The Ugly SuitTabloid life surrounds us. Artifice has replaced art, style trumps substance. Sincerity and honesty got lost along the way. Once in a while though, something breaks through. That’s where The Uglysuit and their self-titled record come in. Made up of six friends from Oklahoma City ranging in age from 20-23, The Uglysuit brings a different mentality to what they do — remarkably fresh-faced and honest, the band believes in letting loose, fostering a heartfelt atmosphere of hope and love, and works hard to shape what comes naturally. Playing together since their early teen years has given them an almost familial connection which shines through on their beautiful, fully-realized debut album. The Uglysuit’s music is an extended love song to the notion that everything is possible, yet nothing is guaranteed. It’s born of excitement and energy and built on potential and promise. It’s based on the premise that change exists in everything, and where a wide-eyed view of the world doesn’t equal naiveté. It reminds us that we are alive, and that maybe it’s not too late. Catch these surging local boys 6 p.m. Saturday night on the Poseidon Stage.
Blue OctoberOn the latest Blue October album, “Approaching Normal,” Justin Furstenfeld, moves his band forward into confident new territory as a songwriter and as a storyteller. Steve Lillywhite, the producer synonymous with U2 and five-time Grammy Award winner guided the way and the result is an album that breaks the mold of whatever anyone may think Blue October is. Lillywhite’s first attraction to Blue October was the voice. “For me, it’s always the voice that gets me first because my opinion on a voice never changes. There are singers and there are expressionists and Justin is both,” says Lillywhite. “Their music really touches people in a way that the music of great artists do. There is bond of passion and trust between artist and audience.” “Approaching Normal” is the follow-up to the band’s platinum-selling breakthrough album, “Foiled.” Released in 2006, the first single, “Hate Me,” a song that offers a stepping stone from regret to hope, became the surprise modern rock anthem of the year, spending 16 weeks in the Top 10 with five weeks at No. 2. The crossover success of the follow-up single, “Into the Ocean,” propelled the album sales well into the million plus territory in North America alone. Having a platinum selling album creates pressure and as a songwriter, Furstenfeld felt it. Lillywhite helped him along the way by encouraging him to work more deliberately at his craft. “He pushed me as a writer. I would have a song written and Steve would say, ‘that part is boring.’ No one had ever said that to me before. Steve would tell me to sit down and work on it, and I never did that before. I re-wrote melodies and lyrics that didn’t make sense and now they are gorgeous. He pushed me to be better and that inspired me and I accomplished more than I would of on my own.” Blue October plays Saturday night at 9:30 on the Poseidon Stage.