What are the best local/unsigned bands where you live?
July 14, 2004 6:06 PM   Subscribe

What are the best local/unsigned bands where you live? What do they sound like?
posted by Ufez Jones to Media & Arts (29 answers total)
A good unsigned band in AZ. is "Telescope". They sound something like Coldplay meets Jack Johnson. They can be found HERE
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 6:12 PM on July 14, 2004

Etienne de Rocher.

He sounds like... the lovechild of Tom Waits and Lou Reed.
posted by scarabic at 6:19 PM on July 14, 2004

PDQ. A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
posted by loquax at 6:35 PM on July 14, 2004

The Whole Sick Crew - pirate rock

Jonathan Baer

Julia Sets
posted by pieoverdone at 7:20 PM on July 14, 2004

and lest I forget, The Highway Matrons
posted by pieoverdone at 7:22 PM on July 14, 2004

I like The Mattoid (Nashville). Not country, maybe a little bit rock and roll. The first Google hit gives a better description than I could provide (but it's still not 100% on the mark).
posted by nixxon at 7:22 PM on July 14, 2004

The Plains. Kind of twangy indie-pop maybe? Perhaps alt.country? They've got a clever/funny songwriting style that shares a sense of humor with Clem Snide and Bobby Bare Jr.

Evangeline. Mellowish country rock. Great songwriting.

I Can Lick Any SOB in the House Portland-based Southern rock band with overtones of liberalism. They sound much like the Drive-by Truckers but, yeah, political.

I know there's more but I can't think of them off the top of my head. I'll be back.
posted by stet at 7:49 PM on July 14, 2004

If I were from North Carolina, I would mention Sold, because they sound like the unmitigated kicking of ass. But I'm not. Shame.
posted by Danelope at 7:51 PM on July 14, 2004

Doug Wintch is great folk-blues.

Kate Macleod is great celtic-influenced folk.

Sofina, except Finn Bjarnson does so much work for dance-groove-sould phenom Kascade that he's part of the team and therefore not really so much unsigned and doesn't do much work on Sofina that I've heard recently.

Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband... post hee-haw funkadelic hip-hop newgrass. There's better songwriting in the world, but better string slinging is very rare.

Peter Breinholt & the Big Parade are local favorites with the folk pop appreciating crowd. Likewise with Sam Payne and Joey Dempster. Nancy Hanson hasn't done much new material for a few years but her Drops in a Bucket is a great album.

In a more "alt-folk" vein... Colby Stead, Cary Judd, Debra Fotheringham.

I'll probably think of half a dozen others before the night is over.
posted by weston at 8:04 PM on July 14, 2004

Oh geez, how could I have forgotten Sunfall Festival (sound like Sundays and Mazzy Star sometimes and other times like something totally else) and Lisa Fraser (Ani DiFranco-ish, but more melow).
posted by weston at 8:30 PM on July 14, 2004

Oh yeah, Paul Black is a blues guitarist and singer out of Madison, WI. He is that rarest of players, a unique blues stylist. Around 96-97 he put out one album on House of Blues and then faded into obscurity. Very mean, hard-drinking sounding player. He tunes a Tele down to B and plays bottleneck. He's got an amazing touch.

When he was younger he lived in New Orleans with Sonny Landreth and they taught each other to play. As a result, they both developed a behind-the-slide style of playing giving an increased harmonic flexibility to open-tuned slide playing. Other than that, he and Landreth sound nothing alike. Where Landreth is clean and almost poppy and well into Bonnie Raitt territory, Black plays in a slow, menacing lowdown style. My prose is wholly inadequate, but he's my favorite blues player by a long shot.

Back in Seattle, there's Dan Tyack, a pedal steel player who mines much of the same blues and gospel tradition as Robert Randolph(Flash intro). I haven't heard Dan's new album yet, but I've seen him play a number of times and, golly, he can shred. Dan doesn't play with as much of a jam band feel as Randolph, which I much prefer. Tyack's one hell of a player and innovator on an instrument that is so often stuck in a country rut. He also does not generally look as scary as he does on his website.
posted by stet at 8:37 PM on July 14, 2004

I'll add mine, just to play along:

Dallas has a great pyschobilly/rockabilly scene. Notably:

The Von Ehrics

Ghoultown - who I fear may be recently defunct

Slick 57

Other misc. bands:

Lady of the Lake (kind of QOTSA meets ATDI - but in a *good*way)

Until They Arrive - kind of a indie/classic rock thing

Regal Dime - tough to describe: boy/girl combo, bass/drums, but not at all like the White Stripes (plus the guy stole a half-empty pitcher of beer from me at the last show I saw of theirs)
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:58 PM on July 14, 2004

I like Millimeters Mercury.
posted by kenko at 9:48 PM on July 14, 2004

Man Down — Sailor rock. Jimmy Buffet and reggae influences. Excellent, chill bar band. The lead singer's voice is pure chill and lovely. Check out "Break in the Weather" and "Moons on Sarasota" (both Windows Media Player 9 format).

We're About 9 — Folk rock. Lead singer's voice and lyrics are unique. Excellent arrangements. Check out "Albany" and "If You See William..." (both mp3 format).

Lennex — Full-on alternative rock. Great melodies. Check out "When Everything Went Ground" and "A Lesser None" (both mp3 format). More here.

The thing about Man Down and Lennex is that their music is representative of the culture where they're from. Man Down sounds like the brackish water of the Chesapeake Bay smells, and Lennex sounds like the nightlife of Ocean City, MD.
posted by bitpart at 10:07 PM on July 14, 2004

Favour - Absolutely fantastic Halifax-inspired indy-pop.

The Square Waves - kind of like the Postal Service, but a lot darker.

And uhh, my band James Leroy.
posted by Quartermass at 10:21 PM on July 14, 2004

Destroying Angel. Another Fantastic Halifax band. Although not that Halifax. The other one.
posted by seanyboy at 12:04 AM on July 15, 2004

The best unsigned local band in Manchester are The Brothers With Different Mothers.

seanyboy: You mean Halifax County, NC?
posted by davehat at 2:28 AM on July 15, 2004

From the NJ/NYC region - check out Ryan Holiday. Hard to describe - fun and dark and alternative and moody and loud and angsty and meandering... or something.
posted by MsVader at 7:53 AM on July 15, 2004

The Silverhearts here in sunny southern Ontario. They're a Peterborough band, but make it down to Toronto every couple of months.

It's roots-rock, country, rockabilly (only, you know... good), and they do a few Tom Waits covers at every show. They're a variable 13 member outfit. In addition to other fine instruments, they feature a suzaphone the largest array of harmonicas I've ever seen and a theramin. A THERAMIN FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!
posted by Capn at 7:54 AM on July 15, 2004

In Boston there's (in alphabetical order):

The Bon Savants, if you're looking for top-noch, post-rock, non-bubble-gum pop songs.

Clickers, if you need a little shouting with your prog rock.

Dial M For Murder, for classic rock guitar licks and more shouting.

Mao Tse Helens, if you like psychedelic flaming lips covers in quadrophonic sound.

and last, but certainly not least... Night Rally. An indescribable collision of robotic bass, inspired drumming, puzzling lyrics, and lots and lots of guitar delay.
posted by clockwork at 8:29 AM on July 15, 2004

Sweet, Weston is from Utah too. Check out The RockSalt for great music from Utah. My favorite is Tolchock Trio.
posted by trbrts at 8:32 AM on July 15, 2004

In the Dayton-Cincinnatti area, I think Emily Strand has the best band going. (Alt-folk-pop with great lyrics and tight arrangements.) Unfortunately, she doesn't have any songs from her new album available on the web yet. Once it does go up for sale on the web, you should grab it immediately - every song is a winner.

Does Quartermass's example mean that it's okay to mention my own band, Low-Tech Riff Raff, performing our own blend of retro-new folk fusion? I think we're one of the better bands in town, but you might doubt my objectivity.
posted by tdismukes at 8:47 AM on July 15, 2004

What are the odds that Ufez is A&R and looking for new acts to sign?

Though there are many underground/local acts that come through, there is only one band actually from Ithaca, NY that matters: John Brown's Body.
posted by ChasFile at 8:47 AM on July 15, 2004

What are the odds that Ufez is A&R and looking for new acts to sign?

You know, it didn't even occur to me until this morning that this question could be seen as such. Sadly though, I've got no connections with the music industry other than fanboy. Thanks for the recs all, I look forward to checking these bands out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:18 AM on July 15, 2004

Portland has 6.6 million good unsigned bands, but Stovokor rules over all of them with an iron fist.
posted by cmonkey at 11:10 AM on July 15, 2004

pirate rock
post hee-haw funkadelic hip-hop newgrass
Sailor rock

gee, no pre-natal bongo-nosed post-coital funk-a-fusion?
posted by quonsar at 11:31 AM on July 15, 2004

I'll take this chance to recommend The Scoundrelles. They're a great little power-pop band and you can hear them here.
posted by dodgygeezer at 1:39 PM on July 15, 2004

i just found these guys yesterday.

KIT!. they're sarasota power pop with a chick lead singer.
posted by taumeson at 4:26 PM on July 15, 2004

gee, no pre-natal bongo-nosed post-coital funk-a-fusion?

No, but there was once a band in Utah that described themselves as "post post post".

Its members sortof had that kindof mocking mock irony sense of humor.

They'd fit in here.
posted by weston at 9:59 PM on July 23, 2004

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