Dallas Observer Music Awards

Get To Know Your DOMAXXIII Nominees: Best Cover/Tribute Act, Best Label, Best Producer

Welcome to our 2011 Dallas Observer Music Awards breakdown, wherein we'll use the weeks leading up to the DOMA showcases on Saturday, October 15 (which is also when voting ends), to explain the nominees in each category Today, we look at the nominees in the Best Cover/Tribute Act, Best Label and Best Producer categories and see how each of these nominees got to this point. Read up on them, follow the links to hear their music and, if you're impressed, shoot the band some support in the first of a text vote sent to 61721 (see codes for each band below their names).

Best Cover/Tribute Act

The Gorehounds
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Why They're Here: At the interesting crossroads of goth and rockabilly, you'll find local Cramps tribute act The Gorehounds. Things get strange at their shows: Back up dancers wear bikinis and wield rifles as lead singer Howard Kelley prances around the stage in a speedo, playing the part of Lux Interior all too well.

A Hard Night's Day
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Why They're Here: Hard Night's Day is one of the longest-running tribute bands in Dallas. Moved from their regular slot in the early evenings on weekends at Dada, they now perform regularly at Barley House. And, while they don't do the whole Beatles look-a-like bit, they can play just about any of the Beatles' 300-plus song repertoire spot on.

The King Bucks
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Why They're Here: The King Bucks are responsible for resurrecting vintage country and western honky tonk music here in Dallas. But, aside from playing covers of that genre, they've written a handful of their own songs that they mix into their regular sets at Adair's Saloon. And, if their new album's title, BBQ Drugs, says anything, it's that the band is just looking to have a good time.

The Mumbles
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Why They're Here: The Mumbles aren't the only '80s tribute band in town, but they are the only one that will play The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen and The Jam in lieu of the top 40 stuff you'll hear from their '80s cover band counterparts.  

Petty Theft
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Why They're Here: It's hard to make Tom Petty songs sound bad, especially when you have as much fun playing them as Petty Theft does. The performances can be a bit loose, as a good Petty cover should be, but what do you expect from lead singer Mike Rhyner, who spends most of his time talking sports on The Ticket?

Rhymin' & Stealin'
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Why They're Here: Since 2009, this trio has been touted for both looking and sounding the part of Beastie Boys tribute band on stages as small as Double Wide and as big as House Of Blues.

Best Label

Good Records Recordings (New Fumes, Preteen Zenith)
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Why They're Here: The big Good Records Recordings relaunch has been moved back from "summer 2011" to November '11. At least that's what we gather from the "11-11-11" stamped on the label's website. Still, in the meantime, they've already had the impressive release of New Fumes' Bump & Assassination. And judging by the buzz they created with Preteen Zenith's first show, 2012 will be a huge year for Good.

Idol Records (Calhoun, The O's)
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Why They're Here: The tongue-in-cheek slogan on the Idol Records' website says that they're the "Home of the Hits." It's kind of true. You'd be hard-pressed to find a local act this year that hit harder than The O's, who call Idol home. Same goes with Calhoun, who share the roster with Little Black Dress, Gaston Light and many others. 

Kirtland Records (Sarah Jaffe, Toadies)
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Why They're Here: It's not like you haven't heard about Kirtland Records already. Last year's Suburban Nature from Sarah Jaffe was a massive release for the label, as well as Feeler from Toadies. Plus, Kirtland owns Bush's entire back catalog. No big deal.

Paperstain Records (Shiny Around The Edges, Dust Congress)
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Why They're Here: Denton based label Paperstain Records doesn't dip their ladle into Dallas at all. They're happy with the artists they've got up in Denton, as they should be. The roster is impressive, with acts like Dust Congress, Kampfgrounds, Geistheistler, and Shiny Around The Edges.

Spune Records (Seryn, Telegraph Canyon, Doug Burr)
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Why They're Here: Spune Records has created a sort of grassroots movement here in North Texas. Taking bands of the folk and indie rock ilk, the label has created its own scene, with solid bands and die hard fans. Just look at how popular acts like Seryn have become.

Gutterth Records (Ryan Thomas Becker, New Science Projects)
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Why They're Here: Gutterth Records is yet another Denton-based label that doesn't typically scout for talent in Dallas. Why would they, when they have New Science Projects, Ryan Thomas Becker, The Angelus, and Daniel Folmer? 

Best Producer

John Congleton (St. Vincent, Sarah Jaffe, The Walkmen)
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Why He's Here: It's hard to argue with the acts John Congleton has worked with in the last few years. Sarah Jaffe's Suburban Nature blew up, as did The Walkmen's Lisbon, which many feel is their best album yet.

Salim Nourallah (Old 97's, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Sea Lion)
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Why He's Here: You can't credit the Old 97's for their resurgence in 2011 without mentioning long time Dallas producer Salim Nourallah, who was behind the helm for the entire recording of both volumes of Grand Theatre. The guy has a way of making good bands sound great, and bad bands sound, well, not so bad.

Matt Pence (Sundress, Centro-Matic, True Widow)
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Why He's Here: Centro-Matic drummer Matt Pence has an undeniable signature sound that finds its way on every record he produces. It's the mark of a great producer to leave a signature but still let the band shine through. Take True Widow's new record, for instance: The live-sounding drums and guitars are all Pence, through and through.

Picnictyme (A.Dd+)
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Why He's Here: Picnictyme is responsible for producing what's possibly the most important local hip-hop record of 2011, A.Dd+'s When Pigs Fly. That's not all, though. He also remixed a Black Tie Dynasty EP in 2010, and has worked with names like Devin The Dude, and Astronautalis.  

Mark Ryan (Mind Spiders, Bad Sports)
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Why He's Here: The Mind Spiders and Bad Sports records that came out this year were heavy hitters for Denton punk scene. You can hear his fuzzed-out signature throughout each record's poppy, garage ways.

Symbolyc One (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce)
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Why He's Here: Have you heard the beat for Kanye West's "Power"? Have you heard the Watch The Throne collaboration between West and Jay-Z? What about Beyonce? Are you living under a rock? This guy's beats and production style are amazing.