I'm touched!

So back in 2006 I released an album called "Stranded In Babylon". I was/am very proud of that album and all the opportunities it brought me. Multiple national festivals, some 300 college/internet/and major radio stations had it in rotation, sales all over the planet, the chance to play with many talented musicians, travel, and much much more. It also allowed for my trio to play two shows during SXSW in Austin in I think 2007.
Anyway, every year (at least recently?) the Urban Tulsa holds an essay contest to send one lucky and promising music writer to Austin for SXSW to cover the event. This year my friend Brandy Stoner entered the contest and was super awesome enough to use me and the album (even after all these years!!) as her backdrop for her wonderfully written piece. I thought I'd share it with you all as I'm touched that she thought of me and because Brandy is great with words!

From Brandy:

Greetings! I wrote an entry for the SXSW contest for Urban Tulsa Weekly, on the subject of which local band we think most deserved to be on a stage at SXSW and why, as well as about our love for music, in 500 words. I did not win. It was not the entry they were seeking, but I thought you might like to have a copy of the piece.

SXSW – Brandy Stoner – “Adam Lopez Band”

A discussion about one’s love of music can easily grow esoteric. I’ll try not to get too “profound.” Music is a sister to poetry in a way that it isn’t to math, and words are my favorite thing.

William Carlos Williams said, “It is difficult/to get the news from poems/yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”

Music, like poetry, is used to teach, ease, excite, and celebrate. It is uniting, divisive, mournful, and inciting. Music is universal language. It replaces the language we lost at the Tower of Babel. Where words fall short, we have song. Songs leave a record of our humanity and our inhumanity.

You can see a soul as much through the music that moves someone as you can by the songs that don’t.

Although the “Adam Lopez Band” – quotations are his, not mine– has gifted Tulsa with newer work since the 15-song Stranded in Babylon, it is the collection “that added some more truth to my diet.” (Bored Of Education, Track 5).

As we listen, we are invited in the next hour to “embrace those that have roots” (Lovers, Track 4) and to “save ourselves, our lovers, and our happy homes.” (Save Ourselves, Track 9) I’m a sucker for a good wordplay, so The Bored Of Education (Track 5) had me from The Bored. Expecting to hear that the young are apathetic, I was inspired to hear Adam’s smooth voice saying that we are tired of what we are being taught, and want to learn the truth. The mighty Babylonian metropolis which we have been told to admire may fall from its glory one day.

My love of language was birthed by the songs and rhymes of childhood. Language is percussive. Consonants are beats and vowels move the melody. The syllables move me. In chapels and arenas, good music sparks the same desire in me as a man who is intense, tender, strong, smart, and a little unpredictable.

I’m Alright (Track 13) is so danceable, one might chant “Yeah hey yeah,” and forget (or not realize) that it’s about not passing on abuse. Connecting with an artist or piece is not only a matter of understanding a message, or a moment. It is a physical experience.

Hips, however, lie closer to the heart than one might think. Song is a sensory experience, born of emotion and imagination. It springs forth in its conception from a single thought, action, or ideal.

When live, Adam is entirely performing, but comes off as if he were the only person in the room. It’s evident in his self-portraits in Babylon’s cover design. The “Adam Lopez Band” captures the freedom of rock without all the frenzy.

The hard guitar of the title track, backed by the strong drums of Pholk Souljah (Track 11) and the soaring end with Soul Music, make Babylon’s call to cease personal and political separations one that can and should be heard at SXSW in Austin this March.

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