2012 HPMAs Ballot, Now Online (UPDATED x2!)
UPDATED UPDATE: Scratch the below; I’d heard from a few different people that you could vote once per day for the HPMA nominees, but apparently that’s not the case. It’s once per email address, and that’s it. It’s on the ballot page, too, although I’d swear it wasn’t there previously — the HP folks may have added the line because people (like yours truly) were getting/giving bad information.
Sorry about that, folks…
UPDATE: Okay, so apparently I misunderstood the rules for the voting. You can vote not just once, but once per day on the ballot for whoever you want to win, from now until August 5th. Ergo, if your favorite band’s somewhere on the list, you’d better make yourself some kind of reminder to vote every damn day, or somebody else’s devoted band of Twitter followers is going to swamp the category with their votes, and your favorite band will lose. My two cents: for what it’s worth, I’m not so keen on this — I believe in the One Listener, One Vote philosophy, which is why I naively assumed that’d be the case here. As with the wide-open nominations process, I think allowing people to flood the HPMAs with multiple votes only really benefits the bands/people who may not be the best musically but are better at mobilizing their street teams & fans. Which I think kind of sucks, honestly, for something that’s supposed to be about music. But hey, this ain’t my awards show, so y’know. I will cast my vote(s) and move on…
You can cast your vote from now until midnight, August 5th, which is also the night of the HPMA Showcase, otherwise known as the grandaddy of music festival-type things around these parts and an all-round awesome time. No details as to where in town that’ll be — although I must admit that I seriously miss when it was scattered up and down the light-rail line on Main; that was very handy — but we’ll post ’em as soon as we hear, don’t worry.
In the meantime, vote away, y’all. The ballot’s pretty, um, interesting this year, honestly; a whole lot of stuff I’d hoped might make the cut didn’t, unfortunately, but I’m seeing a few names I recognize & like, even still.
For one thing, I sincerely think Alkari‘s Blackout Falls is the best damn release of the “Best LP/CD/EP” nominees, no offense to the good people in Bang Bangz, The Illegal Wiretaps, or Free Radicals, all three of whom released some good, good stuff this year, or Murder the Stout, who I didn’t realize had released an album this year (damn, I need to get that…).
Then there’s The Suffers, up for “Best New Act”, Asli Omar of The Tontons for “Best Female Vocals,” ever-present nominees The Wild Moccasins for “Best Pop Artist” (naturally), the last place you look for “Best Modern Rock” (not sure what the delineation was supposed to be between that and “Best Rock,” btw), and I’m glad to see Mikey & The Drags get nominated, even if the “Best Garage/Punk/Hardcore” category makes me scratch my head, monkey-style.
Venomous Maximus made the list for “Best Metal,” as well they should (but no Omotai? Fuck…), and Fat Tony and Kyle Hubbard both rightly did the same for “Best Solo Rapper” (glad to see Thurogood Wordsmith on there, too; he’d slipped my mind when I was making my own picks). Los Skarnales hit the “Best Latin Artist” category, as always, and the same goes for Free Radicals in “Best Jazz.”
Speaking of which, I’m also a little perturbed that I’ve heard exactly none of the “Best Song” nominees — although it’s debatable whether that’s my shortcoming or the list’s — and there’s some truly WTF? moments on here (no sign of Buxton on the “Best LP/CD/EP” list, seriously?).
Also, um, where were “Local Musician of the Year” and “Best Country” on the nomination form? Did I really, truly miss both those categories? Hell, was I somehow filling out last year’s nomination form by mistake? Damn, I hope not…
And my hat’s off to whatever genius decided it was time to nominate Jandek as “Local Musician of the Year” — that’s freaking brilliant, especially if the guy wins and is forced to come onstage to accept the award.
All in all, like I said, an interesting list, if not necessarily the one I’d have picked myself. That’s kind of how it’s gone these past few years, since the open-nominations process started — nowadays if a band’s savvy enough and has enough devoted fans/followers, they can flat-out push their way onto the ballot.
My guess is that this explains how rapper Noon, who I’ve heard of but never actually heard and who’s been relatively low-profile ’til now, got nominated not only for “Best Solo Rapper,” but also for “Best Mixtape,” “Best Song,” “Best Local Music Video,” “Best New Act,” and “Best Songwriter”. This guy seriously owes his fans, Facebook friends, and/or Twitter followers several beers apiece or something, because they nearly got him a clean sweep, at least in the nominations. Either that or, holy crap, he really is the Second Coming of Houston Hip-Hop (I’ll have to give him a listen and get back to you if that’s really the case).
And hey, that’s fine — if that’s how the system works, that’s how you have to play it to be able to win, get yourself noticed, all that stuff. I don’t have a problem with somebody doing what they have to do within the context of the process to get on the ballot. It just makes me a little sad to see some bands who don’t necessarily work things that way get left by the wayside.
Eh. I’m not going to go into Grumpy-Old-Man mode here, don’t worry; just looking forward to (hopefully) attending the Awards Showcase again this year, after a year or three off from it. Congrats and best of luck to all those nominated…