So for this year’s Worst Local Bands issue, we decided to stop being so autocratic and instead asked a bunch of hand picked scenesters to give us a list of their favorites from 2018. Out of over 50 people asked, 19 responses were received. Following which an unnecessarily complicated algorithm was devised with scoring procedures based upon the input of the lists received and the results came out terrible (actually we just counted the number of mentions of each band). And yeah now that we’ve got our new paid site and are changing things up we should embed music in all the mini blurbs but we’re still just figuring out wtf CSS is and wtf a href means… We promise not to do this again until next year when we’ve gotten better at everything.
He’s been taking his darkwave bass and synth shows to the masses with a frequency that beats Kenneth to death this year! And we all love him and wish that he’d let us be in his band. But he’s a shy, awkward guy that gets up on stage and performs nearly every week. Also probably the artist that got the most Times Boredom articles written making fun of him this year. What a sport!
9. Pony in the Pancake
Okay so when you ask a bunch of people that aren’t you for their favorites you come with some unexpected results. We don’t really know ‘PIP’ as we’re told they’re abbreviated, but a lot of our readers apparently really like them! We think, but aren’t even sure, that the picture above is of them. This writer doesn’t know much about them other than the fact that they’ve been tearing up Albany stages for as long as I can remember never slowing down never letting up and now, praise be to Koenig, they’ve finally made the most important list in the Capital District of well loved/hated local musicians! Congrats! And apologies!
8. William Hale/William Hate/The Wait
William Hale, aka Lucas Van Scoy, has been playing around the northeast, forming and reforming backing bands, changing his image and his name around, and rocking it out since the days of the Benson Collective. Recently he’s come to the attention and admiration of a large sample of the Superdark/Times Boredom crowd. Taking famous Glens Falls and Saratoga scenesters along for the ride, his overwhelming songwriting talents and impressive performances have been astounding audiences in the past year like never before with his hi-fi lo-fi brand of folk rock/freak folk/ whatever the fuck they’re calling it this decade calling to mind the legend of singer-songwriters like Zach Condon of Beirut. We look forward to further incarnations of this local prolific giant such as new band The Wait (not to be confused with terrible old local band The Wait that broke up over a decade ago)!
7. Mr. Cancelled
Mr. Cancelled is the nom de guerre of Gary Ziroli, a man that’s been poundin the lo-fi acoustic and electric guitar for awhile now, taking cues from lo-fi bigwigs like the Mountain Goats and Sebadoh (but the good early shit with like Loewenstein and Gaffney ah whatever if you don’t know what inside baseball play in the ’92 series we’re referencing you never will). And yeah we probably shouldve put a picture of his current band that includes local heavyweights like Chris Brown and Jon Cantiello, but we loved the photo above as we love many of the artsy photos he’s constantly posting on instagram — go follow him. NOW! But enough about local politics, point is Mr. Cancelled’s now got a badass band making the rounds and kicking our asses all over the Capital District at every SuperDark show he can play! And 2018 will hopefully just be a pivoting point for this songwriter/showman/photographer… RENAISSANCE MAN.
We’ve seen and enjoyed the phenomenal NXNES (aka Jo-Jo Rose, pictured above semi-anonymously for interesting artistic reasons explained here) many times and have thoroughly enjoyed their (his?) idiosyncratically eclectic mix of Hip-hop, R&B, and indie. Even though they’re from western Mass, they’re playing the Capital District so often it’s like it doesn’t matter where they’re from. We want them here. Again and again and again. Come back soon!
5. Sky Furrows
Ok so you know how we said we got unexpected results from the algorithm? We’ve never seen this band, but apparently they’re a fucking powerhouse of psychedelic noise jams fronted by a poetess that owns whatever club they’re playing according to the scenesters surveyed. Thanks survey, you clued us in to another local phenomenon we were completely unaware of! And it was and still is difficult to find info on who they are, where they come from, when they’re coming back… hey Sky Furrows if you see this, get in contact with us and we’ll get you all over the internet! Sorry, did we break a 6th wall there or something?
4. Eternal Crimes
Eternal Crimes has received our ire many a time, from jokes about their involvement in Super Dark (drummer Shane Sanchez and bass player John Gill are major players in that collective or whatever the Empire can be called at this point), about bass player John Gill’s model good looks, the time he called me ‘Steve’ instead of ‘Scott’, Nico Jordan’s unique vocals that often sound like an evil goblin singing from the Necronomicon, etc. Boasting not only Super Dark but credentials of being a supergroup made up of members from Black Ships, Severe Severe, every project Shane’s ever started or been in (and there are too many to keep track of), it’s no wonder our readers all love and sing the praises of this powerhouse trio that’s been at and rocked pretty much every cool show that happened in 2018!
3. Blood Blood Blood
New to the survey but certainly not to us is Shane Sanchez’ pivotal lo-fi darkwave electronic noise vehicle Blood Blood Blood that’s brought him front and center at many of his own curated shows. We’re guessing that he just plays whenever he can’t find an opener, sometimes alone, sometimes with other Super Dark Collective all stars, usually in disguises and performing personas. Is that even them above? Honestly, we’re glad everytime he can’t find an opener, because we love this act!
2. Che Guevara T-shirt
Not these fuckin guys again. I swear someone rigged this survey. There’s no way that this band, consistently dubbed the ‘most underrated band in the’ (fill in the blank), genuinely got second place in this survey. We cry foul! Though they certainly did put out what was definitively their best record in 2018, Seven Out Pay the Don’ts, largely as a result of the brilliant engineering of Justin Pizzoferrato of Sonelab Studios (PLUG!) (who also worked on the new Bendt record which we’re eager to hear), the increasingly interesting and idiosyncratic percussion work of John Olander (who you probably know as the redhead that does the sound at half the shows you go to), and the melodious haunting guitar of Matt Heuston. Also that they recently added scene beloved local bass player (a longtime member of the band at #1 see below) Katlyn Celentano to the lineup. But the fact that whenever they play live they look so bored and sleepy and (esp. front man k. Sonin formerly of like, a million Albany bands from twenty years ago that drew 5 ppl tops to any show they played other than Complicated Shirt who was fucking AWESOME) CRANKY that the crowd always has to try to cheer them up makes us think, no. This didn’t happen legitimately. Ah hell we done interduced them enough. Cheats! Shenanigans! Rigged!
1. Hill Haints
Number 1 two years in a row! There’s no denying by anyone that’s ever seen them that this band fucking rules. They never stop playing, never stop having fun, and you’ll see their members in the crowd or maybe even onstage at everything local music thing that matters (including new side project White Devil and the 666 fronted by HH’s own E.S. Cormac and the other incestuous groups all members are in and out of — ok we didn’t mean that to sound so gross but we’re glad that it came out that way. Maybe it’ll go back in easier). Not to mention the fact that they released their Tour de Force EP Carcinogen this year (expertly reviewed by brilliant review site Post-Magazine Rock here), taking local radio, bandcamp and facebook downloads by storm. Cormac, Hanson, Celentano, and Piper are a relentless touring band that gets better everytime they play and appears to write and improve every one of their tunes while onstage!
We had to throw in at least one dig in this otherwise shit sandwich of winning the worst award for local music in the Capital District known as the Times Boredom Worst Local Band of 2018 list which is more likely to destroy your band’s fame and popularity than enhance it… And man do they ever fucking deserve it! Everybody else that’s reading this, go see Hill Haints and take notes! Step up your game! Make your shit ecclectic as all get out (but of course referential to the Giants of our industry such as the most obvious comparison of the Stooges but honestly every great indie and noise rock band to hit the stage this century), have fun, make noise, rock out, and win the most coveted awards in the industry!
Oh and btw we’ll be sending the actual gold statue in the mail since the one we gave y’all at the awards show was actually made of plastic (looked better on camera that way). Well done!