Music » Music Features

Storied farmhouse turned bar pours second round of Halloween fun

by

comment

You can either spend Halloween night going to a spook house filled with fake blood and killer clowns, or you attend a party haunted by Oklahoma City indie-rockers The Uglysuit at The 51st Street Speakeasy.

"It's a pre-1900 costume party, so anything pre-1900s will fly. So you can be a pirate or an Indian or a gorilla or something like that," said keyboardist Jonathan Martin.

The Speakeasy site moved from McAlester to its current location in OKC in the 1920s. The residence turned Prohibition-style bar is a combination of several houses, some that date back to 1903. Brandi McDaniel, special events manager for Speakeasy, said there's an eerie feeling inside the bar at times.

"I know the building itself was a farmhouse in McAlester in the late 1800s," McDaniel said. "The creepy thing about the place is that it was the first licensed nursing home in the state of Oklahoma, so people probably died in the nursing home."

Since opening, the historic bar has catered to music fans of all genres, from Americana to jazz and indie, which is what's been assembled for Saturday's Halloween-themed show with The Uglysuit and Junebug Spade.

"It's a fun bar to play at," Martin said, appreciating the Speakeasy's intimate vibe and central metro setting.

The Uglysuit has helped the Speakeasy celebrate each Halloween since the bar opened in 2007, and McDaniel said the top costume at Saturday's show will earn the partier a cash prize.

CONTRACT WRANGLINGS
The group has been through a lot this past year with the disillusion of its record label, and the legalities and contract wranglings that resulted from the collapse. 

"We've just been trying to lay low and write," Martin said, "and now we're about to go out on this tour again pretty much DIY."

The five musicians are also getting help from new management, which discovered the band at Tulsa's summer music festival Dfest.

"I never knew the extent of managers. They're kicking ass for us," Martin said. "It's a lot more controlled. A lot of more shit is happening."

On top of helping the band acquire an old Greyhound bus to tour in, the managers helped The Uglysuit find a stage at last week's CMJ Music Marathon in New York City and book a tour alongside psychedelic Stillwater rockers Colourmusic.

Still, amid the flurry big city showcases and national tours, Martin said the band is excited to return to the metro for what's turning into an autumn tradition

"I love Halloween. It's fully of scary moments that make you happier," he said. "When scary things happen that make you happier, it's Halloween."

The Uglysuit and Junebug Spade perform at 10 p.m. Saturday at The 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 N.W. 51st Street. "Lacey Lett

Latest in Music Features

Add a comment