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The Best New Local Bands: Our Annual Insider’s Poll

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We ask the fans every year in Best of the Rogue who their pick for the best local band is. But when our summer music preview rolls around, we skip the rabble and we go straight to the experts: the bookers, the sound people, the venue-owners, the studio runners, the local superstars, etc… and we ask them one simple question: since you’re out there every night, seeing the good, the bad and the ugly, you know—who’s the hottest new act in town? Then we add the votes together for the results.

The only criteria for their answers is that we define new as having emerged in the last year, and local as being based south of Roseburg, west of K-Falls, and not on the coast. Other than that, it’s all open. If they said the best new band was a tuba-ensemble, we’d take them at their word.

That wasn’t the case this year. Instead the experts brought back three killer rock acts you don’t want to miss the chance to see this summer.

slowcorpseSlow Corpse

Slow Corpse is an ironic name because of how quickly the band rose from the dead. Ashland’s current hipster dreamboats in residence released their debut Hound EP as 2015 wound to a close, and within a month or two were literally everywhere, selling out local clubs, releasing high-quality videos and follow-up recordings, and more. They even nearly won the Messenger’s reader poll for best band in the valley, despite barely existing for the year that poll covered.

And it’s no mystery why all that attention: Slow Corpse’s dreamwave indie sound is great recorded, and even better live—where it comes with a harder, more energetic edge.

We could have called their honors here before even sending out the poll.



verbsandnoundsVerbs and Nouns

The warring cultures of hipstariffic Portland and banjo-centric Southern Oregon might finally have a band to agree on: Verbs and Nouns. The months-old Southern Oregon duo wields guitar and standup bass, to croon out an intoxicating blend of lounge, hip hop, folk, and indie, that sounds like a cross between The XX and Appalachia Rising. Which is a good ‘effin sound.

The band has prescious few local shows under its belt so far, but all have been well-received.

With an album expected to drop this summer, Verbs and Nouns are set to be the next big thing locally.

Until then you can stream some tunes at Soundcloud.com/verbsandnounsduo.


thedowntownThe Downtown

There’s almost zero chance that even the most dedicated attendees of local music clubs has seen The Downtown. That’s because they’re not old enough to play at them. The Downtown’s three members are still in high school, but definitely rock at college level, delivering a potent mix of guitar-based covers and original tunes comparable to power and alt-rock bands like Cake, or Jimmy’s Chicken Shack.

Though you won’t find them in the local bars, the band makes regular appearances at the handful of all-ages opportunities available locally (The Phoenix Clubhouse, Southern Oregon Songwriter’s Association open mics, house parties, etc…). Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on their upcoming performances so at some undetermined point in the future, you’ll be able to trot out that most legitimate of all music fan clichés: “I saw them back when….”


Credit: Courtesy of The Downtown

1 Comment

  1. Jim adams
    February 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm — Reply

    Best new band is Juniper Berries.

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