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Sulfuric band members stop by Studio

New local rock band Sulfuric sent guitarist Clay Commings and singer Nathan "The Natrix" Shorter to the confines of Studio Blanket/Tent Fort to join in for this week's "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. It was a pretty great coming out party before their local stage debut around 9 p.m. Saturday at the Railhead Saloon, 909 S. Sheridan. They'll be joined by longtime local bassist Deanna Paladina and drummer Steve Scott for a set mixing an interesting source of sounds.

Commings said the first show will all be cover songs and will include a little bit of everything from Nirvana to Van Halen and back to Drowning Pool with a little Collective Soul for good measure. You really can't tell what'll come out but you can be sure it's good. Their cover of Nirvana's "All Apologies" was a highlight of Thursday's show. They handle the electric side of Nirvana well. A recording on the singer's phone rocked their version of Nirvana's "You Know You're Right." A quick tempo take on "Folsom Prison Blues" will be burning up the airwaves in a future Mix Tape edition of the show. 

"We do it very different than anybody around here," Commings said. "We're just doing covers right now until we get our groove."

Although he's been trying unsuccessfully to put together a local surf rock band, Commings said there's a chance it'll find its way into the band's developing sound. The genre of red surf rock and roll was offered and may be the right fit. After Saturday's show, the band will begin phasing in more covers as well as their first round of original songs.

Commings has a background for being a top picker in a range of bands. He started out in an early version of Southern Journey band before playing with Chris Caldwell Jr. A year spent rocking the stages with Spell was a great experience, he said. And then he earned his stripes as the lead picker in the Terry Allen Band where he toured the region with one of the best live acts around.

The Natrix and Commings first put together an incarnation of the band a couple of years ago but it didn't quite click  until now. The singer said he's been writing a lot of songs since the death of his father. He said the first song the band's readying to records will be called "Shadows of the Sun." "I don't want to release anything until it's perfect," he said. 

Judging by their introduction, the time is right.

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A new Southwest Oklahoma band, Across the Washita released its first single "Can't Go Back" on YouTube last weekend. 

Based in Caddo and Grady counties, the band features: Marcus Bilyeu, vocals/guitar; Aaron Bilyeu, drums; John O., lead guitar/banjo/mandolin; and a former bandmate of mine in PT-101, J.P. Trogdon, bass/vocals. Inspired by life and the local landscape, the band's songwriting combines the two to make some legit country music. Check it out for yourself: nAcross the Washita  "Can't Go Back"  https://youtu.be/fFYdvy5c9y0.

I'm gonna try and get these guys into the studio for an upcoming column and radio show. 

Check out the band at the Across the Washita Facebook page and you can purchase the single: http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/acrossthewashita.

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An early morning April 6 phone interview found Brann Dailor of Mastodon still working on beating jet lag following tour dates in Australia. Our third time to interview, Dailor was teased for being up so early  especially for a "rock star." "I'm not a rock star," he said before being reminded that a couple of GRAMMY Awards won with his band might beg otherwise.

But in conversation, Dailor's just another guy who happens to be one of most talented drummers in modern music. That he achieves that while tackling a lion's share of vocal work with his four-piece band is real yeoman's work  or play, when you ask him: "I don't have a job I hate, so I wake up pretty happy."

On touring with the enigmatic wonder that is the band Primus, Dailor said his band is getting opportunity to show off some unusual facets of their sound. "We can hang with a lot of bands," Dailor said. "We have the weird stuff within us. We can get pretty weird with Primus. It's going to be a fun set."

Mastodon is always working on new music, he said, but since 2017's release of the full-length album, "Emperor of Sand" and the fall release of the "Cold, Dark Place" EP, they're not so far into the process as to announce an impending release. "We're always working on our music; we're still cooking, always inching towards it," he said. He called it being in a "comfortable mode."

"It's not really the time for it (a new release), we're still in touring mode," Dailor said. "It lends itself to new music to be inspired by different things. To evolve, sometimes you have to take a break."

Sometimes, it takes a riff you've had for years time to become something more. He cited the GRAMMY Award winning song "Sultan's Curse" from last year's LP as example. The "homeless riff" had been there for 10 years before it found its address  "There's a whole bunch of homeless riffs that eventually develop."

Performing with Primus will offer another leg of a long year on the road. Dailor said the trick is to keep it interesting and try not to burn out. For this leg, they have two sets that they're switching out. They've recently added the challenging song "Toe to Toes" from last year's EP to the set and he said it's a lot of fun and something different.

Although not an overt influence, Dailor said he's been a Primus fan since their debut EP, 1989's "Frizzle Fry." "It's kind of a game changing album," he said. "It offered a new interpretation of what it means to be 'heavy.'"

Touring with artists who've influenced the band has been a treasured part of being in Mastodon, Dailor said. Neurosis' singer Scott Kelly is a long-time friend of the band  he performs on at least one song per Mastodon album. Kelly toured through Europe with the band and, following an hour long set as a four-piece, Kelly would perform another 40 minutes set with the band each night. He was a lifesaver in many ways.

"Europe in the winter gets pretty tough; it can be a little bit lonely at times being cooped up," Dailor said. "It was good to have him there. He's such a force. I've been wanting to do this for years."

Dailor said Neurosis and Melvins are two of their cornerstones influences if you want to understand where his band comes from. "Younger people need to check them out," Dailor said, "these are the bands we championed."

By opening for Primus, Dailor said it takes some pressure off his band to put on a really long set. It adds a new energy, he said. "There's not a lot of down time," Dailor said. "We kind of Ramones it and go, go, go."

After almost 20 years on the road, sets have grown to around two hours. With his combined duties as singer and drummer, Dailor said priorities are different for him and his bandmates. Youthful partying on the road has fallen to the wayside because double duty "takes a lot out of you."

"I'm going to sing and play my best but I'm happy with one delicious beer after the show," Dailor said. "If you make it through the first 10 years, it's time to pay attention to the next 10 years."

Mastodon and Primus come to Oklahoma City's The Criterion, 500 E. Sheridan, for an 8 p.m. show on May 8. You can order tickets: http://criterionokc.com/event/primus-mastadon/.

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A good time with good music was had with the gang from Sulfuric in Studio Blanket/Tent Fort for this week's "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. A wide range of musical adventure was had.

Jokey McJokerson again was possessed with the force for this week's joke. Here's the punchline:

"For Jedi, attachments are forbidden."

Turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 9:25 a.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: http://s1.phx.icastcenter.com/start/kmgz953/ or www.onlineradiobox.com; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: http://www.kmgz.com/. 

#Sundaymonium  Remember that every Sunday night you can listen to a rebroadcast of the prior week's show followed by this week's show: 6 p.m., Damn the Man & Gannon Freemin from CCRev; 6:30 p.m., Sulfuric's Clay Commings & The Natrix. 

Visit, "like" ("love") and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.The two-part video slideshow with audio from the first all-performance episode, along with the very first episode, are found in the "Video" folder. We'll make more, I swear.

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