Streamers of every color hung from the ceiling of Tulsa's Blank Slate in July 2009, waving like a multihued anemone around Colourmusic's Ryan Hendrix, Nicholas Ley and Colin Fleishacker, who were opening the Dfest Music Festival and Conference with guest guitarist Bryan Thompson of Mayola.
The Stillwater band was nearly obscured by the paper ribbons while peeking in and out of the swirl, but nothing could quell the bright, hot ... pink sound coursing out of the amps and bleeding out of the venue. The VIP audience seemed caught unawares, possibly thinking it would be hearing something gentle, pastoral and, well, orange. That would be completely understandable since Colourmusic's 2008 disc, "f, monday, orange, february, venus, lunatic, 1 or 13," was packed with sunny harmonies, roundelays, understated instrumentation and rousing pop choruses.
But the color wheel has shifted. If "orange" was sweet-tempered, then pink is bold and hot. Colourmusic is no longer hiding behind white fencing outfits or goofy stage presentations: current audiences will see a group more comfortable with primal screams and sheets of noise than they would be at a refined tea at the country house.
"Themes took over for a little while, more than us actually playing our instruments," drummer Ley said. "We figured that out, played a little better, and we just morphed into this kind of monster live that we are now. Well, that's a little pretentious, but it's loud and crazy, so going into this next record, we had that in mind: how to get that on tape, how to capture that.