Thursday, April 30, 2009

If the History Center's A-Rockin'...

Everyone should come a-knockin'!

I know we keep saying "Everyone come out on May 2nd, it's going to be a blast!" But here's the lowdown:

14 Bands--John Moreland and the Black Gold Band, Crocodile, The City Lives, The Oh Johnny! Girls, Mike Black & the Stingrays, Ali Harter, Unmarked Cars, Camille Harp, Wes Reynolds, The Romantic Disaster, The Gunship, Rainbows are Free, The Undecided, All but 1

Rock and Roll fun for the whole family! Do-it-yourself tie dye, Rock Star Makeovers, Guitar Hero, Rock Star Photo Op, Costume Contests-'60s, '70s & '80s.

And of course, Another Hot Oklahoma Night: A Rock and Roll Exhibit throughout the building. See great Rock and Roll artists from Oklahoma, see Rock's influence on fashion, walk into a venue experience, see '50s pop culture as it was an as we perceive it today, and remember what it used to be like to go to your favorite record store.

Oh, did I mention that it's all FREE!!

It will all happen, rain or shine, so don't let the weather get you down. Come on out to the Oklahoma History Center!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brushes with Fame

From an earlier post, you learned about our friend Fernando, the mascot of exhibit installation. Well, yesterday was a big day for little Fernando. At the signing of the Executive Order making "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips the official Rock Song for the state of Oklahoma, Fernando decided it was time to meet some Rock stars. So he did.

Wayne, Michael, and Kliph from the Lips signed Fernando. I like to think that he is smiling as much as Wayne is.

Friday, April 24, 2009


So today the bean bags came in for our section on Ronnie Kaye's The Scene.

They may be the coolest, most comfortable part of the exhibit. Granted I am saying that after testing them out, just to make sure they weren't going to pop or bust a seam under pressure. I feel it is safe to say that they are safe, even for lengthy periods of time. They are also very cuddly. 'Nuf said

Take a look at what curators do on our lunch breaks when we are getting cool stuff into the exhibit. All for the sake of recreating the proper environment. Bet you want to come visit even more now. And yes, that is orange shag carpet.

6 days...

Do You Realize??

That on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 Governor Brad Henry will sign an Executive Order naming "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips the official Oklahoma Rock Song? Look here for the details, folks.

Keep on rockin', just about a week away from the opening!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can You Hear the Drums, Fernando?*

The curators are busily installing all kinds of great artifacts in the cases in Another Hot Oklahoma Night and it can be a really exciting process. Deciding how best to display objects, how to make album covers float and guitars look like they're being played is a task that tests the creative powers as well as a person's skills with power tools.

We here at the History Center have a lot of fun installing artifacts. So much fun, in fact, that when we installed the original exhibits, we adopted a mascot for installation. His name is Fernando, taken from the ABBA song so rudely left out of Mamma Mia!, and he is a short, rotund, stuffed alligator. He is currently dressed for the Rock and Roll exhibit and makes daily appearances in the galleries, checking up on the installation process and raising spirits in the process. Here we see Fernando and Wayne Coyne's Mars boot, which will be on display in the Gaylord Special Exhibit Gallery in the Artists section of Another Hot Oklahoma Night. Come by starting May 2nd and see it! Fernando would approve.

*Disclaimer: No, there is not a section dedicated to ABBA in the exhibit :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

In honor of National Record Store Day

Saturday is National Record Store Day. In honor of that, and my new haircut that makes me feel a bit like I am living in Empire Records, I am writing this entry.

To many of us, who get their music from iTunes, Limewire or bittorrent sites, record stores may seem obsolete. But if I have learned anything from working on this exhibit, it is that music just sounds so good and so real when it is coming from a scratchy vinyl album. And the experience of flipping through bins of albums, never quite knowing what treasures you might uncover cannot be matched by the sangfroid "current chart toppers" or "most played" lists.

With a vinyl record, you get an entire sensory experience. First, you walk into the record store that just smells like musty dust covers, to walls plastered with old band publicity shots and tour posters, flyers of bands seeking musicians or upcoming/long-past shows, to the faint smell of hemp and sweat, but mostly to the slightly charged atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Walking the beat-up floors that have seen combat boots, bare feet and ballet flats alike, you find a section that seems intriguing, or is the only one not packed with other seekers, and start to flip through the bins. Albums of old bands you haven't thought of in years shuffle along with bands you have never heard of, enclosed in obscure, hilarious and maybe even slightly pornographic covers.

Some stores even still retain the listening station. It may be a sound-proofed booth with high-grade headphones and it may be just a player on a rickety TV table in the middle of the store, but it is all you need for a few blissful moments of rhapsody.

Eventually, with a teetering stack of beat-up albums, with maybe a few protected in plastic wrap, you march to the check-out counter so that you take your treasures home to enjoy.

If you want to check out an all-inclusive record store experience, with bands playing and the masses crowding the bins, look here for information of Guestroom Records' celebration of Record Store Day, 11 am-9 pm. They will have performances, special edition albums, and free food and drinks.

Our exhibit will include its own record store. From the postered walls to the listening station and even bins of Oklahoma-related albums to flip through (although ours will have bios and facts on the artists on the back) you will be able to feel a little bit of that paradise in the middle of the Inasmuch Foundation Gallery. Excited? You should be.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Days Grow Short...

Well Rock fans, it's getting closer and closer! The final details are falling into place, the galleries are starting to look AWE-some, and the videos, well, you can see for yourself.

The All-American Rejects and Shiny Toy Guns played recently up at the Brady in Tulsa and I got the opportunity to play concert photographer. So much fun! I've been to concerts, but never close enough to have a lead singer grab my camera and sing directly into it. Granted, he didn't do that to me, it was another photog there, but you get the point :-) The photo above is Mike Kennerty of the All-American Rejects rockin' out. Come see artifacts from the Rejects, learn about the current Rock scene in Oklahoma, and learn about the rockers that paved the way for today's rising stars in the Artists gallery of Another Hot Oklahoma Night.

Remember, the exhibit opens on May 2 with 14 bands playing on 3 stages around the History Center! Don't miss out!

-Elizabeth, one excited Assistant Curator of Exhibits and now aspiring concert photographer