Oklahoma's annual invasion of Austin's Sixth Street is drawing record crowds, said organizers of the SXSW Buffalo Lounge, a showcase for more than 40 Oklahoma acts at Austin's South By Southwest Film and Music Conference. And according to Jake Morisse, lead singer of Enid's Black Canyon, the three-day Oklahoma music marathon gives thousands of SXSW attendees a chance to experience a wide swath of Oklahoma culture.
“I'm from Oklahoma, a trailer park kid who learned to drive a tractor before I learned how to drive a truck,” Morisse said. “It means a lot to come to this place where a lot of the people coming in are not flashing Oklahoma IDs. They're coming to see Oklahoma bands. And that's really rad, you know?”
The Buffalo Lounge, based for the second year at Friends, 208 E 6 in downtown Austin, is organized by the Oklahoma Film and Music Office in an effort to showcase homegrown musicians and artists.
Showcases included evening events sponsored by CNGNow.com and the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma.
Performing artists include Stardeath and White Dwarfs, Broncho, Chrome Pony, OK Sweetheart, Deerpeople and Horse Thief.
Ginger Roddick, co-founder and partner in The Idea Collective, helped develop the imagery for The Buffalo Lounge, which includes stylized, postmodern imagery of grazing buffaloes that play in a constant loop behind the musicians. Roddick said the signage and iconography was specifically designed to evoke Oklahoma culture but present it in a new, modern light. She said she sees it as an important tool for presenting the state as a vital place for culture and business.
“Every state faces preconceptions, including Texas,” said Roddick, who relocated from Austin to start The Idea Collective in Oklahoma City.