Friday To-Do: Samantha Crain, Broncho | Rock Candy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Friday To-Do: Samantha Crain, Broncho

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Samantha Crain plays White Water Tavern Friday night.
  • Samantha Crain plays White Water Tavern Friday night.

SAMANTHA CRAIN, BRONCHO
9 p.m. White Water Tavern. $7.

This could be billed as "Oklahoma's Finest Take Over White Water Tavern," as these are two of the best acts I've heard out of the Sooner State in some time.

Samantha Crain is no stranger to Little Rock, of course. The Shawnee native has played here on what seems to be an annual basis since 2007 or so, on stages ranging from perhaps the smallest (WWT) to the biggest (opening for the Avett Brothers at Robinson Center Music Hall). Crain's recent EP, "A Simple Jungle," is of a piece with her previous efforts. It might be a bit on the poppier side of things, but the songs are excellent and John Vanderslice's production is eclectic but never overbearing, showcasing her beautifully expressive voice.

Broncho is on just about the opposite end of the dial. The band plays scrappy punk rock 'n' roll that sounds perfectly tossed-off and slack and effortlessly catchy. The group's 2011 album "Can't Get Past the Lips" sounds like every power-pop garage rock band you ever loved morphed into one, playing at the house party of your mind and all your friends are there — even the ones who died — and you're all drinking off the keg and having the best time ever.

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