Almost Down to the Wire: Vote for the HPMAs Now, If You Haven’t Already

MA_500x650-lastweektovoteYep, I’m waaaay late to this party, unfortunately, but not quite too late, which is always good. The ever-excellent Houston Press Music Awards are still open for voting, right up until August 12th (i.e., tomorrow), at 11:59PM (i.e., midnight). If you have not yet cast your vote — you can only do it once, sorry — well, you’re in luck, because you’ve still got just over a day to do it in.

And then, once you’ve thrown your marked-up ballot in the digital box, snag yourself a ticket for this year’s Houston Press Music Awards Ceremony, which’ll be on Thursday, August 20th, over at the Warehouse Live. After the ceremony itself, there’s the actual show, which features the excellent Hayes Carll, starting at 9PM or so.

Technically speaking, it’s free to get in, but, uh, it looks like they’ve already run out of the free-but-you-stand-in-line tickets the HP was giving away. Instead, though, you could spend $25 to get a “VIP” pass that’ll get you inside, sans standing in the hot-and-sticky Houston nighttime for what could be a very long while. I’m thinking that’s probably worth the $$$ anyway, but that may just be me.

Now, as far as the actual awards ballot goes, I have to say, it’s a pretty great pile of bands/musicians/releases to choose from. There’re a lot of extremely deserving people on there that I like, including The Suffers (duh; any band from here that makes it on Letterman and kills is pretty much guaranteed a spot, I’m thinking), The Wheel Workers, Say Girl Say, Folk Family Revival, Hearts of Animals, Buxton, B L A C K I E, Knights of the Fire Kingdom, Black Kite, Moji, New York City Queens, Keeton Coffman, the last place you look, Venomous Maximus, BLSHS, American Fangs, The Suspects, Second Lovers, Two Star Symphony, George West, Deep Cuts, and…okay, shit, I lost track of what the hell I was saying for a minute there. There are a lot of bands I like represented.

Beyond that, there’re some nice surprises on the list, like folk-punks Days N’ Daze, gentle acoustic folk-singer Shellee Coley, dramatic metal band Oceans of Slumber (seriously, Cammie Gilbert can freaking sing, y’all), trippy dudes Ganesha, rockers We Were Wolves, and soul-funk-hip-hop group The H.U.E. (who pretty much won Madness on Main for me this year). All together, there’re only a handful of bands/people not on here that I think should be. [cough]Jealous Creatures![cough]

A tip of the Internet hat to Chris Gray and the rest of the HP folks for pulling it together and doing a task that is pretty much sure to piss somebody off out there in this weird-and-wild music scene of ours.

Now, for a brief bit of sadness: dammit, I miss the actual Houston Press Music Awards Showcase, especially those years when it was scattered along Main St. I used to look forward every year to getting over there and roaming around, bouncing from stage to stage to see what H-town bands I might be missing, and seeing/hearing some awesome ones in the process (Million Year Dance and Miss Leslie & Her Juke-Jointers, for two).

I know, I know — what with FPSF and Untapped and Madness on Main/Yes, Indeed! and Houston Whatever and all the other fests floating around out there nowadays, does Houston really need another music festival clogging up the place?

I think that yeah, maybe it does; don’t get me wrong, I love those other festivals, but I sorely miss the vibe at the HPMAs of yore, when it was relatively low-key, insanely cheap, and right in the middle of the city but sprawling at the same time. I know it’s not looking real likely that the Showcase will return, but damn, I miss it. It’s yet another piece of the H-town scene that’s rapidly disappearing into the mists of time. Pour one out, y’all, and then go celebrate the winners.


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