By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
Me: Have you voted yet?
Them: What are you talking about?
Me: This year, we're letting readers pick the nominations for the Observer Music Awards.
Them: That's interesting. Wait: Why would you do that?
Me: [Slugging back drink.] It's complicated.
Them: Hey, that's my beer.
So in case you haven't heard: YOUR vote determines the music nominations this year. If you haven't voted yet, go to www.dallasobserver.com and do so now. I mean it. Now.
Are you done? OK. Let me explain a few things. For years, the Observer has been accused of handpicking nominees and winners; we never did, but the complaints raised a concern. Our readers didn't feel ownership of the awards. We needed to crack open a window, to let in a stiff breeze, and this seemed like the best way to do it. It's exciting, really. We have no idea how this will shake out.
That said, I'm worried. I'm worried people won't vote. I'm worried the people who do vote will be bored kids with nothing better to do than ballot-stuff. I'm worried the terrific bands that are underappreciated in the local scene won't promote themselves and they won't get nominated, and this will make me sad. But even the least cynical among us would admit that marketing is a reality in today's music scene; if bands won't help themselves, what can I do?
By the way, we do expect bands to campaign for this. Send out e-mail reminders to your mailing list, get your street team on it. I want as many people to vote in this nomination process as possible. That's the only way we'll get a representative cross section of the Dallas music scene.
You're always telling us we're wrong. Prove it. (Voting lasts till February 16.)