Leave it to Oklahoma’s own lovable alt-rock pioneers The Flaming Lips to take reaching out to the next generation of talent to the next level.

Sure, they’ve collaborated with all sorts of stars and up-and-coming stars, ranging from Miley Cyrus to Steve Burns who’s best known for his time as the host of “Blues Clues.”

But now, they’ve collaborated with 13-year-old Nell Smith for a new collection called “Where the Viaduct Looms.” The 9-track album is a testament to the songs of Nick Cave with covers of the iconic murder balladeer’s songs “Girl in Amber” and “The Ship Song” among its roster.

Check out this theatrical video for “Girl in Amber”: https://youtu.be/rb6Yf8tZLRI.

You can visit the online edition of the column at swoknews.com and click on this and any other links to go directly to the video.

It hits the realms of psychedelia The Lips have made its trademark over almost 40 years. The addition of the young singer makes it reach into a new generation and sounds as fresh as anything.

How does this new-teenager and long-time band meet? According to an interview with Consequence of Sound magazine, Smith met the band three years ago. She was a regular at Flaming Lips shows and was identifiable in a parrot costume.

Through correspondence with Smith’s father, singer Wayne Coyne encouraged her to learn to play guitar and try writing her own songs. This soon led to talk of collaboration and this collection.

Smith recorded her parts to her renditions of the Cave numbers and the band provided backing vocals and instrumentation.

A surreal moment of beauty begins with Smith’s sparse piano and dreamy vocals that cause “No More Shall We Part” to ring through your bones while ear candy envelopes your senses: https://youtu.be/HoVJnhr-GYA.

You can find “Where the Viaduct Looms” on all online platforms. It’s a great introduction to the music of Nick Cave with that beautiful twist of Oklahoma psychedelic sunshine.

And it you’re not real familiar with the great Nick Cave, then now is the perfect time to check out some of the elegant cool you’ve been missing. “Red Right Hand” is a great introduction: https://youtu.be/RrxePKps87k.

I know it’s a little early but I wanted to go ahead and knock out the MVP of 2021 from our roster of Southwest Oklahoma-originated musicians.

In following the column, you’ve noted the journey of Brett “Shred” Landry has become part of Soundemonium lore.

A ton of guitar talent with the heart of a rock and roll lifer, he took off for Nashville, Tenn., last year and following a lengthy run learning the ins and outs of Music City’s performers’ world, he made the move to Austin, Texas, a few months back.

With guitars, amp, effects in tow — his whole world — Landry has battled homelessness, depression and sometimes the worst of fortunes on his path. He’ll tell you how close he’s come to giving up. Not on his rock and roll dream. Everything.

But faith in his mission to become “the guy” on guitar has kept Landry churning along. There’s something special in a no-quit kind of person.

Now in Oklahoma City through the holidays, Landry has been assembling his band The Night Shifts to make the hardest hit upon impact in the coming year. Filled with grit and a hustler at heart, some cool things are already paying off. It includes a clothing sponsorship for The Night Shifts from one of the most rock and roll brands around.

Landry and his band The Night Shifts have become sponsored artists for Dirt Bag Clothing Co. The news came the day before Thanksgiving.

It’s kind of a big deal. Zakk Wylde, Dimebag Darrell, the members of Slipknot and even Slash have been a part of the Dirt Bag roster.

“We couldn’t be happier to work with these guys,” he said. “To be endorsed/added by the same company that has some of the most iconic names on it is an honor.”

Short-removed from a real moment where his life could go either way as a musician, Landry said this is a time to savor. It’s all because he took the leap and submitted the application for sponsorship. He built the band website, www.thenightshifts.com, to help.

“I didn’t think we were cool enough, but we got it,” he said. “To be able to work with a company that Dimebag Darrell, Zakk Wylde, Slash, Pantera, etc., has and does work with is such an honor and humbles me. I’m so blessed.”

Landry said he’s done with Austin for now. He’s back in Oklahoma City and gets to see his family for the first time in over a year.

“It was really, really special, man,” he said.

Despite his car being totaled from the Austin wreck by a hit and run driver, Landry said it’s “kinda broken but it still runs, kinda like me.” That’s the spirit of a rock and roller. You take the dents and dings and keep on going.

“I was done and now I’m glad I’m here,” he said.

Austin proved a home to many life-lessons. While there, Landry said he sobered up and since that, “it opened my eyes … it opened a new world to me I didn’t know was there.” While working a security guard job, he took the time to research the business side to the music game. Now, he’s putting it into action.

Landry said he’s working with Jeremy McGovern as his booking agent. He credits McGovern’s passion for promotion. From that has come a huge opportunity.

On March 5 and 6, 2022, The Night Shifts will be taking a spot on the big stage in Muskegon, Mich. The band will be opening for Mitch Mallow (formerly of Van Halen and Great White), along with Nashville acts, Fire Power and Rock United.

Landry said this is a great time to be alive, something not too long ago he wasn’t able to say.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am right now,” he said. “I have no complaints other then I’m not on stage every night like I should be.”

Looking to Shyloh Powers as an inspiration, Landry said it means something for the Carnegie-originating talent to be playing the big stages with Koe Wetzel. Seeing it can happen offers a push. If Powers can keep pushing to the big stages while coming from here, Landry said he can too.

You can find The Night Shifts first single, “Eat You” via Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1gvrD2tUPA7WxIlIJwkevM?si=eRoLAPvVRfelbkZfdjdSDg.

You can also catch a video for the song on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IP6iUbq39Ts.

From the ”Coolest Thing Around” files, Dave Grohl and Greg Kurstin have reunited to conduct the ”Hannukah Sessions” where they drop a new cover song over the eight nights of the holiday. Initiating the fun last year, the duo created something beyond unexpected and superbly fun with this year’s introductory song, a cover of the Lisa Loeb song, ”Stay,” that takes some pleasing and unexpected turns. Tune in and enjoy while you spin your dreidel: https://youtu.be/AB8Jxjv5mug,

Although the ”Today’s Best Soundemonium!” radio show is no more, our social media presence remains so you can keep up with what’s happening and what’s next.

Visit, “like” (“love”) and follow our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.

Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPw__GedGPOUD-wROFcuZ8w.

Along with being the columnist of Soundemonium Musaic, Scott Rains is also a police, fire, Native Affairs and roller derby reporter for The Lawton Constitution.

You can email him at: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

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