By Isa Jones
By Mary Willson
By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
JILL WATKINS BAND
NOMINATED IN BLUES
3 P.M., DAZZLE
Personnel: Jill Watkins (vocals, trumpet, percussion); John Ragan (guitars, vocals); Walter Sorrentino (drums, percussion); Chris-Dax (bass guitar, guitar, harmonica, vocals).
Native or transplant? Chris-Dax and John Ragan are Colorado natives; Jill and Walt hail from Minneapolis and Chicago, respectively.
Releases/discography: Just One Good Man (Aspen Records).
Describe your music in a sentence: The Jill Watkins experience is best described as a homegrown roadhouse party with plenty of red-hot vocal dynamite.
Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Jill Watkins Band has been very well received wherever we play.
What's your idea of "making it"? One gig at a time. Come the end of the evening, if we've respected the music and musicians who have come before us and entertained the folks who have come out and spent their money, we've made it.
What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Erica Brown, Denver's true queen of the music scene, plus every musician who takes their vocation seriously and leaves it all on the stage at the end of the night. We are so often inspired by our fellow musicians -- not just by their music, but by the integrity and love which guide and inspire them to make each day count for something.
What albums have had the biggest impact on you?
Beatles, Rubber Soul; Redd Volkaert, Telewacker; Janis Joplin, Cheap Thrills; Koko Taylor, Koko Taylor.
What artists have had the biggest impact on you? Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Buck Owens/Don Rich, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, George Harrison and Delbert McClinton.
Myspace: godsend or the devil? www.myspace.com/jillwatkinsband. We're just going with the flow, even if myspace does flow like molasses.
Do you have an iPod? No.
NOMINATED IN REGGAE/SKA
5 P.M., LA RUMBA
Personnel: Byron Shaw (vocals); Zach Pietlock (drums); Chris Reidy (guitar); Brian Handlos (bass); David Dinsmore (trombone); Rolf Reitzig (trumpet); Jon Hegel (saxophone).
Native or transplant? We are primarily natives.
Releases/discography: True (2003); Skankin' Naked (1999); Rude One's Money Making Scheme (1997).
Describe your music in a sentence: We are the sound of millions of voices crying out in terror and then suddenly silenced -- much like two-tone ska.
Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Judge Roughneck will be wherever we are needed. Whether it's Los Angeles, Sri Lanka or Englewood, we will be there...fighting for truth, and justice, and free drink tickets.
What's your idea of "making it"? "Making it"? Well, let's just say we recently played a local county fair, and Judge Roughneck received complimentary bottled water on stage. That's right -- free water for us. And a parking pass (good for the duration of our set). You ask the definition of "making it"? Oh, we've made it, baby!
What local artist(s) are you most excited about? Local artists? I can't speak for the whole band, but all of the dancers at the Bare Essence are quite talented, and it would be unfair to pick just one.
What albums have had the biggest impact on you? The albums which have had the greatest impact on us are (damn...this is starting to be like one of those myspace surveys that plague my inbox all the time)...um, as a band, I think Fishbone's Truth & Soul, the Specials' self-titled album, Damian Marley's Halfway Tree, lots of Burning Spear, and Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Q.
What artists have had the biggest impact on you? See local artists answer.
Myspace: godsend or the devil? See myspace.com/judge-roughneckband for the answer to that question.
Do you have an iPod? If so, who's on it right now? On my iPod right now are the rantings of a lunatic.
NOMINATED IN PUNK/HARDCORE
8 P.M., TWO A.M.
Personnel: King Rat is the name, and breaking shit is our game. Luke Schmaltz (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Mike Makkay (lead guitar, backing vocals); Anthony Delilli (bass guitar, backing vocals); Doug "Pockets" Hopper (drums, background hollering).
Native or transplant? We're all from other places far ranker than hell's bunghole. We'd rather not associate ourselves by naming such places.
Releases/discography: I Can't Get Laid (1996); Knockin' Up Heaven's Whore (1998); How to Make Your Boss Hang Himself (2000); Don't Make Me Spit in Your Food (2003); Duct Tape and Dreams (2006).
Describe your music in a sentence: King Rat sounds like a hard, fast, melodic, smirking punch in the face.
Do you think you can make it out of Denver? Absolutely. We're huge in Pueblo, Trinidad and Yuma, Arizona.
What's your idea of "making it"? To us, "making it" is banging your girlfriend senseless in the back seat of her jerkoff father's Cadillac. And yes, we have all "made it."
What local artist(s) are you most excited about? The local artist we are most excited about is none other than Denver Joe.
What albums have had the biggest impact on you? Albums by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass can bring any of us to tears in moments -- huge influence. Also, we would have been lost long ago without Back in Black, Rocket to Russia and Folsom Prison Blues.