Monday, October 17, 2011

OEAA's announces music nominees

It's time to name the best in Omaha music. At least, that's the intention of the Omaha Entertainment And Arts Awards.

On Saturday, the nominations were released. And, after some voting, the winners will be picked in February.

While I think this is one of the better nomination lists I've ever seen from the OEA Awards, it's still flawed.

Why is "best adult" combined with "alternative" and "songwriter? And why is there a category that just says "indie?" Those bands would fit under rock, alternative and singer/songwriter. Why is "funk" paired with "prog" and "experimental?" And who are the Minnahoonies and why are they voted one of the best rock bands? I've never heard of them. (Upon further research, they're from Shenandoah, which should also disqualify them.)

Most pressing of all, why are Bright Eyes and Tim Kasher even in this fight? Yes, they are two of the biggest names in Omaha music, but they're not in the same league as these other guys (nor are Emphatic, which released a major-label album).

Putting those guys in the same category as Matt Cox Band and Galvanized Tron is like nominating the Yankees and the Omaha Stormchasers for "best baseball team." They're not on the same level. I think I know who's going to win.

Also, when Bright Eyes wins best artist, will Conor Oberst finally show up to pick it up his award?

Of course, it comes from the process by which nominees are picked. Nominations are submitted by the public. Then "the academy" votes on the nominees to choose the winners.

(Note: I'm supposedly an academy member, but I've never voted. I've also never received a ballot to vote, so that explains that. Hopefully, this year I'll be able to participate.)

Still, the nominees are mostly right. There's a lot of good music on that list. And it's a great starting point for someone not familiar with the scene to maybe familiarize themselves.

Anyway, the 2012 awards show will go down on Feb. 12 at Harrah's sometime in February. The awards are moving back to Omaha (they've been in CB in recent years), but the venue hasn't yet been decided.

You probably want to see the nominees. Check them out after the jump.

Read them and let me know what you think in the comments.

Best New Artist
• Gus and Call
• Icky Blossoms
• We Be Lions
• The Big Deep
• Snake Island
• The Seen

Best Artist
• Galvanized Tron
• Emphatic
• Tim Kasher
• Bright Eyes
• Matt Cox

Best Cover Band
• Secret Weapon
• Hi-Fi Hangover
• Yesterday & Today
• Lemon Fresh Day
• Jerry Pranksters

Best Ethnic
• Omaha Guitar Trio
• The Bishops
• Vibenhai
• Donneybrook
• Mariachi Luna y sol

Best Progressive/Experimental/Funk
• Funk Trek
• In Dreama
• Blue Martian Tribe
• Machete Archive
• The Midland Band
• Satchel Grande

Best Jazz
• Steve Raybine
• Robot Baklva
• Matt Amandus
• Jazzocracy
• Jorge Nilla and The Jazz Ninjas

Best Blues
• Kris Lager Band
• Brad Cordle Band
• Lil’ Slim Blues Band
• 112 North Duck
• Mojo and The Mofos

Best Hip Hop
• Galvanized Tron
• Jimmy Hooligan
• Conchance
• Pflames
• Scru Face Jean
• Purveyors of the Conscious Sound

Best Soul/R&B and Gospel
• JaSoulo
• Lucas Kellison and the Assembled Soul
• The 9’s
• Second Chance
• Voices of Victory

Best Country/Americana
• Kanesville Boys
• Matt Cox Band
• Platte River Rain
• Jaymie Jones
• Filter Kings

• Somasphere
• Brent Crampton
• Gunk DJ’s (Kobrakyle and $pencelove)
• Icky Blossoms
• BASSthoven

Best Indie
• Lonely Estates
• Noah’s Ark Was A Spaceship
• Conduits
• So-So Sailors
• Dim Light
• Blue Bird

Best Hard Rock
• Against The Artificial
• Broken Crown
• The End In Red
• The Wreckage
• Aurasing

Best Rock
• Rock Paper Dynamite
• Voodoo Method
• Vago
• Mitch Gettman
• Kris Lager Band
• Minnahoonies

Best Adult/Alternative…Songwriter
• Tara Vaughan
• Mitch Gettman
• Manny Coon
• All Young Girls Are Machine Guns
• South Of Lincoln
• Eli Mardock

Best Album
• Bright Eyes - "The People's Key"
• Tim Kasher - "The Game of Monogamy"
• Matt Cox - "Tracks in Sound"
• Galvanized Tron - "Galvanized Tron"
• Emphatic - "Damage"


  1. Ok, I'll bite. First off, full-disclosure, I'm in one of the nominated bands (Blue Bird).

    I think Bright Eyes and Tim Kasher are fair nominations. Just because they have gone on to find success outside of our fair city does not make them non-Omaha bands. They are from Omaha, record here, play here, hang out at the same bars the rest of us do and release records on an Omaha based label. For many of us they are the measure of what we are striving for and may someday make it to. Also, just because they have reached a higher level in their career does not mean that the "academy" wouldn't subjectively find Matt Cox's latest album to be them. In any case, I for one would be proud to lose to either BE or Kasher.

    On to the indie category...I'm going to take a wild guess (because I haven't asked anyone involved) and say that the OEAA's are considering this to be any band that runs on an independent level, regardless of genre. To me that means releasing and promoting your own recordings without the help of a label or distribution company, booking and touring without the aid of a major national agency and being self managed. If this is the case, that would knock out artists like Bright Eyes and Kasher from being in this category, which seems fair.

    I don't think there is any way these types of things can be 100% fair, though. It's just the nature of the beast. They will always be somewhat flawed.

    And yes, I doubt Bright Eyes would be there to pick up their award (if they win). But that kinda stuff happens at the Grammy's too.

  2. Hey Rob - I don't think they've given up their right to be in the awards, but Bright Eyes isn't a local player any more. They don't even do local press.

    I think you're going get criticized no matter how you arrange this thing, but I feel like it's better to recognize someone who's playing on the local scene than someone that cares so little about your award that they wouldn't even show up to see if they win.

    Again, I think they're doing a good job and the bands/artists on this list are good ones.

  3. And for a word from the folks (or, at least, one guy) behind the awards, I posted a lengthy response from Marq Manner:

  4. I think Conor, Cursive, and The Faint have all showed up to get awards (it's been a few years though)...and was when Conor's dad was on the BOD.

  5. Bright Eyes is not a local player anymore? I seem to remember a concert that was organized within the last year or so that took measure on some pretty important LOCAL issues. I don't know Conor personally, but I think he's got his finger on the local pulse (the same with everyone around him).

    Don't take this the wrong way, because we certainly are willing to do local press, but your comment sounds like sour grapes.

  6. Dear sirs;
    I wish to thank you for not excluding the minnahoonies. As one of the members of that organization ,I can tell you that we go to great lengths and personal expense to play the Omaha venues for little or no compensation other than our own personal satisfaction many times a year, when we could easily be profiting by staying closer to home. It is the excitement of the city and diversity of the artists that draw us there. We travel to Omaha as students as well as performers, to learn and grow from experiences gained there, and to meet other artists who share the same dream. The same reasons we hope that fans, spectators and just people who like music will travel to Omaha to hear us or any other unfamiliar group or composer. And this is proof, it works, today as our name has sparked questions amongst some, we are better known than we were yesterday and I invite you to seek us out and answer those questions the next time we appear in your city, our city. From a child as i've grown up in the area, Omaha has always been the place to go for top quality entertainment,and I have gone there for it my entire life, all we ask is a chance to contribute now and we are willing to travel there to do it.


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