The Spy

The Spy is your go-to location for independent, local music and features more than 20 unique specialty shows that include 80s New Wave, Rockabilly, Soul, Punk and Post-Punk, Classic Alternative, Blues and Roots, Reggae, and much, much more. Additionally, The Spy hosts an all-vinyl show, a wine-and-music pairing show, a dating show, and an Oklahoma music show. Thes­­­­e specialty shows set The Spy apart from traditional corporate radio.

Ferris O’Brien’s brand of The Spy has existed since 1998 when he took over as the Program Director at 93.7 The Spy (KSPI-FM in Stillwater). When station owners took The Spy off the air in 2001, Ferris secured ownership of the brand and moved it to Oklahoma City. In 2002, Citadel Communications launched a deep alternative format radio station (KSYY) and asked Ferris to take the helm. The station was killed in June 2004, but Ferris kept “Spy Radio” on the air as a once weekly specialty show on 100.5 The KATT. In 2009, Ferris purchased 105.3fm from Citadel and relaunched The Spy. When that purchase agreement feel through in December 2010, he took the station completely digital at thespyfm.com. In 2012, The Spy and KOSU established a new partnership that allowed The Spy to return to the FM dial.

You can listen to The Spy 7 days a week from 7pm to 5am, plus 10am-noon on Sundays, on KOSU-FM 91.7 Oklahoma City, 107.5 Tulsa, 88.3 Stillwater, and 94.9 Ponca City.

You can also listen to The Spy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at thespyfm.com.

Ways to Connect

Amber Knecht / KEXP

"Let's get heavy," Other Lives frontman Jesse Tabish jokes before launching into an explanation of the dichotomies behind the band's new album, Rituals. Conflating old and new styles, while also exploring the balance between humanity's primal nature and an isolating modern world, the Portland-via-Stillwater, Okla., band's densely layered songs still somehow seem light and airy.

Rituals isn't the product of a group going through the motions, either: The group just pared itself down from five members to three (both Josh Onstott and Jonathon Mooney remained and relocated with Tabish), but this is Other Lives' most adventurous set of songs to date. To bring that rich sound to life, the band packed the small KEXP live room with all kinds of instruments — horns, strings, keys, drums, timpani, vibraphone, you name it — for a sensational in-studio performance.

Emily Ulmer / courtesy of the artist

Every month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities around this country to name a new favorite song and then we feature one of those songs on Morning Edition.

Other Lives left their hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma two years ago and relocated to Portland, Oregon to record the follow-up to 2011's Tamer Animals. In an exhaustive search for a new musical identity, the band wrote more than 60 prospective songs for their latest album, Rituals. If the lead single, "Reconfiguration," is any indication, the change of scenery did them some good. Like many of their previous efforts, "Reconfiguration" features rolling piano arrangements and lush production, but gone are the obvious folk influences and the echoey sonic imagery of wide open spaces. Moodier and smoother than its earthy predecessors, "Reconfiguration" showcases Jesse Tabish's sultry singing, which is more emotive than on past recordings. And this time around, the echo chamber is reserved for a haunting backing chorus that would give listeners the creeps if the overall arrangement weren't so damn sexy. —Jerad Walker, opbmusic

Neil McCarty

Welcome to Sample Size, where KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC pop music columnist Matt Carney team up each week to discuss music news and new music releases.

Today, we look at the poignant songwriting of Courtney Barnett, the title track from the upcoming John Moreland album, and a new dance-pop track from Grimes.

Follow Matt & Ryan on Twitter at @OKmattcarney and @KOSUryan.

BRONCHO, 'NC-17'

Mar 2, 2015

Welcome to Sample Size, where KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC pop music columnist Matt Carney team up each week to discuss music news and new music releases.

Today, we look at music from three Oklahoma acts—a concept album from Beau Jennings, a slight shift in sound for Other Lives, and a strong new album from JD McPherson.

Follow Matt & Ryan on Twitter at @OKmattcarney and @KOSUryan.

The Spy's Ferris O'Brien combs through hundreds of albums every year. Below are his ten favorite albums of 2014.

10. Morrissey - World Peace Is None of Your Business

Full disclosure: I'm a huge fan! But I'm also extremely critical of any Moz output. World Peace is lyrically on point, laden with wit and hooks. Easily his best since 2004's You Are the Quarry, plus it contains quite possibly one of Mozzer's best songs in years: "Staircase at the University."

Welcome to Sample Size, where KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC pop music columnist Matt Carney team up each week to discuss music news and new music releases.

Today, we look back at some of our favorite tracks from Oklahoma musicians in 2014, including Parker Millsap, Colourmusic, and Broncho.

Follow Matt & Ryan on Twitter at @OKmattcarney and @KOSUryan.

Courtesy of the artist.

Every month, NPR Music asks public radio personalities around this country to name a new favorite song and, this month, KOSU & The Spy featured Beach Day.

The Florida duo Beach Day evokes images of summer with doo-wop harmonies and retro-minded riffs on Native Echoes, out August 19. In the nonchalant "Don't Call Me on the Phone," singer Kimmy Drake keeps the bad vibes at bay and the phone ringer on silent, complete with pointed messages ("Lose my number! Lose my number!"). Recorded in Detroit, the song is an excellent mash-up of garage rock and '60s girl-group sounds. Beach Day is as addictive as The Shangri-Las or Best Coast, and "Don't Call Me on the Phone" ought to have you humming along or trying to mumble the chorus by the time it's over. —Ferris O'Brien, KOSU's The Spy

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