DFW Music News

Introducing the 2017 Dallas Observer Music Awards Nominees

Midnight Opera tied for most DOMA nominations this year with six.
Midnight Opera tied for most DOMA nominations this year with six. via Siamese on Facebook
The Dallas Observer Music Awards are confronting their mortality. They're finding new respect for the trials faced by awards ceremonies past. They're contemplating quitting their 9-5, moving to the country and living off the land. In other words, the DOMAs are 29 this year.

As in years past, the DOMAs will celebrate the people and businesses that make Dallas a great place to live as a music lover. The showcase, featuring performances by a large number of the nominated acts, will return to Deep Ellum on Saturday, Dec. 2.

A circus-themed award ceremony will follow on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Showcase and ceremony venues will be announced soon. Awards will be handed out in 38 categories, and like last year's ballot, this year's includes lots of fresh blood.

The 29th DOMAs show that several artists have broken through to larger audiences this year. The Texas Gentlemen, Bobby Sessions, Pearl Earl, Vandoliers, Sudie, Midnight Opera and Dark Rooms are all artists on the move.

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Among the most nominated musicians this year is newcomer and folk songwriter Garrett Owen. He's up for awards in four categories: Best Folk Act, Best New Act, Best Song and Best Songwriter. Henry the Archer and his band, who describe their sound as a blend of post punk and electric folk, are up for three awards as first-timers.

Last year, Sam Lao was Queen Bee, sweeping all five categories she was nominated in. The "Grenade" rapper maintains a presence in two categories this year, but there was room to acknowledge new talent in the genre, like T.Y.E. He received his first two DOMA nods this year, in the Best Album and Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act categories.

The 29th DOMAs also see the rise of several artists who've graced the ballot once or twice before, but who have broken through to a larger audience this year. Hot off their Best Group Act win last year, country group Texas Gentlemen returns with an impressive five nominations, including Best Album for its September release, TX Jelly.

Other artists on the move are Bobby Sessions, Pearl Earl, Vandoliers, Sudie, Midnight Opera (formerly Siamese) and Dark Rooms. The last two, glam rock group Midnight Opera and alternative R&B group Dark Rooms, tied for most DOMA nominations this year with six.

Like usual, the ballot was assembled by a curated group of local music experts, which included talent buyers, photographers, musicians, record store owners, producers and representatives from the DIY scene. These are people who see a different show every night.

But while much of the DOMA process remains the same, one key thing has changed. This year, winners will be determined by a panel of judges rather than through a public vote. We'll be revealing the judges soon.

Presale for DOMAs tickets begins here at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3. Sign up for Dallas Observer's music newsletter, and you'll receive a promo code that you can use to buy a $10 presale ticket to the DOMAs showcase. Presale VIP tickets are $34.

You can also visit the official website for the 2017 Dallas Observer Music Awards to stay up to date on venues, artists performing, the showcase schedule and details about the ceremony on Dec. 5.

Best Album
Bobby Sessions, Grateful
Pearl Earl, Pearl Earl
Midnight Opera, The Mesmerist
The Texas Gentlemen, TX Jelly
T.Y.E., 32

Best Bassist
Aaron Gonzalez
Nigel Rivers
Paul Alonzo
Robert Trusko
Scott Lee

Best Blues Act
Charley Crockett
EJ Matthews
Stevie James Trio
Jason Elmore
Lance Lopez

Best Country Act
Summer Dean
The Texas Gentlemen
Ronnie Fauss
Chris Norwood

Best Cover Band
Different Strokes
The Rich Girls
Le Cure
The Gorehounds
Pearl Gem

Best DJ
Blake Ward
DJ Sober
DeeJay Mike B
Rick Simpson
Blue the Misfit

Best DJ Night
"Fresh 45’s"
"All/Everything" at RBC
"Glamorama" at Beauty Bar
"Serious Moonlight" at Ten Bells Tavern
"The Fix Fridays" at Drugstore Cowboy

Best Drummer
Bobak Lotfipour
Bailey Chapman
Matt Pence
Paul Grass
Stefan Gonzalez

Best Electronic Act
Dark Rooms
Honor System
Jake Schrock

Best EP/Mixtape
Native Fox, Floor Model
Sudie, Prism
Acid Carousel, Higher Than the Beatles
jACQ, Cosmic Affair
FXXXXY, Flawed Up Shawty 

Best Experimental/Noise Act
Black Taffy

Best Female Vocalist
Sarah Jaffe
Jude Gonzalez
Sarah Ruth
Samantha Rat Rios

Best Festival
Local Education Fest
Fortress Festival
Lights All Night

Best Folk Act
Garrett Owen
Jacob Metcalf
Jake Paleshic
Straw Hat Society
Levi Cobb & the Big Smoke

Best Funk/R&B Act
Cure for Paranoia
Medicine Man Revival
Quentin Moore
Ronnie Heart

Best Group Act
Cure for Paranoia
Texas Gentlemen
Henry the Archer
Acid Carousel

Best Guitarist
Nik Lee
Olan Mijana
Brett Michael
Stephen Ketner
Michael J. Slack

Best Hardcore Act
Heavy Baby Sea Slugs
Power Trip

Best Jazz Act
Yells at Eels
Thaddeus Ford
Ashleigh Smith
Ataraxia Trio
Skinny Cooks

Best Live Act
Midnight Opera
Francine Thirteen
Jesus Chris + the Beetles
RC & the Gritz

Best Male Vocalist
Daniel Hart
Richard Hennessy
Tyler Curtis
Joshua Fleming

Best Metal Act
Morgue Meat
Tricounty Terror

Best Music Video
Bobby Sessions, “Grateful"
Dark Rooms, “Polaroid"
Sam Lao, “Grenade"
Nite, “Dreamer"
Sudie, “FAQ"

Best New Act
Garrett Owen
Silas Nello

Best Pianist/Keyboardist
Paul Slavens
Poppy Xander
Kwinton Gray
Matt Westmoreland
Chad Stockslager

Best Pop Act
Def Rain
Midnight Opera

Best Producer
Beau Bedford
Alex Bhore
Carlos Savetman
TX Connect

Best Punk Act
Teenage Sexx
From Parts Unknown

Best Radio Show/Podcast
The Paul Slavens Show, KKXT 91.7
The Local Ticket, KCTK 96.7
Don’t Take It Personal
Mansion of Madness, KNON 89.3
Sonic Assembly, KUZU

Best Rap Hip/Hop Act
Sam Lao
Bobby Sessions
88 Killa
Blue, the Misfit

Best Record Label
Hand Drawn Records
Dreamy Life Records
Field Day Records
High Standardz

Best Record Store
Spinster Records
Josey Records
Good Records
Mad World Records
Retroplex Records

Best Rock Act
Daniel Markham
Dome Dwellers
Silas Nello
Dead Mockingbirds
Supersonic Lips

Best Song
Dark Rooms, “I Get Overwhelmed"
Henry the Archer, “WiFi Pets"
Garrett Owen, “Sad Eyed Son"
Bobby Sessions, “Dollars & Sense"
Pearl Earl, “Meet Your Maker"

Best Songwriter
Daniel Hart
Jordan Richardson
Teddy Georgia Waggy
Garrett Owen
Salim Nourallah

Best Talent Buyer
Jeffrey Brown
Margin Walker
Moody Fuqua
13th Floor Music
Jeffrey Liles

Best Venue (Under 500 Capacity)
Three Links
Club Dada
The Kessler
Texas Theatre

Best Venue (Over 500 Capacity)
Bomb Factory
Granada Theater
The Majestic
Gas Monkey Live
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Caroline Pritchard studied English at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and in 2012 returned to her hometown of Dallas, where she spends her free time seeking out new places to roller skate and play pinball.
Contact: Caroline North

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