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The 2013 Rock 'n' Roll Poll



For our annual Rock 'n' Roll Poll, we once again dialed up a select group of Nashville's finest rockers, rollers, bloggers and bookers, and asked them what got their attention — good and bad — in the local scene this year.

What local artist/band ruled Nashville in 2013?

Diarrhea Planet. –Jesse Baker, Mike Grimes, Reece Lazarus, Kent Marcus

Promised Land. Mmmm. –Coco Hames

You could make a good case for Diarrhea Planet or Old Crow Medicine Show. That's just how diverse our scene has become. Jason Isbell certainly had a good year. –Doyle Davis

Old Crow Medicine Show. A No. 1 song on the country charts, Grand Old Opry induction, massive shows with Mumford & Sons. –Seth Riddle

Margo Price, Fox Bear Snake, James Wallace, Caitlin Rose, Natalie Prass, PUJOL, Paramore, Meadownoise, William Tyler. –Beth Cameron

Asher Horton. –Dillon Watson

Either Bully or OGG/Fox Fun/Weekend Babes. (They aren't the same band, but so many of the same bros killin' it relentlessly). –Casey Weissbuch

OGG/Fox Fun crew put out a few records and have a good, cohesive new style. –Daniel Pujol

Cherub. –Chris Cobb

Wild Cub. –Jared Corder

Wild Cub and Cherub both made Nashville proud. –Brandon Jazz

Cy Barkley. –Courtney Jaye

Caitlin Rose with a stellar sophomore album selling out in England, and Scarlett sangin' her song "Waitin' " on Nashville. –Tristen

Caitlin Rose, Promised Land Sound. –Tony Youngblood

Los Colognes. –Caitlin Rose

Steelism. Los Colognes. Natural Child. –William Tyler

Steelism. –Jonny Fritz

William Tyler. Impossible Truth was not only my favorite local record of the year, but one of the best albums of the year, period. –Ben Swank

Those Darlins. –Jeremy Ferguson

JP5. –Jessi and Nikki Darlin

The Weeks. –Drew Mischke

Kevin Ball and the Busters. –Brett Rosenberg

I can't remember their name — The Slobz, maybe? Or The STDs? — but they are sort of old (20?) and "psychedelic," because they use tons of reverb so you can't hear their lyrics. –Chris Crofton

What local artist/band is going to rule in 2014?

Bully. –Jeremy Ferguson

Bully. Adia Victoria. –William Tyler

Bully, Adia Victoria, Music Band, JP5. –Jessi and Nikki Darlin

Bully — just the best. Music Band — also the winners of best stage banter. JP5, duh. –Reece Lazarus

Tristen, Bully. –Beth Cameron

I hope this is finally Natural Child's year. I say this every year, but they just get better and better. –Ben Swank

I think it might be Natural Child. They continue to up their game. Also Tristen seems poised for a breakout. –Doyle Davis

Tristen. –Drew Mischke

#TeamTristen. –Caitlin Rose

Tristen, Nudity. –Tony Youngblood

JP5 should rule 2014. The songs and shows are great. –Coco Hames

There's a good handful deserving, but none are so well-poised as Mikky Ekko. –Seth Riddle

Mikky Ekko. The Cadillac Three. –Kent Marcus

Probably either Blank Range, Bully or Salvador Dali Parton, but mainly Evan Donohue. –Casey Weissbuch

Ranch Ghost. –Jared Corder

Diarrhea Planet, Sol Cat, Machines Are People Too, COIN and The Weeks. –Brandon Jazz

Ri¢hie. –Jesse Baker

Asher Horton. –Dillon Watson

Probably Cherub. Wild Feathers should have a good year too. –Chris Cobb

I'm rooting for Nikki Lane. –Courtney Jaye

Denney and the Jets' new record is solid contemporary non-crypto fascist ATV cola warrior outlaw country. –Daniel Pujol

Steelism. –Jonny Fritz

T. Rust, aka Taylor Rust. Unique guitarist/singer/soundmaker. –Brett Rosenberg

Alanna Royale. –Mike Grimes

What was your favorite discovery this year?

Maybe I'm late to the game, but Ri¢hie and Ponychase. –Jared Corder

Bully totally killed it at every show I've seen them play. –Jesse Baker

Natalie Prass playing solo. –Beth Cameron

Jack Lawrence's solo material. –Dillon Watson

Fond Object Records in East Nashville ... and even more so now that Dottie the shop pig is there. –Courtney Jaye

Diane Coffee. Fond Object. –Jessie and Nikki Darlin

Martian Denny Orchestra. Whoa. –Coco Hames

Actual Wolf, Eric Pollard's (Low, Retribution Gospel Choir) alter ego. –Seth Riddle

Jawws or Waxed. –Casey Weissbuch

Bob Dylan's iron gates. –Sean Thompson

Throwing a couple Stay Magical parties with Meth Dad + Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. –Brandon Jazz

Meth Dad and everything Tyler Walker-related. –Drew Mischke

Study Hall. Good songs. –Daniel Pujol

Steelism. –Jonny Fritz, Doyle Davis

Tennessee Scum. Spooky, fun rock band with a world-class lead singer. –Brett Rosenberg

Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires. Makeup and Vanity Set. Turf War. –Jeremy Ferguson

Sonny and the Sunsets. –Caitlin Rose

The Reneaus. –Mike Grimes

The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. –Tristen

Chance Martin. –William Tyler

Rick's Comic City and Prison Pit. Also, I learned how to spell Diarrhea. –Reece Lazarus

Penicillin Baby. –Tony Youngblood

Heyrocco. –Kent Marcus

Sirius iPhone app. –Chris Cobb

Reggae. –Chris Crofton

Best/worst band breakup of the year?

Worst: Best Show on WFMU. –William Tyler, Reece Lazarus

Balloon Pants. –Casey Weissbuch

Worst: Heypenny. They were so much fun to watch and so creative. Best: My Chemical Romance. Because I forgot that they were still a band. –Jared Corder

Salvador Dali Parton. –Jesse Baker

Jonas Brothers? –Coco Hames

The Jonas Salvador Dali Parton Brothers. –Courtney Jaye

Aboriginals. –Dillon Watson

The Civil Wars — not sure if they are broken up. –Mike Grimes

The obvious — but because it exposed many flaws in the music industry machine and hopefully taught some lessons for artists and this business of music (but I doubt it). –Kent Marcus

Any band that has the offspring of, like, 10 pastors in it that are wearing suspenders and banging on floor toms with mallets should break up, and if they already did, that's great. –Chris Crofton

Mumford & Sons. –Jessi and Nikki Darlin

Luella and the Sun. –Doyle Davis

Brandon Jazz and His Armed Forces. –Brandon Jazz

Best music story of the year?

I'm partial to say that of the official opening of the ever-growing community collective of Fond Object, because it keeps growing and spreading and bringing more artists in, from all over. Art and rock virus! –Coco Hames

Fond Object. –Mike Grimes

The success of The Stone Fox — the void it's filled, the scene it's created; and the food ain't bad either. –Seth Riddle

The sold-out benefit show at Mercy Lounge for Luella and the Sun after all their gear burned down. –Jared Corder

Steve-O from Rat Patrol diving over Gnarwhal onto the crowd during their set at Freakin' Weekend. –Jesse Baker

Sean Noonan moves to Nashville; everyone is stoked. –Dillon Watson

Will Hoge getting the Chevy ads. –Chris Cobb

I've enjoyed watching Jason Isbell have a big year. I always love seeing an artist who has been working hard for many years, finally get the exposure and recognition they deserve. –Courtney Jaye

Nice that 30 Seconds to Mars are finally being inducted into the Opry. –Chris Crofton

Gary Glitter and Jimmy Savile making David Icke feel less crazy, and earth more scared. –Daniel Pujol

Bad Cop guy voicemail thing. –Brett Rosenberg

The one that hits closest to home: the continued rise of interest in vinyl. By this point it's certainly not a fad, and it fueled the growth of our business enough to expand and open Grimey's Too. –Doyle Davis

Everything that Serpents & Snakes has done to promote the local rock scene (The Features, The Weeks, Turbo Fruits, et al). –Drew Mischke

Kanye West coming to Nashville. –Jeremy Ferguson

Kanye West has a mountain AND a Jesus. –Ben Swank

The Third Man/Revenant Records collaboration on the Paramount Records box set. –William Tyler

The weirdo plotlines of Nashville on ABC becoming actual realities for actors on the show. –Caitlin Rose

That grandma who doesn't want to live on a Diarrhea Planet. –Reece Lazarus

Bob Dylan's iron gates. –Sean Thompson

Rihanna recording Mikky Ekko's "Stay," which Mikky also produced. The rise of Kacey Musgraves. –Kent Marcus

Local musicians having beautiful babies. Sharon Van Etten's "Serpents" on Walking Dead. Jordan Caress interviewing Cyndi Lauper. Battle Tapes studio build-out. –Beth Cameron

I heard something about Nashville being an "it" city. –Brandon Jazz

What trend would you like to see left behind in 2014?

Nashville being an "it" city. –Brandon Jazz

People need to stop saying "Nashville." Say "this city" sometimes, or "here." –Chris Crofton

Guest list attitude. Cortney Tidwell not playing shows. The tongue of Miley Cyrus. Jean shorts with tights. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian's relationship. –Beth Cameron

Excessive guest lists being turned in 30 minutes before (or sometimes after) doors. –Drew Mischke

Bands thinking they're cool and they're the first to do what they're doing. ... Less actin' the celeb; more good work, please. I'll join you. –Coco Hames

Entitlement. –Ben Swank

Musicians complaining about their careers, the industry, their "day job" (aka, their career). –Brett Rosenberg

Struggling musicians drinking $8 cups of coffee. –Seth Riddle

Either every band being labeled "garage rock" that comes from Nashville or the Internet. –Casey Weissbuch

Bands that over-play in town. People moving here. Going to 3 Crow. –Jared Corder

Furry vests. –Jesse Baker

Smartphones. –Dillon Watson

Festival/club-related deaths. –Chris Cobb

Let's leave whatever "Bro-Country" is behind. As well as licking hammers, lead singers playing floor toms and the fashion trend of bearded men dressed as if they're late for an Amish funeral. –Courtney Jaye

Set down the banjos and stop twerkin', unless you are gonna do both at the same time. –Jessi and Nikki Darlin

Gremlin rock, bro catharsis dungeon release jams, and Hunger Games makeup brainwash music. –Daniel Pujol

Major labels releasing $400-plus box sets and deleting vinyl titles while they're still selling well. –Doyle Davis

"Dude, do you listen to the Dead?" So embarrassed, even if they weren't awful. What's next, Phish?! –Jeremy Ferguson

Three-story bars. –Caitlin Rose

Folk rock and duos. Please. –Kent Marcus

Hats. It has nothing to do with music other than douchey bands wearing douchey hats. Let's see some goddamn heads, y'all. –Mike Grimes

Songs about finding a place to call home. STOP. –Tristen

Black MIDI, krokodil, Kanye West, "selfies." –William Tyler

Buzzfeed and anything else LIVING ALL OVER ME. CAN I LIVE? –Reece Lazarus

Bob Dylan's iron gates. –Sean Thompson

Who deserves more coverage than they got in 2013?

JP5. –Ben Swank, Sean Thompson

Weekend Babes, Paper Head, Tristen, anything Tiffany Minton touches. –Coco Hames

Rayland Baxter sings softly (and honestly) and carries a big, groovy stick. –Seth Riddle

Blank Range. They are amazing live. –Reece Lazarus

Definitely either Blank Range or Balloon Pants, but most certainly Evan Donohue. –Casey Weissbuch

Sturgill Simpson. –Courtney Jaye

The Wans. –Jesse Baker

Cory Branan. –Brandon Jazz

Cheap Time. –Dillon Watson

Ruby Amanfu. –Chris Cobb

Chrome Pony. –Mike Grimes

Lylas. –William Tyler

Robert Ellis. –Kent Marcus

Ranch Ghost. –Jessi and Nikki Darlin

Study Hall and Thelma and the Sleaze. –Daniel Pujol

Steelism. –Jonny Fritz

Joe Bidewell. –Brett Rosenberg

Alanna Royale. –Doyle Davis

Mike Kluge's bi-monthly experimental/electronic festival Future Night at Boheme Collectif. –Tony Youngblood

Local DIY rock promoters like Jared Corder, Larry Kloess, Jacob Jones and Robert Hamm, David Bell, Chris Wright, Chris Pottinger, etc. –Drew Mischke

The drummer for Machines Are People Too. –Jared Corder

DeGrew Fadkins. Best country songwriter since Ram Hickory. –Chris Crofton

What I really want to say is me, but I won't. –Beth Cameron

Me. It's all about me. Probably need a Webfeed or something so you can see how action-packed lunch is. –Jeremy Ferguson

What was your favorite local record of 2013?

William Tyler, Impossible Truth. –Seth Riddle, Jessi and Nikki Darlin, Ben Swank

Tristen, C A V E S. –Jonny Fritz, Caitlin Rose, William Tyler, Brandon Jazz

William Tyler, Impossible Truth. Tristen, C A V E S. Promised Land Sound, Promised Land Sound. –Courtney Jaye

C A V E S is awesome. So is the Bully EP. Also Impossible Truth, Promised Land Sound. –Reece Lazarus

Promised Land Sound. –Coco Hames

The Stand-In by Caitlin Rose and Blur the Line by Those Darlins. –Tristen

Caitlin Rose, The Stand-In. ... It's my go-to when someone tells me they just don't like much new music. It's built to last. –Doyle Davis

The 7-inch Bully just released. SO MANY HOOKS IN SUCH LITTLE TIME! –Casey Weissbuch

The Weeks' Dear Bo Jackson, although I feel like everyone is gonna say Diarrhea Planet's I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams. –Jared Corder

Kings of Leon, Mechanical Bull. The Weeks, Dear Bo Jackson. –Kent Marcus

Cy Barkley and the Way Outsiders, Mutability. –Jesse Baker

Leather Nightmare's 12-inch EP. –Dillon Watson

Rayland Baxter, ashkeLon EP. –Chris Cobb

THELEMA! by Chris Crofton and The Alcohol Stuntband, natch. –Chris Crofton

T. Rust, Kindertape 13. –Brett Rosenberg

The Reneaus, The Season. –Mike Grimes

The Sufis, Inventions. –Tony Youngblood

Cherub, 100 Bottles. –Drew Mischke

Photo Ops, How to Say Goodbye. –Beth Cameron

Makeup and Vanity Set, Praxis. –Jeremy Ferguson

Best show of 2013?

Freakin' Weekend IV. –Seth Riddle, Casey Weissbuch, Daniel Pujol, Reece Lazarus

Paul McCartney at Bonnaroo. –Jared Corder, Courtney Jaye

The Diarrhea Planet album release Aug. 17 at Exit/In. –Jesse Baker

Willy T. The full band show he did at The Stone Fox over Bonnaroo weekend was a mind-blowing game-changer. Also that Obnox and Unholy Two show that I put on was pretty awesome. –Ben Swank

William Tyler Band at The Stone Fox, June 12. –Dillon Watson

Self at Exit/In was December 2012, but I think it should count. –Chris Cobb

Aimee Mann with Ted Leo at the Franklin Theatre. And Greg Cartwright solo at Fond Object Records. –Coco Hames

Cream Anniversary party at Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom/The High Watt. –Kent Marcus

Diarrhea Planet at The High Watt with comedians Sean O'Connor, Michael Che and Jamie Lee. –Brandon Jazz

Jessie Ware with Mikky Ekko at Mercy Lounge. –Drew Mischke

Kanye West's Yeezus Tour. Nick Cave at the Ryman. Apollo Up! at Exit/In. –Beth Cameron

Jonathan Richman at The Stone Fox; Jacuzzi Boys at The End; Nashville's Dead birthday with Ex Cult, etc., at Exit/In; Nashville Outlines block party at The Stone Fox. –Jessi and Nikki Darlin

Nashville Outlines at The Stone Fox. –Sean Thompson

Thelma and the Sleaze at The Stone Fox. They're the real thing. –Brett Rosenberg

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Ryman. Goat at The High Watt. –Doyle Davis

Guessing it'll be Kanye for me. Though the Hotpipes release show was pretty fantastic. –Jeremy Ferguson

Nick Lowe at Mercy Lounge. –Caitlin Rose

Diamond Rugs at The Basement. –Mike Grimes

Björk at Bonnaroo. –Tristen

Robert Ellis and John McCauley at The Stone Fox. –William Tyler

Vortex Percussion's performance of George Antheil's Ballet mécanique at Blair School of Music, organized by Michael Holland. –Tony Youngblood

The Antioch Murder Squad at Payless Shoes (birthday party). –Chris Crofton


Jesse Baker: booker

Beth Cameron: musician, Ponychase and Forget Cassettes; freelance concert production

Chris Cobb: co-owner, Exit/In, Marathon Music Works and William Collier's

Jared Corder: artist relations and booking, East Nashville Underground; musician, *repeat repeat

Kent Marcus: Marcus & Colvin entertainment law firm

Chris Crofton: comedian; podcaster, The Chris Crofton Show; musician, Chris Crofton and the Alcohol Stuntband

Jessi and Nikki Darlin: Those Darlins

Doyle Davis: co-owner/vinylist, Grimey's New & Preloved Music; host of The Indie Underground Hour on Lightning 100

Jeremy Ferguson: producer/engineer/proprietor, Battle Tapes Recording

Jonny Fritz: musician

Mike Grimes: co-owner, Grimey's New & Preloved Music and The Basement; musician, Guilty Pleasures

Coco Hames: singer-songwriter, The Ettes and The Parting Gifts; owner, Fond Object Records

Courtney Jaye: musician

Brandon Jazz: assistant GM and talent buyer at Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom and The High Watt; co-president and talent buyer at Corporate Juggernaut; musician

Reece Lazarus: booker The Stone Fox

Drew Mischke: general manager, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

Daniel Pujol: PUJOL

Seth Riddle: general manager, Serpents and Snakes Records

Caitlin Rose: musician

Brett Rosenberg: musician, Quichenight and PUJOL

Ben Swank: co-founder, Third Man Records; drummer, The Ultras S/C; DJ, Dorker Vibes

Sean Thompson: musician, Promised Land Sound

Tristen: musician

William Tyler: musician; co-owner, The Stone Fox

Dillon Watson: volunteer; Nashville's Dead; D. Watusi, more

Casey Weissbuch: drummer, Diarrhea Planet

Tony Youngblood: multimedia artist; podcaster and blogger,; founder, Circuit Benders' Ball festival



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