All-Time Best Band: Talking Heads All-Time Best Solo Artist: Tanya Donelly Best New Band: Deer Tick
Rhode Island is a tiny little state with freakishly high concentrations of a) Brown-educated landscapers and b) aggressively innovative rock bands: think Lightning Bolt, Six-Finger Satellite, Les Savy Fav, and Daughters. While it’s popular to blame RISD for RI’s long lineage of black sheep, it’s much classier to thank TALKING HEADS, whose inspired and inspiring career in elevating art-rock kicked off in Providence (and delivered listeners to another one entirely). | Newport native TANYA DONELLY has been a creative force for years: lending snaky chord progressions to Throwing Muses, enhancing the arid sensuality of early Breeders, detonating her pop payload as Belly, and continuing now as a solo artist. We haven’t heard much from her lately, which is odd considering what green-movement jackpot could be sustainably hit with a few cleverly placed snippets of “Feed the Tree.” Come on, Tanya — let’s get rich! | Lately, we heart DEER TICK’s War Elephant. Their salty, country-damaged rock just has a way of, you know, burrowing into your skin and feeding on your blood.