Well, it’s been a great run.
For almost four years to the day, beginning with our earliest bits regarding celebrity deaths in November 2016, “Today’s Best Soundemonium!” has offered a home for Southwest Oklahoma’s finest musicians to share their music and share their stories.
But after 203 consecutive new(ish) episodes, the time to take apart our beloved, smelly Studio Blanket/Tent Fort has come. It doesn’t mean forever but it’s gonna be a minute. Any future medium for Soundemonium: The Next Generation is going to take a bit. And any return will probably shake things up somewhat. It may be through the format, maybe through presentation, but always endeavoring to share our special local talent with listeners wherever they are.
But the spirit will continue. I’ll still be doing my part from the pages of The Lawton Constitution with this weekly column that’s beginning its ninth year. Steve-O will still be your morning guy and bug in your ear whenever you listen to Magic 95.3 FM. We’re still buddies and partners in finding a way forward to carry out the vision. But we’re taking a break for now. Two-hundred-and-three consecutive weeks of anything is taxing and, let’s face it, we’re not kids anymore.
I’ve got to hand it to The Lawton Constitution and Magic 95.3 FM for allowing us to unite our medias to spotlight local music along with our silly shenanigans. You know, it’s been a fun challenge to find a way forward in joining the two mediums to make something unique and special.
And what’s made it special, week in and week out, are these talented singers, songwriters, musicians and mad hatters who have shared their talents over the years. Be it through in studio performances, a trend begun with Dani Carson’s very first of many appearances on our show, to the final song on the final show, a world radio premiere of a track from Desecration Conflict called “Decide to Die,” the radio show has always been an audible element to enhance the column.
For now, all I can ask is when you see a link in the column, check out the online edition and simply click on it and you’ll be able to hear the songs yourself.
On that note, check out Carson’s take on “Jolene” — https://youtu.be/xXUzyegdvDQ.
And here’s that Desecration Conflict finale — https://youtu.be/bqi1YqpCTZg.
In between, we’ve learned a lot about so many local artists. For some, performing on the show allowed for breakouts that allowed their talents to go further. The discovery of teenage Jasmine Cox Phelps is seriously one of the best moments. A kid giving a knockout performance at a karaoke contest came in and dazzled us with original songs. Stop ins by two of the columnist’s oldest friends, Corey Porter on one visit, and Hobie Lasiter in a few others, are favorite moments as well. Having known their talents for a long time, it was great to share them with the listeners and readers and let you know what I know.
So many musicians have been there at the drop of the hat that it’s hard to begin naming anyone without leaving someone equally important out. But I will always shout out Carson, Big Pete Piehnik and Uncle Dave Crow for coming through in a pinch. I’m overwhelmed thinking of all the beyond cool music I’ve witnessed in that tiny studio, highlighted by an acoustic performance by Dayton Keel of The Cure’s “Love Song.”
I’m proud such an array of local talent has been heard over the airwaves every Thursday for a half-hour each week for four years. From punk to metal to red dirt to rap to acoustic to psychedelic and all points between, you heard the sonic color tapestry that makes Southwest Oklahoma shine. It’s been an honor to subvert the system and play your music on the radio. Hopefully, in that moment, each and every one of you felt like the rock stars you are.
Some of the experiences have been among the best in my life. From having John Humphrey (Seether/Nixons) sing “Happy Birthday” to me, to traveling out of the studio to local venues and beyond to record shows in the moment of music magic. Nights spent at Larry Chrisner’s magical Drum House were as close to transcendent as it gets if you appreciate the beauty of a jam session among top notch musicians.
And when this year brought a pandemic-induced performance shutdown, so many artists came together to share the #VirtualSoundemoniumFest dream and make it a reality. When it’s all clear and safe to put on, the long-discussed Soundemonium Fest is slowly growing from idea to notion. Notion to action can’t be too far behind. As much as we’ve supported local musicians, they are the ones who have returned that support tenfold.
Like I said, the Soundemonium mission lives on. It’s borne from a passion for our artists to be heard and, hopefully, appreciated. After banging around in bands for years before this life, I know the one thing that was most important was to be heard.
I hope you all have listened. I hope you all keep listening. New music is life and to have that, you have to encourage new musicians and support the veterans.
I’m leaving a song behind that carries the passion that Steve-O and I have for our local musicians and their art. We love you.
•YOB – “Our Raw Heart” — https://youtu.be/tGgEvV3W2qc.
Good friend Kenneth Boyd stopped by The Constitution to remind the columnist that the Cooperton Valley Barn Dance is still going strong. Even in a time of COVID-19 this little Kiowa County town finds its population grow by multitudes for one night each week.
“It’s been going 29 years every Saturday night,” he said.
From 7 to 10 p.m., the Cooperton School gym turns into a family-friendly dance hall featuring the country stylings of the Cooperton Valley Band. There’s no alcohol or smoking allowed.
“It’s good family entertainment,” Boyd said.
For this week’s Songs for the Sequestration, I wanted to share the video and song by Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfang Van Halen produced a tear jerker of a video from home movies with his father and a song that touches the heart: •Mammoth WVH — “Distance” — https://youtu.be/HI3aPJkZmNU.
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.
Remember that all #VirtualSoundemoniumFest performances from the COVID-19 shutdown are archived on the column/radio show’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steveoandthescribe/.
And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us: email@example.com.
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.