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The new Party Platform at Hog Pin Bowl and Sports Grill, 3140 Cache Road, is establishing itself as a place for fun and play as the music plays weekend nights.Tonight the platform hosts Lower 40 from Oklahoma City, and Saturday night Midwest Tragedy will take the stage.Monday’s passing of banjo-picking folk music pioneer Pete Seeger brings attention to the lifetime of popular songcraft and populist ideals embodied in his 94 years of life.

Benefit show Saturday will honor student who was fatally shot

A tragedy is being used by students at Central Middle School to create a way to remember a fallen classmate while offering hope to students for some time to come. 

The Jan. 20 killings of Uwe Rushing, 50, and his 14-year-old son Stefan have given the teen's classmates reason to create a positive from the negatives with Saturday night's Rushing Angels Benefit. The benefit is slated to be sort of a local talent show from 6-8 p.m. at the Great Plains Coliseum Annex, 920 S. Sheridan. Cost will be $5 and there will be a raffle. 

"We are really proud of our girls who came up with the idea," said Tanna Ferrell, coordinator. "Not a lot of kids these days take the time to think about anyone other than themselves."

The benefit was scheduled before Saturday's arrest of Thorsten Rushing, 18, in connection with the double homicide. Following a meeting Monday night, Ferrell said the show will go on and with a strong purpose.

"We had a meeting with the girls ... and they feel very strongly that this money should be solely raised in Stefan's name," Ferrell said. "Therefore they have decided that they would like to set up a scholarship fund in his name instead of giving the money to the family." 

The performance schedule is: Sierra and Stacy Kline, singing; Hannah Bacani (CMS student), singing; Arkkieta, singing; Kealli Polynesia Spectacular, dancing; Niki Trevino, singing; Alisha, singing; Dre, singing and mime; Alyssa McLinden (CMS student), singing; Cat (CMS student); Shyanne (CMS student); Naomi Hamilton, singing; Ileana (CMS student), piano performance; Zoe Lee, singing; Starlights, dancing; Emily Hamilton, dance; Jeli Bread, band performance; and Jesse Dalton, hip hop performance. Country songwriter Ken Morrow will close out the event with a performance.

For information or to help, call Ferrell, 704-0066.

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Hog Pin Bowl and Sports Grill, 3140 Cache Road, is establishing itself as an entertainment center as the place to be for a good night out that includes entertainment and activity. Owner Steve Snell said he hopes people come in and "have a ball."

Snell said the Hog Pin is raising the level for a good time with its newly installed Party Platform. Centered among the venue's bowling lanes is the new 16-by-16-foot platform. Snell said the multipurpose platform can expand later, if needed. Made of a specialty flooring that goes over the lanes  "like Legos"  it allows the show to go on while pins are toppled. 

"Our premise at the Hog Pin is an entertainment center, not just a bowling alley," Snell said. "For concerts, it allows an area on the lane approaches for congregating and dancing with bowling on either side of this area." 

Since opening up its live music offerings last year, Hog Pin has been highlighting some amazing regional talent. All concerts are from 9 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and there's no cover charge. All ages are welcome. 

Tonight's show features Lower 40 from Oklahoma City. The group's song, "My Country," is this year's Professional Bull Riders anthem and they're on the CMA's "Bands to Watch" list, Snell said. The show is co-sponsored by Crutcher's Western Wear. On Saturday night Oklahoma City's Midwest Tragedy will take the stage.

Upcoming shows: Feb. 7, Chance Anderson Band; Feb. 8, CrossWind Band; Feb. 14, singer Niki (Lauren Nichols); Feb. 21, George Brothers; Feb. 28, Jason Stringfellow Band; and March 1, Tommy Gallagher.

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Local favorites The Brothers DuPree have been putting together some upcoming shows. Saturday night they perform from 9 p.m. to midnight down by the Red River at the Countryville Bar and Grill at the Comanche Nation Red River Casino in Devol. They'll return to the venue March 15. The group brings its show back home Feb. 8 with a 9 p.m.-to-1 a.m. show at Chele's Club, 609 S. Sheridan. The group is also slated for a 4 p.m. performance April 5 during the Armed Services YMCA Red River Craft Beer Festival at the Great Plains Coliseum Exhibit Building, 920 S. Sheridan. 

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A new venue is opening up and in search of the heavy stuff. Anthony Navarro, a.k.a. Tony Reaper of Exodus Inferno, said he's getting the word out about Wild Bunch Bar, 1906 W. Lee. The club is 18-and-older to enter. 

"They're wanting to get into the metal scene," Navarro said. "We're looking for new metal talent wanting their opportunity to break into the scene."

If you're looking to book a heavy-hitting show, Navarro said to call 512-0907 and speak with Lori.

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I'd like to take a moment for the remembrance of the everyman who sang for every man, woman and child with true blue American soul.

I'm talking about Monday's passing of banjo-picking folk music pioneer Pete Seeger. Surrounded by family, Seeger reportedly died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 94. 

Beginning with The Weavers in 1948, and later on his own, Seeger wove a tapestry of song that created the base thread from much of the music has come since. After dropping out of Harvard, he dived into the world of music with a message. He railed white hot against injustice and offered ideals for days where hope blooms flush as cherry blossoms. His voice resonates in every form: folk, rock, punk, rap and more  all variations of Americana. Without him, you don't have Bob Dylan, you don't have Bruce Springsteen, you don't have the melody for the civil rights movement's anthem of peaceful protest, "We Shall Overcome."

"Every kid who ever sat around a campfire singing an old song is indebted in some way to Pete Seeger," Arlo Guthrie once said.

Where Guthrie's father Woody  and Oklahoma son  fought fascism with an acoustic guitar, Seeger's weapon was the banjo. Both were armed with the truth. Seeger, however, proved himself the calmest of tempests.

Seeger is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has received a lifetime achievement Grammy Award, the Harvard Arts Medal and the Order of FÈlix Varela, Cuba's highest cultural award. The Library of Congress named him a Living Legend. He lost out to Stephen Colbert during Sunday night's Grammy Awards in the Best Spoken Word category. 

It wasn't about awards for Seeger, he was always driven by his love of music and something more  a message with meaning. 

"My job is to show folks there's a lot of good music in this world and, if used right, it may help to save the planet," Seeger said in a 2009 interview with The Associated Press.

Also, in light of the less than remarkable remembrance of his loss during Sunday night's Grammy Awards, I'd like to mention another great American storyteller, Lou Reed. Although he died in October, his life lived and songs written over his 71 years breathe forever. Known for his guitar and vocals in the seminal proto-punk/alternative band The Velvet Underground on "Venus In Furs" and "Rock and Roll" and his complex tales told through his solo work, Reed always encouraged the listener to explore and take a "Walk on the Wild Side." 

It's true: Musicians live forever through their catalogs. These are a pair of greats I hope you take the time to explore.

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