The 2019 Rock ’n' Roll Poll

Kent Osborne at Nameless Fest V

For our annual Rock ’n’ Roll Poll, we once again surveyed a select group of Nashville’s finest rockers, rollers, bookers, bloggers and more, and asked them what got their attention — good and bad — in the local scene this year.

What local artist or band ruled Nashville in 2019?

Kent Osborne —Jacob T. Corenflos, Adam Reid, Blake Patterson, Rachel Scarbrough, Rian Archer, Zachary Prosser, Caroline Bowman

The Highwomen —Liz Meade, Chris Sunday, Doug Hall

Holy Mountain Top Removers —Mikey Owen

Teddy and the Rough Riders —Asher Horton

Morgan Bosman, Lord Goldie, Frizzy, Brea Brea —Virghost

Rashad tha Poet is 1) a dope MC; 2) author of Elevate Your Vibe; and 3) an ascending motivator on the lecture circuit. I don’t think we’ve seen anyone exactly like him in Nashville. —Greg Bryant

Concurrence —Brian Siskind

Twen, The Medium, Sun Seeker, Sad Baxter —Caroline Bowman

All hail Sad Baxter. —Ellen Angelico

Bleary, Reality Something, Future Crib —Alex Mojaverian

Peachy —Deezy Violet, Alex Mojaverian

Nordista Freeze —Alex Mojaverian, Samantha Zaruba

H.A.R.D. —Taylor Cole, Elena Franklin

Oginalii —Samantha Zaruba, Taylor Cole

Creature Comfort —Samantha Zaruba

Kyle Hamlett Uno, Diatom Deli —Lauren Turner

Heinous Orca —Patrick Orr, Lauren Turner, Joe Kenkel

JayVe Montgomery —Joe Kenkel

Styrofoam Winos, Altered Statesman, Safety Net —Patrick Orr

Microwave Mountain —Elena Franklin

Thelma and the Sleaze —Joseph Page

The War and Treaty —Jerry Pentecost

Brittany Howard —Ariel Bui

Kings of the Fucking Sea —Ryan Sweeney

Thirdface —Rachel Scarbrough, Chappy Hull

Eve Maret —Rian Archer, Nathan Conrad

B|_ank —Rian Archer

Basic Printer —Nathan Conrad

Peppermint Boys —Jesse Gillenwalters

I’m biased, but the entire YK Records family crushed it. The Mute Group, Patrick Damphier, The Robe, Fetching Pails and The Medium all had wonderful releases. —Michael Eades

The Mute Group —Kyle Numann

The Minks —Todd Sherwood, Caroline Bowman

*repeat repeat —Brandon Jazz

Boring Tony and the Rockin’ Americanas playing The Last Waltz every Thursday at 8. —Jeremy Ferguson

Briston Maroney, Ornament —Megan Loveless

Kelsey Waldon —Jeff Meltesen

Daniella Mason —Tyler Martinez

Soccer Mommy —Luke Schneider

Everybody ruled who did it for the love. —Ben Swank

What local artist or band is going to rule in 2020?

Flesh Eater —Jesse Gillenwalters, Adam Reid, Blake Patterson

Styrofoam Winos —Ryan Donoho, Alex Mojaverian, Kyle Numann

Sinai Vessel —Rachel Scarbrough

Freak Daddy —Rian Archer

Look What I Did —Nathan Conrad

Republican Hair —Jerry Pentecost

Teddy and the Rough Riders —Todd Sherwood, Caroline Bowman

D’Wynter Cold, Briana Micah, Ratchet 2x, P.M. —Virghost

EngineIX —Jacob T. Corenflos

Fetching Pails —Mikey Owen

Emily Clement, Tristen —Asher Horton

The Marcus Finnie Band features an A-list drummer/composer/bandleader with an equally inspiring and versatile cast. APA, Madison House, William Morris, etc.: Lend an ear and get these guys on a roster. —Greg Bryant

Luke Combs —Chris Sunday

Nordista Freeze —Taylor Cole

Nightingail —Taylor Cole, Caroline Bowman

Nu Mangos, Vid Nelson —Caroline Bowman

Tummyache, Blood Root, Whoa Dakota, Fusz —Samantha Zaruba

The Minks —Elena Franklin

The Shitdels —Joseph Page

Schizos —Ryan Sweeney

Peachy —Jared Corder

Yautja, Donors —Chappy Hull

Savoy Motel, Donors, Safety Net —Megan Loveless

Country Westerns —Cam Sarrett

Anne Malin, Glam Campbell —Lauren Turner

Caro —Liz Meade

Wade Sapp, if that new album he has in the can sees the light of day in 2020. —Jeff Meltesen

I heard G.U.N. is releasing an LP. —Jesse Rhew

Notelle. If you haven’t seen her live yet, run (don’t walk) to her next show. —Tyler Martinez

Armed with new songs produced by Paul Cauthen, Leah Blevins is destined for superstardom. —Doug Hall

Forget Cassettes’ Beth Cameron has a new band called Black Bra with Miles Price, Tyler Coppage and Jesse Case that is stunning. —Michael Eades

Qats —Ellen Angelico

Grumpy —Alex Mojaverian, Caroline Bowman

Soy Milk Boy, Heaven Honey —Alex Mojaverian

Soy Milk Boy 100 percent!!!! —Deezy Violet

Volunteer Department —Alex Mojaverian, Joe Kenkel

Ziona Riley —Joe Kenkel

Luke Schneider. Ambient is going to eclipse country as Nashville’s drug of choice. —Ben Swank

Logan Ledger, Rayon City, Plant Life Records —Luke Schneider

Dim Salon —Ale Delgado

The Blam Blams, Altered Statesman, The Mute Group —Kyle Numann

What was your favorite discovery this year?

A lot of the Nashville pop scene is not for me, but some gems from Jonie, Bantug, Wildfront and others have been real satisfying. There’s so much diverse, good, music in Nashville — you’ll never run out. —Michael Eades

The N/A Dance Party series features a diverse array of local and regional DJs, while also advocating for safer dance parties, hiring security and posting signage at their events that dictates zero tolerance for harassment or bigotry of any kind. I’m so excited to work with N/A in 2020. —Rian Archer

The underage ravers/live-hardware techno scene. —Tyler Walker

Experimental music is making a resurgence similar to what was happening in Nashville in the early 2000s. —Brian Siskind

Heaven Honey —Leah Miller, Rachel Warrick, Rachel Scarbrough, Caroline Bowman

Soy Milk Boy —Joseph Page, Deezy Violet, Alex Mojaverian

Nordista Freeze —Elena Franklin, Nathan Conrad

Foxbee —Jesse Gillenwalters

Lauren McClinton —Laurel Sorenson

Morgan Bosman, Ratchet 2x, B.A. the Lewe, Bria Bria, 2Piece, K.I.N.G. the MC —Virghost

Rich Ruth. Some of the best, headiest ambient New Age music being made anywhere in the world — and he’s right here in Nashville. —Luke Schneider

Cro-Mags’ connection to East Nashville’s Roxy Theater, which was briefly a recording studio. —Cam Sarrett

Kent Osborne. Love this dude, he’s gonna fuck ’em all up. —Ben Swank

Ray Gun (not to be confused with RAYGUN). Big, loud, ugly rock, with a beat you can dance to. —Mike Shepherd 

The angel-voiced Gustavo Guerrero —Ellen Angelico

The Cosmic Collective has the best blend of melody, quirkiness and chops that I’ve seen in a long time. —Greg Bryant

Katy Kirby deserves a record deal immediately. SIGN HER. —Doug Hall

The New Respects —Jerry Pentecost

Ryoki Center —Chappy Hull

The Dune Flowers, Big Other —Caroline Bowman

Sad Penny —Samantha Zaruba, Ale Delgado

Jake Wesley Rogers, Kitty Pool —Ale Delgado

Future Crib, The Blam Blams —Samantha Zaruba

Vanosdale, Qats —Taylor Cole

Diatom Deli, Trash Man —Asher Horton

The Shitdels, Elcerko, Hungry Mother —Joseph Page

Jon Latham, Kelsey Waldon —Chris Sunday

Becca Richardson and her single “Japanese Eyes” —Ariel Bui

Elle Azar —Liz Meade

Full Mood —Mikey Owen

Belly Full of Stars’ album brokendatapool —Lauren Turner

Anne Malin’s 2018 album Fog Area is a lucid dream of a record. Grateful that 2019 brought her and William to Nashville. Diatom Deli’s TQM, also from last year, is another I’d previously missed: a spacious, transporting gem. —Joe Kenkel

Jasmin Kaset and Quichenight’s Tuxedo is a masterpiece. —Patrick Orr

Mac Gayden —Ryan Donoho

Re-finding The Ascent of Everest. —Kyle Numann

Baby Brains —Ryan Sweeney

Locally: Slush! They are a delight of dream pop and shoegaze. Not locally: Squid (U.K.). —Megan Loveless

Courtney Marie Andrews. When Bluegrass Underground booked her for the 2020 PBS TV taping, I started digging in, and her songs and voice are beautiful and big. —Jeff Meltesen

The 2019 Rock ’n' Roll Poll

Depression Breakfast at Spewfest IV

Best/worst band breakup of the year?Depression Breakfast —Jacob T. Corenflos, Asher Horton, Megan Loveless, Lauren Turner, Zachary Prosser, Ryan Sweeney, Caroline Bowman, Leah Miller, Rachel Warrick

R.I.P. Depression Breakfast. But damn, that farewell show was the sendoff of a lifetime! —Joe Kenkel

So sad we never got to see Purple Mountains perform live. R.I.P. David Berman. —Patrick Orr

Z —Tyler Walker, Adam Reid, Blake Patterson, Caroline Bowman

Blank Range —Caroline Bowman, Chris Sunday, Doug Hall

Telefones —Joseph Page, Michael Eades

Boo Dudes (best); Boo Dudes (worst) —Mikey Owen

Best: Boo Dudes. Boo Dude just sounds better. —Jesse Rhew

The Greg Bryant Expansion —Greg Bryant

Sad Baxter (oh, just kidding) —Deezy Violet

Dancers? But they’re still a band, kind of? —Chappy Hull

Rapper Internet Boyfriend broke up with Nashville and also broke my heart. NYC is a lucky mistress. —Rian Archer 

Arlie. Also, I miss The Ettes. —Jared Corder

Worst: Birdcloud. No announcement, no final show, it’s over? —Jeff Meltesen

Best music story of the year?

Drkmttr reopens! —Mikey Owen, Patrick Orr, Jeremy Ferguson

Drkmttr reopened and has done an unbelievably great job of booking consistently interesting shows, catering to Nashville youth and embracing DIY ideals. —Michael Eades

Orville Peck’s 2019 (all of it); Trent Reznor’s CMA Award —Cam Sarrett

Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road” —Asher Horton, Ryan Donoho, Ale Delgado, Chappy Hull

Kacey Musgraves cleaning up at the Grammys. —Jerry Pentecost

The diversity in the 2020 Grammy nominations. —Ellen Angelico

nobigdyl.’s million-plus streams of his independent mixtape. —Rashad tha Poet

The Highwomen —Samantha Zaruba

“R.I.P. ‘It City’ ” —Nathan Conrad

Jasmin Kaset’s spider-bite treatment. —Tyler Walker

Michelle Sullivan’s return to the stage after beating a cancer diagnosis. —Ryan Sweeney

Altered Statesman getting into Rolling Stone. —Joseph Page

Brittany Howard’s return to performing and touring has been fantastic — and especially her KILLER new band. —Greg Bryant

Hannibal Lokumbe’s residency with Intersection. —Lauren Turner

I am glad to see Hammock reaching incredible heights with their TV and film scores, including Ricky Gervais’ acclaimed series After Life. —Brian Siskind

Songwriter Jay Bolotin’s first Nashville show in almost 30 years at Douglas Corner, organized by FMRL. Also: Lambchop’s takeover of Drkmttr for two shows in one night! —Joe Kenkel

The Dreamville sessions. —Virghost

Mark Kozelek from Sun Kil Moon throwing a fit about the air conditioning at City Winery. —Jacob T. Corenflos

“Church Builds Huge Baby Jesus Statue That Looks Like Phil Collins” —Ben Swank

Exit 111 was interesting? —Brandon Jazz

A teenage fan telling me that we are his 11th favorite band of the decade, and then listing the 10 he likes more than us. —Deezy Violet

*repeat repeat opening for The Black Keys on their arena tour. —Alex Mojaverian

GainesFest 2019 getting national coverage, followed by Garth Brooks telling The Tennessean that “the Gaines project isn’t done”! —Liz Meade

That picture of Inter Arma with Freddie Gibbs and his daughter. —Chappy Hull

Amy and Dillon Smith adopting their sweet li’l baby boy Harry. —Leah Miller, Rachel Warrick

The fugitive bartending at Betty’s was crazy. —Zachary Prosser

Music City Roots finding a permanent home in Madison. —Jeff Meltesen

Certainly not the “best,” but the most significant story was the passing of David Berman. R.I.P. —Luke Schneider

I was lucky enough to attend the private Billie Eilish set at Third Man. I just think it’s awesome that a small bunch of teenagers in a room full of industry adults are shouting “YAS” and “GO OFF QUEEN” on a record that Jack White put out. —Rian Archer

What trend would you like to see left behind in 2020?

Minimal to no inclusion of improvisational music groups on festivals — such as Live on the Green, Musicians Corner, AmericanaFest, etc. — is shameful. It’s nice to back up the artists on these bills year after year, so now’s the time for a few of our own bands to step out front. —Greg Bryant

Venues getting fined for flyers and posters. —Ryan Sweeney

Infantilization of women. —Samantha Zaruba

Any bros in the scene still purposely booking all-white, cis-male lineups. —Megan Loveless

Four-band bills; starting shows at 9 p.m. or later; $5 covers. —Luke Schneider

Bands playing too often. Play fewer shows — more people will come, and you can write more songs! —Chappy Hull

Bands playing sets longer than 30 minutes. —Alex Mojaverian

People booking shows but not promoting them. —Tyler Walker

Feeling the need to take a million photos/videos/selfies; day-of-show guest-list requests —Brandon Jazz

Pretending like Ornament aren’t some of the best songwriters in Nashville. Give them money. —Ben Swank

Psychedelia —Ryan Donoho

*cough* Live Nation *cough* —Todd Sherwood

Our taxes being given to developers for businesses that do not serve the interest of Nashville residents. —Nathan Conrad

Everything is so produced, groomed and industry-calculated now in all popular music. I hope there is a return someday to wild, unabashed, authentic human expression in studio performances. —Brian Siskind

Short attention spans in music. —Virghost

Treating Bandcamp as a second-class platform. It’s a direct line of potential profit and a fantastic way to help get music discovered. —Michael Eades

“I’d buy your tape, but I don’t have a player!” —Adam Reid, Blake Patterson

Lying for likes. —Rashad tha Poet

Calling all music “shoegaze”; the term “guitar music.” —Jacob T. Corenflos

Indie rock. Let’s just call a boy band a boy band. —Laurel Sorenson

Everyone moving to L.A. :( —Tyler Martinez

Bitching about not being nominated for awards on social media. Whoooo caaaaaaaares. *fart noise* —Liz Meade

The strict, unspoken no-dancing policy burdening our dear musical community (this excludes everyone at the King Kong show at Betty’s in October). —Lauren Turner

Siloed communities of musicians. I hope to see more challenging cross-genre and multimedia bills inviting unlikely artists in 2020. —Joe Kenkel

The “No Smiling” movement. —Jerry Pentecost

When bands sign their first crummy little deal and decide that it’s time to get a Nord keyboard. Two years later: deal’s gone, stuck with the Nord. —Austin Hoke

The 2019 Rock ’n' Roll Poll

Only at The Groove on Nashville Cassette Store Day 2019

Who deserves more coverage than they got in 2019?Every single female and gender-nonconforming DJ/producer in Nashville. I see you, I love you, and I can’t wait to book you in 2020. —Rian Archer

There’s a lot of niche music communities slowly gathering steam. The experimental electronic scene with Mischa Lively, Tan, Cells, Stacian, etc., is fascinating. There’s so much hip-hop that we’re all woefully ignorant of. There’s also a small contingent of modern classical composers throwing house events. —Michael Eades

Dale J. Gordon —Nathan Conrad

Jason Eskridge and Sunday Night Soul —Rashad tha Poet

Every pop artist making music in Nashville. —Tyler Martinez

The Shindellas —Ellen Angelico

Cassidy Gephart has killer piano chops, awesome songs and some of the best musicians in town backing her up. —Laurel Sorenson

Morgan Bosman, Frizzy and the whole Po’Boys & Poets Collective, D’Wynter Cold, P.M. —Virghost


The Robe, Volunteer Department —Asher Horton

Trumpeter/bandleader/photographer/visual artist Rod McGaha —Greg Bryant

Waxed —Elena Franklin

The Shitdels, The Chewers, De3ra —Joseph Page

So many folks are working so hard and with such openness! Kyle Hamlett Uno; local label Centripetal Force Records; Wu Fei and chatterbird’s Hello Gold Mountain. —Lauren Turner

Chris Davis continues to go above and beyond as an experimental music curator and musician. His FMRL series is one of the gems of the Nashville music scene. —Patrick Orr

Cassie Berman’s Louisville-soaked ballads and beautiful story songs. —Joe Kenkel

Sean Thompson —Ryan Donoho

Everything To-Go Records and Banana Tapes touches. —Caroline Bowman

The Groove —Adam Reid, Blake Patterson

Dynamo —Jerry Pentecost

Heinous Orca —Leah Miller, Rachel Warrick, Todd Sherwood, Alex Mojaverian

Only, Bill Eberle —Alex Mojaverian

The By Gods —Deezy Violet, Alex Mojaverian

Makeup and Vanity Set —Jeremy Ferguson

The Pressure Kids —Jared Corder

Lauren Morrow —Jeff Meltesen

Jessi Zazu Inc. —Jesse Rhew

Whatever Brian Wright has going on at Café Rooster Records. —Chris Sunday

What was your favorite local record of 2019?

Bleary, Gates —Mikey Owen, Alex Mojaverian, Deezy Violet, Caroline Bowman

Only, Only —Todd Sherwood, Mikey Owen, Chappy Hull, Rachel Scarbrough

Twen, Awestruck —Leah Miller, Rachel Warrick, Todd Sherwood, Megan Loveless, Caroline Bowman

Thelma and the Sleaze, Fuck, Marry, Kill; Josh Rennie-Hynes, Patterns —Caroline Bowman

Lambchop, This (is what I wanted to tell you) —Chris Sunday, Patrick Orr, Jeremy Ferguson

Daniella Mason, Mental State —Liz Meade

Mischa Lively, More —Rian Archer

Everything Cold Lunch Recordings released. —Mikey Owen

D’Wynter Cold and P.M., A Music City Christmas —Virghost

Iven, Little Lady #2 —Zachary Prosser, Jacob T. Corenflos

Brittany Howard, Jaime —Jerry Pentecost, Laurel Sorenson, Ellen Angelico

Molly Tuttle, When You’re Ready —Ellen Angelico

Study Hall, Local News —Asher Horton

Dara Tucker, The Seven Colors —Greg Bryant

Future Crib, Friends —Taylor Cole, Samantha Zaruba

Brasko, SEXDREAMSUPERSTAR —Tyler Martinez, Samantha Zaruba

R.LUM.R, Surfacing —Samantha Zaruba, Brandon Jazz

Cage the Elephant, Social Cues; *repeat repeat, Glazed —Brandon Jazz

Kelly Hoppenjans, OK, I Feel Better Now —Samantha Zaruba

Abstract Black, In Circles With Self —Nathan Conrad, Blake Patterson

The BlackSon, Fresh Air; Petty, How Low We In; Chuck Indigo, Indigo Café —Rashad tha Poet

Jota Ese, 60 Inches (demo 2) —Tyler Walker

Telefones, Hang Up —Joseph Page

Slush, Slush EP —Cam Sarrett

Eve Maret, No More Running (Deluxe Edition) —Ben Swank 

Crave On’s Ace on the Outspeaker. Imagine scuba-diving in honey, surrounded by one jellyfish per each Bob Dylan album, all sampling and refracting timeless truths into a postmodern glory-slime! —Lauren Turner

Joe Kenkel, Dream Creator —Patrick Orr

Faux Ferocious, Pretty Groovy —Ale Delgado, Patrick Orr

Aside from YK releases, I’m very partial to the Crave On, Faux Ferocious, Twen and Heinous Orca releases. There are at least 40 more records worth listing. —Michael Eades

The Medium, Get It While It’s Hot —Ryan Donoho

Skin Tension, Skin Tension Fucking Dies —Adam Reid

Thirdface, A Demonstration of Righteous Aggression —Chappy Hull

Ian Ferguson’s mom’s-basement-created masterpiece State of Gold. —Doug Hall

Andrew Combs, Ideal Man; Quichenight, Dork in the Dark —Jeremy Ferguson

The Mute Group, Sinister Hand; Altered Statesman, Tried as Adults —Kyle Numann

The Ascent of Everest, Is Not Defeated —Kyle Numann, Jesse Rhew

Depression Breakfast, Just Because I’m a Womxn —Ryan Sweeney

Rich Ruth, Calming Signals —Luke Schneider

What was your favorite local song of 2019?

Brittany Howard’s “Goat Head” tells an honest story about what it is to be mixed-race in the South, and it grooves. —Laurel Sorenson

Brittany Howard, “Stay High” —Jeff Meltesen

Twen, “Damsel” —Nathan Conrad, Todd Sherwood, Jeremy Ferguson

Twen, “Holy River” —Asher Horton

Twen, “Baptism” —Chappy Hull

Morgan Bosman, “Venomous”; Ratchet 2x, “Ready” —Virghost

Virghost, “Good Vibes” —Rashad tha Poet

Whisperin’ Ry Jennings, “Robot Cowboy” —Jacob T. Corenflos

Holy Mountain Top Removers, “Diatribe Convoy” —Mikey Owen

I dug pretty much anything written by Dara Tucker, Paul Horton, Jovan Quallo or David Wiliford. —Greg Bryant

“End of the Night” by Taylor Noelle has been stuck in my head since the beginning of the year. —Tyler Martinez

Telefones, “Egnoramoose” —Joseph Page

Teddy and the Rough Riders, “I Found Somethin’ ”; Grumpy, “Kites Are Fun”; Tan, “Autodialer”; Ornament, “Always on Time” —Cam Sarrett

Ziona Riley, “Post No Bills” —Lauren Turner

Ziona Riley, “Actias Luna” —Patrick Orr

Crave On, “Ozzy Osbourne”; Ziona Riley, “Lydia”; Volunteer Department, “What a Life!” —Joe Kenkel

Bleary, “Ghosts”; Crave On, “Ouroboros”; Ziona Riley, “Bury This Heirloom”; Anchor Thieves, “Long Way Out”; German Error Message, “Murmuring”; The Mute Group, “Rodney O”; Adrienne Franke, “Plans to Save.” I’ve got a playlist of 100 songs from 2019 you should get your hands on. —Michael Eades

Flesh Eater, “Extinguisher” —Jesse Gillenwalters

Garbage for Lust, “Sleep” —Blake Patterson

Flesh Eater, “tinnitus” —Adam Reid

Step Sisters, “Convulsions” —Elena Franklin

Charlie Whitten, “Out of This” —Tyler Walker, Caroline Bowman

Chrome Pony, “So Bad”; Only, “Cheap Weed”; Hari the Band, “Numb”; Microwave Mountain, “We Work at Night”; Quichenight, “Cum Together”  —Caroline Bowman

Sam Hoffman, “Glencrest Lane” —Ben Swank

Kyshona, “Fear” —Ellen Angelico

Kelly Hoppenjans, “Band-Aid Girl”; Pet Envy, “Slower”; Fusz, “Give It Up” —Samantha Zaruba

Future Crib, “Yer Movin’ ” —Taylor Cole, Samantha Zaruba

Dillon Watson, “Love Me Do” —Ryan Donoho

KK, “Partyin’ Material”; Okey Dokey and Liz Cooper, “Modern Chemistry”; Josie Dunn, “Ooh La La” —Brandon Jazz

Sinclair, “Drop-Dead Knockout” —Jerry Pentecost

Sad Baxter, “The Atmos” —Jared Corder

The By Gods, “Black Wave”! —Deezy Violet

The Spaceship of the Imagination, “Hold On to Christmas” —Leah Miller, Rachel Warrick

Internet Boyfriend, “CBD” —Rian Archer

Marcus King, “The Well” —Doug Hall

Every song Sad Penny released this year. —Ale Delgado

Altered Statesman, “Shit in Our Systems” —Kyle Numann

Sean Thompson’s Weird Ears, “Time Has Grown a Raspberry” —Megan Loveless

Schizos, “Dead Routine” —Ryan Sweeney

Bl_ank, “Age(Time” and “Computer”  —Zachary Prosser

Lillie Mae, “You’ve Got Other Girls for That”; Chrome Pony, “Takin’ My Time” —Chris Sunday

Queens of Noise’s cover of Those Darlins’ “Ain’t Afraid” —Ariel Bui

The 2019 Rock ’n' Roll Poll

Cassie Berman with William Tyler Band and Friends at Drkmttr

Best show of the year?

Ahmad Jamal at the Schermerhorn. Eighty-nine years old, been making records since the early ’50s and still killing it. Legend of legends. He had never played Nashville before — it was profound. —Brian Siskind

Ahmad Jamal at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. They should license that show to his label for an official release. —Greg Bryant

FMRL organized the best shows in town. Altered Statesman and JayVe Montgomery blew me away with each of their sets at Big Ears, in addition to playing locally throughout the year. —Joe Kenkel

Silver Jews tribute during William Tyler Band and Friends at Drkmttr —Chappy Hull, Rachel Scarbrough

Fester 2019 —Joseph Page

Nameless Fest —Chappy Hull

Po’Boys & Poets Nashville, The Ring Nashville —Virghost

Nashville Cassette Store Day 2019 —Adam Reid, Blake Patterson

So remarkable to see Diatom Deli go from playing open mic nights all those years ago to opening for Deerhoof, my favorite rock band. —Kyle Numann

Spewfest 4 was insane. Any show I’ve seen at Soft Junk — like Juan Wauters or the Fond Object farewell show — could be the best show of the year, too. That space is so special. —Megan Loveless

Dead Soft at Drkmttr, or Spewfest, which was insane this year —Deezy Violet

Bobfest —Taylor Cole, Tyler Walker, Caroline Bowman

Spewfest, Southern Girls Rock Camp showcase, Nosediver’s release show —Caroline Bowman

Nordista Freeze at BobFest! Multiple stage dives, jumping into a river mid-set, puking off the stage and continuing. —Samantha Zaruba

Sweet By Sweet Time 2: Sweet Time’s Revenge —Mike Shepherd, Todd Sherwood

Tie: The Oblivians at The 5 Spot, Mudhoney at the Beast —Ryan Sweeney

Lockeland Strings at The 5 Spot —Ellen Angelico

Faux Ferocious’ album release at The East Room —Patrick Orr

The Raconteurs’ Night 2 at the Ryman —Ben Swank

Fable Cry’s Festival of Ghouls —Jesse Gillenwalters

Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein at OZ Arts Nashville —Ariel Bui

She’s a Rebel has the best musicians, the best singers, and the most diverse lineup. Plus, every song is a banger. —Laurel Sorenson

BB Eye with M.A.Z.E., Depression Breakfast and Schizos at Betty’s —Jacob T. Corenflos

Machine Girl at Betty’s —Zachary Prosser

Ole Mossy Face at the December RR Party —Jeff Meltesen

ELO at Bridgestone, baby! —Asher Horton

Fabio Frizzi at Exit/In —Nathan Conrad

Denny Laine at City Winery —Ryan Donoho

Childish Gambino at Bonnaroo —Jerry Pentecost

King Crimson at the Ryman —Jeremy Ferguson

King Princess at Bonnaroo. Also best audience. Queer teens will lead the revolution!! —Ale Delgado

*repeat repeat with The Black Keys at Bridgestone Arena, Lizzo at the Ryman —Brandon Jazz

Dorian Electra at The East Room. I’ve never seen so much glitter and gender-fuckery in one place in Nashville. Ever. —Rian Archer

Every show Kim Petras performed in Nashville this year. —Tyler Martinez

Weyes Blood at The High Watt, Jamie Davis Band and Dylan Warnek at Crying Wolf —Luke Schneider

With Yola and Maggie Rogers opening and Harry Styles as a surprise guest, Kacey Musgraves’ sold-out Bridgestone Arena show was damn near perfect. —Liz Meade

Smoke the Bowl at Two Rivers Skatepark featuring G.U.N., Waxed, The Suicides and Z. It was so gnarly to bertslide the banks while G.U.N. ripped through their set. —Jesse Rhew


Ellen Angelico: musician

Rian Archer: photographer; DJ; promoter of good music, Sugar/Spice

Caroline Bowman: owner/founder, Cold Lunch Recordings; record girl, Vinyl Tap; your No. 1 fan

Greg Bryant: musician and producer, Concurrence and more

Ariel Bui: musician; activist, Jessi Zazu Inc., The Slants Foundation and more; founder and music educator, Melodia Studio

Taylor Cole: musician, Tayls and Creature Comfort; talent buyer, The East Room, Mercy Lounge, The High Watt

Nathan Conrad: rapper, Spoken Nerd and Fake Four Inc.; food enthusiast; thinker

Jared Corder: musician, *repeat repeat

Jacob T. Corenflos: co-founder of Nashville Show To-Go Menu and To-Go Records

Ale Delgado: bass, Dim Salon

Ryan “Domo” Donoho: entertainer, Ornament and Savoy Motel

Michael Eades: curator, YK Records and We Own This Town

Jeremy Ferguson: Battle Tapes Recording; Earth human; hobby napper

Elena Franklin: lead singer, Reality Something

Jesse Gillenwalters: musician and producer, Basic Printer

Doug Hall: music PR consultant, Big Feat PR

Austin Hoke: cellist; member, Heinous Orca

Asher Horton: musician, Rainsticks and Sun Seeker; host, Hot Fudge Tuesday on WXNA

Chappy Hull: guitarist and vocalist, Pile, Shell of a Shell and Gnarwhal; promoter and venue manager, Drkmttr

Brandon Jazz: tour manager; co-founder, TM Inc. and TM+; musician, Hot Tub Club; freelance BA

Joe Kenkel: songwriter; showgoer; member, Styrofoam Winos

Megan Loveless: marketing, Third Man Records; co-founder, To-Go Records and Nashville Show To-Go Menu

Tyler Martinez: talent buyer, Mercy Lounge; owner/operator, Housequake Productions; pop music nerd

Liz Meade: founder of Threebrand Media; local pop-music mom

Jeff Meltesen: marketing, The Caverns; country star every Friday the 13th, D. Striker

Alex Mojaverian: half of Sad Baxter; singer-drummer, Trash Man

Leah Miller and Rachel Warrick: queens; artists; members, Peachy

Kyle Numann: musician, Cloudmouth and Crack Mammoth

Patrick Orr: singer/songperson, Crave On

Mikey Owen: jam technician, Ascent of Everest,  Black Moon Mother and The Viking Program; investor and proponent, Boo Dudes

Joseph Page: musician, Vladopus9; promoter, NRA Sets, LocalFest

Blake Patterson: label head, Banana Tapes; musician, Flesh Eater and secret friends

Jerry Pentecost: drummer, DJ, freelance BA

Zachary Prosser: artist and musician 

Rashad tha Poet Rayford: artist; actor; author; The Moth GrandSLAM champ

Adam Reid: label head, Banana Tapes; band leader, Flesh Eater, secret friends and Zwilling

Jesse Rhew: owner, Rude Tech Guitar Effects

Cam Sarrett: distribution, Third Man Records; drums, Safety Net

Rachel Scarbrough: promoter, Sugar/Spice and Drkmttr

Luke Schneider: musician; record sales, Grimey’s

Mike Shepherd: tenor bass and vocals, Tower Defense; normal bass, The Prudish Few

Todd Sherwood: co-owner, booker, plumber, party coach at The 5 Spot; father; skateboarding enthusiast

Brian Siskind: beatmaker; video artist; film score composer; filmmaker; co-host, Art Fight Podcast

Laurel Sorenson: lead singer and writer, Laurel and the Love-In

Chris Sunday: artist manager, Bedlam Music Management; limited partner-in-crime, Battle Tapes Recording

Ben Swank: co-owner, Third Man Records; only staff, Plant Life Records; drummer, Rayon City

Ryan Sweeney: all of the above at Sweet Time Booking; pizza man; drummer, The Shitdels and The Rip Taylors

Lauren Turner: writer; one-third of Styrofoam Winos; three-thirds of Lou Turner; host of Shout, Sister, Shout! on WXNA

Deezy Violet: The worse half of Sad Baxter

Virghost: rapper; spoken-word artist; Villematic Hip-Hop Showcase creator

Tyler Walker: performer, producer and vibe coordinator, Meth Dad

Samantha Zaruba: HBIC/mom, LunaSea Media and SirenMoonZone; semiprofessional music lover

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