Right Down to the Wire: Houston Press Music Award Nominations Close Tonight!

header[UPDATE: Alright, I suck. I did my griping about the wide-open HPMA nominations setup, where anybody can nominate whatever band they feel like for any of the categories, and took potshots at local rapper Noon in the process, unfairly painting him as a bad guy for doing, well, pretty much what a lot of people in bands have been doing this year, which is promoting the hell out of themselves to their fans so people will nominate them for an award.

I won’t lie — I still feel a little uneasy about the whole deal, and I do think a lot of very deserving local heroes are going to get left out in the cold. But that doesn’t mean I should take it out on somebody who’s just trying to follow the rules and get nominated. I’d like to offer my sincere apology to Noon and his fans, and I’ve amended the post somewhat below.]

Yeah, yeah — I know I’ve been extremely remiss (again) in posting about this year’s nominations for the Houston Press Music Awards, to the point that, um, the deadline to submit your nominations is today, Wed., May 22nd, at 11:59PM. And to be honest, there’s somewhat of a reason behind it, this time around.

Of course, there’s always the whole not-enough-time-and-too-much-crap-to-do complaint, which is pretty much the reality of life as a whole, but what’s really kept me from blathering on about this before now is, well, the way last year’s nominations process worked. I hadn’t really paid a whole lot of attention to the “new” process, where anybody & everybody & their brother can nominate anybody they want, and after seeing the results, I was left a bit perturbed, to say the least.

Unfortunately, I still am. I get why the Press staff decided to make the change — they’d been attacked for years for being too “elitist” by only letting a select group of people nominate bands and musicians to be on the ballot. As somebody who was asked once or twice, however, I can tell you that the people polled were a wide-ranging, extremely knowledgeable group, and generally speaking, they — I’m not going to say “we,” because some of my own nominations tended to be the oddballs that didn’t make it — got right most of the time.

So the HP democratized the process, fully and completely. Anybody can nominate a band, and if that band gets enough nominations, regardless of whether or not they’re the darling of the local critics or a genuinely talented group or just a bunch of kids who heard a couple of Minor Threat songs and thought they were the Second Coming, said band will be on the ballot. poof! Like magic.

And hey, that’s great; like I said, I tend to nominate the oddballs anyway, so this kind of process can help in situations like that, where Lesser Known But Great Band B might get overshadowed by Universally Acknowledged Good Band A.

However, this also leaves the process wide open to be gamed, which is something I’m pretty sure we saw some of last year with just-about-unknown rapper Noon getting nominated in six different categories. I’ll admit that I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that what happened is that the guy has a small-ish crew of truly dedicated fans who blasted the hell out of the thing, while fans of other rappers/musicians/etc. couldn’t really be bothered.

I think bands this year are getting that message, too; I’ve seen a ton more Facebook prompts and emails from various people saying, “hey, make sure you nominate us!”, than I did last year around this time. If nothing else, maybe they’ll be able to counterbalance some of the aspiring Noons in the bunch for this year’s ballot.

Annnnnyway. Rant over (for now), so let’s get down to business, by which I mean, “let’s list some suggestions of folks to nominate for the various categories this year.” And as always, I apologize profusely in advance for leaving anybody out, because I’m damn sure I have — every time the HPMAs roll around, it’s like I suddenly dump out the contents of my brain and forget the past several months. sigh.

The categories have been tweaked somewhat this year, and while I’m a little WTF’ed on a few of the changes — combining “Folk” and “Americana” into one category, for instance, and what the hell is “Traditional Rock,” anyway? — there are some that make a lot of sense. It bums me out a little to see the old “Best Label,” “Best Venue,” “Best Radio Show,” etc., dropped, but they’re mostly covered in the HP‘s “Best of Houston” thing these days, anyway.

I’m probably stepping over the line on a few of these, as well, since I’m never really clear whether the HPMAs are meant to encompass everything since last year’s awards or just whatever’s been released in the first five months of 2013. So a few of the albums I’ve got below came out in 2012, but they came out after the HPMAs had already happened. Your mileage may vary; here we go:

4. LOCAL RECORDING
American Fangs, American Fangs
The Wheel Workers, Past to Present
Jealous Creatures, Bazooka
Hoofprints, Secretly Destroying Honesty
Adam Bricks, City Songs
Second Lovers, New Mexico
Linus Pauling Quartet, Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords
New York City Queens, Burn Out Like Roman Candles
Adelaine, Currents
Square and Compass, How to Escape
Born Liars, Show Some Couth
Glass the Sky, Glass the Sky
Bang Bangz, Red City
Peloton, Unnatural Affection for Hornets
Chase Hamblin & The Roustabouts, VAUdeVILLE

5. SONG
The Wheel Workers, “Chemicals”
Ruiners, “One”
American Fangs, “The River You Bought”
Jealous Creatures, “Hurry Up”
Glass the Sky, “Holiday”
Hoofprints, “Baby Blue”
The Tontons, “Bones 1″/”Bones 2” (either one)
Waterparks, “Silver”

6. LOCAL MUSIC VIDEO
{The Linus Pauling Quartet}, “Assault on the Vault of the Ancient Bonglords”
New York City Queens, “It’s True, I Do”
Glass the Sky, “Koi Pawned”
LIMB, “The Candidate”
American Fangs, “Pomona”
The Wild Moccasins, “Gag Reflections”
Jealous Creatures, “Just A Memory”
The Tontons, “Golden”
The Manichean, “Leopards”
Perseph One, “sNAKEwAR:sACREDsHAPE”

7. LOCAL MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
I’m going to go with Jeoaf Johnson, frontman/guitarist for Knights of the Fire Kingdom; he’s a great dude with an awesome band, one that I think/hope will do incredible stuff this year…

8. NEW ACT
Brand New Hearts
Ruiners
We Scare Coyotes
Valens
Midnight Norma Lane
Beach Bones
Neighbors
Waterparks
March to the Sea
Night Drive

9. SONGWRITER
Matt Hammon/Cameron Dezen Hammon (The Rebecca West)
Steven Higginbotham (The Wheel Workers)
Craig Kinsey
John Stephens (New York City Queens)
Sergio Trevino (Buxton)

10. PRODUCER
Dan Workman. (Sorry, I know I nominate the guy every year, but I just don’t know any other producers off the top of my head…)

11. MALE VOCALS
Keeton Coffman (The 71’s)
Lucas Gorham (Grandfather Child)
Cory Sinclair (The Manichean)
Gabe Cavazos (American Fangs)
Tyagaraja
Nava (the last place you look)

12. FEMALE VOCALS
Cameron Dezen Hammon (The Rebecca West)
Sarah Hirsch (Jealous Creatures)
Asli Omar (The Tontons)
Sara Van Buskirk (Finnegan/solo)
Kelsey Lee Bland (Second Lovers)

13. GUITARIST
Tyler Saucier (Sunrise and Ammunition)
Ben Murphy (Brand New Hearts)
Aaron Echegaray (Knights of the Fire Kingdom)
Ian Hlavacek (Jealous Creatures)
Thom Truver (Second Lovers)
Anthony Contreras/Sean Gary (Oceans of Slumber)

14. BASSIST
Melissa Ryan (Omotai/Peloton)
Jason Smith (Alkari)
Jennifer Garcia (A Sundae Drive)

15. DRUMMER
Marshall Black (Cavernous)
Jeff Senske (Brand New Hearts)
Anthony Vallejo (Omotai)
Marcos Echegaray (Knights of the Fire Kingdom)
Isaac Chavez-Garza (New York City Queens)

16. KEYBOARDS
Allison Wilkins McPhail (The Wheel Workers)

17. OTHER INSTRUMENT
Any member of Two Star Symphony (i.e., Jo Bird, Debra Brown, Margaret Lejeune, or Jerry Ochoa)

18. POP
The Wheel Workers
New York City Queens
Glass the Sky
A Sundae Drive
Featherface
The Ghost of Cliff Burton
The Wild Moccasins
Chase Hamblin & The Roustabouts

19. TRADITIONAL ROCK (which I’m going to take mean “Rock That’s Really Loud and Decidedly Non-Emo”)
Knights of the Fire Kingdom
American Fangs
We Were Wolves
Jody Seabody and The Whirls
Alkari
The 71’s

20. MODERN ROCK
Jealous Creatures
Brand New Hearts
Waterparks
Adelaine
Holder
the last place you look
Hoofprints

21. GARAGE/PUNK/HARDCORE
Blackmarket Syndicate
Born Liars
Mikey & The Drags
Weird Party
Peloton
Something Fierce
Latch Key Kids

22. METAL
{The Linus Pauling Quartet}
Omotai
Venomous Maximus
Scale The Summit
Cavernous
From Beyond
Oceans of Slumber

23. EXPERIMENTAL/NOISE
Two Star Symphony
P.L.X.T.X
The Illegal Wiretaps
The Wiggins
Fiskadoro

24. ELECTRONIC
FLCON FCKER
Bang Bangz
LIMB

25. SOLO RAPPER
Kyle Hubbard
Fat Tony
Jon Black
Perseph One
HasHBrown
Nosaprise

26. RAP GROUP
The Niceguys
H.I.S.D.

27. RAP DJ
Jett I. Masstyr

28. CLUB DJ/DJ NIGHT
DJ Sun
Ceeplus Bad Knives

29. LATIN
Tax the Wolf
La Sien

30. JAZZ
excuseMesir (R.I.P.)
Free Radicals
Kristine Mills

31. BLUES
Grandfather Child
Little Joe Washington

32. SOUL/FUNK/R&B
The Tontons
GoREALah Soul
Electric Attitude

33. REGGAE/SKA/DUB
The Suspects (for life!)
The Suffers

34. ZYDECO
Um. I have no freaking idea, sorry…

35. COUNTRY
Miss Leslie
The Small Sounds

36. FOLK/AMERICANA
The Rebecca West
Buxton
Second Lovers
Folk Family Revival
B.E. Godfrey
Southern Backtones
Murder the Stout
Clory Martin

37. COVER/TRIBUTE ACT
The Rads

 
Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Get over to the HP site and get to nominating, eh?


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7 Responses to “Right Down to the Wire: Houston Press Music Award Nominations Close Tonight!”

  1. Jealous Creatures on May 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Thank you SCR for the support!

  2. Noon on May 22nd, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    well sir im going to respectfully chime in. i worked very hard last year and yes my fans are dedicated. is this some how a fault of mine??? do we not remember houston is the 4th biggest city in america and just maybe ya dont know every rapper with a strong following? last year we opened over 10 shows for national acts including. Pharcyde, Action Bronson, Blu & exile, Guilty Simpson, Sean Price, Slum Village the list goes on. i invest my own hard earned money in my own video and music and worked for many promoters going out and promoting for events that werent even mine. i stayed humble and loyal to my Fam-Base. we were consistently the top draw at all our shows. It was Tough when i got nominated and all the work i had done was just shitted on as an internet scam. I did my first show in 2006 with Del the Funky Homosapien ive been for a long time. I hold no ill will for you or your opinion of how i was nominated. Im just hope from this day forward i wont be “Unknown”. Be Bless.

  3. Jeremy Hart on May 23rd, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Hey, Noon — y’know, you’re absolutely right; I definitely don’t know everybody in this city, especially in the hip-hop world. I shouldn’t have used you as a punching bag for my complaints about the way the current system’s run — that’s in no way fair, it’s got nothing to do with you directly, and I apologize for doing that. And yeah, that’s a hell of a fanbase you’ve got there… :)

  4. Thom on May 23rd, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Thanks Jeremy! I appreciate the support!

  5. Nominate Jealous Creatures for Houston Press Music Award! | Jealous Creatures on May 23rd, 2013 at 7:37 am

    […] Edit: Space City Rock has a list of people worthy of your votes. […]

  6. Peggy Richardson on May 23rd, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Maximus has been nominated for Best Cover band for the last two years…the lead singer just turned 14. Hope you will check them out or come check them out at an upcoming show. We will be at the Houston Beerfest at 2pm on the Craft Beer stage.

  7. SPACE CITY ROCK » The HPMAs Are Here! (Kind Of!) Vote Now! Controversy! on July 16th, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    […] they’ve used for bands/musicians/etc. to get nominated. I’ll grant that yours truly has thrown some punches (albeit hopefully friendly ones) their way in years past, particularly around the whole “open […]

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