Drumroll, please: Flip to page 80 to take a gander at the official list of nominees for the 2006 Dallas Observer Music Awards. Starting right now, you have four weeks to cast your vote, so either fill out the attached ballot and mail it in or log on to dallasobserver.com and make your voice heard via the information superhighway (do people still call it that?). Over the next few weeks, we'll link to sound samples from the nominees at our blog, Unfair Park, so check back there for more MySpace links than a teenager's blog.
We instituted a few category changes this year; country and roots/rockabilly were combined into one category because the public never submitted enough rockabilly bands in early nominations (that one's your fault, folks). Various instrumental categories--guitar, bass, drums--were combined into "best instrumentalist." Experimental and electronic were combined--not a perfect match, we agree, but electronic used to be paired with DJs, and that made even less sense. And rock was split into "hard rock" and "indie rock." We're not huge fans of that name change (after all, most acts on the ballot are technically "indie"), but a separation between the likes of the Burden Brothers and Fishboy was long overdue.
The results will be revealed on May 9 at our official awards show and concert at the Granada Theater; headliners and ticket information will be announced soon.
Dallas Observer Music Awards ballot
57, deep-sixed: Every few weeks, we check our mailbox for some hint, some clue, that Slick 57's Love Lost Exhaust will finally see a proper release. Bassist Ward Richmond handed us a few copies of the Dallas twang-rock trio's fourth album more than half a year ago, and the sessions, produced by Stuart Sikes, were much grittier and punk-loving than anything on 2002's The Ghost of Bonnie Parker. Still, the long delay began to seem suspect--were the guys landing some secret label deal? Or was Slick hiding behind bad news?
Last week, the band proved that things had taken a turn for the worse by announcing their final gig at the Meridian Room on Saturday, April 8. At first, we assumed April Fools shenanigans, but when we got another e-mail reminder this Tuesday, we called singer and guitarist John Pedigo to double-check. Sure enough, no April Fools here. He had trouble putting sentences together to explain the reasons for breaking up before finally stating, "It's not like we're beating a dead horse...we're beating a limp horse." Um.
He went on to explain a few more normal-sounding reasons--the guys are tired of touring as Slick 57, Pedigo is focusing more on new band Rose County Fair, Richmond has a new full-time job eating away at his time, they're already plenty busy with gigs and studio recording time for the Boys Named Sue--and then said that LLE would finally see a proper release through a European label once the band was defunct.
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"I don't think we've ever taken a step forward that we didn't take two back," Pedigo says. "It makes total sense in our Slick 57 world. We want people to hear it; they just haven't had a chance. The decision to end the band, it really happened probably two years ago, but we've just kept wanting to go on tour...Now, we're all tired of screaming at people and then realizing there's nobody to scream to."
Get to the Meridian early on Saturday; the Strange Boys will scream at you before Slick 57 gets one final holler as the headliner. Copies of LLE will be on sale.
Handstamps: If you're at this weekend's Deep Ellum Arts Festival, keep a pair of earplugs handy, because the bands are gnarly enough to ruin a perfectly good art-hunting weekend. Seems like most of the bands weren't good enough to land spots on the Wall of Sound Festival schedule, though an exception must be made for the hip-hop acts on Saturday--King Ashoka and Kin Fok Kru lead a tight afternoon rotation of Dallas rhyme-slingers at the Septien Stage at the corner of Main and Hall streets, so uncork your ears for a few hours while they rule the roost...We can't get enough of Pegasus Now, one of Dallas' most exciting new rock bands, and you shouldn't either, so drop into the Cavern when they take the stage around 11 p.m. on Friday...Good gravy, you still haven't bought tickets for the Wall of Sound Festival? If you're this far into the column and trying to figure out what the good show this weekend is, you owe it to yourself to park your caboose at the Ridglea Theatre on Saturday and Sunday. See ya there.