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Two up-and-coming Okie bands lead masquerade ball

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A masquerade ball commanded by two Oklahoma bands will make New Year's Eve at the 51st Street Speakeasy feel like Halloween in December.

The suggestion to don masks and welcome the new year was a "random," collaborative idea from members of Oklahoma City's The Uglysuit and Stillwater band Mayola.

Mayola formed in Enid in 2004 and is now based out of Stillwater. The band is known for its wild stage show, which typically features all five members flailing around the stage as if consumed by some sort of a trance.

"We enjoy playing the music and then we hear the songs, and we get into them in our own head," said keyboardist/guitarist Bryan Thompson. "That energy feeds off into the audience. I don't think we're doing it on purpose to try and get people to come up and dance. We're just having such a good time up there."

The Uglysuit recently released a self-titled album that's receiving indie and mainstream acclaim from outlets like Rolling Stone and England radio station heavyweight BBC Radio 2.

"It's really surreal but also humbling to realize how many people like you and help you get where you are," said The Uglysuit's Jonathan Martin.

MASQUERADE BALL
Back from touring the world, Martin is anxious to join his Mayola friends and return to the metro's 51st Street Speakeasy for tonight's 10 p.m. New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball.

"We played there before, and it was just a blast," he said. "We just wanted to do something ... that would be somewhere other than downtown. It should be exciting."

Mayola continues to promote the release of its first EP, "Everybody," and the members are working on new material that will debut at tonight's show.

"We want to be in a position where we can keep doing this," Thompson said. "I don't think any of us expect to make a living with just this alone, but if we're still having fun and still feeling creative and can still get out and put on that good live show, then I think that's what success means to us."

With all of the musical success recently created in Stillwater " The All-American Rejects, Colourmusic and Other Lives " a real possibility of success exists for the five Mayola men. 

"We're all from Enid, and Enid's really boring," Mayola singer/bassist Antonio Laster said. "When you live in a boring town, it gets really easy to come up with things to do, so we all just got together and played music,"

Laster said the band's relocation to Stillwater proved to be a creative outlet as well.

"It's a chill town, so it's pretty easy to come up with songs, because you're mostly sitting around drinking," he said. "Lacey Lett

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