PTIARADACTYL
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PTIARADACTYL

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
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Apr
02
PTIARADACTYL @ Soundpony Lounge

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Jul
23
PTIARADACTYL @ DFEST

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Jun
27
PTIARADACTYL @ Under the Mooch

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA

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Music

Press


Last week at Soundpony, 409 N. Main, I witnessed the spectacle of Ptiaradactyl. The band is a hybrid of performance art, experimental noise rock and death metal that is fronted by local artist Erin Turner and rounded out by Lucas Neiman, Rob Stuart and Zach Hughes. They've only been together since October but have already landed that Holy Grail of coveted local opening slots with their lead-in to Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (along with Callupsie) at the Marquee Sat., May 16.

It's the kind of band that's usually destined to play gutter punk house parties, but their unusual creativity, subversive playfulness and exhilarating who-gives-a-fuck attitude has already lifted Ptiaradactyl out of its perceived local niche and into the position of being one of Tulsa's hottest new under-the-radar acts. If you don't believe me, the fact that Brian Haas asked them to open for the rare JFJO Tulsa performance should be proof enough that Ptiaradactyl is not strictly a scene band.

The Soundpony show was a grand guignol of shock and awe that demanded an extreme position on the part of the audience; a third of the crowd hid outside for the majority of the set, while the rest gleefully soaked up the insanity and in some cases participated by engaging directly with the band and its props, which included helmets, very large horns, a giant pterodactyl piñata that dangled from the ceiling and an assortment of homemade instruments.

Audience members were asked to shake flashlights on the band and a stack of cymbals bound together by rope was repeatedly slammed on the ground by different patrons. The piñata was destroyed halfway through the show to produce an ungodly amount of candy, silly string rained down on everyone, and a good time was generally had by most.

The music, which the band describes as "Dinocore," is loud, trashy, dissonant, DIY, garage-friendly lunacy that utilizes the homemade props created mostly by Turner to tell epic stories of dinosaurs battling over diamonds. Turner sings, or screams rather, scaling throughout each song from the low barking growls of death metal to high-pitched squeals that'd make Karen O blush.

The instrumentation is messy and unwieldy with sloppy rhythm changes, brash, discordant guitar work and crushing, fuzzy bass that give the music an unstable air of barely-there coherence.

Turner, a classically trained pianist, incorporates spacey keyboard melodies that often provide the main hook and catch of songs. It's a garage band dynamic in the best sense; everything feels like it's on the verge of falling apart, like the sanity of the band is held together by a single thread.

Let's Grok, Shall We?

"We're really from Eternia," Turner explained shortly after the show. "It's such a wonderful place. My name from my home planet is E.Turnidon and this is Postus-Lucas-Lucas," referring to Neiman, who occasionally broke out in high-pitched dinosaur screeches throughout the interview.

"We have Robotasaur and also Z-Rex the Beautiful," she continued. "All of us contain magical powers and we all contain a magical stone--to understand further about the band, the name is Ptiaradactyl, so we're a band about dinosaurs and jewels."

Turner explained that all of the songs fit into a larger, cohesive narrative that involves Triceratops, Megladon, T-Rex and Predator X.

"There are other characters that we haven't mentioned, but it will all tie in to this epic story of a battle that is lasting between Pterodactyl and T-Rex," Turner said. "They're fighting for power over the black diamond, which pterodactyl now contains in her eyes."

Turner recited a portion of lyrics to clarify.

"Island inhabitants running for their lives/when they see that look in pterodactyl's eyes/ wings spread to heaven, beak faced to hell/ T-Rex must die to let her kingdom swell/ only in battle in an epic war/ we are the orators of dinosaur lore."

So we're bringing in some Homeric references here, to epic poetry and the oral transmission of the mythology of dinosaurs," she further explained.

Whether she's having a laugh or taking herself seriously is hard to say; the band as a whole obviously has an amazing sense of humor, but Turner delivers the band mythology and meaning behind songs with a poker-faced reserve. She clearly takes the entire project as an art piece very seriously, which may be one of the reasons why they've been able to break out of the floundering local hardcore scene to open for one of the world's more respected jazz bands.

"I'm all about taking it as far as possible," Turner said. "In August, we're going on a tour from here up to Seattle and then down the west coast to play a bunch of shows and try to get on some different festivals."

They've already been on one brief tour through Texas and back, an experience that produced more than a few stories for Turner and Neiman to tell.

"The first show in Denton, we played at a house party and our bass player is blowing fire, he catches his face on fire twice, burns his entire beard off, we smother him with mustard," Turner said.

"It was onion-infused mustard so it burnt his fuckin' face while they were filming," Neiman continued.

"So the entire tour he has this crusty, green face-"

"-And I almost puked from it when we were in Austin," Neiman finished. "We were eating lunch, I just looked at him and was like (makes retching noise)."

Besides touring, Ptiaradactyl is preparing to enter a local studio to record its first album (they currently have a lo-fi EP that can be purchased at shows). In addition to recording, the band is focused on expanding its live performance, incorporating more props and eliciting as much audience excitement and participation as humanly possible.

For the Jacob Fred show, they have a particularly special prop, which Turner referred to as their secret weapon that is "beautiful and Chinese-influenced, and also influenced by Predator X."

- Urban Tulsa Weekly


Art, music and poetry go hand in hand, and
there’s nothing more magical than when all
three collide and evolve in a way that makes
the Earth tremble.
Exemplifying this kind of colossal collision
is the dinosaur-inspired Tulsa rock band
PTIARADACTYL, which hatched from a gig
at an art party before taking fl ight.
Bringing to life the eccentric package are
band members, Robert “Robotodactylus”
Stuart III, Lucas “Postus-lucas-lucas” Neeman,
Erin “E.turnidon” (Olga) Turner and
Zachary “Z-Rex the beautiful” Hughes.
“The name PTIARADACTYL is the
beautiful brain child of many whiskey- and
wine-soaked dinner conversations we’ve had.
The name appeared to us and so did the dinosaur
lore that we’re destined to share with the
modern world,” Stuart explains.
“Our music is created as a dinosaur mythology
that is inspired by epic poetry such as
Homer’s The Iliad. In our story, the world of
Eternia, now known as Rare Earth, is our home.
PTIARADACTYL is the rightful heiress to all
of Rare Earth and the power of its jewels.”
PTIARADACTYL’s
unique sound
and stage persona
are easily attributed
to the vast range of
different musical and
artistic backgrounds
had by all four
Tulsa-born musicians,
ranging from
metal, punk-rock and
monster-ballads to
modern dance, fi rebreathing
exercises,
stage design and
sewing.
The band is currently writing for their fi rst
full-length release, Rare Earth, with plans to
record with long-time friend, artist and engineer
Joe Demaree of Portland, Ore.
“The album will be epic and a must-have
for any music enthusiast. We will support it
with many local and regional shows, as well
as an East Coast tour which we are booking
right now,” Stuart says.
“The plan is to coax a couple of other
bands into heading out with us to show the
people what Tulsa is all about.”
He adds that as far as the story of PTIARADACTYL
goes, a battle to end all battles is
just warming up and has all the creatures of
Rare Earth preparing for the worst.
“In the end, we all really enjoy epic stories,
mind-bending music, ancient history and set
design so it just made sense to build a Rare
Earth all our own. We will make each show
more intense than the last and strive to create
an unforgettable experience for all those who
join us on our quest,” Stuart says.
- Oklahoma Magazine by Meika Yates Hines


On October 4, 2009, two of Tulsa’s most promising indie bands performed in an epic battle of creativity and musical innovation. “The Panda Resistance vs. Ptiaradactyl” showcased two of Oklahoma’s most innovative and talented bands in a musical event enhanced by costumes, lights, signs, comedy and a slide projector. This audio-visual experience at one of Tulsa’s hippest bars, the Soundpony, seemed to mark a growing trend within the local music scene where bands are pushing each other to new levels of creativity by being innovative and creating a sense of community, even if bands within this community are engaged in musical and creative warfare.
These two bands are quite different in their sound, style and performance, though both have an indie, artsy feel and both perform with some type of costume – the Panda Resistance wore their trademark panda hats and members of Ptiaradactyl wore lighted headpieces and are known to wear other outlandish getups. The Panda Resistance has an atmospheric, upbeat indie rock feel, with impeccable musicianship and symphonic layering of sound effects and bright melodies. Clay Welch on guitar, Bo Halford on bass and Andrew Bones on drums and percussion are an instrumental trio who sound like a trip-hop group inspired by exotic melodies. With the tightest rhythm section in Tulsa, the group can truly hold down some amazing grooves, and with Welch’s ear for tasty reverb-dripping melodies they can also buildup to incredibly powerful moments through atmospheric layering of sound.
Ptiaradactyl, on the other hand, is much more avante-garde, leaning more towards a punk/electronic sound that is raw and energetic. The band has played at Tulsa’s Dfest music festival, toured fairly extensively and has even garnered some national attention. The group plays mostly instrumental rock-inspired jams that are slightly dark with an obvious punk and indie influence. The songs often change tempo and feel multiple times within a song, creating a sense of orchestrated but raw and energetic musical expression.



This is the type of event that helps a city’s music scene expand and evolve. The epic battle-like feel, the lights and props, the costumes and comedic banter all added to this experience that was unlike any other concert I’ve seen in Tulsa. The broad-ranging musical styles and impressive audio/visual performance was amazing and somewhat unexpected, but Tulsa could use more of these types of events. The very fact that this was promoted and hyped up as something more than a concert with two different bands helped this night stand out for many people, and the actual show did not disappoint one bit.
“You know Pterodactyls lived during the Cretaceous period right?” Hallford asked the crowd during a song break. “You know what they didn’t have during the Cretaceous period? Music lessons! …Or showers!”
Hallford and the Panda Resistance really got into the battling mindset during the show, projecting slides on a wall at the side of the stage while they played with drawings of a Panda beating, threatening and degrading a Pterodactyl, followed by cheeky comments, jokes and digs at the other band between songs. It was all in good fun, though, and the whole aura of a musical battle seemed to make both bands play better and allow the crowd to become more of a participant in this crazy, over-the-top musical experience. There was an even a point towards the end of the night when a huge Chinese-dragon-like Pterodactyl was paraded in front of the crowd with the help of about a dozen people. This concert was more like musical theater than just two bands playing music… the visuals, costumes, crowd interaction, the undercurrent of two great bands locked into musical and creative warfare all added to this imaginary mystique that made me feel like I was witnessing something special. I still feel that way, and Tulsa should have more bands doing things like this.
There should be more Flaming Lips style enthusiasm in the local scene where the circus atmosphere and incredible visual experience forces everyone in the crowd and in the band to have a good time. These aspects may seem like gimmicks to some people, but this is the type of event that can truly excite people and get them involved in the increasingly creative Tulsa music scene. A Flaming Lips show wouldn’t be the same without the mass amount of confetti, the blinding lights, the props and the hamster-ball contraption that Wayne Coyne always opens the show with by walking out on top of the crowd. These things create an experience that makes the music that much more powerful and emotional, and bands that can pull this off are always on people’s list of must-see concerts. The whole point of going to a concert is for an experience, and when all these aspects are combined in a creative way, fans can have an almost spiritual sensation that makes music unique and powerful like nothing else. This epic battle was on a smaller scale than a Lips show or a festival-type show, but these two Tulsa bands really know how to create an amazing event rooted in fresh, original music and artistic expression.
- Twyler.com


Discography

We have released a five song EP that we recorded in our studio named 'Motherfeather'. We have just finished recording our first full length with Joe Damaree of The Unit Breed. The album is 'Rare Earth' and will be released in early summer on vinyl, as well as, electronic formats.

Photos

Bio

The 4-piece PtiaraDACTYL began their Mesozoic banter in January 2009. An eclectic collection of instruments, sounds, prehistoric references, and enticing props converge together to create…DINO-CORE. The band brings inspiration from many musical backgrounds such as punk, metal, rock, but refers back to experimental and improvisational often. Echoes from the band hinge on loud and dissonant sounds, high pitch screams to low growls, while dino-rific melodies coerce the listener into submission. The performance is definitely as important as the music, while crowd participation is highly suggested.