"If we win an award, I hope to be so drunk that if I make it to the stage, then I have failed," Pedigo says with only the slightest of grins.

"Perhaps we paid somebody off," Young chimes in, "except we don't have any money to pay off anyone."

It's exactly that kind of ramshackle charm that has made The O's such an instantly likable unit. That, and the fact that both men involved are damn good songwriters. There's nary a weak number on their debut, as The O's found new ways of expanding the alt-country genre while playing only the most traditional of instruments: guitars and banjos. Echoes of folks such as Paul Westerberg and The Kinks helped The O's teach an old dog some new tricks.


Web Extra:Check out more photos of the DOMA nominees at our house party photo shoot here in our slideshow.

It helps that while both Young and Pedigo are serious songwriters, that's about all either one of them takes seriously. —Darryl Smyers


One glance at Clark Voegler's recently posted tour video will show you The Toadies are living anything but the life of an older rock band. No, they're having the time of their lives, getting consumed by fire and playing colorfully named joints like Whiskey Dicks.

It's justified behavior, though, considering that the band's 2008 release, No Deliverance, has given both the band and its fans plenty to stay excited about—both domestically and abroad. In addition to a multitude of U.S. dates, the band also, for the first time ever, graced the U.K., performing in Manchester, London, Leeds, Liverpool and York.

Now the band also has its first U.K. release: a compilation of tracks from each of its studio LPs, in anticipation of No Deliverance's upcoming U.K. release. And next up for the Fort Worth rockers? The second annual Dia de los Toadies, perhaps the biggest proof of the band's current clout. On August 29 in Hico, the band will head a daylong festival alongside other area favorites Bowling for Soup, Secret Machines, Ben Kweller, Eleven Hundred Springs and The Boom Boom Box—all of whom have no problem seeing their name on a bill below that of The Toadies. —Alan Ayo


If you still don't know The King Bucks by this point, well, that's on you—and certainly not on the shoulders of Danny Balis, Keith Killoren, Joseph Butcher, Chad Stockslager and Chris Carmichael. As the Bucks, this five-piece honky-tonk outfit performs, at minimum, three times a week around DFW.

But it's not just a multitude of gigs for which the Bucks are so beloved; it's the classicism of the Bucks' country stance—the kind of thing you just don't expect to see in this day and age. Make no mistake: The King Bucks are as traditional as country gets, showmen to the bone, with a bevy of song selections always at the ready, just waiting to get a crowd onto the dance floor, boot-scootin' away.

The covers the band plays, well, they're just part of the gig when you're known for playing two-hour-plus-long shows. But it's in its own original pieces, released in album form earlier this year on the band's self-titled debut, that this ragtag outfit truly shines, showcasing the fact that its members don't just have ears for the kinds of songs that can get the crowd excited, but that they can write those genre gems too. —Pete Freedman


In a very short time, Alan Palomo's various musical projects have gone from producing local hype to garnering an international buzz. The mastermind behind bloghouse favorites such as Ghosthustler, VEGA and the newly formed, much-hyped Neon Indian, Palomo left Denton for Austin shortly after Ghosthustler disbanded.

Since then, he's been busy recording songs for both projects. Then why, you may ask, is an Austin-based act getting nominated for a local award? Well, it may have something to do with the fact that this New Year's Eve, Palomo returned to Denton for the debut performance of his space disco act, VEGA. Why'd he do that here, and not in Austin (or Brooklyn, for that matter)?

Palomo says, "I wanted the debut to be here because I like the idea that I have a community of friends that I can play for who I respect, and whose opinion I respect."

Palomo still refers to the Dallas/Denton area as his "stomping grounds." And, with so many friends and loyal fans in the area, it's no wonder that his Austin-based project was nominated.

In the coming weeks, VEGA will announce which prominent label scooped up the band's Well Known Pleasures EP. In the meantime, Palomo and crew are readying for three months' worth of touring and, surely enough, plenty more buzz. —Catherine Downes


There are plenty of "experimental" and "avant garde" bands that specialize in pummeling their audiences with volume.

But the real power of Shiny Around the Edges is its quietest moments. Denton husband-and-wife team Michael and Jennifer Seman take the music from driving tribal beats with growling distorted guitar to hushed dirges. The excellent Holy Roller, released on Sounds Are Active in March, captures that range beautifully as the band shifts from the quiet acoustic-guitar and hushed vocals of "Every Hunter Needs a Kill" to the snarling, riotous rocker "Come Closer."

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