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Top Five Fridays: The Ok-Ok’s

June 28, 2015

Hey Folks,

Welcome to Top Five Fridays  (#TF5 and we can be cool and trendy)!  This week’s installment is so extra special, it had to occur on a Sunday.  That way even The Good Lord Himself can check it out while He is resting.  Last T5F we were listing to the technicolor pop palate of DC rockers PREE (Seriously have you NOT purchased their album RIMA yet!?) and they hooked us up with all sorts of great records to groove out to.  Today we’re in York PA, home to super hip and happening indie garage rockers The Ok-Ok’s.

The Ok-Ok's

The Ok-Ok’s

It’s a good sign when you start hearing OF a band before you actually hear them.  These hep cats first came on my radar when I was talking to their studio engineer Daniel Braun.  He mentioned that he was working with a great band called “The Ok-Ok’s.”  My first thoughts: “Damn. That’s one helluva band name.”  From that moment on, I kept my ears to the ground and things kept turning up.  There were rumblings of a crazy young band from York in the local music press, and some lo fi live video on youtube.  But I still hadn’t felt like I had encountered something that gave me a sense of who The Ok-Ok’s were.  Then one night on a late night music search and destroy I came across THIS on youtube:

From the first second of the riff, I had what I like to call a “sit up moment.” No, I didn’t do an actual sit up.  That’s gross. A “sit up moment” are those moments that all us music hounds long for.  They occur on nights when you’re up till 2 AM going through the bowels of bandcamp, spotify, or youtube searching for something to expand your artistic horizons.  You click on yet another link, and the second the song starts you go rigid like a deer caught in the headlights after just discovering an amazing song.  Whoever you’re listening to, they’ve got your attention.  I had one of those experiences big time watching this performance.  It was all there: the visible chemistry between the band members, the effortless magnetism of singer Sadie Swartz; even though bassist Lauren Briggs was not present for the session, I could tell The Ok-Ok’s were out to take names.  Watching this performance of their original song “Phillip Seymour Hoffman” I felt like I was watching Yeah Yeah Yeahs if they had gone back in time and decided they actually wanted to become Alabama Shakes.  It’s bluesy for sure, but there is a punky, lean, rock ‘n’ roll attack to the music as well.  With all this being said, I’m super excited to have these folks on board to share some music that was influential to them.  Let’s hear it!

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Chris’s Pick:

Artist: Mew

Album: And The Glass Handed Kites

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First off, I absolutely love this album. It’s inspired and influenced my guitar work, drum work, and my overall approach to music. On all aspects, this album is just about perfect in my eyes. The overall production of this album is beautiful. It’s crystal clear, the drum tone, guitar tones, bass tone, and the vocals. It’s very well recorded and everything in the mix is placed just in the right spot for me. The flow of the whole album is grand. It’s very well thought out and the places this album takes you is beyond what you can expect from your typical “dream pop” or “shoegaze band”. This band breaks a lot of barriers when it comes to genre. The technicality in the musicianship is all on the down-low. It’s hidden under the big picture so nothing takes away from anything else. The best part is, when you really listen to each individual instrument, there is a lot of personality and depth to what each member is doing. This album paints a beautiful picture through and through. If you are into beautiful pieces of music and you aren’t a stickler for high pitched voices with an over-all “dreamy” band sound, I strongly recommend you listen to this album. Listen to this album once with a “big picture” perspective, then the next time you listen to it, try to dive into it and focus on the details. This album will either turn you off instantly, or it will rub you in a way that no other can. LISTEN TO THE WHOLE ALBUM. In order.

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Isaac’s Pick

Artist: The Black Keys

Album: Brothers

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I can clearly remember hearing this album for the first time in 2010. I was sitting in the living room watching TV and my Mom comes in with the new album. So we put it into the computer and my parents, sisters, and I sit and listen. We were all in amazement, we loved the album. Prior to this album there was really nothing like this from The Black Keys. I loved The Black Keys before, but this made me love for them exponentially more. This album made them so much more than just two guys in a basement, it showed their true brilliance in a much different way. Dan’s guitar work is amazing, just the right parts without overcompensating. Patrick’s drums sound wonderful and fit right in the pocket. The album is wonderful all the way to the end, I love every song. This album in particular made me a better musician. If not for this album I would’ve still been that close minded 13-year-old today. I will always stand by that album as one of the best of my generation. Inspirational indefinitely.

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Lauren’s Pick

Artist: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Album: S/T

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This album somehow captures sorrow, joy, and even falling in love. It’s honest and it makes me feel like there is a future where everything is alright.

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Sadie’s Pick

Artist: The White Stripes

Album: De Stijl

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As an angst ridden, pubescent teenager; this album made me feel cool even behind the braces and acne. This album presents a rawness that is rarely captured in most records today. Effortless Garage punk. This album is what rock was meant (and should continue) to be.

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Group Pick:

Artist: Alabama Shakes

Album: Boys & Girls

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This album is undoubtedly one of our favorites, amazing female vocals, and wonderful musicianship. 5 Stars, 10/10, A+ good job.

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Killer picks guys!  Way to call out those modern classics!

Good people: Like The Ok-Ok’s on Facebook of course.  You can also check out their official site for info and merch.  I am getting the distinct vibe that their debut album is bearing down upon us! Be ready, cause it’s going to be a doozy.  To prepare yourselves, you can check out some audio of their song “Phillip Seymour Hoffman” HERE.  Also you can watch another killer video from their class room sessions, the raging swag ridden rocker “Hex-Mix,” right HERE.

Remember to check out more Top Five Fridays in the archive.

well peace out good people of the world,

Peter Winter

Peter Winter thinks Ewan McGregor deserves an Obi-Wan spin off film.  You know you do as well.  Talk to him about it on the twitter sphere:  @Peterwinter38

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