TOP 10s

TOP 10s


Our Booking Intern Matt reached out to a bunch of Holland staff, volunteers, board members and key peeps to see what their Top 10s of 2015 were. Here’s what they gave him!

Alex Vitale (photographer)

  1. G.L.O.S.S. – Demo
  2. Ceremony- The L-Shaped Man
  3. Death Grips- The Powers That B
  4. Hop Along- Painted Shut
  5. Girlpool- Before the World Was Big
  6. Grave Babies- Holographic Violence
  7. Jack and Eliza- Gentle Warnings
  8. Seoul- I Become a Shade
  9. The Dead Weather- Dodge and Burn
  10. Dum Dum Girls + Merchandise collaboration singles- “Red Sun” & “Echo”

Honorable mention: Frank Ocean’s unreleased album

Watson Meyer (volunteer / City Wolves)

  1. Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect
  2. Your Friend – “Heathering”
  3. Tame Impala – Currents
  4. Ought – Sun Coming Down
  5. Plush – Pine + their show at the Holland Project
  6. Drag Me Under – Moon Ripper
  7. Marching Church – The World is Not Enough
  8. Girlpool live at the Holland Project
  9. Spitting Image – Icon Alive
  10. Skinwalkers – Invisible Twin

Scaught Bates (sound man)

1. Filmage DVD – My new all time favorite music documentary about one of my all time favorite bands, The Descendents. This one made me want to get up off my ass and do stuff, just like a good documentary should

2. Spitting Image ‘Icon Alive’ Cassette – Local Reno dudes putting out their best material before they split up and move across the country, thus leaving us all wanting more.

3. Cory Brannon – Live @ the Fink wedding. I thought the ceremony with live goats and cute dogs was going to the highlight of the evening, then Cory Brannon comes out and wipes the floor with everyone. Jaw. On. The. Floor.

4. Nudity ‘Astronomicon’ LP – Guitar shreds from the NW featuring members of Tight Bro’s From Way Back When, and Broken Water. An odd release to see on Iron Lung Records which makes me like it even more.

5. Meat Wave ‘Delusion Moon’ LP – These dudes are on a roll. Gotta get them back to Reno.

6. The Call Up ‘Is a New Band’ Demo – Former Reno resident Ryan Stark started a band with new Reno resident, Ilya Arbatman, and wrote really, really good songs.

7. Fountainsun ‘Music Today’ – Daniel Higgs’ new and bizzarely fascinating folk band.

8. Goat ‘Commune’ – Favorite bass line of the year goes to the song ‘Goat Child.’ Really interesting listen all the way through.

9. Jenny Lee ‘Never’ – Killer song from her upcoming album, ‘Right On.’ Pretty excited for that one. Favorite drum beat of the year.

10. Burning Palms – Live @ The Holland Project – A great sounding blend of Siouxsie and Desert Rock. Beautiful cacophonous sound.

(Honorable mentions – Albums by Protomartyr, Dirty Ghosts, Radioactivity, Diat, and an EP by Melkbelly. Making lists is hard…)

Emily Jiang (volunteer, intern)

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
  2. Mitski – Bury Me at Makeout Creek
  3. Mac Demarco – Another One
  4. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
  5. Hans Zimmer- Interstellar Soundtrack
  6. Disappointment at the hands of Frank Ocean
  7. Mistaking Jeff Mangum for a hobo while waiting in line for Neutral Milk Hotel
  8. Ed Schrader at the Holland Project
  9. Fresh Meat!
  10. Halloween Show

Erin Miller (volunteer)

1. Singing with Rozwell Kid, and the Rozwell Kid show as a whole
2. Fresh Meat (and finally being in a band!!)
3. Current Joys – Me Oh My Mirror
4. Punk Rock Storytellers @ The Holland Project
5. Timmy’s Organism, Corner/Store @ The Holland Project
6. The World Is… – Harmlessness
7. Amoeba/Heartsleeve split
8. Chain and the Gang @ The Holland Project
9. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
10. Iji, Casino Hearts, Taste Buds @ The Holland Project

Alberto Garcia (Gallery Committee member)

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Drake –If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
  3. Mykki Blanco – Betty Rubble The Initiation
  4. Death Grips – The Powers That B
  5. Björk – Vulnicura
  6. ARCA – Mutant
  7. Downtown Boys – Full Communism
  8. Erykah Badu – But You Cant Use my Phone
  9. Travis Scott – Rodeo
  10. Alex G – Beach Music

Sophia Pierce (Interim Music Director)

  1. Seeing Marilyn Manson and the Smashing Pumpkins on The End Times Tour in Vegas over the summer, meeting Billy Corgan and chatting with Manson’s dad, Hugh, for like 7 hours outside their tour bus.
  2. A Place to Bury Strangers – Transfixiation
  3. Tamaryn – Cranekiss
  4. Soko – My Dreams Dictate My Reality
  5. Chelsea Wolfe – Abyss
  6. The Coromandelles  – Late Bloomer’s Bloomers
  7. The 1975 – “Love Me”
  8. Teal – Flowers Will Lay Upon Me
  9. Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

Matt Grimm (Music/Booking Intern)

  1. Deafheaven- New Bermuda (Essential Track: Brought to the Water)
  2. Jamie xx- In Color (Essential Track: Loud Places)
  3. Viet Cong- Viet Cong (Essential Track: Continental Shelf)
  4. Current Joys- Me Oh My Mirror (Essential Track: Home Pt. 1&2)
  5. Beach House- Depression Cherry (Essential Track: Space Song)
  6. Death Grips- The Powers That B (Essential Track: Turned Off)
  7. Strange Wilds- Subjective Concepts (Essential Track: Pronoia)
  8. G.L.O.S.S- Demo (Essential Track: Outcast Stomp)
  9. Torres- Sprinter (Essential Track: Strange Hellos)
  10. Earl Sweatshirt- I Dont Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside (Essential Track: Mantra)

Honorable Mentions: Spitting Image- Icon Alive, Wild Moth- Inhibitor, Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

Sierra Jickling (Workshop Coordinator)

– Tame Impala’s Currents: SO SICK! The way it’s mastered between sides of a stereo (I’m sure there’s a technical name for that?) is delightful.

– Joe MacPhail (find him on Soundcloud): his tune “Introducing… The Jam” is wonderful. I’m very into it, jamming to it is as I type.

– Girl Pool: playing their Holland Show this year! I felt very empowered as a young woman participating in the music scene, Girl Pool is a great band and I’m inspired by the way they take take to day feelings and make something magical yet real about it!

– Courtney Barnett’s Pedestrian At Best: another lady in the music scene, catchy music with real clever lyrics about real life.

Vulnicura by Bjork. I’ve never listened to Bjork prior to this year, what a shame. Her music is wild, unexpected, and always deeply intriguing and satisfying.

– Erykah Badu’s remix of “Hotline Bling”. Drake’s wasn’t to hot for me (sorry Drake I still love you) but Erykah took it and ran with it and totally stunned me with it, as most of her tunes are wont to do.

– The World Is A Beautiful Place..: Harmlessness. The World Is never fails to deliver in my time of need. This year, I listened to Harmlessness in the week that is came out, in the halls of the Church of Fine Arts while I killed time before a class. Brought tears to my eyes.

– Kendrick Lamar: Video for “Alright” was executed phenomenally. Beautiful video, powerful powerful powerful.

-Pat The Bunny: Coming to Reno in February! Great punk show of the ages.

-Nicholas Mills: UNR Jazz student’s arrangement of the Aphex Twin tune “Windowlicker” for UNR’s Hazz Ensemble 1 Big Band concert this year. An electric tune arranged for big band instruments, pulled off PHENOMENALLY! Great job Nick.

Brigdon Markward (volunteer, City Wolves)

  1. Protomartyr- The Agent Intellect
  2. Current Joys- Me Oh My Mirror
  3. Try the Pie- Domestication
  4. Girlpool- Before the World was Big
  5. Skinwalkers- Invisible Twin
  6. The World Is A Beautiful Place – Harmlessness
  7. Julia Holter- Have You in My Wilderness
  8. Foxing- Dealer
  9. G.L.O.S.S. – Demo
  10. Destroyer- Poison Season

Brandon Martin (volunteer)

In no particular Order:
Screaming Females – Rose Mountain
Fuzz – Fuzz ll
Washer/Flagland split 7”
Stove – Is Stupider
Noise Loves Audio – Valence Effect compilation
Zig Zags – Slime ep (plus their show @ Holland Project)
Krill – A Distant Fist Unclenching
Timmy’s Organism @ The Holland Project
Colleen Green – I Want to Grow Up
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

Britt Curtis (Director)

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly & the vid for Alright (super poignant, political, important — a perfect mix of art, music, and a social battle cry).
  2. Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Going Down (Kurt Vile is my dude and Smoke Ring for My Halo is my longtime fave that I’ve played a gajillion times, but this release is real solid. Plus, we have the same hair.)
  3. Amen Dunes – Cowboy Worship (kinda a Rufus Wainwright/Brian Wilson Smile vibe that I dig)
  4. Together Pangea – The Phage (I listened to this when we thought we might have them at Holland, and then it stayed up and playing for like 20 days straight.)
  5. Fuzz – II (makes me feel right at home in my dream of being a 70s teen)
  6. Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass (stunning and beautiful with a ton of heart & soul).
  7. Current Joys – Me Oh My Mirror (perfect tunes to match my mood for part of this year, and I’m a Nick fan).
  8. Drake – If You’re Reading This You’re Too Late (I almost hate to include this because he’s so annoying, but can’t deny it – and probably didn’t hurt that everyone around me was bumping this all year long, so it was just a matter of time…)
  9. Health – Death Magic (heavy noise pop? dark industrial disco w/ punk vibes? whatever it is, they nailed in on this release).
  10. Mavis Staples – Your Good Fortune (raw and the real thing, gospel with some hip hop undertones).
  11. Tie: Leon Bridges and The Weeknd – both for their throwback feel and for carrying the torch for some serious masters. One nods to Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, and the other to Prince and MJ.

Also, shout out to killer tracks: Santigold’s Who Be Lovin Me and Can’t Get Enough of Myself (can’t wait for the whole album coming soon), Ryan Adams cover of T. Swift’s Blank Space, and my girl Missy Elliot’s WTF. And honorable album mentions to Native North America (from Light in the Attic), Erykah Badu’s You Caint Use My Phone mixtape, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Dungen – but I agree w/ Scott Bates, making lists is hard and I didn’t listen to as much new stuff as I should have…

Tucker Rash (volunteer, killer DJ)

  1. They Might Be Giants resurrecting their Dial-a-Song service for 2015!
  2. Françoise Hardy – Tendres Succès
  3. Dan Melchior’s Broke Revue’s – Lords of the Manor
  4. Seeing Public Image Ltd. live in Sacramento was awesome. (Can I put this on the list?)
  5. Motorama – Poverty
  6. The Giant Squidstravaganza begins podcasting and rereleases album Death to Humans
  7. Harry and the Potters tour in Sweden!
  8. Morrissey claims to have “officially died for 9 minutes”. Isn’t he great??
  9. The Garden’s – Haha
  10. I discovered a band called Cheveu while I was in Salt Lake City. One of my favorite songs of theirs is called Quattro Stagioni. They haven’t released any new material since last year, but I think they deserve a spot on this list.

HT MacDiarmid (Showprint / Gallery Committee member)

  1. Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire
  2. Battles – La Di Da Di
  3. Viet Cong – Viet Cong
  4. Death Grips – The Powers That B
  5. Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
  6. Destroyer – Poison Season
  7. Bjork – Vulnicura
  8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
  9. Foxing – Dealer
  10. Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls

Denali Lowder (Showprint / Gallery Committee member)

  1. A Place to  Bury Strangers – Transfixiation
  2. Cranes – Forever
  3. Jesu – S/T
  4. Appleseed Cast – Low Level Owls Vol. 1
  5. Caribou – Our Love
  6. Sunn 0))) – Kannon
  7. Hum – You’d Prefer an Astronaut
  8. Neurosis – Times of Grace
  9. Lush – Spooky
  10. Health – Death Magic

Jazzy Brazelton (Showprint)

  1. Current Joys – Me Oh My Mirror
  2. Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho
  3. Emancipator – Seven Seas
  4. Froth – Bleak
  5. Passion Pit – Kindred
  6. Gramatik – Coffee Shop Selection
  7. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
  8. Beach House – Depression Cherry
  9. La Luz – Weirdo Shrine
  10. City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You

Honorable Mention: Death Cab for Cutie – Kintsugi , Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful , El Ten Eleven – Fast Forward

Chelsie Rose (Holland Board Member)

  1. The Can’t Gets breaking a picnic table at Lincoln Lounge at the Instagrammys after-party is #1
  2. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly Poignant and keenly sociologically aware of 21st Century America
  3. Erykah Badu – But You Cain’t Use My PhoneAre you kidding me with that U Use To Call Me cover?!
  4. Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin downMusic to roadtrip to- I think it’s all that banjo
  5. Shamir – RatchetFor days that are too beige and devoid of boogie, xtra plus this young buck hails from Las Vegas- my hometown, where good things (at least musically) are rarely birthed
  6. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier A masterpiece of indie pop!
  7. Justin Bieber’s song “Sorry” – I’ve spent my entire adult life trying to hate the Biebs, but I just can’t. This song is a booty bumper and makes me feel like I’m 20 in the “irrational” way (which is pretty much the only way I felt when I was 20)
  8. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too LateBecause Drake (specifically Know Yourself)
  9. Joanna Newsome – DiversHer entire album is super beautiful and weird and reminds me of gaelic faeries singing in a forest somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, which I’m pretty sure Joanna Newsome is doing right now
  10. Selena Gomez – “Good For You” – Okay, well, I think it’s time I acknowledge that I’m a sucker for pop music in the worst way. Not very edgy, but fuck it.
  11. FETTY WAP – I ALMOST FORGOT FETTY WAP! I’M LIKE HEY, WHAT’S UP, HELLO. – Fetty Wap has successfully made every white girl on the planet want to be a Trap Queen, even though some of us may not know what that means. I CAN RIDE WIT’ MY BABY. I’LL BE IN THE KITCHEN COOKIN’ PIES WIT’ MY BABY.

Clint Neuerberg (Holland Board Member)

Calexico – Edge of the Sun

Calexico have been one of my favorite bands for over a decade now and their blend of sparse indie rock, mariachi, country, jazz and lo-fi makes for a pastiche no one but they have mastered. This album finds them bringing back some of the more vibrant influences and would probably resonate with folks that dug their early 2000s output more than the middle of the road stuff they’ve been doing recently. A great early morning record when you don’t feel like banging your head. Suggested Track – “Cumbia de Donde”

Cherubs – 2 Ynfynyty

The Austin noise rockers returned after a 20-year hiatus with a straight blistering record. Seriously, this thing is so heavy and noisy and fucking relentless. There’s a ton of spacey, atmospheric stuff going on beneath the grime as well, and (like everything else on this list) repeat listens peel back some of those layers. Suggested Track – “Monkey Chow Mein”

Faith No More – Sol Invictus

Another fantastic band from the 90s that returned this year with an offering that stands among their best work, the new Faith No More record sounds exactly like what you would imagine FNM to sound like in 2015. Everything is there: the thick riffs, the classical piano, the spaghetti-western voice-overs, the horror movie squeals, the copious amounts of profanity. This is kitchen-sink rock for the nerdy-ass music fan in you. Suggested Track – “Superhero”

Gay Kiss – Preservation Measures

Fast, loud, brutal hardcore from Phoenix. No niceties, no subtlety, no bullshit. Suggested Track – “Last March”

Meat Wave – Delusion Moon

These guys are carrying the torch for Midwest punk right now. The songs are all so smart and catchy and (like Gay Kiss) surprisingly lean on the BS factor. Imagine if instead of eating mushrooms in Boise, Doug Martsch moved to Chicago, got really into D4 and Wipers records and started a power trio. Sounds great, right? Suggested Track – “Sham King”

Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs

The latest addition Jim O’Rourke’s “pop albums” may be my favorite thing he’s ever done. Really lush arrangements with a ton of instrumentation and a mid-70s kind of vibe. There’s elements of George Harrison, Cat Stevens, and even a little Randy Newman in there, but it all comes together perfectly and everything feels like it’s exactly where it belongs in this record.  Suggested Track – “Half Life Crisis”

Pile – You’re Better Than This

I always have a hard time explaining this one to friends. Pile play rock music, but not like riffs or anything. They’re not really a punk band, but they’re more punk than an indie band. Some of their guitar parts are pretty mathy, some aren’t. Sometimes the singer yells, but most of the time he doesn’t. The songs don’t really follow traditional structure, but they all make sense. The guitars almost never have distortion, but still sound heavy. There’s a pretty acoustic interlude called “Fuck the Police.” If any of this nonsense sounds appealing, please check out this record. It’s really, really good. Suggested Track – “Waking up in the Morning”

Sleater Kinney – No Cities to Love

The third band on this list to return after a long absence with an excellent record, the new SK record isn’t as bombastic as their last record (2005’s fantastic The Woods) but is probably their most dense, complex work to date. These are rock songs, but they never appear tedious or uninspired. Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker’s voices still fit together perfectly and their guitar work is as good as it’s ever been. Suggested Track – “Bury our Friends”

Ufomammut – Ecate

Crushingly heavy vibes straight out of Italy of all places. These guys live in the same deep waters as late 90s Neurosis, Old Man Gloom, and Yob, but they dose the whole thing with a psychedelic madness that makes all that sacred geometry stuff start to sound reasonable. Fire one up and bang your fucking head to this. Suggested Track – “Plouton”

Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Hands down my favorite album of the year. Viet Cong play angular, dark post punk. Doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, this album is flawless. The seven tracks all completely stand on their own and each contain at least one of those “oh shit, this part rules!” parts that only pop up a handful of times on really good records. Viet Cong also manage to pull off the herculean feat of sounding timeless. This could have been recorded in 1978 or last week. Plus, “Continental Shelf” is the best song I’ve heard in 10 years. It’s perfect. Suggested Track – “Continental Shelf”

I would also like to add that Humaniterrorist Record Collective put out two excellent records this year: Elephant Rifle’s Ivory (released in conjunction with Gentlemen Friends) and Hate Recorder’s Flinching at the Square Waves. I really believe in these records and think they are both great additions to the Reno music canon.