inside.” The concert went full throttle the whole time, and the audience hung on for the ride. One fan crowd surfed all the way on stage, then bravely jumped back in the crowd. Of all the members, Jon Foreman was the most energetic. He moved everywhere and jumped on top of the bass drum three times. He sat on the edge of stage by the fans and gave his hat away. He even took a camera someone held up for him and shot pictures of the crowd. He also played a drum using giant mallets during two songs. “When I get to play the drums, it’s a spiritual thing,” he said. After the band’s last number, they returned for an encore of not one, but two songs, finally ending with the smash hit “Dare You to Move.” It was an hour-and-a-half of nothing but Switchfoot — no openers, no sideshows, just the pure, raw talent that is Switchfoot — and I’m so glad I went.
Friday, Aug. 19, 2011