Shout Outs from Metroland: Best of the Capital Region 2010

Metroland Best of the Captial Region 2010; Cover photo by Alicia Solsman

Metroland’s Best of the Capital Region for 2010 came out last week and I am surprised and pleased to be included as the Best Retro-Futurist. Sure, it’s a made-up category, but it’s a good fit. Here’s what they have to say:

Composer and instrumentalist Holland Hopson has been a contributor to the region’s avant-garde music scene for the better part of 20 year—whether it’s vocal excursions that meld Gregorian chant and Dada, or soprano sax forays that come pretty close to “straight-up” jazz, the breadth and range of this iconoclast’s musical journey has always been intriguing, albeit way outside of the box. Hopson’s recent blending of traditional tunes (performed with vocals and banjo) and subtle electronics has turned him into one of the area’s most mesmerizing and memorable live performers. Catch him if you can, as his local shows tend to be few and far between.

Metroland has identified plenty of other (probably more deserving) best-of recipients including such friends and colleagues as Jason Cosco/Grab Ass Cowboys (Best Noise Wrangler); EMPAC (Best Music Curation) — this ought to read Micah Silver, in my opinion, since he is the Music Curator at EMPAC; The Sanctuary for Independent Media (Best Activist Community Arts Center); and Emily Zimmerman (Best Emerging Curator).

These accolades come on the heels of a conversation with a friend at the latest show presented by the Albany Sonic Arts Collective. We were talking about how important it is for a community of artists to receive some recognition from the local press and the concomitant pitfalls of letting it go to your head. A timely conversation for the former and hopefully we’ll avoid the latter. The ASAC event was a great set of performances, by the way, particularly from Fossils from the Sun (Ray Hare) and Family Battle Snake (Bill Kouligas).

Metroland Mentions Faust in Best Live Shows of 2009

Photo: / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Metroland critic Mike Hotter has chosen last September’s Faust show at Proctors as one of his top live events for 2009:

2. Faust, Holland Hopson, Century Plants

GE Theatre at Proctors, Sept. 30

Seminal German art-rockers Faust showed why they have been championed by avant-garde musicians for more than 30 years, while hometown openers Holland Hopson and Century Plants performed amazing outré music of their own. Hopson, in particular, is a must-see performer, a musical treasure hiding right under our noses.

Hotter’s mention of us “hometown openers” is certainly welcome, though his superlatives may not be entirely deserved.

Josh Potter chose the Boredoms as his top show of the year; I was surprised that it didn’t show up in any of the other critic’s lists. Read the entire article with all the other critic’s picks.