Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TDT Holiday Gift Guide: Tulsa Music

Under the Mooch

Sure, I'd heard of Under the Mooch, an independent records and music store open here in Tulsa at 15th and Harvard since June 2006.

It's just that, having been raised a Starship girl (my dad, a University of Tulsa grad, spent a lot of time there with my mom when he should have been studying, thus ensuring that I started my music-collecting life at the former, technicolor, dual-building location with a Juice Newton cassette and a Selena CD - rock!), I never really considered trying any other local music outlet.

That was, until last week.

Under the Mooch

Under the Mooch

"Cool!" I thought when I spotted the above sign, planted on the sidewalk just outside of the indie record shop. "Ten to fifty percent off of everything? The TDT readers are gonna freak!"

While I'm totally ignorant about vinyl and the culture surrounding it, I was impressed by the range of artists available on vinyl at UtM - we're talking everything from Beyonce to Thelonious Monk here.

The store has that feel that only a record store in that part of town could have, like it's a blown-up version of the corner of some college kid's dorm room (and by blown-up I mean just slightly enlarged - UtM isn't much more spacious than what I know to be typical college quarters), where he keeps his record collection. The place is well-worn, comfortable and the merchandise was well-organized. The staff was quiet but ready to help when asked.

Under the Mooch

Here's where I got stuck for a good half-hour - the local artists section. Here's what I scored:

Under the Mooch

My very first vinyl, ever. Even though I have nothing on which to play it.

Under the Mooch

Under the Mooch

Hey, it came with a CD, too. I'm not a total airhead. At least, not usually.

Callupsie, an indie rock band that got its start in Tulsa about four years ago, is my favorite local band these days. I like My Solstice, too. And Dead Sea Choir. And I may or may not have purchased a little somethin'-somethin' at Under the Mooch by each of these artists. I mean, hey, why not? There's a rather solid sale happening. Why not take advantage?

So, I purchased. And purchased and purchased. Then, I hopped on Twitter.

"Under the Mooch is closing for business," read one tweet. The Facebook page for Under the Mooch confirmed the news:

Great. I find a cool, new-to-me Tulsa place to frequent and it's on its way out. Just my luck.

The upside of this craptastic situation is that we have the opportunity to see UtM through to its very last piece of merchandise - or, the end of January, whichever comes first. With 10-50 percent off of everything, how hard could it be to help out and stock up? It might not be easier than slipping into a robotic trance and hopping onto or driving to Barnes for gifts for your favorite music junkie this Christmas, but at least you'll feel better about it in the morning.

Not only will you get a good deal, but you'll also get cool atmosphere, great service and the chance to send off a beloved Tulsa business right.

Whether or not you help to clean out UtM, you can still shop local for your music and for the music lovers on your shopping list this year. Jennifer Chancellor, music guru at Tulsa World and author of the music blog, Barrelhouse Beat, gives us the master list of what every Tulsa music junkie wants to find under the tree this year. Take it away, Jennifer.

"In no particular order:

- The Tractors, "Trade Union." It's the last album he recorded at the legendary Church recording studio by Tractors frontman Steve Ripley in Tulsa, released this year. It features a host of Tulsa Sound legends, including Leon Russell. (If you're wanting a fantastic kids album, try the 2005 Uncle Steve & The Tractors, "The Kids Record (aka Chicken Covers).")

- Electric Rag Band, "If You Got Some." Look for newbie (and Tulsa graphic designer/painter and guitarist) Sara Bowersock on rhythm guitar, and frontman Pat Cook's son Daniel on drums.

- Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, "One Day in Brooklyn." It's "Miles Davis meets the Tulsa Sound," they've added a pedal steel and even a banjo this time around.

- Brandon Jenkins, "Brothers of the Dirt." He may have transplanted to Texas, but his music is all Green Country red dirt. His album proves it with appearances from Randy Rogers, Bob Wiles, John Cooper, Stoney LaRue, Brad Absher, Dave Precefull, Phil Marshall, Cody Canada, Jared Tyler and more.

- Eric & The Adams, they have a new EP coming out, and a new album due by year's-end. Not sure of the title, but the EP is self-titled. They tour like crazy and are a super-tight band.

- Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers, "Songs in the Night." Okay, she's from Shawnee, but her music wins accolades all over the place."

Bask in the knowledge, people. If you all aren't reading Jennifer's blog, you're missing out on all kinds of good stuff, including but certainly not limited to the recurring Workweek Mixtape, one of my very favorite points of departure into music with which I'm not familiar. Everyone has something to learn from Jennifer's encyclopedic knowledge on the local music scene. Especially me.

Sayonara, Under the Mooch. You will be missed.

Under the Mooch
1425 S. Harvard Ave.
(918) 742-6465
Tuesday-Friday, 12-7pm
Saturday, 11am-8pm
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treygar said...

Though there are no Tulsa artists on it, everyone should check out my blog this past week and to be continued through next week of the 100 best songs of the Decade.

also, my favorite local artist is Sylvie Thompson, figured I'd throw that out there.

Tara said...

Hi Tasha,
So happy to have discovered your blog via Shae at Tulsa Food blog! It is always great to connect with other local bloggers. Great stuff here...

Penni said...

I'm really sad that they are closing Under the Mooch. It was, by far, the best music store in Tulsa. You will be missed!

Tasha said...

Wow, Trey. You've been hard at work, for sure. What a cool list. Not that I agree with every song on it, but that's all the fun in a list like that.

Tara, oh my goodness - your blog is gorgeous! Refreshing, too. It's nice to find a blog on fashion and aesthetics that doesn't take all its cues from the mid-century modern or from what's going on right this second. So great to know you're out there - well, here.

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