Okay Lindon Celebrate Release Of Second Album
By Kyle Melton
In the current Dayton indie music scene, there seems to be no shortage of pop tunesmiths emerging seemingly from out of nowhere with fully-formed albums already in hand. In the case of Okay Lindon’s Dustin Smith, the road to the band’s newest album, Rotating Dates, took many turns, involved balancing his job owning a trucking business, coordinating recording and performance with band members living over a 75-mile span, yet ultimately resulted in an energetic disc filled with impeccably crafted tunes. Okay Lindon will celebrate the release of Rotating Dates with a show Saturday, August 14 at Blind Bob’s.
Although Okay Lindon is a relative newcomer to the Dayton scene, their roots can be traced back to 2004. Initially a recording outlet for Middletown guitarist/vocalist Dustin Smith, the live band currently also includes Charles Smith (guitar), Eric Miller (lead guitar), David Thomas (bass), and Jordan Elam (drums). It’s only recently, however, that Smith solidified his current lineup.
“There have been close to 15-20 people who have played with Okay Lindon live or recorded with me,” Smith admitted. “My second EP Steps was recorded by Chuck Smith, who I met through a friend, and he has been my right-hand-man since then. Jordan has been my best friend since the 5th grade and live drummer since I started playing shows. Rotating Dates is the first Okay Lindon album he has played on however. In the past it has always been ‘Dustin Smith and the rotating cast of much-needed help,’ but as we have played out a lot more in the last two years we’ve had a very consistent lineup.”
As Okay Lindon first ventured out into Dayton clubs, they were touting their first full-length album, Everything in Moderation, a brilliant study in concision and minimalism within a pop songwriting framework. While an excellent construction, Smith & Co. assembled its constituent parts piecemeal, only later learning how to recreate the songs in a live context.
“We’ve gotten by for the last five or so years by learning parts on our car stereos five minutes before a show,” Smith explained. “We all live from Dayton to Walton, Kentucky, so it’s pretty hard to get together. When Everything In Moderation came out, I designated the parts for everyone to learn at home and we got together once and practiced them together as a band and have been playing them since.”
While Everything In Moderation was only released in May of 2009, its recording stretched back in 2007 when Smith first conceived the ma-
terial for the album. By contrast, Okay Lindon’s
new album, Rotating Dates, witnessed a much shorter gestation period.
“I wanted Rotating Dates to be very true to how we are live, so naturally I relied on the help from the guys who have been playing with me for the last few years,” Smith said. “So we did the drums in my friend’s house in Dayton, and then everything else was recorded in my bedroom with a basic Pro Tools setup. (It) just take a lot of time cleaning out the songwriting, getting the right takes, getting a good signal. I like recording at home because I am a relentless perfectionist and am super-obsessive, to a major fault, and at home I can take as much time as I want to get it right.”
Smith’s obsessive pursuit bore obvious dividends on Rotating Dates. Decidedly more lively than their debut, the album kicks off with “Sad Songs” and features raw guitars and a solidly driving rhythm section that immediately suggests a band playing together in one room despite working alone together over six months. The sunny surface of “Table Talk” shrouds a rather dour revelation of faded friendship. The mechanistic dance pulse of “Downpour” similarly masks further admittance of how maturity often takes a toll on youthful ties. Throughout Rotating Dates, Smith excels at juxtaposing infectious pop tunes against introspective, melancholy lyrical themes. The album is slated for release through Knoxville imprint Arcade Sound Ltd. and Smith is expectedly hopeful.
“(Arcade Sound Ltd. is) home to some bands that are getting a lot of buzz on MTV, Pitchfork, and some attention overseas: Million Young, Memoryhouse, Magic Man and Teen Daze to name a few,” Smith said. “We’re gonna just keep doing our thing but hope we can get a little exposure from this.”
While plans to tour are remote—Smith runs a trucking business, after all,—Okay Lindon are content for the moment as being part of the current Dayton crop of talented bands.
“We’ve made friends with some really awesome bands from Dayton and have met a lot of really great people who support what we are doing,” Smith concluded. “Halfway through the year, I think 2010 has been a very exciting year for Dayton music with some other great releases on the way. I am glad Dayton has been so accepting of us and very proud to feel a part of the Dayton music scene.”
Okay Lindon will celebrate the release of Rotating Dates with a show on Saturday, August 14 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are Jesse Remnant & the Trainwrecks and Drexel. Admission is $5 for 21 & up. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information, visit www.MySpace.com/OkayLindon
Reach DCP freelance
writer Kyle Melton at email@example.com