As we have every year for the last quarter-century, we present the Dallas Observer Music Awards. This year, our panel of music experts and industry veterans nominated 200 artists, venues and organizations. Over 4,000 people voted on those nominees, and their selections are the 40 winners listed here.
They're a worthy bunch. Some are well-known outside North Texas, like Sarah Jaffe (whose latest exploits include singing the hook on an Eminem song and providing the soundtrack for Pixar's most recent short) and The Polyphonic Spree (whose new album reached number eight on the Billboard Album Chart, in addition to winning our Best New Release DOMA). Some of this year's winners are elder statesmen of this area's music scene: Paul Slavens, who was nominated for the very first DOMA in 1988, won a pair this year.
You can see one outline of the music scene in this year's winners. Booty Fade is less than a year old, but the collaboration between DJ Sober and producer Picnictyme represents the pulse of Dallas' nightlife scene better than anyone else. The O's, whose members have a pedigree that includes major label deals, have earned enough goodwill here that they could probably win city council seats in addition to their continued success in the DOMA voting. Denton's Seryn and Dallas' Larry G(ee) are probably the area's two best bets for a national breakthrough in 2014.
But there are rewards to be found in every single nominee and in many bands and artists who missed this year's cut. So go to the Granada Theater, or Three Links or any of the other music venues among this year's nominees, and find some music you like. We're guessing most of these bands would agree that winning a DOMA is nice, but seeing new faces at a concert is better.
Best Group Act: RTB2 See also: RTB2 On Their New Album: "Every Record Should Feel Like The First" Bandcamp
Best Solo Act: Sarah Jaffe See also: Sarah Jaffe Sacrificed Both Mind and Body to Make Her Second Album Website
Best New Release: Yes, It's True by The Polyphonic Spree See also: The Polyphonic Spree's Best Dallas Show Ever: Review, Photos and Setlist See also: Tips for Stalking the Polyphonic Spree This Month, While They're On a Break From Touring Website
Best New Act: Son of Stan See also: Son of Stan's Jordan Richardson and the Re-Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Dream WebsiteBest Song: "F#$K Like a Stripper" by Booty FadeSee also: Get familiar with Booty FadeWebsiteBest Music Video: "Raise Your Head" by The Polyphonic Spree (Directed by Alex Gabbott)
Best Live Act: The Effinays Website
Best Vocalist: Sarah Jaffe
Best Guitarist: Jason "Shaggy" Kerr Website
Best Bassist: Tony Ferraro Website
Best Drummer: Zach Mayo See also: Premiere: The Breakfast Machine's Underwater, Sledgehammer-Wielding Music Video for "Getz" Bandcamp
Best Pianist/Keyboardist: Paul Slavens See also: Musician and Radio Host Paul Slavens Looks Back on 25 Years of North Texas Music November Residency at Dan's Silverleaf
Best Americana Act: Whiskey Folk See also: Whiskey Folk Have a New Album and a New Band -- Finally Facebook
Best Experimental/Noise Act: Vulgar Fashion See also: The Alchemy of Vulgar Fashion: Patience, Magic and Blood Bandcamp
Best Folk Act: Fox and the Bird See also: Fox & The Bird's Road to Tonight's Album Release Show at Sons of Hermann Hall Facebook
Best Funk/R&B Act: Larry G(ee) See also: More Dallas Music on TV: Larry g(EE) to Perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tonight Website
Best Hardcore Act: Brutal Juice See also: This Week In Dallas Music History: Brutal Juice Is Too Brutal for Deep Ellum Website
Best Latin/Tejano Act: Mayta See also: Meet the Latin/Tejano Dallas Observer Music Award Nominees Facebook
Best Metal Act: Pinkish Black See also: Pinkish Black's Sinister Waltz Has Been Building Momentum For 20 Years Facebook
Best Rock Act: We'rewolves Facebook
Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act: A.Dd+ See also: A.Dd+ Performed at the Dallas Museum of Art, and It Was Glorious: Video See also: A.Dd+ Packed 776 People into the Granada: Dallas Hip-Hop Has Arrived Bandcamp
Best Cover Band: Sweatloaf Facebook
Best DJ: Sober Website
Best Producer: Booty Fade
Best Live Music Venue: Granada Theater See also: Rebirth Brass Band, 9/7/13, Granada Theater: Review and Photos Facebook Twitter
Best New Live Music Venue: Three Links See also: The Experienced Three Links Owners Get Their Priorities from the Odd Fellows Website
Best Talent Buyer: Spune See also: Spune's Lance Yocom on His Favorite Local Bands and His Company's Upcoming Festivals Website
Best Radio Show/Podcast: Paul Slavens Show on 91.7 KXT Profile
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Best Festival: 35 Denton See also: 35 Denton Will Return in 2015, Under the Direction of Founder Chris Flemmons Website
Best Music Blog: Central Track Website