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Armed Forces Day brings out great music

The weather outside is priming up and with Saturday's Armed Forces Day celebrations and events also comes a lot of great local music.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Elmer Thomas Park, a quartet of diverse music acts will take the stage as part of festivities sponsored by the Comanche Nation Casino and Lawton-Fort Sill AMBUCS. Lineup: Sulphuric, NDN TYMZ, Matt Moran and The Casey Abbe Band. The concert in the park is free and family friendly. Along with live music, there will be static military displays, face painting, food trucks, bouncy houses and interactive games. The evening will conclude with a 7 p.m. movie screening.

Still riding the wave from last weekend's release of their debut EP "Bad Intentions," Abbe and company are performing for a 21-and-up audience at 9:30 p.m. Friday at Guitar Bar, 1816 S. 11th. They're a band worth checking out live, if you haven't had the pleasure already. 

If you're more in the mood to mix food and beer with your afternoon live music experience, get out to the Eats & Beats Festival at the Comanche County Fairgrounds, 920 S. Sheridan. From noon to 8 p.m., enjoy an assortment of beers from Coors, Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Shiner Bock and more, along with some of the best mobile meal trucks in the area. To fill your music appetites, The Cowboy Opry Band and Garagemahalix will perform.

For some Armed Forces Day evening revelry in Medicine Park, get out to Small Mountain Street Tacos on Cobblestone Row and enjoy some tacos coupled with a fierce selection of hot sauce, along with the $2 beer specials and then settle in for a night of music with The Chad Todd Band on the Drunken Goose Stage. Music starts at 8 p.m. All active/retired military with a Department of Defense ID car get three street tacos and two beers for $10. 

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The next section is about some youths making some musical noise and spreading hope for the next generation of live music. When young people make music, you know the form  no matter the genre  will live on in new, exciting and always-evolving ways. That is the essence of the art.

Saturday evening's Paid In Spades performance at Arts for All from the 5th Street Stage brought about the debut of a new force on the local rock and roll scene. Six-year-old Scott Balliet, a.k.a. Thunder Strike, is the son of band singer Francis Balliet. Although he has his own group called "Dead Bones" who may or may not be in a form of rivalry with the elder rockers, the younger Balliet joined his dad's band for his original song, "I'm Just A Bat Living In The Shadows" before a packed tent of fans. The performance was a special one for their wife and mother, Carol.

"I am proud to see my son and my husband performing together," she said. "It makes my heart very happy."

You can check out video of the performance on the Paid In Spades Facebook timeline:

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More up and coming young musicians will be hitting the stage this Saturday night as the 10th Annual Phillips Music Education Center (PMEC) Student/Teacher Showcase prepares to take the stage at the Vaska Theatre. The show starts at 7 p.m. on the theatre stage, 1902 NW Ferris.

"There will be plenty of parking west of the theatre, and concessions will be available," said David Jackson, event coordinator. "There's no charge for admittance, but come prepared to support the Vaska and the Lawton Food Bank with your purchases and donations."

Jackson said there will be five rock bands, four drumlines and about a dozen performances from solo, duo and group performers. "This year's rock bands are featuring songs from 80s movies," he said, "a fitting match for our venue this year." 

Along with giveaways from Fender and Yamaha, the annual guitar smash-off will be a go. Entries are $1 per ticket and donated food items will each count as a ticket. There will also be drawings for some more great musical prizes, Jackson said. 

"All of our students have been encouraged to participate in this event by performing live with other students (and/or teachers) in bands or small groups," Jackson said. "This event will be geared to family and friends of our students, but everyone is welcome."

Call Phillips Music Co. for more information, 357-1118; or visit the event Facebook page:

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Speaking of young talent, if you haven't had a chance to hear Foo Fighters/Nirvana's Dave Grohl accompany on guitar as his 12-year-old daughter Violet sings an Adele classic during a benefit concert last weekend, here's another opportunity. Yet another young rock star in the making: nViolet and Dave Grohl  "When We Were Young"

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Studio Blanket/Tent Fort was filled with fun and relief with this week's The Mourning of the Last Morning Show Great Soundforce Extravaganza edition of "Today's Best Soundemonium!" with Steve Carr, a.k.a. Steve-O, and the columnist. We announced our return to the evenings with new time slot: 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. The Rube Goldberg of all Soundforce clips was summoned as we bade farewell to morning sunlight (phew!) we sent things off like a confetti canon at a Flaming Lips concert with a greatest hits from the Great Soundforce. There were also some cool autoraps from unlikely suspects Allusion, The (legendary) JuJu Beans, Amanda Kidd, Gannon Fremin and the Railhead Family Rhymesters. To all the creative (and warped minds) whose imaginations inspired the best Soundforce clips around, I thank you. 

Jokey McJokerson got things back to the music for this week's joke. Here's the punchline:

"It's too time consuming."

Remember to turn your radio dial to Magic 95.3 FM Radio around 6:25 p.m. each Thursday (if not much earlier) or stream the half-hour show online: or; or on the Apple or Android apps or on the TuneIn app, or: 

#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., Amanda Kidd; 6:30 p.m., The Mourning of the Last Morning Show Great Soundforce Extravaganza!

Visit, "like" ("love") and follow our Facebook page:

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Bookmark the site and visit weekly for online features every Friday at to enjoy a full feature experience with a quick click on any of the video links to get a full experience at your fingertips. Bookmark the column's YouTube channel and visit the library of exclusive videos from the column's archive featuring some of the best past local (and visiting) talent that's graced Southwest Oklahoma's stages. More added often:

Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains

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