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 Album, Best Electronic/Dance and Best Punk categories and how each of
the 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
Text Your Vote: DAL13
Why They're Here: Earlier this year, we ran an article in the paper edition of DC9 at Night that called this year the golden age of Dallas hip-hop. Thanks to When Pigs Fly, A.Dd+ is at the front of the pack.
Calhoun - Heavy Sugar
Text Your Vote: DAL14
Whey They're Here: Calhoun's 2011 album, Heavy Sugar, is a much more clear-cut pop record than it's 2008 predecessor, Falter.Waver.Cultivate. And with the new release, the band has gotten more buzz around town than maybe ever before. Great performances around town and regular play on KXT make this record a contender in this category.
Centro-Matic - Candidate Waltz
Text Your Vote: DAL15
Why They're Here: Candidate Waltz is Centro-Matic's tenth full-length record, and it might be their best. Singer Will Johnson wrote the entire thing on the bass guitar, giving the record big hooks and memorable melodies.
The O's - Between The Two
Text Your Vote: DAL16
Why They're Here: On The O's first record, We Are The O's, Taylor Young and John Pedigo pieced together a hodge podge of previously written material. But on Between The Two, they wrote the whole thing together from the start. The band's early melancholy feel is still in tact, but the hooks are better than ever before.
Seryn - This Is Where We Are
Text Your Vote: DAL17
Why They're Here: On This Is Where We Are, Seryn managed to capture the energy and emotion of their live show and put it to tape. If anything, the band's spirit shines through on this harmony-rich debut.
True Widow - As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth
Text Your Vote: Dal18
Why They're Here: If True Widow wins this category, they won't be around to accept it. The band is currently on the road in Europe, on the legs of this record and another EP that's being released today. They've become quite prolific these days, and if this record is any indication, they're getting better all the time.
Text Your Vote: DAL55
Why They're Here: Wanz Dover, the man behind Blixaboy, has influenced the Dallas electronic scene for years. His laptop deathmatches have put a spotlight on guys like Daniel Huffman from New Fumes and even The King Bucks' Joe Butcher, making his Blixaboy moniker quite deserving of this nomination.
Text Your Vote: DAL56
Why They're Here: Datahowler is a bit of a new kid on the block this year. The until-just-recently Frisco resident (he's now a Deep Ellum dweller) has roots in the hardcore rock movement and in the mashup world. His newer electronic direction, a smooth blend of electronic and jazz fusion, is certainly more fitting.
Text Your Vote: DAL57
Why They're Here: Dubstep isn't a genre that just popped up this year. It's been boiling in the undergound scene for over a decade. And the members of Dub Assembly have been steadily bringing dubstep to the forefront of Dallas nightlife with their parties for some time now. Love or hate dubstep, this has been a highly influential group in Dallas.
Text Your Vote: DAL58
Why They're Here: Hoyotoho's high-energy blend of electronic and rock music churns out a product of impressive banger dance songs, while keeping the live rock band feel in tact.
Text Your Vote: DAL59
Why They're Here: Ishi had a tumultuous year in 2011, but John and J.J. Mudd are still soldiering on, minus the sex appeal of former lead singer Taylor Rea. Their shows, however, are still quite the spectacles. And when you're partying as hard as their fans do, you hardly notice the difference.
Text Your Vote: DAL60
Why They're Here: Oddly enough, Sextape is the only Denton nominee in this category this year. Seems like not that all long ago, it would have been the opposite. Sextape, however, has survived the demise of several Denton electronic acts, and now the band has former Neon Indian guitarist Ronnie Heart in their live band.
Text Your Vote: DAL67
Why They're Here: Bad Sports' new record, Kings Of The Weekend, was actually produced by a member of another nominated band in this category, Mark Ryan, frontman of Mind Spiders. It just proves that the Denton retro punk scene is a bit incestuous. Hell, both badnds are even signed to the same Portland, Oregon-based label, Dirtnap Records, which has taken note of the impressive punk bands Denton has to offer.
Text Your Vote: DAL68
Why They're Here: Final Club's music has been about as mysterious as an actual Final Club. The band's earliest music was all instrumental, but they later adopted frontman Brendon Avalos' vocals. The music sounds like it could fly off the rails at any second as the guitars bring an interesting melodic feel.
Text Your Vote: DAL69
Why They're Here: If Leg Sweeper can survive until the DOMA ceremony, then that will, itself, be a feet. Their tour tweets read like the dialogue in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, which, really, kind of makes them an even better punk band.
Text Your Vote: DAL70
Why They're Here: Mind Spiders are the next in the line of Denton punk acts getting national attention. Thanks to their 2011 self-titled full-length, the band received high marks from several national blogs. And rightfully so: It's one of the best records released all year.
Text Your Vote: DAL71
Why They're Here: The Dallas power trio, Missile, take the anthemic route with their brand of punk rock: There's a lot of big hooks, chorus shouting, and good old punk rock posing, all of which have made this band a contender in this category.
Text Your Vote: DAL72
Why They're Here: When Soviet released their garagy debut EP, Forever Today, it was hard to listen to anything else for the weeks that followed. Same goes with their more recently released Doom, which proves that the band has had a prolific year.