Flaming Lips rush to Thunder, but where is SA's he(art)s community?
Published: May 30, 2012
Oh, that Wayne Coyne. The Flaming Lips lead and Oklahoma City hero posted a special playoff creation on Twitter Saturday night, hours before the opening game of the 2012 Western Conference Finals. "Thunder Up" is a three-minute rallying cry set to the music of their 1999 single "Race for the Prize." Coyne conducted an open call via Twitter asking Thunder fans to submit lyrics to the song.
Sings Coyne: And when they win, we win with them … They'll keep fighting for Oklahoma.
Spurs fans might wonder why I spent an entire lede focusing on matters relating to the Oklahoma City Thunder. It's because I wanted a break from Charles Barkley. Throughout the entire playoffs, basketball's ramblin' man has thrown a series of baseless jabs at the Alamo City for the sake of getting a rise out of Spurs fans. Last Friday, Mayor Julián Castro responded to Barkley in a clever video production, which includes a playful poke at the lack of championship hardware adorning Barkley's fingers (as well as his dreadful golf swing, which makes Tiago Splitter's free-throw shooting technique seem graceful by comparison).
The Western Conference Finals mark the first time the Spurs have faced their upstart neighbors to the north in a playoff series. If you've watched the Thunder's playoff campaign thus far then you're no stranger to the collegiate atmosphere championed and sustained by their ravenous fan base. OK, so some might contend that color-blocking your entire arena with free T-shirts illustrates a team's newness to the big stage, but there are no gimmicks to a roster anchored by Durant, Westbrook, and Harden.
The Oklahoma City fan base has harnessed their creativity in aforementioned song, T-shirts designed by Oklahoma artists, a James Harden beard-donning cake, and a 14-foot tall, Thunder orange-and-blue Slam Dunk sculpture. "There's an amazing general energy and pride that has happened from their success," said Julia Kirt, executive director of the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC), of the Thunder. OVAC serves artists across the state on a grassroots level, providing resources to artists and works to attract new audiences to their art.
Prior to the Thunder's arrival, Kirt admits she didn't care about basketball, but now all of her television time is spent watching OKC's team. "The production value has gotten people fired up," she said. "Artists, who have no care about games, want to go."
I know San Antonio exhibits its own Spurs-related creativity by way of Ginobili candles, barber shop canvases (including the now infamous Bonner hairdo), Spurs Jesus, etc. Plus, we have things called banners hanging from the AT&T Center's rafters. But I'm calling for a reinvigorated fan base. If the Oklahoma City Museum of Art can get in on the action and tweet their Thunder fandom, why can't our museums?
Let's make music instead of engaging with Charles Barkley. Let's use the Spurs as a rallying call for our creative community. To quote the Flaming Lips: The test begins now...