Tis’ the season for Top 10 countdowns! The list below isn’t necessarily a best of bands, but more a reflection of bands that made the greatest impact on the local music community in 2013. In addition, Bucket Of Rock ditched the video recording in favor of growing love for concert photography, so the 2013 Top 10 is accented by photo’s mostly from yours truly to showcase Frederick’s finest.
10. Joint Effort
A hip hop rock fusion quartet that aren’t exactly new this year, but solidified their sound and became a local party favorite at many venues. The band finished 2013 strong with a blow out show at The Filmore in Silver Spring, complete with a pay-to-ride party bus!
9. The Demon Beat (last show)
Arguably, more of a Shepherdstown band, only having played Frederick on a few occasions, but none the less we are sure sad to see this Bucket Of Rock garage rock staple disappear. No one could throw a local rock show quite like the Demon Beat and their last show at Stonewall’s in Shepherdstown, just prior to lead singer and guitarist Adam Miesterhans moving to Nashville to pursue other opportunities, was nothing short of epic. The upside of this break up however, is that 3 new local bands containing past members have taken it’s place. Drummer, Jordan Hudkins put more focus into his band Rozwell Kid (new album) and Bass player Tucker Riggleman now front’s his project Bishops (new EP) full time as well as plays lead guitar in the punk/ garage rock band RHIN (new EP).
8. Adrienne and The Merrylanders (last show)
Everyone shed a tear at this year’s Artomatic Frederick music showcase night featuring Adrienne and The Merrylanders. A charming soulful funk rock band that captured our hearts in 2012 and kept our attention through most of 2013, played their last show at Artomatic. Adrienne Smith will be debuting solo performances in 2014, with the first show scheduled on January 15th at Bushwaller’s Pub.
7. Silent Old Mountains (last show)
An indie folk rock band that seemed to have so much promise, touring and playing regularly at bigger venues like the Rock N Roll Hotel in DC and the Ottobar in Baltimore broke up mid fall this year. The situation seems to exemplify the struggle for a local band, even a local band who finds some success in the business. The contemplation of how successful a band can be is often out weighed by the need to support ones self in the present time and the realization that touring will certainly not be friendly to ones home life or loved ones. After sort of a dry spell, the band called it quits and never officially played a last show, the above photo is from one of their very last shows at Rock and Roll Hotel.
6. Old Indian
Seriously, a banner year for this rock band showing us that they can be more than just a good timing stoner-metal skater band when they want to be. Old Indian released an EP this year, played some packed local shows, toured regionally, and opened for Deer Tick at one of Flying Dog’s Summer Series Concerts!
Frederick was fortunate to have seasoned touring musician Katie Powderly move to Frederick mid year. After a few solo shows, Katie picked up past members of The Merrylanders to start a full figured rock americana band. With Powderly’s skill for touring, this Frederick band just might take flight! The full band debuted at Artomatic Frederick and finished the year strong with packed shows.
4. Heavy Lights
Heavy Lights has been lurking in the shadows a bit this year while they work on their debut album, but those who have been following know this band has mega potential, talent, and the kind of serious professionalism to back it up in the mainstream indie rock genre. Three of their brand new songs were featured on a recent Frederick News Post podcast!
It’s hard to find a friendlier group of guys or a more fun rock show in town. Their brand of mainstream rock that gets a little jam band-ish at times can find a home almost anywhere in town and thus they are one of the most accessible bands in all Frederick. Sign’s Point East released a new EP this year recorded in Brooklyn and played a ton of local shows.
2. Ghost Hotel
It’s hard to find a more refined indie pop sound in Frederick and everyone knows it’s a special occasion when Ghost Hotel is featured on a line up. The band has great Baltimore connections, which certainly brings Frederick some street credit amongst the bigger metro area scene. Ghost hotel released their debut album in 2012, but have been working all year on a follow up. No release date yet, so keep your eye on this band and catch them locally before they start primarily opening for larger acts at Baltimore/ DC venues.
1. Dead Monks
One of the last bands to come on scene this year, but undoubtedly building a ravenous following for their 90’s college rock inspired indie rock. Dead Monks, made up of Soren Dodge (who we all know and love from The record Exchange), Nathan O’Dell, Blake Douglas, and Evan Owens (drummer of Old Indian) is the missing link in a mostly polarized Frederick scene of americana, jam bands, and metal. It’s certainly nice to have a band closer to the Bucket Of Rock spirit in Frederick. Dead Monks also released a new EP this year!
So, that wraps it up. This is the Bucket Of Rock Top 10. As with most Top 10’s, there are always complaints and it’s easy to notice that the jam band, electronic, and metal scenes are not well represented here. Certainly, Bucket Of Rock at its core has always been focused more on garage rock and indie rock genres, which represented a minority at the time this blog was started, so that’s just the way it goes. It’s a happy thought to think that in 2013, Frederick has enough of these “minority” genre bands to make a solid top 10 list. Here’s to all of Frederick’s bands in 2014!
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