Wes Todd (Here Holy Spain): People are getting excited to be a part of their own community again. It's refreshing to talk to other bands and hear, "We just want to play with you guys, man!" instead of "Well, how much do you draw? What's the guarantee? Who would headline?" Barf.

Jamie Wilson (The Beaten Sea): I heard this anecdote somewhere about a famous artist—not sure who. Matisse, maybe? He drew a quick sketch of someone and the person asked, "How long did that take you?" And he responded, "My whole life." A lot of the time, we are exposed to music from people who have been working on it for years and years, but never get to see the process. Interacting with local musicians gives hope and encouragement that most good things come from hard work, and don't just develop out of thin air. I've realized over the years that the truly great creators of any art form are extremely humble. They know what they are doing is great, but also know that they can't take full credit for it. I'm excited to see this here, like I've seen in other cities, with the local musicians that I admire the most.

Jeffrey Liles (Kessler Theatre): To me, the most important thing about music coming from North Texas is that it stands as cultural representation of our way of life to people who don't happen to live here. You can hear a brass band and imagine they are from New Orleans, you can hear a Dirty South rap song and know that it probably came from Atlanta or Houston, and you can hear a Motown song and assume that it came from Detroit. I think the "Dallas" sound has always been so dynamic that it has always been impossible to pin down. We've contributed representations of almost everything to the national pop culture mosaic, but the one thing that most, if not all, of our artists have in common is extraordinary chops. Having both UNT and Booker T. Washington in the immediate area has, by default, raised the bar for our collective skill set.

We asked this year’s nominees to e-mail us about why they’re excited about the local scene. And our inbox was flooded.
We asked this year’s nominees to e-mail us about why they’re excited about the local scene. And our inbox was flooded.

Casey Hess (Descender): Why is local music important? Listen to any Course of Empire, Funland or Toadies album and this question will be answered. If you don't know who these bands are, buy their albums at Good Records. Bands like Here Holy Spain, Dead Twins and RTB2 are continuing their legacy... And people are giving a shit again—me included.

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