Thanks to those who have vote so far... all two of you (three if you count the fact that I'm voting). In order for this to work, I'm going to need a few more votes than I've gotten so far. That's okay, as you still have until midnight of May 22nd to cast your ballot. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and give me your top 5 Dallas bands/solo artists of all time. Please rank them in order, with number one being your favorite.
Here's how the scoring works: the number one act on your list gets five points (five plus one just because it's your top choice), act number two gets four points, number three gets three points, number four gets two, and number five gets a point. In case of a tie between acts, I shall cast the deciding vote in terms of ranking; call it a perk of running the blog.
As stated before, please do not use this voting process as a vehicle to promote your band that no one's ever heard of before. No one has done that yet, but I'd like to stop that before it starts. If you'd like a list of suggested bands to nominate, feel free to look at the list of favorite acts either on the side links or on the GOBL MySpace page. Or better yet, check out Jeff Liles' list of great bands and solo artists at A History of Dallas Music. Feel free to stray from those lists, as they are merely suggestions of likely worthy bands, not a comprehensive listing. The acts you vote for must be local acts. I define local as being from either the Dallas, Fort Worth, or Denton areas (or the suburbs surrounding those cities). If the act is not from one of those areas, then do not nominate it. Also, just because a musician was born in Dallas (or surrounding areas) does not mean the musician is a Dallas musician. All acts should have musical roots in the area, so please, no Billy Joel or even Elliott Smith votes.
Speaking of voting, how many of you have voted in Quick's Big Thing? If not, go to Quick now and cast your vote! Voting ends at midnight, Friday May 29th. I'm not going to list all the nominees, but rather some of my favorites from each category, as well pointing out a few significant oversights.
Who should win: There are so many good choices here, including The King Bucks, The Theater Fire, and RTB2. Two bands, however, stand out as my favorites of the group: Dove Hunter and The O's. This is a close one for me, but I'm going to have to go with The O's. I just hope that Smile Smile and RTB2 don't retaliate against me in this bloody duo deathmatch.
Big oversight: Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights are easily one of the biggest and best bands around these parts, and why they're not nominated is beyond me.
BIG SOLO ARTIST
Who should win: Do I vote for the new kid on the block (Nicholas Altobelli) or the seasoned veteran (Salim Nourallah)? Everyone realizes how brilliant Mr. Nourallah is. Not as many people are acquaintance with the hauntingly beautiful songwriting skills of Nicholas Altobelli. Perhaps a win by him would change that. My vote shall go to Mr. Altobelli, but I won't complain if Salim walks home with this one.
Big oversight: Admittedly Doug Burr's latest project, The Shawl, may reach a more limited audience as it is a modern day musical interpretation of the biblical Psalms. The project is still very impressive, however, and Mr. Burr's exclusion is a big oversight indeed.
Who should win: For a long time, there was a misconception that because of the extra space on CD's, albums needed to be longer. Dove Hunter's The Southern Unknown may have a mere nine songs, but when your songs are that good, no more is needed. The tracks are rhythmically complex yet memorable and catchy. The tracks range in pace from slow and leisurely ("Devil's Lake") to the heavier, more rocking and brooding ("What Turns Inside"). There are certainly other good CD's in the running (Even Born Again and Sorta's self-titled CD come to mind). But ultimately, Dove Hunter should be the decisive winner in this category.
Big oversight: Airline's Farewell Republica is a complex album that only gets better with each listen. The song titles range from eccentric to flat out weird ("Ulysses", "The Visigoths Await"), but the melodies are as interesting as the titles are peculiar. Experimental in nature, melancholy in mood at times, and ranging from moody pop to straight ahead rock, Farewell Republica will keep listeners on the edge of their seat.
Who should win: Uh, can we have a five-way tie here? No? OK then. My apologies to the cut*off, Dove Hunter, The O's, and Sorta, but Ms. Jaffe's voice on "Even Born Again" gives me chills every time I listen. I'm starting to get a chill down my spine just THINKING about the song. There is an emotional intensity found in Sarah's voice that is almost epic in nature. The other four tracks are awesome, but in all honesty, this one is just a little awesomer. And don't say nothin' about me be using bad grammar.
Big oversight: If I had to choose the song that defined 2008, Rahim Quazi's "Supernatural" would have been the hands down winner. To say that it's a feel-good song almost undercuts the power of this tune. Corny as this sounds, the track radiates a joy that is downright infectious. For the record, this song should have not only been nominated, but it deserves the title of "Big Song".
BIG LIVE ACT
Who should win: Dove Hunter. I'm tempted to do my usual rave about Quincy Holloway's drumming skills and how he is the best drummer in this city. However, let me just say that this is not the Quincy Holloway show, but rather a collection of great musicians, and that the fact that these guys can keep up with Mr. Holloway proves their talent.
Big oversight: I have said it before, I shall say it again: THe BAcksliders are the best live band in Dallas. Is someone at Quick afraid of pure, frenzied rock and roll? That's the only explanation for this omission that makes sense.
NEXT BIG THING
Who should win: This is another category where I have two big favorites: Iris Leu and The Orbans. I'm going with Ms. Leu for her gorgeous voice and skills on the piano. Songs like "Hollowville" and "After All Is Done" are equal parts beauty, grace, strength, emotional resonance, and great music technique. Still, the amount of talent The Orbans have been showing lately is growing exponentially, so if they win, I'll be happy with that result too.
Big oversight: She may be only 17 years old, but Winslow Bright is showing a talent that is beyond her years. Her sound meshes together the best of 1960's pop a la Dusty Springfield with a modern sensibility. Tracks like "5000 Miles to London", "Let's Slip Away" and "Could You Be My Baby" suggest that this is not a mere teenage flash in the pan act, but rather a true artist whose music has the potential to endure.
I can't say much about this category, as I am not very knowledgable about local DJ's. So here's what I will say: Clay Pendergrass spins a mean mix of funk, world music, and other obscure yet captiving pieces of music. I'm throwing my vote behind Mr. Pendergrass.
BIG STUDIO ACE
Salim produced the latest Old 97's CD, and well as CD's by the cut*off and Winslow Bright. Need I say more?