[abridged version below]
The music scene in Providence – and throughout Rhode Island – is insane. We’ve got more badass, super talented and hardworking musicians per capita than any other city in the world (don’t look that up, just go with it). But what’s more is we’ve got everything covered. Folk, rock, hip hop, punk; name a genre, cross pollinate it with another, hell just start making things up (Death-funk surf-rap!) and there’s almost definitely someone in RI doing it.
So where to start? We’ve assembled a crack team of musicians, promoters and supporters all plugged in to the local scene to give you your official 2015 local playlist and to tell you who you should be keeping an eye on. We’ve also got our five favorite records of the year, plus a look back at some shows that we felt best represent the eclectic nature of music in Providence.
Mark MacDougall, founder of 75orLess Records
1. “Stay” by Bob Kendall – Longtime Newport legend Bob Kendall is an indie pop magician, with echoes of REM, The db’s, and George Harrison.
2. “Double Nickels on the Dime” by Groundhawgs
3. “Huge Bruise (Live at Dusk)” by Black Oil Incinerator – Crusty gentlemen blowing out your eardrums with catchy hooks buried beneath an avalanche of amps and pedals.
4. “Credit Score” by Jodie Treloar
5. “Damn Unicorn” by Suicide Bill and the Liquors – A short, heartbreaking ballad; it’s the undiscovered anthem for all the schmucks you know still getting up at 5am every day for a job they hate.
Feng Shui Police
A trio of Brown University too-young-to-care weirdos from Newton, MA who have managed to successfully channel the influences of Half Japanese and Pavement with the charm of Jonathan Richmond. The local champions of Spazzy doo-wop and Elephant 6-influenced pop hooks. They are currently recording the follow-up to their 75orLess EP Thank You. –Mark MacDougall, founder of Providence indie music label 75orLess Records