Get To Know Your DOMAXXIII Nominees: Best Song, Best Metal Act, BestFunk/R&B Act

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 Song, Best Metal Act, and Best Funk/R&B Act 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 Song

Air Review -- "America's Son"
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Why They're Here:

Whereas Air Review used to revel in more bombastic territory, their new material thankfully highlights the band's impressive musicianship by turning the volume down a few pegs. "America's Son," already a popular song on KKXT-91.7 FM KXT, is a shinign example of the band's new direction.

Calhoun -- "Knife Fight"
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Why They're Here: After teasing a breakup in 2009, Calhoun returned this year and with a vengeance: Tim Locke and Jordan Roberts have always been top-notch songwriters, but the indie-pop gem that is "Knife Fight" may be their best work to date.

Seryn -- "We Will All Be Changed"
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Why They're Here: Sweeping, multiple-part harmonies and lead vocals courtesy of best male vocalist nominee Trenton Wheeler have helped turn this song into something of a calling card for the young Seryn as they start to earn some national attention for their rousing brand of folk.

Soviet -- "Forever Today"
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Why They're Here: The very first song ever released by Soviet, who seem to have caught everyone by storm this year, might also be the band's best. The song is a swaggering piece of lo-fi sexy goodness, complete with an oh-so-catchy hook.

Treal Lee & Prince Rock -- "Throwed Off"
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Why They're Here: The breakout radio-friendly hip-hop jam of the year comes courtesy of the Mr. Collipark-approved Treal Lee & Prince Rick and their "Fuck everybody!" anthem. Don't mistake these guys as one-hit wonders, either; this is actually their second single to break huge. You remember "Mr. Hit Dat Hoe," right?

True Widow -- "Skull Eyes"
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Why They're Here: The lead single off of True Widow's sophomore LP, "Skull Eyes" features everything that Dan Phillips, Nikki Cage and Tim Starks do best. The sound is massive, dark and crushing -- and yet shockingly melodic thanks to Phillips' sense of melody, Starks' restrained play and Cage's always-enjoyable turn as the band's featured vocalist.

Best Metal Act

The Famine
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Why They're Here:

This Arlington death metal act talked a big game before releasing this year's The Architects of Guilt for Solid State Records, claiming they hoped to "set a standard for metal that will stand the test of time the way others before us have." And the record was pretty awesome. But, turns out, the timelessness deal wasn't: The band has since disbanded. If they win this award, it will be posthumously won.

Kill The Client
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Why They're Here: Far bigger outside of Dallas than inside of the region -- partially because the band's members don't beleive there's much of an audience for their sound locally and, thus, only play sparingly -- Kill The Client has earned a strong national reputation for their particularly brutal take on grindcore. perhaps a win this year will change their minds.

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Why They're Here: The local indie rock set's favorite metal band combines the stoner metal appeal of bands like Mastodon and The Sword for a bone-crushing aesthetic all their own.

Power Trip
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Why They're Here: Though more of a hardcore band than a metal one, Power Trip certainly doesn't hold back in its performances or on its recorded efforts, both of which are plenty loud and plenty brutal. No wonder the band is one of the few Dallas-based acts to have played Austin's Fun Fun Fun Fest.

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Why They're Here: From the ashes of the iconic '80s area thrash metal outfit Rigor Mortis comes Warbeast, which shares a few of that adored band's members. And, just a few years into its existence, this newer band has earned quite the reputation of its own, having toured with the likes of Down, Every Time I Die and GWAR.

White Arms of Athena
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Why They're Here: This Mesquite-based progressive metal outfit is the youngest nominated band in this bunch, but certainly not the least ambitious: In August, the band released a four-part concept album as its debut.

Best Funk/R&B

Emotion Brown & The Cosmos
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Why They're Here:

A backup singer in Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, Emotion Brown gets her due spotlight in this project, which allows her to revel in a less rock-oriented arena than her main gig affords.

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Why They're Here: Known for their residency at Zubar, this collective of musicians largely improvises its material live, combining elements of hip-hop, funk, soul & R&B into an alluring blend.

Larry g(EE)
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Why They're Here: The former frontman of Odis has struck out on his own of late and has found inspiration in the soul arena. Good thing, too: Larry could always sing; soul provides his impressive a better playground than Odis' pop-rock ever could.

The Gritz
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Why They're Here: Led by Erykah Badu's muscial director R.C. Williams, The Gritz plan to release a new album this fall. But there's really no need to wait at all to catch this band t their best: A rotating cast of bandmates hop on stage every Wednesday night at the Prophet Bar, performing improvised and previously penned tracks alike.

Ducado Vega
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Why They're Here: A recent transplant from Louisiana, Ducado Vega is more than just a Lenny Kravitz wannabe with a cool name -- althoguh he's got that going for him, too. A serious sense of melody backs up his funked-up rock sound.

Andrew Tinker
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Why They're Here: Though more of a pop artist than anything else, Tinker's music certainly has some R&B tinges to it, thanks to his soulful piano play and impressive handle on catchy, infectious hooks.

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