Still, it's tough being a lesser prairie chicken these days. This type of grouse once spanned an enormous area, though now they survive mainly in pockets of Oklahoma and Kansas. Their numbers are plummeting; in 2012, the population dropped by half.
But after they were recently listed as a threatened species by the U.S. government, complaints of federal overreach and lawsuits have followed.
OklahomaRock.com published a "catch-up" of Oklahoma music news of the past few weeks from Red City Radio, John Fullbright, Leon Russell, Wrathschild, Jabee, Lizard Police, Crystal Vision, Horse Thief, and much more.
So, I've been trying to play catch-up with life ever since SXSW-ing it for a week. And just now, I get a chance to post a new story...which will be a catch-up of (most) of what I missed while I was being silent.
Fear in Bliss. That's the name of the debut album from the psychedelic folk-rock band Horse Thief. Originally from Denton, Texas, the band moved to Oklahoma City to attend the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma. The academic woodshedding was extremely fruitful, and Horse Thief caught the attention of The Flaming Lips' management and a high-profile independent label.
Mike Neal gets annoyed when he talks about politicians in his state. Just three years ago, when the Common Core State Standards for education were implemented, no one had a problem with them, says Neal, president of the Tulsa, Okla., Regional Chamber of Commerce.
"It's been a really frustrating situation to the business community in Oklahoma in that we've all been on the same page, from the governor, the House, the Senate, school board members," Neal says. "They've all been behind this."
The announcement by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn that he is resigning his seat at the end of the year has set up a spirited battle among Oklahoma Republicans to replace him.
Leading the pack are Rep. James Lankford and former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. At age 36, Shannon is an up-and-coming star in the GOP, and if elected he would become the third African-American in the Senate — two of them Republicans.