Feature: Colourmusic columnist calls local musicians to arms

by

Colin Fleishacker playing at a Stillwater house show.

This column was written by Colourmusic bassist Colin Fleishacker. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a journalism degree in news-editorial. Also, he knows how to rock.

In August 2001, I was a terrified and excited freshman at Oklahoma State University. Terrified because I was alone for the first time in my life without my mother’s guiding hand, and excited because I was alone for the first time in my life without my mother’s guiding hand.

Throughout my college career, my life changed. I think everyone who is in college or has graduated from a university can agree that it is a life-altering experience, if one allows it to be.

Though most can relate to this statement, my metamorphosis came from a place outside of classrooms and textbooks: My alteration manifested from local music.

In 2001, Stillwater was a different beast than it is today. When I walked to class, I stepped on sidewalk chalkings informing those who cared of frat parties with Cross Canadian Ragweed and the Red Dirt Rangers headlining at the Wormy Dog Saloon.

Red-dirt country music ruled this fair city with a cattle-prod-filled fist.

Most of these red-dirt groups have gone on to play their music for the masses in bigger cities across the country, and Stillwater should be proud to have helped nurture them.

Having said that, for a freshman living in a musical world populated by Radiohead, The Strokes and Sigur Ros, this was utter torture.

From left is Nic Ley and Colin Flieshacker of Colourmusic. The air conditioning obviously wasn't working well.

Even on the “rock” side of the Stillwater music scene, things were just as bleak nine years ago. There was but one band with any prominence: The All-American Rejects. Blah.

Fast-forward nearly a decade to the local indie-music scene we live in today.

Other Lives, formerly known as Kunek, is recording its third full-length and Mayola is readying the release of its debut album.

Deerpeople recently released its first E.P., and Colourmusic, which I am proud to be a member of, is releasing its sophomore album internationally in early 2011.

Not too bad for a town immersed in country music nearly a decade ago, right?

Well, kind of.

I’m proud to have helped create a worthwhile music scene in this town, but one thing is definitely missing: new blood.

There was a period of roughly four years, let’s say from 2004 to 2008, where at least one new band emerged annually, enlightening listeners with eclectic shades of local independent music.

Well guess what? The artists who were a part of that four-year period are still doing what they do best. The only problem with this statement is that they’re the only ones doing anything musical in this town.

The last new band I can remember someone telling me to listen to was Deerpeople. That was two years ago.

Where the hell are the new bands in this town? I’m ready for someone to aurally assault me with a new sound created by someone who isn’t over the age of 22.

Come on kiddos, I know you’ve got it in you. It’s a good thing to play in front of people. Don’t be shy.

This column is not just an opinion, but also a call to arms to all the musicians on this campus.

We’ve come a long way from the pearl-snap western shirt days of 2001, and now it’s up to you to make sure we don’t lose what little we have to call a music scene in this town.

Get out there and play. It will change your life. I promise.

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