Each year the Boston Phoenix publishes its “Best New Bands in America," in which the arts and entertainment publication chooses a favorite new band from each state. You may remember the Moon Knights winning the distinction last year. The year before that, it was Stubby’s Crack Co. When the Phoenix kicked off the annual series in 2008, it also made choices for the all-time best artists from each state – one band and one solo artist. The Long Winters were chosen as the best Alaska band of all time, while Agafon Krukoff was awarded the best solo artist title. “Portugal. The Man,” with a major-label debut coming out Tuesday, was 2008’s best new Alaska band.
Aside from maybe Portugal, the Phoenix’s best-new-band endorsement hasn’t been much of a boon for Alaska bands. If the Moon Knights and Stubby’s Crack Co. are still together, it’s in a limited capacity. Over a year has passed since I’ve heard of either band playing a show.
Pretty Birds That Kill is the Phoenix’s choice of best new band in Alaska this year. For the band’s sake, I’ll hope for 2008-like results this time around.
Here’s what the Phoenix had to say about the band:
Up in the hinterlands, citizens have to rough it with what's around, whether skinning their own dinner or finding a way to create energetic electro-dance jams with a cheap Casio and a crappy guitar. This girl-boy duo is so dedicated to the found-sound aesthetic that they use a telephone as a … mic, and the result of this frugality is a spirited punch that is as infectious as it is dorky. Pretty Birds That Kill's stream-of-consciousness zaniness, the collaboration between guitarist/vocalist Bobby Ziegler and synth agitator Stefanie Vigoren, has been infiltrating the lower 48 as the band's increased touring regiment sees them popping up all over the place.
New this year is a sort of honorable mention distinction. That went out to Wolf Electric, a group you may have caught opening for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros last month. “We were almost swayed by the somewhat slicker electro moves of this Chugiak act,” the Phoenix authors explained. “(B)ut in the end the amateur hour charm of Pretty Birds That Kill won out over Wolf Electric's smooth move grooves.”
And while this one isn’t exactly Alaska-related, he did play here this past December: Travis Egady, aka Pictureplane, was named the best new artist in Colorado. If you follow us on Twitter, you may have noticed me plugging the new album, which you can stream over here.