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My So-Called Band celebrates the 1990s with covers of songs you still can't get out of your head



My So-Called Band
9:30 p.m. Friday
The Blue Note
2408 N. Robinson

Only one local bar band offers an invitation to shamelessly celebrate the dark secret suppressed by most 20- and 30-somethings in the metro area: We love the '90s.

My So-Called Band " a tongue-in-cheek nod to the television series "My So-Called Life" " is comprised of Normanites Kyle Davis, Carly Gwin, Ricky Salthouse, Aaron Daniels and Brian Stansberry. They said the evolution of this cover act was swift, although not necessarily ambitious.

"We kept getting kind of drunk at Othello's comedy night and talking about how fun it would be to play '90s covers," Davis said, until finally, "We thought we should just actually do it. It's always fun to go see an '80s band, and even though I was 6 when 1990 happened, I still remember all these songs. We got together and started playing in December."

From the predictable (Sheryl Crow's "All I Wanna Do" and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box") to the cringe-inducing (Eminem's "My Name Is" and anything by Smash Mouth), My So-Called Band's already-extensive catalog runs the gamut, with a number of missing tunes in the works.

Gwin, Davis and Salthouse trade off lead vocal duties through multiple sets, and although Davis and Gwin have a list of favorites from the era, that's not the case for Salthouse.

"The joke about Ricky is that he fell asleep in 1989 and woke up in 2000 to start the greatest '90s cover band mankind has ever known," Davis said.

Gwin said, "He always says, 'I've never heard this song.'"

Curiously " or maybe appropriately " Salthouse's delivery rings truest of the three. His pitch-perfect deliveries of "Lump" by The Presidents of the United States of America and forgotten Silverchair singles are creepily accurate and performed without even a note of irony. That's an ingredient surprisingly " or ironically, rather " lacking in My So-Called Band's performance philosophy.

"It's not a 'joke band' in the sense that we're not playing these songs ironically. No, we're not playing them to just goof around," Davis said, "but you can't take yourself very seriously when you're a '90s cover band."

"We're a cover band," Gwin said. "We don't have a message."

"I do feel we play an earnest version of every song that we do," Davis said. "We play the right parts and make some attempt at singing the right words. I feel like Vanilla Ice could watch us and think, 'Those guys gave it their all.' But, yeah, certainly, there are some songs where we realize, 'This is a shitty song,' but people know it, and they're going to like it."

Thus far, sold-out shows at The Deli in Norman have confirmed that where there is booze, of-age partiers will shriek, "Hey-ey-ey, what's going on?" at the tops of their lungs and be en masse instead of just obnoxious. Like less-sad karaoke for the masses.

On Friday, My So-Called Band will bring the party to Oklahoma City for only the second time. Come ready to hear the best and the worst of your favorite decade to hate.

"We play some songs you wouldn't be thrilled to have in iTunes," Davis said, "but they're fun to play, and when people hear them, they think, 'I forgot I knew every word to this.'" "Becky Carman

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