Best Ears - 2009
We know you guys love Salim Nourallah. He's won the Best Producer award at the Dallas Observer Music Awards for, like, eleventy years now. But you guys are dead wrong on this one, as Nourallah isn't even close to the best producer in North Texas—especially considering that world-class talents like Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Dove Hunter), Matt Pence (Centro-matic, American Music Club) and John Congleton (St. Vincent, The Paper Chase) reside here. That's not even counting our personal favorite sound engineer, the Echo Lab's Matt Barnhart, who not only worked on two of last year's best records—Shearwater's Rook and The New Year's self-titled release—but also found time (when he wasn't on the road running sound for A.C. Newman, Lift to Experience or The New Year, that is) for a slew of locals, including Deep Snapper, Les Americains, The Angelus, Nervous Curtains and his own Tre Orsi. Consider this a wake-up call for your ears, dear readers. Vote Barnhart in 2010.