Leading up to our November 10 showcase, we'll be getting you familiar with some of our Dallas Observer Music Awards nominees, either via past features we've done on them, or new ones. You can vote for your favorite acts, venues and more right here.
Best Electronic Act
Black Market Pharmacy This laptop trio was just involved in the Silent Disco, but their DOMA showcase performance will be neither silent nor a disco. Their new Aura Borealis EP is full of glitchy beats and heavy bass.
Blixaboy Wanz Dover (also nominated for Best DJ) made up his own genre to describe his music as Blixaboy: Futro. An EP, Intro to Futro, was released earlier this year, and Dover keeps refining techno and dubstep. Seeing him do it live is an added bonus.
Cutter Electronic duo Cutter lurk in the darker corners of dance music, employing drum machines, live drums and keyboards for a sound that's anything but chill.
Datahowler Electronic "wizard" Ross Edman just got his new EP, The Crystal Gazers, funded via Kickstarter. Check out the live magic for a hint of what you might be getting.
Mystery Skulls Mystery Skulls, the R&B/synth-pop project of Luis Dubuc, rocked Homegrown Festival in May and then Dubuc took off for the West Coast. Here's your chance to catch him after some hardcore touring and recording. Hopefully we'll hear some new tunes from a possible new EP.
Vulgar Fashion Julie McKendrick and Andrew Michael deal in the dark arts, making beautifully heavy, synth-driven music. This quote from late 2010 still applies: "We write a lot of romantic, melodic death pop, but we add a lot of crotch to it."
Best Experimental Act
Diamond Age The solo project of Matt Leer, Diamond Age has gone from a vessel for reinterpreting This Heat guitarist/bassist Gareth Williams' Flaming Tunes album to creating original songs via loops, tapes, guitar, synth and "smoke and mirrors." His upcoming album on Pour Le Corps, Broken World, is an excellent distillation of past, present and future tense.
Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things Napalm Beach, the latest from Eyes, Wings & Many Other Things, wasn't one of those psychedelic albums that abides the loud-quiet-loud formula. The group's gone from a duo to a quintet, which helps balance their more experimental meanderings.
New Fumes As New Fumes, Daniel Huffman is a self-sufficient unit, producing psychedelic synth-pop in every color of the rainbow. His recent collaboration with longtime friends the Flaming Lips has produced another color: A tribute to King Crimson's debut, In the Court of the Crimson King.
Shiny Around the Edges November 16 sees the release of Denton trio Shiny Around the Edges' new album on Gutterth Records, The Night is a Disco. Their slow-burning mix of bass, drums, sax and guitar is the perfect soundtrack as fall passes into winter.
Summer of Glaciers Angelus bassist Ryan Wasterlain went the solo route with project Summer of Glaciers, and released Small Spaces this past spring. Now rounded out by vocalist Miranda Alvarado, the duo make some beautiful elevator music.
Best None of the Above
Curvette This group of Denton vets -- Mike West, Alex Maples and Dave Anderson -- make a great case for the power trio, combining psychedelic and experimental sounds with a rock and roll base.
Derwooka Check out Mark Kitchens' latest live recording as Derwooka, at Forth Worth's The Cellar for a sense of his meditative, textural approach to experimental music. Or just go back to God's Electric Testicle for the "hits."
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Hentai Improvising Orchestra Kitchens also melds minds with Fort Worth's improvisational cabal Hentai Improvising Orchestra, who hosted their Improvised Silence series earlier this year.
Home by Hovercraft If you've ever wanted to employ the phrase "hardcore ballooning" and have it not refer to some sort of sex act, Home By Hovercraft have you covered. Helmed by husband and wife Seth and Shawn Magill, the five-piece's music is classically informed, and yet pop in its translation. Their musical components include tuba, piano, mandolin and a step dancer, and they're currently at work on songs for the musical On the Eve, which is about Marie Antoinette, time travel and a hot air balloon.
My Wooden Leg This "Gypsytronic Balkan rock band" gave us a thoroughly entertaining interview last month, with singer Michael Maftean and his computer, S.A.M.
The Tidbits Dallas' free-form jazz trio the Tidbits have encyclopedias worth of knowledge between them, and are quite adept at balancing improvisation with more straight-ahead rock 'n' roll. The question isn't what instruments will they play, but what won't they?