Sunny Days Ahead

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The female-fronted festival from the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate brings its talents to Edmond.


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INSIDE COVER Sunny Dayz is back for its second year, this time bringing new life to Edmond. By Berlin Green Lindsay Zodrow and Hayley Owen of YoBro paint their mural during the 2021 Sunny Dayz Mural Festival. Photo by Steph Montelongo

NEWS Citizen Spotlight: Bagz of Luv COVER Sunny Dayz Mural Fest 8 COMMENTARY Inflation primer 9 COMMENTARY Robin Meyers 10 Chicken Fried News 5

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ARTS & CULTURE 19 21

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VOL. XLIV NO. 15 EDITOR & PUBLISHER Matt Dinger | mdinger@okgazette.com

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CITIZEN SPOTLIGHT

Bagz of Luv WHAT BEGAN AS SIMPLY A CALLING TO DO SOME GOOD LED AUGUSTINA AVILES AND KELLY VARGAS DOWN A PATH THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER IMAGINED. By Berlin Green

Suddenly out of work as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States, sous chef Augustina Aviles stopped cooking for customers and instead started feeding her homeless neighbors. “We started on Easter Sunday 2020, it was really random,” Aviles said about herself and mother Kelly Vargas. “I got laid off from my job. We were in the height of the pandemic and something just came over me to go out and do some good. Someone suggested feeding the homeless but at first I wasn’t sure. I’ve never done anything like that in my life. I didn’t even realize how many people we had on the streets. I went to the grocery store and made about fifty sack lunches and drove around for a while. I didn’t know where to start. So I called my mom and we went downtown to the bridge right next to McDonald’s. We had a line form quick and we ran out of food in ten minutes. Fifty sack lunches — ten minutes — gone, and we still had about ten people waiting for food, so we ran up to McDonald’s and grabbed food to get them fed.” Augustina made a post on Facebook about her experience and what she witnessed and support came quickly. A donation of food allowed Augustina to feed over a hundred people the following day and she learned even more about the people and their stories. “We were just blown away. People started telling us that churches had to stop feeding and places had to close their doors due to the pandemic. They had no resources and no idea how they were going to survive. I heard outrageous stories. That’s when we decided to go full throttle. Like, we really need to be out here, this is insane. All these people are so grateful for just a little bit of help. I never knew it was so bad out there. People in this awful, down-and-out situation and they just welcomed us. Before long, people started calling my mom ‘mom.’ She’s become a real presence out there. When we go to different spots calling out for her, ‘Hey mom, can I have a hug?’ as soon as they

see her,” she said. For Aviles, having her mother partner with her in this project is very special. It allows her to spend valuable time with her mother, who suffers from short-term memory due to a brain tumor. “Having my mom come is pretty dope because most of these people don’t Kelly Vargas and Augustina Aviles of Bagz of Luv. Photo by Berlin Green have any type of mom or dad relationship anymore. They’ve telling each other about it, so in lost a lot and sometimes all you want times of extreme cold, I would drive is a hug from your parents, so she’s around and people know my truck, gained a lot of popularity out there so they’d stop me and ask for a because of her hugs. And just listenheater. Something literally made ing to them, because a lot of them from almost nothing but trash and out there could be in tears having rocks and helps them so much,” severe mental breakdowns either Aviles said. from lack of food, lack of medication Now entering its third year, Bagz or just severe mental illness. She of Luv has seen many changes in the gives them that physical touch that people they serve. While some have they need and a lot of people won’t managed to get off the streets, the offer,” Aviles said. city’s diverse homeless population “I love them all. They’re all like has grown exponentially. my babies,” said Vargas. “Everyone “Some of our friends have got off deserves love.” the street and there’s some of them While she sets up feeding sites in that actually aren’t going to leave populated areas, more often the streets. It’s the lifestyle that Augustina drives around delivering they’ve chosen. But most of them, food to those who need it. She’s it was just one mistake, one missed learned their stories, where they bill got him to that circumstance. frequent and what they need. She’s The youngest person I’ve met was set up partnerships with Pet Food 13 years old and the oldest person Pantry of Oklahoma City to bring was 83 years old. And the thing food to people with pets, and in her about it is when your benefits labs, free time, she collects unwanted and everything was shut down, how items that serve as valuable tools to are they supposed to renew that? someone living in homelessness You’re 83 years old, you don’t know such as backpacks, tents and clothhow to use a frickin’ computer. One ing. During the cold months, of my biggest arguments is that we Augustina and a few friends take need caseworkers on the streets, not crafty steps to help their homeless in offices. Many of these people friends stay warm. don’t know how to use computers “We went all MacGyver to help. and they get confused. I’ve helped We created alcohol heaters out of several people apply for benefits and trash. It’s such a simple thing but it file their paperwork. Technology makes a big impact. Since I work in like it’s been a game changer but not a kitchen, we get a lot of #10 cans. everyone knows how to use it,” We drill holes in them then put a dog Aviles said. food can in the middle, tissue paper, This work has changed alcohol, rocks on the inside to fold Augustina’s heart and the lives of it down, and a little handle made those around her and she hopes it with a clothes hanger. They make will change more. pretty efficient little stoves/heaters “I’m so much more grateful. You that can keep people warm and from don’t realize how blessed you are freezing to death. People started and I don’t have a lot. But I’m thank-

ful for air conditioning and having a home and having a good relationship with my parents and all the small things like that. This is something that’s changed my dad’s heart too. In the past, he used to be hardened towards people on the street. Now he helps them. The people around me, friends and co-workers get excited to help and I’ll go outside and there’ll be cases of water on my truck to give out,” Aviles said. Bagz of Luv recently became a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit to create more transparency for donors and to gain more reach. Augustina would like to make serving her community her primary focus and hopes the non-profit will continue to grow. “I want to do this full-time but I have a pretty small kitchen, so I can only do so much,” Aviles said. “My goal is to get mobile and get a food truck to take on-site and serve many areas, to actually cook these people some good food. I feel like this was all put in place for a reason. I’ve been in the food industry for 28 years, cooking for anywhere from 100 to 5,000 people, so I’m used to cooking for the masses. You can do so much with just a little bit of stuff from the kitchen. For example, people in the streets love fried egg and bologna sandwiches, like really love them, and it’s so simple to make. But our main goal and passion is just to get out there and love on them and show them love. Because so many of them are just broken.” To learn more, visit facebook. com/bagzofluv

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COVER STORY

Open spaces THE SECOND SUNNY DAYZ MURAL FESTIVAL TAKES ITS TALENTS NORTH TO DOWNTOWN EDMOND. By Berlin Green

Last summer, a group of female and nonbinary artists descended upon the Britton District, adding splashes of color to the developing area. The first annual Sunny Dayz Mural Festival highlighted a group of artists often underrepresented in larger festivals, giving them an opportunity to showcase their work. For its second year, 42 artists will transform a section of downtown Edmond over the first week of August. The inaugural Sunny Daze Mu ra l Festiva l showca sed Oklahoma-based artists. This year’s festival brings artists from across the nation and from as far as Berlin. The artists begin their work Aug. 1, while the festival officially kicks off with a party Aug. 4 during Edmond Vibes, the city’s first Thursday art walk. The main event takes place Aug. 6 starting from the noon siren and running until 8 p.m. Throughout the day, 31 new murals will be presented. “We’re going to have eighteen of our muralists from last year doing a paint-off on mural panels,” Sunny Dayz Mural Festival founder Virginia Sitzes said. “There’s going to be a fun little contest where you can vote for your favorite one, and the winner gets this neat ceramic paint brush. It’s a part of our fundraiser, so the mural panels will be for sale. Then, on the day of the festival, the stage is stacked all day. We’ve got bands, poetry, dancers, a drag show, and a few other performances. We’ve got some silks things going on. This year, our vendor markets will host over 60 vendors, including local makers and handmade stuff. There will be food trucks and activities for everyone.” Shade tents and hydration stations will be available throughout the event. Claiming spaces Sitzes formed the festival under the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate umbrella after noticing a gap in 6

the diversity of artists featured in local festiv a l s a nd recognizing the need to showcase a r tists often overlooked in public art. “I’ve par- Sunny Dayz Festival-goers enjoy an interactive mural activity created and managed by “kyn & chriff” who do pop up recycled arts ticipated in activities. Murals by Gentry Leach, Sam Smith, Kayla Ayrn, and Ana Laccarino line the fence. Photo by Steph Montelongo a few mural festivals, and I noticed going to ask you back again. year’s event,” Hutchens said. “It’s a gender gap among other issues. Because there’s such a few opporabout time more people knew of Historically, with a lot of the larger tunities, especially here, you feel all of the wonderful female and public art projects, it was kind of a little powerless. So I wanted to nonbinary muralists and emerging the same crew of dudes that would kind of just set a new standard,” muralists the city has to offer.” Oklahoma City artist Ariana Weir specializes in printmaking. This will be her first solo mural. “I’m so excited to be part of this festival that creates opportunities for women and nonbinary artists in the community to create art and learn more about being a muralist … I’ve never done such a large scale mural by myself before so I’m looking forward to taking on this new project and learning from fellow artists,” she said. ‘Malleable spot’

Paige Powell, Virginia Sitzes and Shree Lasya at the 2021 festival. Photo by Steph Montelongo

keep getting them. Looking nationally at other mural festivals and hearing different peoples’ experiences, many don’t pay their artists. While some have travel covered or material segments covered, not everyone can just take off a week to go paint for free, so that cancels out a whole group of people from the start. But also, there is a weird power dynamic of, if I fight back or say, ‘Hey, this isn’t cool,’ or ‘I need this or and that,’ you run this risk that they’re never

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she said. Sitzes set the bar high and raised it. An estimated 8,000 people showed up last year. About 20,000 are now expected to attend. More than double the number of artists applied to be featured this year and all will be compensated for their work. Brooke Hutchens has several Oklahoma murals on her resume, but this is her first time to participate in a festival. “I’m excited to be a part of this

“ We hope ever yone feels welcome at these events. Yes, we are elevating and celebrating this certain group because historically, that’s not been the case, but this is for everyone to experience and have a great time and join in. We’re leaving Sunny Dayz in a kind of open malleable spot. We’ve actually had a few muralists from other states reach out and be like, ‘I want to try to start something like this here, or put this on whether it was an extension of Sunny Dayz,’ or just help guide them through what we’ve learned, what works and what doesn’t. We’d love to become that kind of resource to spread beyond Oklahoma as well.” Sunny Dayz Mural Festival will take place in a new city each year. Edmond jumped at the opportunity to host the 2022 festival.


Thumy Phan works on her mural during the 2021 Sunny Dayz Mural Festival. Photo by Steph Montelongo

“Originally, I met with four different women in leadership roles in the city, and they were all like, ‘Let’s do it.’ They were so on top of things and friendly. Edmond really wanted it, so Edmond it was.” Next year’s Sunny Dayz Mural Festival is slated for Tulsa with the goal of eventually reaching smaller towns and rural areas.

“We are hoping that by bringing this to rural places, we can introduce new ways of thinking through art. The arts bring so much, even if they can bring just one change in thought. ‘Oh, now I’m questioning this or thinking about this.’ It can have such an effect over the long term,” Sitzes said. Visit sunnydayzmuralfest.com

2022 Sunny Dayz Muralists Abbie Sears Araina Leatherock Ariana Weir Ashlyn Faulkner bendy knees design co. Brooke Hutchens Dan Rocky Drew Borders Emily Ding Emily Eldridge Jenny Roesel Ustick Jillian Selene Art Jordan Tacker Kau’i Kanahele KreativeNative Lauren Lewchuk

Lil Nuggs May Yang McKenna Sanderson Mz. Icar Collective Natalie Evans No Relation Olivia Radcliffe Harris Plight Studio Rachel Adler Raygen Treat Savannah Whitehead Sean Tyler SM Sanz The Girlies Wild Wallflowers

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COMMENTARY

Monetary phenomenon AN INFLATION PRIMER FOR THE OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE. By James Davenport — NonDoc.com

At the end of this year’s regular session of the Oklahoma Legislature, Gov. Kevin Stitt called for a special session to provide Oklahomans “inflation relief.” The governor’s preferred mechanisms for providing this relief include eliminating the state’s portion of the sales tax on groceries and a reduction of the state income tax rate by 0.25 percent. The special session came and went without full legislative action on Stitt’s proposals. The House advanced (again) a variety of tax cut proposals, but Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat announced his caucus wanted more time to study the topic. On June 15, Treat appointed the membership of his tax reform working group that will look at proposals and have “a serious, mature conversation about tax reform, conducted in a thoughtful way.” So it seems like a good time to offer a primer on inflation — one that hopefully policymakers at the State Capitol will understand and consider when deciding what type of relief would best help Oklahomans deal with inflation that reached 8.6 percent in May, surprising many policymakers and economists. Inflation and where it comes from The first step in treating a condition is appropriately diagnosing it. So, what exactly is inflation? Inflation is often described as a general increase in the prices of goods over time. However, it is more accurate to call it a loss of purchasing power. One dollar will not buy the same amount of goods or services in 2022 as it would in 1982. This describes inflation — the reduction in purchasing power of a currency over time. What causes inflation? The Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” In other words, inflation occurs when the amount of cash circulating within the economy exceeds the value of goods and services produced. This explains why it is important to understand inflation as a loss of purchasing power and not merely a rise in prices. A variety of factors can cause the prices of some goods to increase over a rela8

tively short time frame. These would include supply chain disruptions, greater difficulty in acquiring the resources needed to create the good and the inability to hire the labor needed to produce the goods. While these circumstances can drive up the prices of affected goods and services, they rarely create the general reduction in purchasing power over sustained periods of time that is associated with inflation. (For more details, the late monetary economist Steve Horwitz made this short video explaining the cause of inflation). If inflation is the result of too much cash circulating in the economy versus the value of the goods and services, how do we get it under control? In general, there are only a couple of ways to reduce inflation — and neither occurs very quickly. First, we can reduce the amount of cash circulating in the economy. As the institution tasked with managing the nation’s monetary policy, the Federal Reserve can accomplish this by selling government bonds, by increasing the interest rates (the discount rate) it charges banks that borrow money from it, or by increasing the percentage of deposits it requires banks to keep on hand (the reserve ratio). These all have the ability to restrict the cash flowing throughout the economy, although it takes time for their impact to take effect. Another, less discussed policy option is to take actions to increase the amount of goods and services available. This would entail eliminating the barriers to production and supply. Two good examples of this would be the housing and baby formula markets. Both have seen higher prices and reduced supply. Both are burdened by regulatory environments that prevent increased supply (such as zoning laws for housing and government-granted monopolies for baby formula), which forces prices upward. The solution to these issues, as with most other goods and services for which supply does not meet demand, is to make production of them easier. Reduce the barriers to production and suppliers will provide more of the goods or services in question.

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This brings us to Stitt’s grocery tax proposal. If inflation is a result of too much cash flowing in the economy in comparison to the value of goods and services produced, then cutting taxes will not reduce inflationary burdens. Rather, it will increase them. Unless you believe that the low savings rate among Americans will increase as a result of having extra cash, tax cuts will only add fuel to the fire. To think about Oklahoma in particular, such action would come at a time when our region of the country is enduring higher levels of inflation than the national average. The facts are simple, if politically inconvenient: There is not a lot that a single state can do to combat inflation effectively. The best tools are those that would reduce barriers to production. However, such measures will kick in gradually, not rapidly. They will also have only modest impact as so many factors relating to production of goods and services in an international economy lie outside the reach of a state legislature. The tax question Before going further, let me be fully transparent about two things. First, I support eliminating the state portion of sales tax on groceries. In general, sales taxes are regressive, meaning they disproportionately affect those at lower income levels. In addition, the poor also spend a larger share of their overall income on food than do middle and upper class households. For these reasons, eliminating the state’s sales tax on groceries is good public policy, and the idea has bipartisan support in the Legislature. Second, I also support completely eliminating the state’s income tax. Income taxes distort labor markets. While economists do not all agree on the extent of this distortion, income taxes will impact a portion of workers’ decisions on whether to work, to increase their labor or not to work. Even though low-income households generally receive the income taxes they paid back (and often more through programs such as the earned income tax credit), they lose that portion of their income for the year. There are better

ways to collect needed governmental revenues than the income tax, and it is time our policymakers begin exploring those. With those two admissions out of the way, let’s get back to examining various policy approaches to inflation. If eliminating the state sales tax on groceries is good policy, should lawmakers do it even if it will exacerbate inflation? That’s a good question for which there may not be a right or wrong answer. It’s rare that you have a policy proposal that has bipartisan support. Generally, it is smart to take advantage of such opportunities while they exist. So which causes the greater harm: the lost opportunity of enacting good public policy or additional shortterm inflationary pressure? How policymakers evaluate and answer that question should guide their decision-making. What about the reduction of the state’s income tax? This proposal is less complicated. It will not result in any measurable benefit that exceeds the cost of the inflationary pressure it creates. The economic gains, especially to those at the lower income levels, will not be enough to justify such a move. Rather than reducing an already low income tax rate, policymakers would be better off evaluating the idea of eliminating the income tax altogether and restructuring the tax code so as to acquire the necessary revenues from other sources. Inflation hurts. It makes us all poorer. It is created by having too much money in the economy. This places a great deal of pressure on policymakers who want to be viewed as understanding the struggles of citizens and demonstrating their ability to alleviate financial suffering. Unfortunately, passing tax cuts at this time would be like giving a drowning person a glass of water. James Davenport is the Associate Dean for Social Sciences at Rose State College and a member of the political science faculty. He has also taught economics at the University of Central Oklahoma. He was named the Oklahoma Political Science Association’s Teacher of the Year in 2021.


COMMENTARY

Can we start a new conversation? IN THE LATTER HALF OF 2022, IT’S TIME TO HAVE A SERIOUS TALK AMONGST OURSELVES ABOUT THE PATH FORWARD FOR AMERICA. By Robin Meyers

For more than a decade I wrote a regular column for Oklahoma Gazette. It was a progressive second opinion for those who needed something other than the suf focating or thodox y of a s t r a i g ht , w h it e , B a p t i s t , Republican Jesus. Based on the letters to the editor that always followed those columns, I was often accused of Oklahomabashing. If I didn’t appreciate the so-called Oklahoma Standard, some readers opined, then why didn’t I just move to California and sip wine with Nancy Pelosi? But looking back now, I realize that all those commentaries were really meant to post a warning about the dark clouds that were already forming on the body politic of both the state where I was born and the country that I love. Those clouds are no longer on the horizon. For the first time in American history, a twice-impeached oneterm president who lost the popular vote in two elections was able to nominate three far-right anti-choice justices to the Supreme Court. They delivered on what they promised to resist (also known as lying) by overturning Roe v. Wade. For half a century, women had been given the power of a choice that nobody else should ever make, but now all the Jesus-loving states can criminalize abortion and return women to the status of secondclass incubators without moral autonomy. Now a 10-year-old girl can be raped and forced to bear that child. If it doesn’t kill her physically, it will simply destroy her as a human being. What in God’s name have we done. On Jan. 6, 2021, an armed mob summoned by the aforementioned president attacked our Capitol and tried to overturn the results of a free and fair election. Carrying crosses and guillotines for the Prince of Peace, they were duped into fighting for a pathological narcissist and compulsive

liar. Republicans, 147 of whom voted to overturn the election results, refused to even participate in hearings about the wor st at t ac k on American democracy in American history. Now we know how close we came to The Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers, photo provided. losing our country. In each case where the separagranted cannot be taken away, or tion of church and state might be that there is something inevitable preserved, the court moved to about human progress, is a myth. compromise it, advancing the We could lose access to birth dream of Christian nationalists control, the rights of all people to for an American theocracy. In marry, the genius of religious pluwhat we have always assumed was ralism, and any hope that our the enduring genius of the foundchildren will not suffer the ers for giving us both freedom of ravages of climate disaster. religion and freedom from reliFor progressives, this would be gion, the center cannot hold. Six a good time to confess that we are of the nine Supreme Court juslosing, and that no amount of sotices are Catholic, even though phisticated condemnation will only one in five Americans are. change anything. This crisis is Why is it that those of us who bigger than hashtags or the narbelieve in plurality are now forced cissism of do-gooders who take to live in a country ruled by those selfies at fundraisers so they can who do not? Put simply, when it post a curated version of their comes to the unyielding moral awesomeness. We’ve got to stop dilemmas of our time, why do we sipping white wine and reminding eliminate choice instead of preeach other how smart we are and serving it? If you do not believe how dumb those “other people” in abortion, then don’t have one. are. Democrats must admit that Likewise, if you oppose same-sex we sold out to Wall Street, that we marriage, then just refrain from abandoned the working class and marrying someone of your own that when “deplorables” don’t sex. Just say no. vote for us, it might be our fault. When it comes to the climate The pandemic exposed a deeply crisis, the greatest threat facing broken, deeply divided, post-truth the human species, the court nation that can’t even communilim ited t he power of t he cate its shared values because E nv i r on ment a l P r ot e c t ion there is no shared understanding Agency to regulate carbon emisof the truth to begin with. sions and gave it to Congress (who The world will not be saved by had given it to the EPA to begin people who watch Tik-Tok videos with since that’s where the actual all day and don’t vote. It will not scientists work). Now the likes of be saved by preachers who value Marjorie Taylor Greene will help popularity more than the risks guide us into a sustainable future, required to tell the hard truth so no worries. In fact, and this about our greed and apathy. It must be said, we are now at an will not be saved by men who inflection point for women, for value masculinity over virtue, or democracy, for religious freedom by women who think feminism and for the future of the planet and lying are compatible. It will itself. The belief that rights once not be saved by celebrities who

masquerade as heroes or by athletes who are all body and no soul. But most of all, it will not be saved by people who refuse to think, to value evidence, to question authority, to expose the hypocrisy of religion or just to get over themselves. Let’s restart the conversation about how to create the kind of world we all want to live in, but keep it positive and practical, local and lively. Perhaps you truly believe that more guns will make us safer, that wealth trickles down and that the marketplace can solve all the problems of life. Or perhaps you think we have all been lied to, and somebody needs to tell us that the emperor has no clothes. Either way, bring it on. But hurry, because we are running out of time. The Rev. Dr. Robin Meyers is pastor of First Congregational Church UCC in Norman and retired senior minister of Mayf lower Congregational UCC in Oklahoma City. He is currently Professor of Public Speaking, and Distinguished Professor of Social Justice Emeritus in the Philosophy Department at Oklahoma City University, and the author of eight books on religion and American culture, the most recent of which is, Saving God from Religion: A Minister’s Search for Faith in a Skeptical Age. Visit robinmeyers.com

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Illustrations by Jerry Bennett

Most of us have already looked at the horror looming on the horizon, but confirmation is starting to roll in about the financial toll of the heatwave on all of our finances. But that’s a conversation for the next dispatch. In the meantime, let’s return to the record bitterly cold winter of 2021 and what that will cost us. Bob Anthony, vice chair of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission voiced his opinion in a recent legal filing. “In short, the results of OG&E’s winter storm bond issuance are simply

horrifying,” Anthony wrote. The word “horrifying” is underlined. One more time. In an official court document, the word “horrifying” is underlined. He argues that customers will pay 57 percent more than promised and the bond rate’s interest percentage will nearly double by its conclusion. “At an interest rate twice what was

origina lly promoted, not to mention millions more in costly incentives and fees, over time OG&E customers will actually be charged almost twice what they supposedly ‘owe’ for the power they used during the February 2021 winter storm. And that’s on top of the astronomically inflated fuel prices at the core of it all which will now go largely uninvestigated. No wonder 13 of the 15 states impacted by the 2021 winter storm rejected the costly Texas/ Oklahoma securitization bond ap-

proach for their largest electric utilities,” Anthony wrote. “The insiders and special interests havehadtheirway,andit’stheratepayers who will pay - literally for generations!” Find me another document on file with a court clerk’s office that contains an exclamation mark outside of a quote. First one to do so gets a free subscription to Oklahoma Gazette.

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The Great Plains has always been considered what many in the country considered “flyover country,” but thanks to our bottomed-out metrics, we’re quickly becoming a “passover state” for businesses looking to make large investments. Just last month, Chicken-Fried News penned this prediction: “Being at the one-yard line doesn’t equate to a touchdown and Kevin has done worse with more. If Panasonic picks Kansas over Oklahoma, the Republicans ought to take a look at their own roster because it won’t be the opposing team who fumbled this one.” So, here we are, passed over for yet another large deal, this one offering

upwards of $700 million in financial incentives to Panasonic, and it’s still a, “no, thank you.” Good thing nearly 70 percent of Republican voters last month think keeping the economy inside the oil and gas industry and Fox News soundbites is enough, and that “owning the libs” is worth more to them than businesses investing in the state. “Gov. Stitt is confident in his plan to attract companies to Oklahoma …

This is not the end of the governor’s strategy to make Oklahoma a top 10 state for business, and Oklahomans would be wise to not count us out just yet,” Stitt shill Carly Atchison wrote in a news release. Sure, Carly. What is certain is that Panasonic

and Tesla will be transferring their wares across the Texas state line into Kansas and vice versa, but for now, the best Oklahoma can hope for is that they’ll stop to fill up their trucks when they pass through.

CHICKEN FRIED NEWS OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2

11


S ’ T I E WHER O C A T Y A D S TUE

! Y A D EVERY

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J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM E AT & DRINK


EAT & DRINK

Climbing the hill AFTER ANNOUNCING THEY WERE CLOSING THIS SPRING, GRILL ON THE HILL HAS REOPENED THIS SUMMER UNDER THE HAPPY PLATE CONCEPTS UMBRELLA. By Matt Dinger

When Grill on the Hill announced that it was closing its doors in April, the line stretched out the door on its final days. When the restaurant, 324 SW 25th St. opened quietly under the new ownership of Happy Plate Concepts this month, nearly every table in the joint was already full. “It’s always been a historic place to us. A place that we respected for sure. And so, we found out they were closing and they were actually looking for buyers,” Aly Cunningham, co-founder of Happy Plate Concepts said. The other co-founder, Shannon Roper, reached out to Grill on the Hill owners Norma Ericson and Rory Carver and a deal was inked. “I knew they’d been there for 30 years. These owners had it for 15 and Jamie had it for 15 years before that and we kind of liked that area. I think eventually it’s gonna be kind of like the Plaza, I’m hoping, one day,” Roper said. “So I went and talked to Rory and Norma and they’re just great, amazing people and they were wanting to retire and were just kind of done and so we just decided to give it a shot. We negotiated a deal with them. They still have some ownership in it. We

felt that was the best way to go about it, so we just jumped into it and thought we would try to get it back open and keep it around. It’s been there so long. So many people and so much history.” The iconic memorabilia still lines the walls, but the paint was

removed from the window in the eastern half of the restaurant, a fresh coat was put on the walls and new track lighting installed. “I think the customers are liking it. We’re trying to keep it as similar as possible, but obviously, when something closes, you’ve Aly Cunningham, Humberto Galvan, Curt Breuklander and Misty Tarver of Grill on the Hill. Photo by Berlin Green got to make some changes. Things your name,” she said. also still on the menu but has been have to evolve. We’re trying to keep The restaurant has moved away stacked on buttered toast with it the same. We’ll know your name. from counter service to full rescheddar cheese, tomatoes and an We’ve got your familiar dishes and taurant service and the menu has egg cooked your way. in a comfortable environment. been overhauled. And there are new menu items That’s pretty much what it was to “Some of the things that he had like the “Monte Cristo Bleus,” start with,” Roper said. told us through stories that were which is thinly-sliced, slow-roastOver the years, Grill on ed beef with bleu cheese crumbles the Hill became a popular and cherry compote served on spot for business leaders, brioche French toast and the elected officials and other “Atomic Tots,” which are covered public figures. It would not in spicy chili, cheddar cheese, jalabe uncommon to spot a penos and sour cream. mayor, a city councilor or But Cunningham said she una police chief dining beside derstands some customers will other patrons or each want their classics served the same other, united by the way or want to make substitutions, common bond of the grill’s which are also welcomed. She calls no-frills menu. Grill on the Hill a “yes-taurant,” “If you ask anyone about which, much to her chagrin, has not what it is that brought you yet caught on. to Grill on the Hill, it was They opened softly and quietly first and foremost, the in the middle of July working out amazing people that work the kinks in the menu and with the new table service model. While they haven’t announced that they’re open for business, they haven’t turned anyone away at the door either. “We are open. We’ve been kind The Monte Cristo Bleus (left). Nashville Style Catfish with fries, and the Green Chili Breakfast Burger with of quiet about it, but we’ll officialtator tots. (Above.) Photo by Berlin Green ly announce on Facebook that his favorites, or things that he we’ve got a grand opening coming. liked to make back in the kitchen, And I don’t know that it’s going to we named them after Rory. And be anything, like, amazing other so you know, you still have your than, ‘Hey, we are really open,’ just baskets and your burgers, but they in case anyone wants to know. might just look a little bit differWe’re going to be open for the next ent in bet ween the buns,” hundred years, hopefully. There’s Cunningham said. no need to rush it on to freak ev“Rory’s Favorite” — an omelet eryone out. We’re just trying to there, the servers, the cooks. — is made with slow-roasted beef, ea se i nto it r ig ht now,” Everyone knew everyone … That caramelized onions and provoCunningham said. atmosphere was something that lone topped with horseradish Grill on the Hill is open seven was very important right off the sauce and au jus, while “Rory’s days a week from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. bat ,that we saw that we wanted to Loaded Hush Puppies” are smothThat might be announced publicly keep, and we wanted to make that ered in spicy chili, cheddar cheese the first week of August. Maybe. a ‘Cheers’ sort of place, a neighborand green onions. Visit happyplateconcepts.com hood place where everyone knows The grill’s signature meatloaf is E AT & DRINK OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 13


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J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM E AT & DRINK


EAT & DRINK

Summer shakers HERE ARE A PAIR OF COCKTAILS TO TAKE OFF THE EDGE WHEN THE THERMOMETER PASSES THE CENTURY MARK.

FLINT Sean Stremlow Black Widow

1 oz Kraken 94 proof spiced rum .25 oz Limoncello .25 oz Domaine de Canton .25 oz Cointreau .75 oz lemon .50 oz grenadine egg white 6 dashes Peychaud bitters – For hearts on top

VAST

Combine all ingredients except for egg white and bitters into shaker with ice. Shake hard until cold. Remove ice, add egg white and dry shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and add dashes of Peychaud bitters.

Thyme Bandit 2 oz Boodles Gin .75 oz honey Fresh thyme

Rinse a glass with scotch. Combine gin, honey and thyme in shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into scotch rinsed glass. Garnish with thyme.

Chloe Jorgenson E AT & DRINK OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 15


GAZEDIBLES

Cajun flavors Oklahoma City may not be famous for its Creole cookin’, but a few noble standouts have long been changing the game. Fried catfish, collards, gumbo, meatloaf and jambalaya can be found throughout the city that are transportive enough to make you think you traveled straight to the streets of New Orleans. By Berlin Green

Photos provided.

16

Cajun Corner

Poe Bouyz House

Brielle’s Bistro

405-225-1222 • 312 NW 23rd St. cajuncornerokc.com

405-673-7045 • 3500 N I-35 Service Rd. facebook.com/poebouyzhouse

405-931-2147 • 2113 S Air Depot Blvd. briellesbistro.com

If you ask me, this place can do no wrong. Everything is delicious and the service is always incredible. Touted as Oklahoma-inspired cajun, they offer great specials throughout the week like Fat Tuesday with $10 shrimp or blackened chicken po’boys. If delicious sandwiches aren’t what you’re craving, try the Surf ‘n Turf or the Cajun cream sauce fettuccine which comes loaded with sautéed shrimp, crawfish and blackened chicken.

In this uniquely designed eatery you’ll find exotic dishes like fried alligator tail and frog legs in addition to all the classics like fried catfish, gumbo and red beans and rice. Of course, per the name, this is one of the best spots to find the ultimate traditional New Orlean’s style po’boy. Each giant sandwich comes on fresh French bread with your choice of grilled or fried meats that include catfish, shrimp, crawfish, alligator and chicken.

A New Orleans-style bistro, Brielle’s offers some of the most jaw-dropping gumbo in town as well as a great jambalaya and some mean gator bites. This is the spot to find a solid cajun-style Bloody Mary and enjoy breakfast served all day. Named after the owners’ daughter, Brielle, who suffers from a rare joint condition called ​​arthrogryposis, they make it part of their mission to raise awareness about the disease.

J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM E AT & DRINK


Bourbon St. Cafe

Ragin Cajun

Pearl’s Oyster Bar

Cajun King

405-232-6666 • 100 E. California Ave. bourbonstreetcafe.com

405-467-4131 • 1701 S. Mustang Rd. #105 ragincajunokc.com

405-848-5068 • 5641 N. Classen Blvd. pearlsokc.com

405-603-3714 • 5816 NW 63rd St facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063727743942

No, it’s not the actual Bourbon Street, but you might get a bit nostalgic for the seaside city after exploring Bricktown, so stopping into Bourbon St. Cafe might just be the fix you need. The menu is filled with all the classic creole dishes including a delicious crawfish etouffee – boiled crawfish smothered in a rich sauce of seafood stock and dark roux with the Cajun holy trinity of green peppers, onions and celery with dirty rice.

Exemplifying both Southern cooking and hospitality, Ragin Cajun is a small, family-owned cafe that delivers flavorful, authentic southern cuisine, po’boys and seafood straight from the Gulf Coast. Jambalaya, etouffee, shrimp and grits, and other essential dishes fill the menu, but the main features are their array of fantastic seafood boil combinations. From snow crab to snapper, flounder and crawfish, they’ve got one for everyone.

Pearl’s is an easy and familiar favorite, especially when family is visiting so I always have my go-to dishes. The alligator appetizer with a side of red beans and rice have always been an easy choice, but then there’s the incredible peppered onzu Ahi Tuna. The fresh fish is seared in a soy-ginger glaze, finished with a wasabi aioli and served with seasonal vegetables. It’s one of those dishes that’ll have you revisiting once the fam hits the road.

When COVID-19 hit in spring 2020, Cajun King swiftly shifted from its beloved buffet style to a menu. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with ordering Cajun King a la carte, but rather that every single dish they serve is worthy of at least a few forkfuls or spoonfuls which makes the choices particularly painful. The catfish strips once delivered to the table are still available and everything it once was (signature mystery sauce included), it’s just that you now have to order it by the pound (with two sides) as an entree.

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ARTS & CULTURE

Art leaders THE VANGUART WAS FOUNDED WITH A SIMPLE MISSION: TO BE AN ARTISTIC FRONT LINE FOR BLACK EXPRESSION IN OKLAHOMA THEATER. By Matt Dinger

Regina Lane makes no secret of lucky to be the fact that the subjects The able to pay Vanguart — the theater company artists, she founded — brings to the stage something this season are ones that have afit ’s not fected her personally. what we “The purpose of starting The want it to Vanguart was to create and be until our promote opportunities for African numbers American artists,” Lane said. “We get up, so certainly weren’t trying to exclude that’s why anyone. We noticed that, as vibrant it’s imporand robust as the artistic scene is tant that From left, Kamron McClure, Deonna Cattledge, La’Charles Purvey, Regina Lane and Rod Porter. Photo provided. here in Oklahoma, a lot of really we have retalented Black artists tend to have lationships like these so that we can Oklahoma City Theatre Company thing with the ‘Pieces’ trilogy is, I to go out of the state for their get butts in seats.” over the years. wanted to deal with suicide and talent to be showcased. So what Lane has three children who “This is what I called my depression and a Black family we wanted to do was make sure have all gone to Heritage Hall and ‘Pieces’ trilogy. So there are three because you don’t see that on telethat we had a stage for African they’ve allowed The Vanguart to plays, of course, in a trilogy. The vision. You don’t see that in plays,” American artists. use their 350-seat theater for refirst one was called Pieces of Her,” he said. Starting in 2019 with a hiatus hearsals and performances. Purvey said. “Pieces of Her dealt Purvey said you don’t have to for the COVID-19 pandemic the “They wanted to deepen their with a young lady, she was a visual have seen the first two to apprecifollowing year, The Vanguart rerelationship with the community artist. She suffered from depresate the final panel in the triptych. turned last summer. that surrounds them, which is a sion. She got pregnant out of “They’re going to see easter eggs “We did two shows during the very diverse community, not only wedlock and she felt so guilty and stuff that we put in there that summer. One was called The racially but also assists socioecoabout getting pregnant out of they’ll remember, but they don’t Exonerated about six individuals nomically … That has allowed us wedlock that the church turned have to have seen the other two to who had been exonerated after to really keep costs down and yet its back on her and she ended up enjoy the show,” he said. more than 20 years in the prison have the facilities of a professiontaking her own life. So we see that Lane also hopes the play helps system in America al theater,” she in the play. We’re also introduced start conversations. and it’s based on a said. to her son Isaiah who we’ll also “Especially in the Black comtrue story. And then “We also have see in this third one … The second munity, we are a resilient people, the second show was what we call our one is called Pieces of Him and I but we also struggle with mental Shaking the Mess Out ‘Black carpet exsort of consider it a prequel.” health and so more and more as of Misery, which was perience,’ so in Pieces of Her is set in the present people begin to talk about these an all female cast of the foyer of every day, while Pieces of Him takes place things, and remove the stigma, Black women kind of show, we feature in 1960s Louisiana and revolves people are getting help. I’m in set in the south. That a Black artist. So around the life of a young gay artist therapy every two weeks. Our one w a s rea l ly our artist for this who suffers from depression. family has dealt with suicide. I popular. And so this summer is Sunee “In Pieces of Us, I kind of bring have a brother who died by suicide, year, we’ve opened Rice. She’s a everything back around full circle, and it was just not something we up with Honky by visual artist and so some characters have grown up. talked about growing up, but it is Greg Kalleres, and so she ha s We have the main character of absolutely a part of our conversathat show is really a several paintOpal, who is now the matriarch of tion. I think part of what my play about the lanings that are the family, and Opal has this half brother struggled with so much guage around racism hanging up in sister who has traveled the world. was the fact that it wasn’t talked and then our second the lobby, you She’s an actress, she’s very sucabout,” she said. show for the summer can purchase cessful, but they don’t really have The Vanguart hopes to have season is Pieces of Kamron McClure and Regina Lane. Photo provided. them, and so we a relationship. Well, this half sister another show before the end of the Us,” Lane said. really try to make comes home and tells Opal that year, but has not solidified the The theater company owns no it a full experience for all of our she’s sick,” Purvey said. details as they eye crossing into location nor does it have an office. guests,” Lane said. “I like to talk about things that nonprofit status with a board of “Most community theater in Pieces of Us is the final installpeople sweep under the rug. I’ve directors next year. Oklahoma is unpaid people who are ment in a trilogy by local playnever been afraid to talk. I think Pieces of Us runs from July 28 passionate about their craft, volunwright LàCharles Purvey, who in talking about things, once we get through Aug. 7. Tickets are $30 for teering our time. We like to partner addition to being the artistic direcit out in the open, we can do somegeneral admission and $40 for VIP. with our artists, and they get a flat tor has also authored nearly a thing about it, and then we can Visit thevanguart.com rate plus a percentage of the box dozen plays performed by the likes make it better, so I’m never afraid office sales. … We’ve been really of Poteet Theatre and the to talk about anything. And the ART S & CULTURE OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 19


20 J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 | OKGA Z ET TE .COM ART S & CULTURE


OKG PICKS are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.

BOOKS Tricia Levenseller book signing young adult author will be autographing her newest novel, Master of Iron, the conclusion to her two book fantasy series about a magical blacksmith who must save her sister’s life and stop a war from breaking out, 6 p.m, July 29. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. FRI, JULY 29

FILM All Eyes (USA, Todd Greenlee) a disgraced podcast host interviews an eccentric farmer who claims that there is a monster living in the woods near his home, 7 p.m., July 28. Rodeo Cinema, 2221 Exchange Ave., 405-235-3456. THU, JULY 28 Doc OKC a four-day film festival exclusively for documentaries featuring over 15 different films and shorts, Aug. 4-7. The Auditorium at the Douglass, 600 N. High Ave., 405-652-9541, docokc.org. THUSUN, AUG 4-7

Rock Bottom Riser (2021, USA, Fern Silva) an experimental documentary that takes viewers through the geographical, cultural and psychic of Hawaii’s landscape with emphasis on its active volcanoes, 7 p.m., July 28. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa. com. THU, JULY 28 Sonic Summer Movie: Batman Returns (1992, USA, UK, Tim Burton) Michael Keaton returns as Batman to save Gotham city from Penguin who is trying to take over with the help of a corrupt rich businessman while Catwoman is seeking revenge of said businessman, 7 p.m., July 27. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. WED, JULY 27

HAPPENINGS Bricktown Reggae Fest grab a lawn chair and find a spot along the canal for two evenings filled with music from a variety of reggae bands, Caribbean food, tie-dye and beads, July 29-30. Intersection of N. Sheridan Ave. and Oklahoma Ave. FRI-SAT, JULY 29-30

A Celebration of Space Under the Stars an evening out stargazing with SMO Planetarium staff and The Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, as they guide you through the starry night sky, 8:30-11 p.m., July 28. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. THU, JULY 28

Cocktail Cruise see the Boathouse District, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and more on the sunset cruise with a full cash bar, Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 30. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. FRI THROUGH SEPT. 30

Coffee and Cars OKC the largest monthly gathering of car enthusiasts across the state, featuring automotives of all types spanning from classics to hotrods, exotics to luxuries, sports to supers, there is something for every car lover, 8 p.m., first Saturday of every month. Chisholm Creek, 13230 Pawnee Dr., 405-728-2780, coffeeandcars.com. SAT, AUG 6 Composting 101 learn the basic steps to to properly compost with kitchen scraps and plant materials around the home to help reduce, reuse and recycle, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Aug. 6-7. Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7th St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. SAT-SUN, AUG 6-7 COOP Ale Works Beats & Bites Festival returning for its sixth summer, this festival features live music, nearly 20 local food trucks, face painting, vendors and more, July 30. Riverwind Casino, 1544 W. State Highway 9, 405-322-6000, riverwind. com. SAT, JULY 30 Farmers Market at Scissortail Park a morning market featuring local sourced options such as, pasture-raised meats, fresh produce and cultivated mushrooms, plants, eggs, raw honey, breads and baked goods, assortments of specialty prepared food and beverage producers, as well as highquality artisan from almost 60 vendors, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturdays, through Oct. 29. Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7th St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. SAT, THROUGH OCT 29

Forensic Night learn about the methods doctors, anthropologists and law officers use to examine human skeletons to solve true crime cases, 5:308:30 p.m., Aug. 6. Skeletons: Museum of Osteology, 10301 S. Sunnylane Road, 405-814-0006, skeletonmuseum.com. SAT, AUG 6 Good Morning, Oklahoma City: Drag Brunch join Betsy Tea and her friends, Alizay Carmen and Josie for a Hairspray-themed drag brunch, admission includes a meal, 2 cocktail tickets and a few themed items for the show, 10:30 a.m., Aug. 6. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-5285026, okcciviccenter.com. SAT, AUG 6 Hot Bingo Nights grab a drink at the bar and head to the patio for a free weekly bingo night with prices spanning from gift cards to merchandise to concert tickets with a $1,000 blackout jackpot, 8 p.m., Thursdays through August. The Jones Assembly, 901 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-212-2378, thejonesassembly.com. THU THROUGH AUG

Indian Hills Powwow free and open to the public, this event features traditional dancing and competitions for all ages, vendors selling Native arts and crafts and traditional foods, July 28-31.

Get the Pork Outta Here! A charcuterie workshop participants will

learn the art to creating a charcuterie board along with exploring some alternatives to pork salami that still pair nicely with fruits and cheeses, a small wine tasting is available for those 21 and over, 1:30 p.m., Aug. 3. Vine & Board, 3809 NW 166th St., Ste. 1, 405-708-7195, facebook.com/VineandBoard. WEDNESDAY AUG 3 Photo Shutterstock Indian Hills Powwow Grounds, 9300 N. Sooner Road, 405-528-5026, facebook.com/oklahomacitypowwowclub. THU-SUN, JULY 28-31 The Lost Ogle Trivia for ages 21 and up, test your knowledge with four rounds of free trivia play, 7-9 p.m., Mondays, through Sept. 12. Bar Cicchetti, 121 NW 2nd St., 405-795-5295, barcicchettiok.com. MON THROUGH SEPT. 21

Marvel Trivia Night enjoy a night of trivia with questions from the Marvel movies and comics along with themed drinks and a raffle, 6-7:30 p.m., July 28. Full Circle Bookstore, 1900 Northwest Expressway, 405-842-2900, fullcirclebooks.com. THU, JULY 28

New World Comic Con shop, meet local comic creators, participate in a costume contest and more at this annual celebration of the comic and gaming worlds, July 30. Oklahoma State Fair Park, 3220 Great Plains Walk, 405-948-6700, okstatefair.com. SAT, JULY 30 OKC’s Horror Con a two-day convention for all things that go bump in the night featuring vendors, cosplay contests, Q&A panels, kids activities and more, including celebrity guests Tamara Glynn and John Kassir, Aug. 6-7. Remington Park, 1 Remington Place, 405-424-9000, remingtonpark.com. SATSUN, AUG 6-7

Sunday Twilight Concert Series features a different music genre from local and regional acts every Sunday during the summer concert series presented by Arts Council OKC and The Chickasaw Nation, Sundays, through Aug. 28. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, artscouncilokc. com/twilight. SUN, THROUGH AUG 28 Tokyo, OK throw on that cosplay outfit and head to Oklahoma’s largest anime, Japanese and pop culture convention featuring famous action and voice actors, cosplayers, video and tabletop gaming events, panels, vendors and more, July 29-31. Hyatt Regency, 100 E. 2nd St., Tulsa. FRI-SUN, JULY 29-31

FOOD ARTini join Allied Arts for this annual martini tasting event with live entertainment, food and art auction, 7-11 p.m., Aug. 5. Camp Trivera, 2508 NE 50th St., 405-528-4475. FRI, AUG 5

Experimental Music Oklahoma enjoy an evening of experimental music

composed by Zachary Daniels for a small ensemble group with music from a variety of acoustic and electronic instruments, the human voice and found sound objects,7-8 p.m., July 28. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THURSDAY JULY 28 Photo provided

Eastside Fresh Market a weekly farmer’s market with vendors selling fresh produce, homemade desserts, plants and other unique products, Tuesdays, through Nov. 1. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Center, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-713-1125, okiemgs. okstate.edu. TUE, THROUGH NOV 1

Food Truck Fridays enjoy a variety of local food trucks while listening to live music, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Aug. 5. Moore Central Park, 700 S. Broadway St., 405-7935090, centralpark.cityofmoore.com. FRI, AUG 5 National IPA Day celebrate with Core4 Brewing as they release two experimental brews for the occasion, Aug. 4. Core4 Brewing, 7 N. Lee Ave., 405-620-4513. THU, AUG 4 Tulsa Tonk join Oklahoma Craft Brewers Association for the inaugural honky tonk beer festival featuring beers from over 32 local brews, vendors from Made in Oklahoma and live music, July 30. Guthrie Green, 111 E. M.B. Brady St., Tulsa, 918-574-2421, craftbeerok.org/tulsa-tonk. SAT, JULY 30 Water Bath Canning learn the method for canning high-acid foods like tomatoes, fruits, pickles and more, 2-5 p.m., July 28. Oklahoma County OSU Extension Center, 2500 NE 63rd St., 405-713-1125, okiemgs.okstate.edu. THU, JULY 28 Winemaking Demo learn how to create a basic wine kit and the bottling/corking process for making wine at home, as well as taste a few homemade wines, 10-11 a.m., July 30. The Brew Shop, 2916 N. Pennsylvania Ave., 405-528-5193, thebrewshopokc.com. SAT, JULY 30

YOUTH Art in the Park kids can make their own textured wall art by applying plaster on a canvas with various tools that will create different patterns, making each piece unique, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Aug. 1. Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7th St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. MON, AUG 1 Early Explorers toddlers and preschoolers explore science through hands-on, come-and-go activities that can be easily replicated with everyday items found at home, 10-11 a.m., Wednesdays, through July 27. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2020 Remington Place, 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. WED, THROUGH JULY 27 International Ranger Day come learn about the work that park rangers provide all across the world, from monitoring wildlife to fighting wildfires, 2-6 p.m., July 31.Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7th St., 405445-7080, scissortailpark.org. SUN, JULY 31 Kids Take Over the Cowboy children will learn about Yellowstone National Park and the animals that can be found there while creating puppets, going a scavenger hunt and seeing how a geyser works, 10 a.m.-noon, Aug. 6. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT, AUG 6 continued on page 22

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MARQUIS FURNITURE AUCTION

TUES, AUGUST 9 @ 8AM TECUMSEH, OK

Low overhead = Low prices

20075 Malone Rd., Tecumseh

continued from page 21

Box Trucks, Truck Tractors, Containers, Pickups, Pallet Racking Bedroom Sets, Mattresses, Recliners, Rugs, Décor, & More!

Weekly Walkups each day has a different theme from crafts, reading, scavenger hunts and more, 10 a.m.-noon, July 4-August 12. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. MON-FRI, JULY 4- AUG 12

GILBERT & SONS TRUCKING

THURS, AUGUST 11 @ 8AM TECUMSEH, OK 40610 Benson, Park Rd., Tecumseh Pete & Kenworth Truck Tractors, Lowboys, Flatbed & Van Trailers, Truck Parts, & More!

*Both Auctions will have Online & On-site Bidding

Contact Bo Dottley at 501-944-0921 bo@blackmonauctions.com For more info/photos: BLACKMONAUCTIONS.COM BLACKMON AUCTIONS, INC. PO BOX 7464, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72217

OKG PICKS

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CENTRAL OKLAHOMA 2022 9TH ANNUAL

ZZZ’s in the Seas guests can sleep overnight in the aquarium surrounded by all manner of sea life with fun activities until lights out., July 29. Oklahoma Aquarium, 300 Aquarium Drive, Tulsa, 918-296-3474, okaquarium.org. FRI, JULY 29

PERFORMING ARTS Carmen an opera written by Georges Bizet based on a novella that deals with the love and jealousy of Don Jose, 7:30 p.m., July 30. Rose State College Hudiburg Chevrolet Center, 6000 S. Prosper Blvd., 405-594-8300. SAT, JULY 30 Concerts in the Park enjoy a free concert featuring a different artist every week, Thursdays, through Aug. 4. Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W. Vandament Ave., 405-350-8937, cityofyukon.gov. THU, THROUGH AUG 4

The Golden Girls Gone Wild! enjoy an evening of laughs with dinner and a show spoofing the 1980s TV show with an all male cast, 5:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, through Aug. 13. The Boom, 2218 NW 39th St., 405-601-7200, theboomokc.com. FRI-SAT, THROUGH AUG 13

Josh Phillips stand-up comedy performance, 8p.m., July 27-29; 7p.m. & 9:30p.m., July 30. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-2394242, loonybincomedy.com. WED-SAT, JULY 27-30 JR Brow stand-up comedy performance, 8p.m., Aug. 3-5; 7p.m. & 9:30p.m., Aug. 6. Loony Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N. Rockwell Ave., 405-239-4242, loonybincomedy.com. WED-SAT, AUG 3-6

Venus in Fur adapted from a 1870 novel, this play-within-a-play tells the story of a discouraged director searching for the perfect actress to be the lead role when a late, last minute audition might just be what he is after, July 29-Aug. 13. Oklahoma Shakespeare’s Black Box Theater, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700, oklahomashakespeare.org. FRI-SAT, JULY 29-AUG 13

ACTIVE Discover Kayak Class a 90-minute class that teaches the basic strokes, maneuvering techniques, and general safety rules for recreational paddling, 6-7 p.m.,Weds.; 10-11 a.m., Sat. Riversport OKC, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org.

FREE ADMISSION!

FRI. AUG. 5TH • 9-5 SAT. AUG. 6TH • 9-5

all on a customized surface that replicates the feel of snow, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Weds. and Sun.; 10-11 a.m., Sat. Riversport OKC, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-5524040, riversportokc.org. WED-SUN Discover Surf Class learn to surf in less than two hours from bodyboarding to full standing, once the basics are down then it is onto techniques, turning, balancing and wiping out, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Weds. and Sun.; 10-11 a.m., Sat. RIVERSPORT OKC, 800 Riversport Drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org. WED-SUN

Foam Glow 5K an evening event where participants, dressed in white tees, are sprayed with colorful glowing, neon foam as they run through a blacklight and glow stick 5K course, 8:30-11:30 p.m., Aug. 6. Remington Park, 1 Remington Place, 405-424-9000, remingtonpark. com. SAT, AUG 6 Bang Bang Queer Punk Variety Show a variety show featuring drag, burlesque, belly dancing and more, Aug. 8th. Blue Note, 2408 N. Robinson Ave., 405600-1166, thebluenotelounge.com. TUE, AUG 9 Free Yoga in the Park an all-levels class on the Devon Lawn; bring your own water and yoga mat, 6 p.m., Tuesdays and 6 p.m., Saturdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE & SAT Myriad In Motion: Hip Hop Cardio geared towards beginners, this class will get your heart rate up and tone the body through music and controlled movements led by instructors from YMCA, 10 a.m., Saturdays through July. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens. com. SAT THROUGH JULY Myriad in Motion: Yoga bring a mat and water for an all-levels yoga class with instructors from YMCA, 6 p.m., Tuesdays and 9 a.m., Saturdays. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. TUE & SAT Myriad in Motion: Zumba grab your gym clothes and shoes for a cardio Latin-inspired dance workout led by Evelin Pino with YMCA, 6:45 p.m., first and third Thursdays of the month through Oct. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-4457080, myriadgardens.com. FIRST & THIRD THU THROUGH OCT

OKC Touch Rugby Practice an evening of playing touch rugby for beginning to advanced players on the Love’s Travel Stops Great Lawn, 6:30-8:30 p.m. , Wednesdays, through Oct. 26. Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7th St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. WED, THROUGH OCT 26

WED-SAT

Oklahoma City Dodgers vs Sugar Land Space Cowboys baseball game, July 26-31. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-2181000, okcballparkevents.com. TUE-SUN, JULY 26-31

Discover Ski Class first-time skiers learn the basics of turning, slowing, and stopping on the slopes

Sunset Kayak Experience a sunset paddling excursion with a guided tour through the Stinchcomb

Cleveland County Fairgrounds 615 E. Robinson, Norman, OK

NOW BIGGER THAN EVER WITH MORE SPACE AND VENDORS Baskets, Jewelry Vintage Southwest & Pueblo Pottery Bead Work, Paintings & Books Native American Art & Prints Navajo Rugs Native American Dance Shawls & Clothing Molas & Other Textiles Native American Sterling, German Silver, Tourist & Mexican/ Taxco Jewelry Native American, Southwest & Mexican Art & Kitsch Plus Other Ethnic Tribal Art

BUY • SELL • TRADE Call Sally Gettys 405.321.8961 or 405.830.1860

Fire of Love (2022, Canada, USA, Sara Dosa) the story of two volcanologists, Katia and Maurice Krafft, who were pioneers in filming and photographing volcanoes and lava in extremely close proximity but unfortunately met their demises, together, doing with they love, 5 & 7:30 p.m., July 29; 2 p.m., July 30. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405236-3100, okcmoa.com. FRIDAY-SATURDAY JULY 29-30 Photo WikiCommons

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OKG PICKS Wildlife Refuge, 8-9 p.m., every other Wednesday. Lake Overholser Boathouse, 3115 E. Overholser Drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org/lake-overholser. EVERY OTHER WED

Tulsa Drillers vs Arkansas Travelers baseball game, July 26-31. ONEOK Field, 201 N. Elgin Ave., Tulsa, 918-744-5998. TUE-SUN, JULY 26-31 Wheeler Crit cheer on Oklahoma’s top cyclists at this weekly race around the Wheeler District, 5:30 p.m., Tuesdays, through Nov. 4. The Big Friendly Brewery & Taproom, 1737 Spoke St., 405-492-3785, thebigfriendly.com. TUE, THROUGH NOV 4 Zumba at Scissortail Park participate in a weekly free class at the Sky Rink Event Pavilion, 9-10 a.m., Saturdays, through Oct. 29. Scissortail Park, 300 SW Seventh St., 405-445-7080, scissortailpark.org. SAT, THROUGH OCT 29

VISUAL ARTS Blue: Nature’s Rarest Color features works from 16 different artists exploring the color blue and its instances in nature, through Aug. 21. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. THROUGH AUG 21 Bricklive Animal Paradise features statues of endangered animals with the entire installation being made of almost two million toy building blocks, through Oct. 30. The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place, 405-424-3344, okczoo. com. THROUGH OCT 30 Chihuly Then and Now: The Collection at Twenty an exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Chihuly collection at OKCMOA showcasing five decades of glass and painting telling the story of his groundbreaking career featuring never before seen works in Oklahoma City, through June 18, 2024. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THROUGH JUNE 18, 2024

Destination Oklahoma features works from five different Oklahoma artists throughout the state, depicting the distinct cultural backgrounds in various media types, such as ceramics, photographs, video, painting and more, through Oct. 17. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THROUGH OCT 17 DNA Galleris’ Monthly Art Opening a solo exhibition featuring local Native American artist, Alicia Saltina Marie Clark, through Aug. 7. DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St., 405-525-3499, dnagalleries.com. THROUGH AUG 7

Early Influencers: How Anna Overholser & Henry Ione Overholser Perry Set the Style for Oklahoma City Women an exhibit featuring fashion and accessories worn and inspired by Anna and Henry Ione showcased by a fashion timeline with photos of the Overholser women and other trendsetters of the time, through Aug. 31. Overholser Mansion, 405 NW 15th St., 405-525-5325, overholsermansion.org. THROUGH AUG 31 Nature, Sweet Nature comprised of two installations by Maren Hassinger constructed with galvanized wire rope, “Garden” and “Paradise Regained” will each stand in rows at relative human scale; one near the entrance to the art center and the other within the Sculpture Garden, through Aug. 31. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THROUGH AUG 31

Nature’s Course features artwork over the last 20 years from John Newsom with large-scale, richly textured, oil on canvas paintings of flora and fauna.. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org.

okcmoa.com. THROUGH SEPT 4 Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale an annual exhibition and art sale featuring Western paintings and sculptures by contemporary Western artists of landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes, through Aug. 7. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. THROUGH AUG 7 Rea Baldridge/Joseph Mills/Suzanna Owens an exhibition featuring works by three artists, two paints and a photographer, through Aug. 30. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. THROUGH AUG 30

Shaved Portions configured specifically for the Campbell Art Park by Chakaia Booker, this sculpture is created from reassembled tires that are looped, stacked and linked together to allow guests the ability to enter the artwork. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THROUGH AUG 31 Signature Tours feature works from Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell along with ethnographic materials from mountain men and Native Americans and the evolution of the working cowboy. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. SAT-SUN, THROUGH AUG 31 Sunny Dayz Mural Festival features murals by women and nonbinary artists in this one-of-a-kind festival including live music, performers, food and more as well, Sat., Aug. 6. Downtown Edmond, 32 N. Broadway Ave., 405-249-9391, downtownedmondok.com. SAT, AUG 6 The SuperNatural an exhibit features works from several artists focusing on a new world whose shape and matter will be determined by human activity. 21c Museum Hotel, 900 W. Main St., 405-982-6900, 21cmuseumhotels.com. THROUGH FEB 28, 2023

Synesthesia Factory Obscura’s newest immersive art experience focusing on color and textural elements while guests open their senses to discover what colors sound and smell like. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/ fjjma. THROUGH JUNE 4, 2023

ARTS DISTRICT

In the Paseo Arts & Creativity Center at 3024 Paseo

GALLERY I - Rae Stone GALLERY II - Tour de Quartz Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain student artwork

GALLERY III - State Fair Student Show Opening reception is Friday, August 5, 6-9pm.

Local and national art, great food, art classes & plenty of shopping!

#FirstFridayPaseo

405.525.2688 • thepaseo.org

YOUR DAILY INTEL BRIEFING

ON-AIR, ONLINE AND ON-DEMAND

Thursday Night Workshop a weekly class featuring a different artist instructor that teaches how to create the art piece for the evening, Thursdays. through Aug. 25. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 11 NW 11th St., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. THU, THROUGH AUG 25 Tipsy Artist a paint class where guests learn to paint the themed artwork for the session in which they can take home afterwards, Saturdays, through July 30. Tipsy Arts Studio, 117 W. Harrison Ave., 405822-0481, tipsyartist.com. SAT, THROUGH JULY 30 Traces in Time features work from Norman Kary and Marilyn Jolly using scavenged materials that they incorporate into their work to represent humor or pathos in the human condition, through Sept. 3. Artspace at Untitled, 1 NE 3rd St., 405-815-9995, 1ne3.org. THROUGH SEPT 3 Untitled - Ownes features works by Suzanne Ownes, through Aug. 31. JRB Art at The Elms, 2810 N. Walker Ave., 405-528-6336, jrbartgallery.com. THROUGH AUG 31

Paseo Arts District’s First Friday Gallery Walk peruse art from over 80 artists with 25 participating businesses for a night of special themed exhibits, refreshments and a variety of entertainment opportunities, 6-9 p.m. first Friday of every month. Paseo Arts District, 3024 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo.org. FRI, AUG 5

Vibes enjoy a night of visual and performing arts, while shopping and dinning local and even participate in interactive art activities, first Thursday of every month. through Oct. 6. Downtown Edmond, 32 N. Broadway Ave., 405-249-9391, downtownedmondok.com. THU, AUG 4

The Perfect Shot: Walter Iooss Jr. and the Art of Sports Photography features over 80 sports photographs from all types of sports taken over 5 decades of Iooss’ career, through Sept. 4. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100,

Friday, August 5, 2022 • 6-9pm

Selections from In Citizen’s Garb: Native Americans on the Southern Plains an exhibit displaying modern gelatin silver prints made from glass plate negatives of Indigenous people in the Lawton and Fort Sill area from 1889 to 1891, ongoing. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. TUE-MON, ONGOING

THROUGH AUG 15

Perception and Technique in Abstract Art features works covering two different techniques of abstract styles through various artists, through Jan. 15, 2023. Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, 405-236-3100, okcmoa.com. THROUGH JAN 15, 2023

EXPERIENCE FIRST FRIDAY GALLERY WALK

Visit okgazette.com/Events/AddEvent to submit your event or email them to listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted. Submissions must be received by Oklahoma For OKG Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday live music fourteen days before the see page 27 desired publication date. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible.

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MUSIC

Subculture sanctum THE SANCTUARY, OKC’S NEWEST UNDERGROUND VENUE, THRIVES AS A PUNK ETHOS SAFE SPACE FOR ALL AGES. By Evan Jarvicks

Like a flower blooming from a cracked sidewalk, Oklahoma City’s DIY scene has always found a way. The last few years have seen a pandemic decimate the live music world, and when compounded with the usual punk community struggles ( house venue regulation crackdowns, threadbare economics, etc.), OKC has been a particularly inhospitable place for a movement that prioritizes artistic freedom over financial viability. A lthough locals have continued to find fissures in the pavement, DIY isn’t the garden it could be if given the space, nutrients, and centralized TLC to thrive. This is why The Sanctuary, behind all of its sweaty mosh pits and mounted bestial heads, exists. Sharing a space with Beloved Bones, an oddity store most recognized for its taxidermy, The Sanctuary lives within an antique shopping strip that corners NW 10th and May Ave. Complete with an intimate low-capacity main room and a quaint back patio, the all-ages DIY venue and creative arts collective has proven a popular gathering point for young, alternative crowds in the metro area. The gothic overtones of Beloved Bones creates a unique identity that helps punk and metal music performances in particular feel at home. With musicians playing mere inches away from audiences at ground level — there are lights and sound but decidedly no stage — the all-ages venue has hosted numerous out-of-state acts, including death sludge ba nd Primitive Man on a sold-out date of its 10th-anniversary tour in May. The majority of the venue’s shows, however, feature local bands and artists, and while the harsher niches of rock tend to be The Sanctuary’s wheelhouse, it has been open to all varieties of sound from the beginning. “Our first show was a techno show that my friend Taylor put on with local DJs and one from out of town,” owner Mekala

Littleton said. “ We h a d a crazy turnout, a n d it f e lt really special to sha re the building with ever yone for the first time. We received a lot of positive feedback and encouragement, and it meant ever y- Social Cinema performs at The Sanctuary. Photo by Elecktra Stanislava thing to us.” fringe venue upsta r ts like Littleton, who owns both The Wa r e h ou s e B a n d F i r s t Sanctuary and Beloved Bones, Pastafarian Church of Norman, cites the community as a key mothe shared space business model tivation for opening the space. is already providing more fruitful After years of cultivating a small returns on average. The prospects business with her natural creare promising. ations and antique finds, paying “For our first few months of booth rent here and selling online being open, we’ve been focused there, she knew that a brick-andprimarily on hosting live music,” mortar storefront was in Beloved Littleton said. “Long-term, we Bones’ not-so-distant future. really want to offer more creative However, it was the need for an and related events such as art all-ages DIY venue that led her to shows, cinema nights, poetry fast-track her plans and include nights, and art workshops … I The Sanctuary. want to host free workshops on “After some serious thought, I simple music lessons--how to decided that it made sense to give start punk bands, learn basic it a try now, and the community chords or progressions, that kind was on board,” Littleton said. “At of thing--art shows, plant swaps, that point, ever y thing just small business popups, cookouts, started falling into place, and all fundraisers, skate nights, paint of my focus shifted towards figand wine sort of events. I’d really uring out what we needed to do love to have other artists and creto make it happen.” atives come in and teach their Beyond the immediate support own trades to others as well.” of her partner and close friends, Amongst small businesses from Littleton’s mission found assisbookstores to coffee shops to distance beyond the city and even pensaries, this desire to include the state. To help get The more local arts events is not unSanctuar y up and running, c om mon . W h at s et s T he T u l s a ’s M a s s Mo v e m e nt Sanctuary apart is a threefold Community Arts collective threw manifesto. It puts these events at a fundraising concert last year, the forefront of its mission rather and Littleton found further than view them as ancillary, it funding through internationally offers a one-of-a-kind immersive crowdsourced microfinancial gothic atmosphere in which they nonprofit Kiva. With deposits can be conducted, and it makes paid and everything up to spec, significant efforts to be a safe doors of f icia lly opened in space for its community. The February. Although only time ulvenue’s name holds all of these t i m ately w i l l tel l i f T he layers of meaning. Sanctuary’s lifespan will outper“The word ‘sanctuary’ often form past greater metropolitan suggests the idea of refuge, safety,

or a sacred space, and that’s really what I wanted The Sanctuary to be,” Littleton said. “A safe, inclusive, and diverse space where folks know we’re here and investing ourselves into the community because we care and want to invite them to invest themselves as well and help us build an even better underground creative community in Oklahoma.” While the local scene has mostly taken notice of The Sanctuary for its consistent promotion of allages fringe genre shows, those who have visited tend to come away with a greater sense of value for what the space provides. “My entry point into the OKC music scene was through the folk and indie rock subgenres,” John Schlenner, one avid concertgoer, said. “Although The Sanctuary tends to host more shows in the metal and punk spaces, it has still instantly become one of my favorite venues … I know that the venue will always be a welcoming place and a safe space for folks who are less privileged than myself, which is something that is so important to have in this city and state these days.” Like the art of taxidermy, The Sanctuary fills a void to rejuvenate life in an often overlooked place. With empathetic care, purposeful work, and a passionate eye for unorthodox beauty, the venue is not satisfied with merely keeping the lights on. It wants to be an inner glow that inspires.

MUSIC OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 25


MUSIC

Still Stoopid REGGAE ROOTS BAND SLIGHTLY STOOPID MAKES A STOP IN OKLAHOMA CITY AS THEY HONE IN ON THREE DECADES AS A BAND. By Adam Sculley

When guitarists/singers Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald started Slightly Stoopid in 1994, they were out front of a second generation of bands that wanted to build on the reggae-rock sound that was starting to take hold thanks to the success of groups like Sublime, 311 and, to a lesser extent, No Doubt. Now some 28 years later, Slightly Stoopid is one of several California reggae-rooted bands that can headline outdoor amphitheaters and a veteran member of a scene packed with acts playing some variation of reggae-rooted music and espousing California culture built around skateboarding, surfing, and in many cases, the benefits of cannabis. In fact, tour ing a mphit heaters has become an annual summer ritual for Slightly Stoopid. To say the least, Slightly Stoopid have become veterans at what it takes to deliver a large-scale show to crowds that can number upward of 20,000. “Now it’s kind of like we’ve got a great crew, awesome lights guy,” Doughty said in a recent phone interview. “Everybody kind of knows what we’re all thinking. It just makes it that much easier when you surround yourself with the right people and the right energ y. It’s like anything. If you’ve done something so many times, you get a lot better at it and start to perfect what’s going on around you.” Playing amphitheaters might have seemed like a pipe dream when Slightly Stoopid started out all those years ago in the San Diego area, but that’s not the case for groups trying to make their mark in the scene now. The Calireggae scene has grown into a significant part of the overall music scene and Doughty is pleased to see other bands benefiting from the genre’s popularity. “I never thought we’d be where we are when I was a kid,” Doughty said. “This is like living the dream times 10. It’s been an incredible journey. Back in the day when we

first started, we were one of the only bands. Obviously, there was Sublime, 311, No Doubt. Really (compared to) a lot of bands in the culture, we were like the Slightly Stoopid. Photo by Anders Junger. baby band of that. Now that Southern California culture Andy Geib (trombone), has spread like wildfire everyAnd as the touring miles piled where to where there are like up, Slightly Stoopid released 10,000 of those bands. It really studio albums on a regular basis, seems to be, this is across the developing and refining their board, the energy of the Southern sunny brand of reggae mixed with California culture seems to be rock, funk, folk, pop and even what a lot of people are vibing punk rock along the way. toward. And it’s great. I’m happy The group’s ninth studio album, for the successes for all of those Everyday Life, Everyday People, bands. It’s great to see when a lot arrived in 2018 and features guest of your friends are doing well and appearances from several major are experiencing the same things figures in the reggae world, includacross the board. It’s pretty cool.” ing Ali Campbell of UB40, Don Sublime and its late vocalist, Carlos (of Black Uhuru fame), Bradley Nowell, in fact, gave Yellowman, Sly Dunbar and Chali Slightly Stoopid its biggest early 2na (of Jurassic 5). While plenty break. Nowell signed Slightly eclectic, Everyday Life, Everyday Stoopid to his label, Skunk People finds Slightly Stoopid leaning Records, paving the way for the a bit more toward reggae than on release of Slightly Stoopid’s 1996 some of the previous albums. self-titled debut album. It gave Five of the 13 songs (“Livin’ in the group a legitimacy that was Babylon,” “Stay The Same Prayer valuable as Slightly Stoopid For You,” “Legalize It,” “No One sought to establish a fan base. Stops Us Now Nobody Knows” “I think when we first started and “Fire Below”) qualify as fairly touring, having that Skunk name, full-on reggae, while “Talk Too because of Sublime’s influences, Much” “If You Want It” and “Too we would go places and people Late” further the reggae-fied feel wouldn’t know who Slightly by dipping into the dub-style side Stoopid was and they would be of the reggae form. The album gets like ‘Hey, let’s go and check out its variety from tunes like “Higher that Skunk Records band,’” Now,” which blends rap, reggae Doughty said. “And it was such a and dreamy soul; “Glocks,” an inkiller little indie label back then, strumental offering easy-going, Skunk Records was.” full-bodied rock; “One More There’s been no magic formula Night,” a tuneful acoustic folkto Slightly Stoopid’s success. The pop ballad; and “Everybody group built its following the oldPeople,” which mixes jammy fashioned hard way, playing 200 acoustic folk with reggae. or more shows a year during its Doughty credited the guest first decade. Over the years, artists on Everyday Life, Everyday Slightly Stoopid also added band People with helping set the tone members to go with its expanding for the music on the album. instrumental mix. Today, the “Just because of the guest stars l i neup i nc lude s D oug ht y, we had on the record, it’s definiteMcDonald (guitar, bass, vocals), ly more of a reggae-influenced Ryan Moran (drums), Oguer Ocon record,” he said. “But you still have (percussion, harp), Daniel “Dela” songs like ‘One More Night,’ which Delacr uz (sa xophone), Paul is nothing even in the reggae Wolstencroft (keyboards) and realm. It’s a great ballad folk song,

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the story of our lives on the road, leaving our children, leaving our friends and our family, all of that is in the lyrics of the song. I think for us, with the guest stars we had, we ended up doing more reggae than we usually do on the records, which is fine because we love reggae music anyway. “You can almost, you can feel, I don’t know if maturity is the right word, but you can feel the band is growing up and just so much around us is in our music. Like what we see, how we see the world is presented in our music, (with) what we say lyrically, just the feeling of our music,” Doughty said, touching on the honesty and warm vibe of the new album. “For us, I was just happy with the different styles we did, from folk music to reggae to hip-hop, to a little bit of stuff in between. We’re just really happy, man. I think at this point in our lives, we’re in a good space mentally and physically. We love what we do and we’re blessed to do it.” With Slightly Stoopid joined by Pepper, Common Kings and Fortunate Youth on this summer’s tour, Doughty said there’s always a chance fans will see musical collaborations on stage between Slightly Stoopid and the other musicians. These are moments he enjoys. “What’s cool is it’s really something just special for the fans when they can see that kind of camaraderie, Doughty said. “It really makes a difference in the shows. It’s genuine. There’s nothing like set up about it. That’s what’s so special about the bands. People can relate because we’re all just regular, real people.” Slightly Stoopid plays the Zoo Amphitheatre Aug. 18. Tickets are $37.50 to $57.50. Visit thezooamphitheatre.com


SOUNDCHECK

Chat Pile God’s Country OKC’S MANIACAL MASTERS OF DYSTOPIAN NOISE ROCK FULFILL YEARS OF RABID UNDERGROUND HYPE ON HELLISH FULL-LENGTH DEBUT. By Evan Jarvicks

Picture — or don’t — a poisoned, discolored body collapsed on concrete, convulsing into an early grave as horrors flash before its blurred eyes. This is the essence of Chat Pile. Drawing metaphors between cinematic body horror and the death throes of late-stage capitalism, the decidedly pessimistic quartet of Oklahoma City musicians has no shortage of world-weary source material for its morbid narratives. The band’s name, after all, is a reference to literal piles of toxic waste in ghost town Oklahoma which preserve the dangerous fingerprints of careless industrialism. What sets Chat Pile apart, though, is not only its choice of tale. It is the telling. On its new LP, God’s Country, the noise rock outfit plunges into a quagmire of unsettling new songs, which arrive after years of international attention in subterranean pockets of the music world. This is Chat Pile’s first proper studio album following 2019’s debut pair of acclaimed EPs, This Dungeon Earth and Remove Your Skin Please. Since then, the band has kept hardcore fans engaged with a 7” split vinyl, a film score, and an abundance of limited run merchandise. If anything, this has only ramped up the anticipation for the band’s first fulllength outing, and on God’s Country, the wait pays off. At nine tracks and about 40 minutes, the LP doubles down on the group’s signature heavy, industrial noise rock sound and unhinged performances. Vocalist Raygun Busch throws himself into lyrics like an intoxicated person crashing through a window, blood and saliva oozing through gritted teeth in a style that can barely be called singing. Bassist Stin lugs the low end like a serial killer dragging an axe, scraping it against bumps in the pavement. The band is animalistic, characterizing the artifice of civility as it implodes within its subjects. No stranger to the concept of literally wearing another person’s skin, Chat Pile does it in an artistic way time and again by empathizing with its villainous protagonists and understand-

ing how emotional pain fuels vicious cycles of violence. It may be what the band does best. Through harrowing expressions of crises, it brings tragedies, both factual and fictional, from their societal fringes to a blood red spotlight. “The Mask,” for example, recounts the Oklahoma City Sirloin Stockade murders of 1978 from the killers’ perspective, borrowing the band’s recurring meat symbolism to cast a twisted new meaning onto the restaurant chain’s name. “Pamela” pulls off the incredible feat of making Friday the 13th interesting again by expressing its villainous motivation through a new emotional lens. Both are prime examples of the band’s songwriting, which rarely divulges its concrete details, only hinting at the horrors they reference so that the unspeakable unknown can amplify their fearsomeness. Chat Pile is always so within reach of metaphor that political interpretation is inevitable, and it leans into this with the album title. God’s Country sarcastically correlates its tortured, sociopathic nature to the United States, the Bible Belt, and conservative values at large. It does not get more blatant than “Why,” a song which dons the persistence of a 7-year-old child to castigate the systems that perpetuate homelessness. However, it is the raw viscera that sticks the most. “Anytime,” for instance, has a plot that gun control activists can pull from, but the primary purpose of the track is not to speak on that issue but to capture the surreal, hypnotizing shock of a sudden murder’s immediate aftermath. For all of its brilliant narrative takes, God’s Country ultimately does what music does best. It conveys that which cannot be fully expressed through words. Chat Pile deftly describes this album as “Oklahoma’s specific brand of misery,” and it certainly feels it. In this regard, God’s Country may be some of the most Oklahoman music ever made and, by extension, a vital pulse of what it means to be America’s heartland. It suggests a state of emergency.

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MUSIC

A little help RENOWNED UKULELE PLAYER JAKE SHIMABUKURO TAKES TO TOWER THEATRE’S STAGE SOLO TO SUPPORT HIS RECENT ALBUM OF COLLABORATIONS WITH MUSICAL LEGENDS. By Dave Gil de Rubio

In the world of stringed instruments, the four-string ukulele has a small and kitschy niche that was associated with the likes of the late Tiny Tim and vaudeville. More recently, it’s gotten a slightly cooler image as artists ranging from actress Zooey Deschanel to musicians Nellie McKay and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder have been using the uke to express themselves. But the biggest advance is coming courtesy of Jake Shimabukuro. Not unlike what Bela Fleck has done for the banjo, Jake Shimabukuro is doing the same for this humble instrument associated with Hawaii and tropical shirts. And while the aforementioned Deschanel, McKay and Vedder are serviceable players, Shimabukuro has spent the past two decades as a solo artist, giving the uke a far higher pop culture presence. Expect this elevation to go next level with the release of Jake & Friends, a 16-track project that finds the Hawaiian native pulling a Frank Sinatra-type Duets-like collaboration with an array of artists ranging from Willie Nelson and Bette Midler to Ziggy Marley, Jon Anderson, Michael McDonald and Jimmy Buffett. It’s a labor of love whose seeds were planted four years ago by Shimabukuro’s agent Dan Fletcher. “Dan was telling me that I had to do a duets kind of record and then he started naming some artists,” Shimabukuro said. “I thought it would be awesome, but in the back of my head, I never thought it was going to happen. The thing that really got the ball rolling for us was when Ray Benson agreed to co-produce it with us. The first phone call he made was to Willie Nelson, who said he’d do it, and two months later we were in the studio recording ‘Stardust.’ Once we had that track down, it gave the album credibility and momentum. Before we knew it, we did tracks with Michael McDonald and Bette Midler. We started it pre-pandemic but finished it during the lockdown.” Opening with an ethereal reading of Stevie Wonder’s “A Place In the Sun,” which finds Shimabukuro providing a musical bed for fellow Hawaiian Jack Johnson and guest vocalist Paula Fuga, Jake & Friends allows the soft-spoken instrumentalist to flex his musical muscles across a broad swath of

musical genres. “Smokin’ Strings” finds him doing a delicate back-andforth with bluegrass virtuoso Billy Strings that eventually morphs into a foot-stomping explosion of fleet-fingered fretting from both parties. Elsewhere, he delves into canons of Jimmy Buffett (“Come Monday”) and

Shimabukuro’s relationship with the uke goes back to his mother placing the instrument in his hands at the tender age of four. In his early 20s, the fifth-generation Japanese-American found himself a part of the awardwinning local trio Pure Heart alongside percussionist Lopaka Colón and

Jake Shimabukuro. Photo by Kayoko Yamamoto.

Bette Midler (“The Rose”) with help from the song’s respective authors. And as someone who broke onto the scene when a performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral back in 2006, Shimabukuro does a healthy deep dive into The Beatles songbook on cuts featuring Marley (“All You Need is Love”), Anderson (“A Day In the Life”) and Vince Gill and Amy Grant (“Something”). It all adds up to an experience that has left Shimabukuro both grateful and humbled. “Each [session] has its own story and memorable moments,” he said. “In general, what I really love about this album is how diverse it is. As a fan of the ukulele, I just love how it’s being presented in all these different styles with these iconic voices and artists from different genres. In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would hear a ukulele played with Sonny Landreth’s guitar. Or Warren Haynes. Or Jon Anderson’s voice. And it doesn’t even have to be me playing. For my own ears in my lifetime to hear the ukulele with that sound still just blows my mind.”

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guitarist/vocalist Jon Yamasoto. By 2002, Shimabukuro had signed a multi-album record deal with Sony Music Japan International. It was a major career inflection point for the young musician that struck him when the ink was barely dry on his contract. “When I signed my first record deal — it was a seven-album recording deal back in 2000 with Sony Music in Japan,” he said. “I think that was the first time I felt that pressure, knowing I had to come up with seven albums and I’d never done a solo record before. It was the first time I felt pressure that there was this other side to it and that it wasn’t just for fun. And while I had deadlines and new responsibilities, it was such a great learning experience. There were times when it was hard, challenging and frustrating, but I learned so much. I had a really great A&R person working with me at Sony who pushed me, gave me ideas and songs to listen to and would suggest I try this or that.” Like many of his musical peers, the pandemic turned out to be the one

force of nature that forced Shimabukuro to slow. With two young children at home and a wife who works in health care, he didn’t find himself playing for the first five or six months of the lockdown. “It was the first time in my life where I wasn’t thinking about playing. There were just so many other things going on and your focus really shifts,” he said. But with his children shifting from remote learning to returning to school, the siren song of the uke called him back. “After a certain point, I’d be up late at night and I couldn’t get to sleep,” he said. “I have a little home studio and I’d go in there and start writing and recording myself play. That really helped because I’m not good about sharing my feelings and talking about how I feel about things. Music helps me to navigate those things so I feel like I’m expressing them somehow. I did a lot of playing by myself and it really helped me through a lot.” Now Shimabukuro is back on the road and has expanded from doing a two-man ukulele-bass show into a four-piece that includes “The Voice” contestant Thunderstorm Artis on vocals and guitar. As someone who has fully embraced and thoroughly missed the synergy of playing before a live audience, Shimabukuro is relishing the experience to the point where he had an unexpected reaction during his first post-lockdown show. “I’ll never forget that our first show back was in Clearwater, Florida,” he said. “I walked out there and started my first song. When I was done and hit the last chord, everybody was cheering and it hit me. I hadn’t felt that in so long and I started crying because it was so emotional. I remember later on in the night, I joked around that I was so grateful to be performing in front of a live audience again because I forgot what that was like. It comes back to enjoying the kind of connection you can make with the audience. Just the joy you can share through music, creativity and being in the moment.” Jake Shimabukuro plays Tower Theatre Aug. 9. Visit towertheatreokc.com


The Wednesday Band, The Deli. COUNTRY Lucas Ross/John Riley/Allison Arms/ Madison Eckerson/Ellen Tyree, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY Matt Moran/Zack Crow/James Gedda, Blue Note. COUNTRY McKee Brother Jazz Band, Bourbon Street Bar. JAZZ My So Called Band, The Deli. COVER Rise Against/The Used, The Criterion. PUNK Sabertooth/Wolf Ugly/Khameleon/The Salesman, The Vanguard, Tulsa. METAL Scotty McCreery, Riverwind Casino. COUNTRY

These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.

WEDNESDAY, JUL. 27 Boy Ranger, The Jones Assembly. COUNTRY Cat Power, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. SINGER/ SONGWRITER JAH Mystics, Hollywood Corners. REGGAE Kendrick McKinney Trio, 51st Street Speakeasy. JAZZ

Buffalo Jones and the Heard, Cross Timbers Brewing Co. FOLK Chat Pile, The Sanctuary. ROCK Faye Webster, Tower Theatre. SINGER/SONGWRITER Matthew Jewett Band/RR Williams/ Jonathan Ashley White Redemption, Blue Note. SINGER/SONGWRITER McKee Brother Jazz Band, Bourbon Street Bar. JAZZ My Politic, The Blue Door. Folk On Holiday/It Hurts to be Dead, Core4 Brewing. POP Robert Allen Band, Hollywood Corners. COUNTRY

Odrot/Bugnog/IRA Stoop/The Lighter Thieves, The Deli. METAL

Simple Plan/Sum 41, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. PUNK

The Wednesday Band, The Deli. COUNTRY

Souled Out, UCO Jazz Lab. INSTRUMENTALISTS

THURSDAY, JUL. 28

Taylor Hunnicutt/Mallory Eagle/Mose Wilson/Hannah Juanita, Ponyboy. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Country Music Group Therapy/Biscuits & Groovy, The Deli. COUNTRY Downlink/Dieselboy, The Vanguard, Tulsa. DJ

Tiny Moving Parts/With This Wild Life/In Her Own Words, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK

Shelly Phelps and The Storm, Bourbon Street Bar. BLUES

Wade Cockrill, The Jones Assembly. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

Sum 41/Bowling for Soup/Less Than Jake, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. PUNK

SATURDAY, JUL. 30

FRIDAY, JUL. 29

Another Pink in the Floyd, UCO Jazz Lab. TRIBUTE

1964 - The Tribute, Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Tulsa. TRIBUTE

Etowah Road, Hollywood Corners. COUNTRY

Blake Lankford, Plaza District. SINGER/SONGWRITER

Kierston White, The Blue Door. COUNTRY

SUNDAY, JUL. 31 Crow/Scissortails/Brad James Band/Whirligig/The Dirtboxwailers, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. ROCK Hosty, The Deli. ELECTRIC Jeff Ruby, Red Brick Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER Lukas Nelson & POTR, Diamond Ballroom. COUNTRY Seth Lee Jones, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. BLUES

THURSDAY, AUG. 4 Country Music Group Therapy/Biscuits & Groovy, The Deli. COUNTRY Lost Dog Street Band, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. COUNTRY Nerver/Shih Tzu/Typhoid/Bugnog, The Sanctuary. ROCK Shelly Phelps and The Storm, Bourbon Street Bar. BLUES Teenage Halloween/On Holiday/ROZ/Speak, Memory, Blue Note. ALTERNATIVE Zach Ray/Ken Pomeroy/Kyle Earhart/ Amanda Earhart/Cindy Scarberry/Dustin Jones/Maddox Ross, Rodeo Opry. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

FRIDAY, AUG. 5 American Aquarium/H.C. McEntrie, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. ALTERNATIVE Caleb McGee/John Elisha, The Deli. BLUES David James McKinney, Core4 Brewing. ACOUSTIC Everybody Else’s Girl, Full Circle Bookstore. JAZZ

Tin Can Gramophone/Hosty, The Deli. FOLK

Forgotten Space, Tower Theatre. TRIBUTE

MONDAY, AUG. 1

Frailstate/Smokey Motel/Manic Hotel, Blue Note. INDIE

The Aints/Bailey Gilbert & Friends, The Deli. AMERICANA

Josh Ward, Diamond Ballroom. COUNTRY

Third Eye Blind, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK

Kelly Willis/Brennen Leigh/Melissa Carper, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER

TUESDAY, AUG. 2

McKee Brother Jazz Band, Bourbon Street Bar. JAZZ

Bowling for Soup/Less Than Jake, Tower Theatre. POP Bruce Benson & Studio B, 51st Street Speakeasy. BLUES Caleb McGee, The Deli. BLUES

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 3

Oddfact/7THalo/Khameleon, The Vanguard, Tulsa. ROCK Shortt Dogg, UCO Jazz Lab. BLUES

SATURDAY, AUG. 6 Caught Stealing/Dropped Out/Ira Stoops And The Lighter Thiefs, Blue Note. PUNK

Caloncho, Beer City Music Hall. ALTERNATIVE

The Dead South, Cain’s Ballroom. BLUEGRASS

Coin, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. INDIE

The Head and The Heart, The Criterion. INDIE

Kendrick McKinney Trio, 51st Street Speakeasy. JAZZ

Katrina Elam/Owen Pickard/Darlin’ Darla and more, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY

Spaceface, Ponyboy. ROCK

McKee Brother Jazz Band, Bourbon Street Bar. JAZZ Miss Brown to You, Full Circle Bookstore. FOLK

SUNDAY, AUG. 7 Helen Kelter Skelter, Lions Park. ROCK Hosty, The Deli. ELECTRIC Jessica Tate, Full Circle Bookstore. INSTRUMENTALIST Murder by Death/Amigo the Devil, Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa. ROCK Tin Can Gramophone/Hosty, The Deli. FOLK

MONDAY, AUG. 8 The Aints/Bailey Gilbert & Friends, The Deli. AMERICANA Father John Misty, The Criterion. SINGER/ SONGWRITER

TUESDAY, AUG. 9 Bruce Benson & Studio B, 51st Street Speakeasy. BLUES Caleb McGee, The Deli. BLUES Jake Shimabukuro, Tower Theatre. INSTRUMENTALIST KATTFest 2022: Halestorm/The Pretty Reckless, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK

STRFKR started as an outlet for Josh Hodges to work on his songwriting but quickly changed course adding members, Shawn

Glassford and Keil Corcoran, becoming a well established indie rock group traveling the world with their non-stop dance party and homemade light show. Blending lyrics — often of death, mortality or the end of the world — over upbeat synth pop sounds has allowed the band to create unique dance music that not only one can dance to but also gives the listener something to sink their ears into as well. Currently on tour with The Undercover Dream Lovers and Das Kope, catch them at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1 at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St. Tickets are $20-$25. Call 405-708-6937 or visit towertheatreokc.com. MON, AUG 1 Photo provided/Coco Foto

Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Visit okgazette.com to submit your lisitngs or email listings@okgazette.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.

GO TO OKGAZETTE.COM FOR FULL LISTINGS! MUSIC OKGA Z ET TE .COM | J U LY 2 7, 2 0 2 2 29


THE HIGH CULTURE STRAIN REVIEWS

Strain name: Lemonage Grown by: Vyce Cannabis

to cool me off, it certainly made the heat more bearable.

Acquired from: Physician’s Choice

Strain name: Wedding Cake Grown by: RedBird Cannabis

strain for the end of the day, when you’re ready to chill and mindlessly binge your favorite show.

Acquired from: Ganja House of the Burning Tree

Date acquired: July 18

Date acquired: July 19

Physical traits: frosted light green with hints of orange

Physical traits: frosted purple with hints of orange and dark green

Bouquet: sweet and citrus

Bouquet: earthy and sweet

Review: Physician’s Choice Cannabis is just west of Penn Square Mall, so it was a logical stop after shopping. Its atmosphere is inviting and the staff knowledgeable about their menu of high-end flower. I selected the Lemonage. Billed as a sativaleaning hybrid, it blasts your nose with sweet citrus. Once burning, the citrus is amplified with strong notes of lemon and grapefruit with a mild bit of pepper. Its lineage hasn’t been revealed by the grower and little is available about Vyce Cannabis online, but they’ve produced a fantastic flower that smokes as sweetly as it smells. While this strain doesn’t have the power

Review: Intrigued by the name, I couldn’t help but stop into this shop that took over the former Bloom Cannabis Co. location on Classen Avenue in May. Once inside, you’re greeted by a vivid floor-to-ceiling mural from UrbanToonz ARTistry as well as an impressive selection of flower, concentrates and edibles. Settled on a familiar indica from RedBird, Wedding Cake, that came highly recommended and for good reason. The trichome-encrusted flower throws a hint of vanilla when it burns and is certainly a heavy hitter. Though the relaxing effects come on strong, they don’t bring you to the floor. It’s the perfect

FIND MORE STRAIN REVIEWS AT OKGAZETTE.COM/THEHIGHCULTURE

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY WEEK OF JULY 28 Homework: When it’s impossible to do the totally right thing, you can do the half-right thing. Example? Newsletter.FreeWikll.Astrology.com ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Fiction-writer John Banville tells us, “There are moments when the past has a force so strong it seems one might be annihilated by it.” I suspect that’s sometimes true for many of us. But it won’t apply to you Aries anytime soon. In fact, just the opposite situation will be in effect during the coming months: You will have more power to render the past irrelevant than maybe you’ve ever had. You will wield an almost indomitable capacity to launch new trends without having to answer to history. Take full advantage, please!

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Researchers have proved that lullabies enhance the health of premature babies being cared for in hospitals. The soft, emotionally rich songs also promote the well-being of the babies’ families. I bring this to your attention because I believe you should call on lullaby therapy yourself in the coming weeks. Listening to and singing those tunes will soothe and heal your inner child. And that, in my astrological opinion, is one of your top needs right now. For extra boosts, read fairy tales, eat food with your hands, make mud pies, and play on swings, seesaws, and merry-go-rounds.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Dancer and singer-songwriter FKA Twigs has taken dance lessons since she was a child. In 2017, she added a new form of physical training, the Chinese martial art of wushu. Doing so made her realize a key truth about herself: She loves to learn and practice new skills. Of all life’s activities, they give her the most pleasure and activate her most vibrant energy. She feels at home in the world when she does them. I suspect you may have similar inclinations in the coming months. Your appetite for mastering new skills will be at an all-time high. You will find it natural and even exhilarating to undertake disciplined practice. Gathering knowledge will be even

more exciting than it usually is.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)

Cancerian author Laurie Sheck writes, “So much of life is invisible, inscrutable: layers of thoughts, feelings, and outward events entwined with secrecies, ambiguities, ambivalences, obscurities, darknesses.” While that’s an experience we all have, especially you Cancerians, it will be far less pressing for you in the coming weeks. I foresee you embarking on a phase when clarity will be the rule, not the exception. Hidden parts of the world will reveal themselves to you. The mood will be brighter and lighter than usual. The chronic fuzziness of life will give way to a delightful acuity. I suspect you will see things that you have never or rarely seen.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

It’s always advisable for you Leos to carry on a close personal relationship with mirrors. I’m speaking both literally and metaphorically. For the sake of your mental health, you need to be knowledgeable about your image and monitor its ever-shifting nuances. And according to my analysis of the astrological omens, you are now authorized to deepen your intimate connection with mirrors. I believe you will thrive by undertaking an intense phase of introspective explorations and creative self-inquiry. Please keep it all tender and kind, though. You’re not allowed to bad-mouth yourself. Put a special emphasis on identifying aspects of your beauty that have been obscured or neglected. By the way, Leo, I also recommend you seek compassionate feedback from people you trust. Now is an excellent time to get reflections about your quest to become an even more amazing human.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

At your best, you are a flexible purist, an adaptable stickler for detail, and a disciplined yet supple thinker. Maybe more than any other sign of the zodiac, you can be focused and resilient, intense and agile, attentive and graceful. And all of us non-Virgos will

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greatly appreciate it if you provide these talents in abundance during the coming weeks. We need you to be our humble, understated leader. Please be a role model who demonstrates the finely crafted, wellbalanced approach to being healthy.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

In my Astrological Book of Life, your life purposes as a Libra may include the following: 1. to be beautiful in the smartest ways you can imagine and smart in the most beautiful ways you can imagine; 2. to always see at least two sides of the story, and preferably more; 3. to serve as an intermediary between disparate elements; 4. to lubricate and facilitate conversations between people who might not otherwise understand each other; 5. to find common ground between apparent contradictions; 6. to weave confusing paradoxes into invigorating amalgamations; 7. to never give up on finding the most elegant way to understand a problem. PS: In the coming weeks, I hope you will make extra efforts to call on the capacities I just named.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

Author Clive James loved the Latin term gazofilacium, meaning “treasure chamber.” He said that the related Italian word, gazofilacio, referred to the stash of beloved poems that he memorized and kept in a special place in his mind. In accordance with astrological omens, Scorpio, now would be an excellent time to begin creating your own personal gazofilacium: a storehouse of wonderful images and thoughts and memories that will serve as a beacon of joy and vitality for the rest of your long life. Here’s your homework: Identify ten items you will store in your gazofilacium.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

Tips to get the most out of the next three weeks: 1. Keep your interesting options open. Let your mediocre options shrivel and expire. 2. Have no regrets and make no apologies about doing what you love. 3. Keep in mind that every action you perform reverberates far beyond your immediate sphere. 4. Give your fears ridiculous names like “Gaffe” and “Wheezy” and

“Lumpy.” 5. Be honest to the point of frankness but not to the point of rudeness. 6. Don’t just run. Gallop.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Capricorn poet Richard Hugo wrote, “It doesn’t bother me that the word ‘stone’ appears more than 30 times in my third book, or that ‘wind’ and ‘gray’ appear over and over in my poems to the disdain of some reviewers.” Hugo celebrated his obsessions. He treated them as riches because focusing on them enabled him to identify his deepest feelings and discover who he really was. In accordance with astrological omens, I recommend a similar approach to you in the coming weeks. Cultivate and honor and love the specific fascinations at the core of your destiny.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Author Violet Trefusis (1894–1972) and author Vita Sackville-West (1892–1962) loved each other. In one letter, Violet told Vita, “I want you hungrily, frenziedly, passionately. I am starving for you. Not only the physical you, but your fellowship, your sympathy, the innumerable points of view we share. I can’t exist without you; you are my affinity.” In the coming weeks, dear Aquarius, I invite you to use florid language like that in addressing your beloved allies. I also invite you to request such messages. According to my reading of the planetary omens, you are due for eruptions of articulate passion.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)

I’d like to honor and pay homage to a past disappointment that helped transform you into a beautiful soul. I know it didn’t feel good for you when it happened, but it has generated results that have blessed you and the people whose lives you’ve touched. Would you consider performing a ritual of gratitude for all it taught you? Now is an excellent time to express your appreciation because doing so will lead to even further redemption.

Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes / daily text message horoscopes.


PUZZLES NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE | MOVIN’ ON UP

By Christina Iverson and Scott Hogan | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0724

ACROSS 1 5 9 14 19 20 21 22 23 25 26

[omg haha!!] Left speechless Reward for sitting, say Entice Something we share Rocker John whose surname sounds like a leafy vegetable ‘‘____ Man Chant,’’ song by Bob Marley and the Wailers Diarist Nin Where some stable relationships form? San Diego State athlete Verge

27 Name that’s 98-Across backward 28 The sky, they say 29 ‘‘All the Light We Cannot ____’’ (2015 Pulitzerwinning novel) 30 Certain Chinese teas 32 Roman emperor after Nero and Galba 34 Heep of ‘‘David Copperfield’’ 36 Drop the ‘‘Donuts’’ from ‘‘Dunkin’ Donuts,’’ e.g. 38 Some four-year degrees: Abbr. 39 Kind of attack with no attacker

40 41 44 47 49 52 53 55 56 58 60

61 Personal ID 62 Like a sweater that shrank in the dryer, maybe 64 Its alphabet includes 65 Some Brothers Grimm villains 66 Artless nickname? 68 Tease 70 Sarcastic punch line 71 That guy’s 72 40 winks 75 Threads 77 Tepid greeting 79 Second word of many a limerick 82 Sans-serif font 83 Thesis writer 85 Meaning of a signal flare 88 2021 Aretha Franklin biopic 90 Strained 92 Greek name meaning ‘‘golden one’’ 93 Something filmed in Broadway’s Ed Sullivan Theater, with ‘‘The’’ 95 Journalist Skeeter in the Harry Potter books 96 Train segment 97 Butt end 98 Name that’s 27-Across backward 99 ‘‘Sweet dreams!’’ 101 Rapper ____ Rida 102 It’s not a good look 106 Family/species gobetween 107 The last thing you need? 109 Like the community portrayed in Netflix’s ‘‘Unorthodox’’ Michael Jackson hit 111 Piercing tool whose title is heard 88 113 Tickle times in the song What might accompany 115 Evian, in its native land 117 Cruciverbalist’s favorite a grave admission? cookies? Claws 118 ‘‘Well, gosh!’’ Cheese with a light, 120 Tipsy trips nutty flavor 122 Teatro alla ____ Quite an uproar Design style influenced 123 Takes a car, in a way 124 Lab assistant in ‘‘Young by Cubism Frankenstein’’ Fabric often dyed with 125 It may be upper or lower indigo Each of its interior angles 126 Blue-book filler 127 Much of a sponge measures 135 degrees Swing preventer, of a sort 128 Mad, with ‘‘off’’ 129 Word of surprise Like some vows Run off together

DOWN 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 24 31 33 35 37 42 43 44 45 46 48 50 51 54 57 59 63 65 66 67 69

Santa ____, Calif. Closing section Banana wielded by a maestro in a pinch? Drug that can be microdosed Berry in a bowl Animated short before a Pixar movie? New York resting place for Mark Twain In the stars Give a scathing review of a major camera brand? Demolish Compound with a fruity smell Had a hero, say Mexican street-food mogul? Pair of small hand drums Defunct company of accounting fraud fame Smaug, in ‘‘The Hobbit’’? Send an e-message to Makes shame-y noises Does a fad 2010s dance Pro using cutting-edge technology? Movie rating that’s practically NC-17 Political staffers Retreat ‘‘Fingers crossed!’’ Window units Small amounts God whose name sounds almost like the ammunition he uses Starts to go haywire Where 122-Across can be found Places for placentas Surrounding lights Movement championed by the Silence Breakers Get rid of Light-headed sorts? Word after gas or ice, in astronomy Novelist Achebe Wizard’s name in books and movies Spun things Kind of patch that may create holes instead of repairing them

72 Otis and ____ (1960s R.&B. duo) 73 Disciplines 74 Response to ‘‘Why art thou queasy?’’ 76 What Amazon retirees enjoy most? 78 Result of love at first sight? 79 What a dog greets its returning family with? 80 Inter ____ 81 Trade jabs 83 Retail takeover scheme? 84 Fix, as laces 86 Nomad 87 Annyeonghaseyo : Korean :: ____ : English 89 Tailgating dish 91 ‘‘Tarnation!’’ 94 Very, colloquially 100 Compassionate 103 Actress Davis who was the first African American to win the Triple Crown of Acting 104 Start of a guesstimate 105 Like a proverbial beaver 108 Model material 109 Place for a run? 110 Rainbows, e.g. 112 ‘‘____ saved!’’ 114 Large amount 116 Bookstore sticker 119 ‘‘Euphoria’’ airer 121 Excellent service?

Stumped? Call 1-900-285-5656 to get the answers to any three clues by phone ($1.20 a minute).

SUDOKU MEDIUM | N° 733995754 Fill in the grid so that every row, column and 3-by-3 box contains the numbers 1 through 9. www.printmysudoku.com Grid n°733995754 hard

9 5 4 3 4 7 5 1 9 3 7 1 5 6 7 8 6 9 4 8 1 6 3 8 9

NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE ANSWERS Puzzle No. 0703 which appeared in the July 13 issue. VOL. XLIV NO. 15 Oklahoma Gazette is circulated at its designated distribution points free of charge to readers for their individual use and by mail to subscribers. The cash value of this copy is $1. Persons taking copies of the Oklahoma Gazette from its distribution points for any reason other than their or others’ individual use for reading purposes are subject to prosecution. Please address all unsolicited news items (non-returnable) to the editor. For subscription inquiries, email kelsey.lowe@okgazette.com

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