From the grime to the Green
Come one, come all (ages) to Guthrie Green’s first psych rock show
A new sonic brew is bubbling over in Tulsa. A dark, heavy cloud looms over Guthrie Green’s iconic outdoor stage, where on Friday, September 15, local bands Merlinmason and Planet What will join touring acts Electric Citizen, Glitter Wizard, Dwellers, and Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires to introduce the Green to its first real dose of psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll.
The concert, presented by Horton Records, Mammoth Comics, and Josey Records, is a bit different than the Green’s typical programming, and signifies an opportunity for fresh ears to discover a sound that’s been just out of reach. It’s rare to catch a show like this outside of a dimly-lit room with a bouncer at the door, so at Guthrie Green, casual (and young) Tulsans will have a chance to dip their toes into the darkness without leaving the comfort of the familiar concrete blocks and freshly misted greens.
Merlinmason’s guitarist Tony Cozagglio is heavily invested in developing Tulsa’s all-ages music scene—initially through the dearly departed venue Boulevard Trash—and now with the hit punk fest he founded, Fuck You We Rule OK!, which annually boasts national acts and international attention. Drummer Cameron Clouser says inclusivity breeds a healthier and more vibrant scene.
“More diverse ideas and sounds are important and vital to create a more welcoming punk scene,” he said, looking towards a more integrated future. “There are more 21 and up clubs than all ages venues. Tony has been working really hard to change that. When his all ages venue Boulevard Trash shut down, there were only house shows for a while. Now, there is more happening at the Vanguard at least a once a week. Bars all have their pros and cons to playing, but the Vanguard is becoming the perfect mix for the social 21+ crowd and younger to go listen to music.”
Clouser expresses his excitement at playing at the Green for an inclusive, hopefully wide-reaching event.
“We are all really excited about it. We all have kids now and most shows they obviously can’t go to. It’s always great to perform for a large group of people who would otherwise not come out and see your band.”
Clouser believes passing the torch is an important facet of the punk scene, and relishes that bands from different generations can influence each other.
“I still see friends who are 10–20 years older than me still playing punk and going to shows. My favorite younger band, The Riot Waves, are an important staple on young punk rock music. They started playing shows every weekend they were 16. They are just hitting that 21 year-old mark to reach a different audience now.”
Local grunge trio Planet What recently returned from their first midwest tour and gained some eye opening perspective.
“I think Tulsa has a lot to learn from from [other] cities,” said guitarist Jeanette Derubeis. “In Tulsa, we always heard ‘no all-ages venues.’ On tour, we saw houses hosting shows with touring bands every week. There were all kinds of all-ages places everywhere. Maybe even more than bars.”
She mentions Spinster Records has recently become one of Planet What’s favorite new up and coming all-ages venues due to the engaging and intimate atmosphere.
“People are there because they want to be,” she said. “You’re not just playing to someone who just happened to be there for a drink. They got there early because they wanted to see you.” She continued, “I’m excited for Guthrie Green. That’s young people, old people, families, dogs, everyone!”
Rumian Reza, musician and booker for another all-ages venue, pH Community House, sees it as crucial for young audiences to see people in their own community making music.
“It results in a more realistic community,” he said. “Kids that can only go to shows at Cain’s or the Vanguard don’t get a realistic glimpse at the actual people making music, which is all that we really are: people with guitars just trying to communicate with the world around us. Big commercial shows are nice but a lot is lost in translation when you see bright lights and stage hands.”
Electric Citizen, Glitter Wizard & more
Fri., Sept. 15 | 6:30–11:30 p.m. | Guthrie Green, 111 E. M.B. Brady St.