Twelve Local Artists Not to Overlook in 2011
A lot of local artists cross A to Z's way. Some send us albums; others Tweet at us. Still others drop us email. (Hint: We love email. Especially if it's telling us about who you are and what you're up to. Even if we don't respond, we read everything.) But despite the constant hum of information and music, some local acts slip through the cracks -- not because of malice, but due to time constraints or our heavy workload. And so that's why we're presenting this list of twelve artists not to overlook in 2011. Some of these acts are new; some have been around for a while. Some of these acts we've written about; others we haven't. But all deserve more attention in 2011 -- both from us and you. Consider it a companion piece, a sequel to this week's Eleven Bands to Know in 2011 list.
Art Majors, "Constant Animals"
While some bands are happy to just bathe in the glow of local notoriety, Art Majors hasn't become complacent. If anything, it's just the opposite. The band's frequently picked to open for big name acts -- Holy Fuck and Frog Eyes come to mind - which is a testament to its versatility as a band and its all-around appeal. Frontman Mike Roche's lyrics and delivery are as earnest as his band is consistently on-point.
-- Diana Benanti
The Blind Nils
The Blind Nils is a collaboration between local folk musicians Cassie Morgan, Jerry Baugher and Adam Hajari. Each member brings years of solo experience and talent, which shows in the lyrical depth and complexity of its songwriting. The trio's been performing together as the Blind Nils since 2009, and plans to release a debut EP in 2011.
-- Chrissy Wilmes
The Breaks, "On Our Own" (Bobby Brown cover, from Ghostbusters II)
The Breaks are far from the first band to specialize in high-energy power-pop, but it distinguishes itself with smart, dynamic songwriting and charismatic stage presence. Between bassist Karl Stefanski's leaping and guitarist Sean Gartner's ferocious finger-tapping, the quartet puts on a riveting show that bodes well for its upcoming EP, Odd Man Out, which is out January 11, 2011.
-- Bob McMahon