note from editor: photo credit for first and second image (concert scene) are taken directly from Paper Route’s fan page and can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/paperroute
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Lucy sat anxiously, beer in one hand, camera in the other, waiting for this much anticipated Nashville-based band to take to the stage of Tulsa’s ever so popular, Houston’s Fitgerald. The crowd, mixed with a multitude of colors and creations that gathered out of the corners of existence, got incredibly louder as the time drew near for Paper Route to perform. Lucy was ready…ready to report.
Paper Route is JT Daly, Chad Howat, Gavin McDonald, Joshua Orr and Nick Aranda. This year, so far, they have toured with bands like Anberlin and Imagine Dragons. If one word had to be used to describe this band, it would be “gratitude.” Lucy, concert guru and contributing head hancho of Looky Lu, had the opportunity to see these guys first hand when they played the Fitzgerald and said that “these guys never left the stage without expressing their gratitude for the fans they have in the world. They remembered me after only one time of meeting them!!” What many have observed is their willingness to “stick around after shows to meet new and old fans” and to show their loyalty by signing autographs, shaking hands, and kissing babies. Maybe not so much on the last part, but you know what we mean.
The bands popularity has not just exploded because of their loyalty to their fans, but also because of the mutual loyalty of their fan base. Their fans have been known to “orchestrate Christmas gifts or other surprises to include letters and photos.” When they receive these gifts, they actually take the time to personally thank everyone involved. That’s a far cry from the Justin Biebers and Britney Spears of this generation.
But enough about their generosity, let’s talk about the music. If you had to describe their sound, one might say Paper Route is Band of Horses getting cracked out on the Get-up Kids then drinking a glass of U2…or you could simply say eclectic. But, that wouldn’t be enough. Each member of this band brings something exceptionally unique to the table. They are multifaceted. They are variety personified.
Lucy did it great when she described each member:
The first member of Paper Route I ever met was Joshua Orr, who plays guitar and percussion for the band. Once an architect by trade, he now is a self-proclaimed guitarchitect.
JT Daly, lead vocalist for Paper Route, is a man of his word. The very lyrics he uses in every song are a testament to his life, in living motion. His songs are filled with passion, love, and hope. Many of the conversations I’ve had with JT have surrounded the act of being in love or tragic stories of love lost. He is the music he creates. Interesting Fact: Not only is JT a skilled percussionist and pianist, he also boasts the awesome talent of canvas art.
Known as the most reserved member of the group, Chad Howat is the bass and piano player for Paper Route. He uses his multifaceted background to help and mentor many musicians in the Nashville area.
And how can we forget the man behind the drums, Gavin McDonald. Oddly enough, this drummer is usually the first one to be spotted at each show. Why, one might ask? Well, because he’s usually the one manning the merchandise booth. Point me in that direction por favor!
This band’s roster just keeps on going. Nick Aranda, another touring member, is the newest addition to the band’s guitar sections. His rhythmic guitar doubles as bass when Chad is playing another instrument.
As we said, variety personified. Gratitude. Loyalty. What more could you ask for from a group of attractive men playing instruments effectively with Jedilike mastery. Ok..maybe that’s a bit over the top.
Check Paper route out and go buy their album at www.paperrouteonline.com
Nerve Trigger is Steven Davison and Steven Davison is Nerve Trigger. It can be said in no other way. It is the product of a journey of many years and the creation from the ashes of voluntary exile: a hiatus from music so to speak. And that journey, more specifically, is what led Steven Davison right back to making music…his own music.
Nerve Trigger wasn’t a fly-by-night project. It was a carefully planned route of execution with such stair steps as The Quickening, which Davison played in prior to Nerve Trigger, and Sever the Masses. If you took the stairs back even further, you’d see that Davison wasn’t bred from some large coastal city. He got his start in Coweta, Oklahoma. This is hard to believe when you look at the barber/tattoo artist with his manicured hair and decorated arms. First thought: he looks like he stepped out of GQ magazine-not some small town in Middle America. At 13, Davison picked up the guitar and played it for the next three years until he moved to Tulsa around age 16. He started playing the drums, in high school, after jamming with guys he met shortly after changing high schools. His first band, however, wouldn’t come until he was about 19…and that band was Rook. Rook was a start for many including Matt McCann Jocelyn Rowland, former front lady of the heavy metal band, now the member of the nationally touring band, We The Ghost.
Following Rook, Davison joined Sever the Masses then My Dead X. My Dead X was born from a night of brainstorming and random idea tossing that led to the eventual catchy name. Following My Dead X, Davison played for Mercy Street. Mercy Street’s success could be likened to that of a shooting star. It was a good band, but because of creative differences, fell apart as quickly as it began.
Fast forwarding many months later comes Nerve Trigger. Nerve Trigger was born in Florida. Nerve Trigger was a few months of simply Steven . It was ONLY Steven Davison. It started first as a guitar. Then it became a guitar and a voice. After the dissolution of Mercy Street and a short stint with the Quickening, Davison took a short hiatus from band play and left his native Oklahoma to live in Florida. At this home, he built a small studio and began recording a demo, first as solace then as project. He was alone down there with very few distractions in a town a few miles outside of Jacksonville with only his guitar and computer. Then one day, he “decided bravely to start singing on the song.” Davison knew he was a drummer, but the guitar was, in fact, his first instrument. For months, he recorded demos for what would be Nerve Triggers first album. Then, he came off of hiatus, returned to Tulsa, and began putting his band together.
Why his band? It’s his music and as Davison so eloquently put it, “if I don’t own it, it’s not mine…play it like it is or don’t play it at all.” Davison has essentially returned from an awakening and formed his band in his own image. He is hardly sanctimonious about the project. He’s just forward, methodical, and true to the sound he created. His band is still not a full hand, only having a drummer, guitar, and bass. He’s still auditioning musicians for guitar, essentially waiting on the one diamond to make this hand complete. The musicians he has picked, all writing musicians, have used the past months to learn the his demos while adding a bit of their own style to the pieces while still remaining true to the original. They have essentially taken Davison’s music and made it their own while keeping Davison’s creativity intact.
Cold War Kids released their latest album “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts” on April 2nd of this year. Hit single “Miracle Mile” was an obvious hit at their concert at Tulsa’s own Cain’s Ballroom. And, of course, “Hang me out to Dry” was the sing-a-long song of the concert! Cold War Kids put on a great performance. Looking forward to the next time they come back into Tulsa!!
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Dina von Hunt
- Aristotle (384-322 BCE)
- Henry David Thoreau
Three years ago, the Brady district was almost a forgotten piece of Tulsa history; a industrial wasteland of sorts. It had potential, but it was locked a midst a new baseball metropolis and a few scant business. If you asked, Scott Moore, owner of Hey Mambo restaurant, what he was doing in the Brady district three years ago, he would more than likely reply “building.” Three years ago, “Hey Mambo”, a modern and sophisticated Italian eatery, was a work in progress within a work in progress. The Brady District was in its infancy of development. The new Drillers Stadium had barely opened. And, dumpsters and dump trucks, not people, lined the Brady District, as that art deco community readied itself of unveiling of its’ overhaul and reinvention.
Moore recollected of the early days of Hey Mambo remembering that he would “watch people walk right out of the park and go West [in the opposite direction] because they didn’t know [Hey Mambo] existed. It existed alright. Initially as an idea of a graphic designer and his partners, that later materialized into one of the only restaurants and bars in Tulsa that actively use a library ladder to navigate an impressive summer wine collection.
The biggest question we had for Scott was why? Why the Brady district when there were so many other places in the confines of “popular Tulsa” to practice a “new flavor.” Put simply, all other places were used up. Scott noted, “Cherry Street was maxed out and Blue Dome difficult, and Brookside was taken.” Cherry Street, Blue Dome, and Brookside are the most popular tourist attraction areas in Tulsa. The streets are paved with bars, restaurants and just things to do. However, for a new restaurant, just getting its feet wet, it’s very oversaturated and competitive. A new restaurant, like Hey Mambo, would have gotten lost in the crowd. But, the Brady District, with its brick streets, beautiful urban decay, the skyline of old Tulsa, Cain’s Ballroom right down the street, and a limited aura of restaurants, it was a perfect area to establish the “new” new.
Other than the rich atmosphere, what makes Hey Mambo so damn special? If you asked Scott, he would immediately say ‘the pizza.” I would have to agree. Most people dive into the “Center of the Universe” which is topped with pesto cream, artichokes, spinach, bacon, roma tomatoes, prosciutto and feta. That translates to a mouthful of “oh my Lord.” If you’re feeling a bit fiery, you might also like the Diablo which is in-house made sausage with pepperonis, jalapeños, and bacon. Scott’s personal favorite was the salmon pizza, also known as The Deadhead” Pizza.” Subtract the interesting name, and you still are party to the surprising blend of intense flavors. Who puts Salmon on a pizza? Moore creatively described The Deadhead as lox and cream cheese on a pizza, which it pretty much is. Add some gouda, mushrooms, sage and fried capers and you have a “Hey Mambo” original. Not only is this pizza and others unique by name, but all the sauces and doughs are made in house. That means, every sauce you get has been created, not stored or store-bought. Most of the ingredients, except for the unseasonal items which have to be shipped from other parts of the country, were bought local and/or natural.
Our appetizer was an interesting date dish known as the Dattera Scialla. The Dattera Scialla is a date stuffed with seasoned goats cheese wrapped with authentic Italian prosciutto garnished in a balsamic reduction. The sweetness of the date mixed with the smoothness and creaminess of the cheese makes and excellent complement for the saltiness of the pork. This, my friends, is the rich girls version of pancakes, bacon, and syrup reincarnated in this date combination.
Be warned if you thought the appetizers were the only small dishes with bragging rights. The salads play a huge role in prepping the crowd for what’s to come. We ordered the Caesar salad. Before I begin, what you must consider is that I am a Caesar salad snob. If the dressing is made from a powder or comes out of a box, I turn it away. Traditional Caesar salad is made from the paste of mashed anchovies with a combination of spices and the emulsion of eggs and a fat, and an acid usually oil(emulsion of eggs and oil is the same process used to make mayonnaise). The anchovies give the dressing the saltiness which the eggs give it it’s smoothness. This salad was prepared the “traditional” way with a twist. Not only could you taste the hint of the paste (which is normal for REAL Caesar salads), you could also taste roasted capers and spiced bread crumbs. Yes folks, they even took the time to roast the capers to garnish the salad. And, topping the salad wasn’t merely a grated parmesan cheese, as is customary. They garnished it with a peppercini cheese which lended itself to the spices. We paired this salad with the Pizza Margarita (mozzarella cheese, roma tomatoes, garnished with basil).
While gorging on our salad and appetizers, a bartender made the mistake of asking us “What do you think,” to which Nichole’s reply was “can we move in.”
You would think from the mounting white plates that began to adorn our table that we were moving in. Our waitress, Heidi, did her best to keep up with our constant demands. She kept us at bay her great sense of humor, wealth of knowledge about the origin of each dish, and entertained us with each dish she was about to serve to other patrons. Heidi was complete with blonde pigtails and a healthy smile. Next, Heidi brought us two main courses which were the ravioli arrabiata and the chicken scallopini. When asked what wine could be paired with both without overpowering or being overpowered, she brought us, Joel Gott Sauvignon blanc. Gott’s Sauvignon blanc was an interesting recommendation because the flavors were sweet enough to bring out the savory spices of the chicken dish, but dry enough to compliment not only the pizza and salad, but also the ravioli which was a red dish. Obviously, Heidi was just as well verse in food/wine pairing as she was in the food that she served, which is rare at many restaurants.
As we each took a sample of the chicken dish, our jaws dropped. The chicken was finger tender. You could taste the artichokes and the capers and the acidity of the lemons. And, when paired with the Sauvignon Blanc, the flavors practically burst in your mouth.
The ravioli had the same appeal but much bolder. Mixed into the complex red sauce were pieces of hand cased sausage which was prepared by the restaurant. The boldness of the tomatoes and the sausage fought for a battle of your senses. The ravioli was smooth and soft and compliment the audaciousness of the sauce quite well.
We opted to forgo dessert this time, as we were full and the jazz trio, 7 Blue Trio, were serenading us to sleep with their relaxing tunes. Just as we got ready to ask for the bill, Heidi brought us a sample of their signature roasted red pesto with a side of grilled vegetables to dip. And, yet again, our jaws dropped as our mouths exploded with flavor.
My palate was done. My stomach was done. I this place was just beginning. As the crowd rolled into to get inside from the, now, rainy evening and the jazz band played on, I relished in this small restaurants new beginnings. How does a seasoned former manager of Tocci’s (Cherry Street), get the courage to go it alone, in the center of urban decay, without the promise of development? How did this former graphic designer get the vision to make this restaurant what it is today? I’d say, just go on any Tuesday or Thursday and you might able to find him right behind the counter. I’d say, just ask him how.
There’s a moderately small lake tucked back in the few existing hills of Nebraska. At this lake, on June 21st, for the 8th time, at this lake named Lake Hedke, a group of music enthusiast gathered to do what hippies, rockers, smokers, and plain talkers do best: Rock. On. This past summer’s roster included His Rebel Yell, Dead Soldiers, and the Hardin Draw. This ain’t no Woodstock though. It’s not even really much of a stock. It’s more like a backyard party at your best friend’s moms house while her parent’s are out of town. It’s the kind of party where some people drink a little bit too much, but no one really cares. All you need are your two hands for beer pounding, a sleeping bag for sleep pounding, and two aspirin so you won’t have to call me in the morning. Other bands that were at this annual celebration included Whiskey Dick, Reverend Deadeye, Hooten Hallers, Peculiar Pretzelmen, Molly Gene, St. Christopher and Screamin’ J.