Archive for the ‘Oklahoma Tattoo’

2020’s Southwest Oklahoma MVPs and songs of the year highlighted – The Lawton Constitution12.25.20

Ho, ho, ho! Its the perfect day to share the presence of some of the best from the Southwest Oklahoma music scene for the year 2020. Or, at least, my choices for the Local Best of 2020.

In a year chock full of obstacles and heaping doses of weird, its caused our local music community to find new ways to be heard. With live stages few and far between, often it was inside the recording studio where voices were best heard.

Maybe the pandemic threat opened doors to creativity because this year, Ive got to give it up to a pair of disparate artists for local music MVP honors. As always, go to the online edition of the column and click on the links to hear the music easily.

First off, Im giving all of the praise to Takeez (Meals) for unleashing a full-length 13 track masterpiece with the long-awaited sHoRtYdEuCe album. Its my overall Album of the Year. This cat hit on all cylinders in 2020. First, he knocked socks off with his pre-album release of On Tucc and then dropped the jaw to the floor with the albums first track, Blaxploitation. It fuses all the finest elements of early-1970s soul and funk with the deep voiced wordsmithery hes known for. His track Ginger Tea Boogie featuring SAMO is among my favorite songs of the year list and shows that this MC can croon with the best of em

If this isnt enough, Takeez unleashed The Elements EP later in the year and he kept putting fire into the local music sonic soundscape. In four tracks, he made as much of a statement as a lesser artist presenting a double album. But its the track Smoke thats most relevant with a burst of verse for the tumultuous year weve survived so far. Its in my top three songs of the year. Its not something you dance to, its a song to be imbibed and taken in. This is poise and power packed with passion. Check it and the other three tracks

Gannon Freemin & CCRev is taking the Co-MVP spot for their two stellar EPs. Leading off with the acoustic showcase of Fremins one-of-a-kind voice that carries as much attitude as altitude, Shelter Sessions revealed the strength of rock solid songwriting stripped down to its bones. Accompanied by lead guitarist Travis Julians feel-flavored fretwork, this five song collection offered a much needed shot to kick off summer.

The EPs closing track, Idle Hands caps off this collection with poignant proof that Fremins hands are far from idle. Raw and with his heart opened for the world to see, this singer/songwriter shines

The electrified release Okie Thump showed Fremin and his bandmates in the best light you can get without it being from a stage. Red dirt, rock and roll, punk rock attitude and old school country chops converge with this collection and proves that theyre onto something good, as evidenced on the punchy Rose Tattoo. But its another song that, at first, seems deceptive from its title with its acoustic lead in but dives into its core. In keeping with the theme of co-honors, Rock & Roll is another close choice for track of the year

Stash Hileman earned Rookie of the Year honors for his solo Millenial Trash album. This 11 song collection offers bite size punk rock thats as catchy as it gets and is well-played and performed. A one-man recording team with this collection, he did a great job with the home production and the performance. His track Void is as good of a punk song as Ive heard in ages

Stash stopped into Studio Blanket/Tent Fort and got over any nerves he may have had to floor Steve-O and the columnist during a taping of the columns former radio show earlier this year with the albums closing track and another of the years favorites, Already Gone

I know the absence of live music has hit this guy as hard as anyone. Along with plans for a potential Nacho Cart show, another project of his called Dissocial Fury has me excited for 2021.

Although the Railhead stage has remained quiet through the pandemic, music by bands that will be gracing its stages upon live musics return has made 2020 a good one for local heavy rock.

Chasing the Coyote appeared from the ether and dropped its self-titled debut EP. A really strong production and execution from this Tipton-based trio helps give it that extra punch. Check out a highlight song, Medicine Man

A common link between the next three bands releases is Brandon Cramer at 1121 Recordings here in Lawton and Slamnasium in Oklahoma City and helmed by former Lawtonian Mychal Soto. They are pushing some of the cleanest sounding heavy music in the world and making our bands push their limits to create something beyond the pale.

Take the already solid to the bone Drop Dead Dammit. Live and on stage, Leather Apron is a big hitter

But following the duos production and editing, this power-trio hit a new level. The follow up material to be included on their upcoming re-release of their self-titled debut EP is absolutely fierce.

Some of the most violently powerful heavy music has been churning out from Sotos band Strangled. The intensity of their music, coupled with their primal videos creates an effect that is beyond fair description. Its meant to be felt as with the video for Defect

When it comes with the long-awaited and highly anticipated debut release by local metal supergroup Desecration Conflict, lets just say it was worth the wait. You have to be ready for something this intense and groundbreaking when it erupts from the local scene. A labored process of recording paid off for this band. Theyve been working to this moment for a long time and the product shows the dedications pay-off. Easily the top Heavy Song of the Year is their introduction first heard on the columns late-radio show called Grotesque

It looks like its a twofer for Jared Rosin & The Shuffle. After winning acclaim for last years Song of the Year with The Valley, Rosin and Zach Holliday came through in the clutch when asked for a theme song for the columnist and Gary Reddins true crime podcast, Redder Dirt: An OK Crime Cast.

Little Crime on the Prairie knocked it out of the park during the first listen of the rough acoustic origins. This completed recording is stellar and one of my favorite things of 2020. I cant thank these gents enough for making such a gem after being given only a title to work with. I hope you check it out

More 2020 highlights in next weeks column!

For this weeks Songs for the Sequestration, its time to channel my Secret Santa side and share some of my favorite rock and roll Christmas songs. Hope you check them out while roasting chestnuts on an open fire or something like that.

Nathaniel Rateliff and Elle King combined to write and perform my new favorite rockin Christmas song to remember called Xmas to Forget

Oklahomas Flaming Lips classic Christmas at the Zoo shares the tale of freeing the animals on this day of giving and love. As their songwriting tends to do, it explores other places

Of course, you gotta have the Boss included when it comes to Christmas songs. At least, when it comes to this classic from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. With his singular voice and one of the greatest bands in rock and roll history, Merry Christmas, Baby is one of the great songs no matter the season

The final Christmas wish wrapped in song comes from the essential punk rock band of all time, the Ramones. Merry Christmas (I Dont Want To Fight Tonight) is not only a beautiful song that carries the soul and sweetness that makes this band stand above and beyond so many, it also contains a message I hope we all take to heart today

Although the Todays Best Soundemonium! radio show is no more, our social media presence remains so you can keep up with whats happening and whats next.

Remember that all #VirtualSoundemoniumFest performances from the COVID-19 shutdown are archived on the column/radio shows Facebook page:

And, hey, if you have a song you want us to check out, email us:

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Soundemonium Musaic Lawton music archive homepage: Scott Rains

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2020's Southwest Oklahoma MVPs and songs of the year highlighted - The Lawton Constitution

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Most U.S. states now require face masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19. These 12 are the ones that dont – The Mercury News12.10.20

By Leah Asmelash, Nakia McNabb and Amanda Watts | CNN

While health officials agree face masks help prevent the spread of Covid-19, state and local governments have varied widely on implementation of mask rules. Now, President-elect Joe Biden wants to change that.

Bidens office has released plans that his administration intends to implement in the beginning of his term, and one is a national mask mandate by working with governors and mayors.

Most states already have some type of mask mandate, but some have no statewide rule either leaving it as a recommendation or giving the authority to local officials.

Here are the states with no statewide mask requirement.


Alaska does not require the use of masks, limit group size or business operations. All the state does is encourage Alaskans to do their part to limit the spread of Covid-19, recommending that residents practice social distancing and wear a mask, without any mandate.

The mayor of Anchorage, though, has signed an order requiring people to wear face coverings in public.


Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, allows individual counties to mandate a mask, but does not have a statewide initiative. Scottsdale was the first to make masks mandatory starting June 19. Other major municipalities with requirements include Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff.


There is no statewide mask requirement, yet some local municipalities have their own mandates.


Statewide, masks are required for some essential employees, including restaurants and personal care services employees.

Meanwhile, several counties and cities have mask mandates.


The state does not have a statewide requirement, but several local municipalities do, including Boise.


On September 4, Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, lifted the state face covering requirement.

Just over a month later and amid rising case numbers, Reeves signed an executive order requiring face coverings in counties with higher Covid-19 case numbers. The Safe Recovery executive order is in effect through December 11 and includes 22 of the states 82 counties.


The state does not have a statewide requirement, but several local municipalities do.


There is no statewide mandate, but clients and staff in barbershops, salons, tattoo parlors and massage parlors must wear masks, as part of the current Directed Health Measure requirements.


The city council in Oklahoma City voted in a special meeting in July to approve an emergency public safety ordinance requiring face coverings in indoor public places throughout Oklahoma City.

South Carolina

Several counties and cities, including Charleston and Columbia, have mask mandates.

South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, has taken a hands-off approach to Covid-19. In October, she wrote in an op-ed that the government should not mandate a mask requirement.

As Ive said before, if folks want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so, she wrote. Similarly, those who dont want to wear a mask shouldnt be shamed into wearing one.

South Dakota is second only to North Dakota in the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.


Though there is no statewide mandate, Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, signed an executive order granting the mayors in 89 counties the authority to issue mask requirements.

The-CNN-Wire & 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Most U.S. states now require face masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19. These 12 are the ones that dont - The Mercury News

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