Update 3/14/12: The polls are officially open. Please feel free to make your way to the 2012 Westword Music Showcase ballot and register your vote!
The 2012 Westword Music Showcase ballot is here -- no more waiting. Well, that's not entirely true: You will have to wait another day or so before the official ballot hits the newsstands and the web, and you can actually vote for your favorite acts. But in the meantime, as a loyal reader of the Backbeat blog, you're getting the drop on the names that made the roster this year.
Formulating the ballot for the Westword Music Showcase is always a daunting task. As in previous years, this year's ballot was formulated with the input of our nominating committee, everyone from radio personalities and bloggers to talent buyers and promoters, along with some readers.
If you're unfamiliar with the process, here's how it works: We tap our committee members (see the full list below), who are all immersed in the local music scene in one capacity or another, to give us their informed opinions on which acts are worthy of being considered for inclusion. In past years, we simply asked committee members to list the twenty or so artists that had made the biggest impression. This year, we presented them with a blank ballot and not only asked them to list their top acts, but to consider this: "If you had a chance to introduce a group of influential tastemakers from across the country to the absolute best music our city has to offer, what are the acts you'd list?" That's what we were looking for, and that's exactly what they gave us.
As always, we also laid out some ground rules: We requested that members abstain from nominating any acts which they are personally affiliated, have a business relationship with or are in any other way associated with. Any such nominations would be tossed, we warned, along with the rest of their ballot; to the best of our knowledge, they all complied.
As we considered the committee's collective input, we couldn't help but marvel at how the scene continues to thrive. Putting the ballot together always serves as an excellent barometer for the overall state of music in the metro area, which is as healthy and vibrant as it's ever been. It also reminds us of how the scene continues to change. You'll notice, for example, that acts like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, VibeSquad, Paper Diamond, Tennis and Nathaniel Rateliff, among others, don't appear on the ballot. That's not a slight: We've just determined that those artists have attained an elevated status that removes them from ballot consideration at this point.
If you feel that we left out other favorite acts (even your act), feel free to let us know in the comments section below, and then vote to include them on the write-in slots on the actual ballot. You can also tell us which of the acts you'd like to see booked at this year's Westword Music Showcase.
Once the polls open, the deadline to vote is June 25 -- which means you can wait until you've heard many of the acts at the Westword Music Showcase on Saturday, June 23, which will feature headliners Girl Talk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Battles, plus more acts that have yet to be announced.
We'll release the full lineup in April. In the meantime, below are this year's Westword Music Showcase award nominees.
Important: if your act is listed on the following pages, please drop us a line as soon as possible so that we can get your current contact info and ensure you're included in our Showcase coverage this year.
POP - TRADITIONAL Churchill Eldren The Heyday Rachel James PLACES
POP - ALTERNATIVE Carbon Choir Della The Epilogues Flashbulb Fires In the Whale Lola Black Monroe Monroe Petals of Spain Take to the Oars Varlet
POP - INDIE Cougar Pants The Don'ts & Be Carefuls Fingers of the Sun The Manxx M and the Gems SAUNA
ROCK - TRADITIONAL The Big Motif The Foot. Kinetix Musketeer Gripweed Something Underground
ROCK - ALTERNATIVE Bad Weather California Calder's Revolvers The Knew Overcasters The Swayback
ROCK - INDIE Achille Lauro Amazing Twin FaceMan Fierce Bad Rabbit Hearts in Space Hindershot Land Lines Le Divorce A Mouthful of Thunder Snake Rattle Rattle Snake Spires
ROCK - HEAVY Dirty Backseat Lovers Git Some Il Cattivo Kingdom of Magic Lords of Fuzz MF Ruckus Skeleton Show Zebroids
ROCK - PROGRESSIVE Choke the Word Eolian I Sank Molly Brown My Body Sings Electric Lexigram PANAL S.A. DE C.V.
ROCK - AMBIENT A Shoreline Dream Brim Liski Fairchildren Gauntlet Hair Galaxies Morning Clouds Mombi Orbit Service Tantric Picasso Woodsman
ROCK - ROOTS 4H Royalty Arliss Nancy Kentucky Parlor Pickers Andy Palmer and Grub Street Writer Tin Horn Prayer
ROCK - JAM/IMPROV Frogs Gone Fishin' Jet Edison Wonderlic Whiskey Tango Yamn
HIP-HOP - MC (MALE) Anxious Hypnautic Input Julox Mane Rok Midas Pries Rockie SP Double Spoke in Wordz Turner Jackson Whygee
HIP-HOP - MC (FEMALE) Bianca Mikahn Britny Jones D'Girl Qbala Koo Qua
HIP-HOP - GROUP American Trash Republic BLKHRTS Cobraconda Diamond Boiz Fresh Breath Committee Prime Element The ReMINDers Wheelchair Sports Camp
HIP-HOP - BAND Air Dubai Beats Noir BigWheel Electrosoul Broken Tongues Filthy T The Foodchain Gamer Life MTHDS No 1 Left Standing Whiskey Blanket
HIP-HOP - PRODUCER Big J. Beats Boy Davey Boonie Mayfield Es Nine Mass Prod Yonnas Abraham
PUNK Boldtype Dead Ringer Elway Frontside Five King Rat Pitch Invasion Potato Pirates Red Stinger Reno Divorce Synthetic Elements
POST-PUNK Accordion Crimes Force Publique Gangcharger Glass Homes Glass Hits Joy Subtraction Lust-Cats of the Gutters Night of Joy The Photo Atlas Wire Faces
HARDCORE Bankrobber Before We're Done Citizen Final Blow Negative Degree
METAL Adai Havok IAMTHESHOTGUN Iconocaust Immortal Dominion Kill Syndicate Lost Point No Fair Fights Novus Folium Scalafrea Speedwolf Spools of Dark Thread
METAL - EXTREME Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire Dissonance in Design Enemy Reign Vale of Pnath Vimana
AMERICANA A. Tom Collins Champagne Charlie Chimney Choir Dovekins Paper Bird The Raven and the Writing Desk Safe Boating Is No Accident The Widow's Bane
FOLK/ACOUSTIC Bare Bones Driftwood Fire I'm With Her Lumineers Shel The Yawpers You, Me and Apollo
BLUEGRASS Good Gravy Finnders & Youngberg Head for the Hills Long Road Home Spring Creek Bluegrass Band
SINGER-SONGWRITER John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light Ian Cooke Danielle Ate the Sandwich Patrick Dethlefs Rob Drabkin Zach Heckendorf Lizzie Huffman Joshua Novak Caleb Slade Coles Whalen
COUNTRY Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels Halden Wofford & the Hi*Beams The Hollyfelds Marty Jones & the Great Unknowns New Ben Franklins
ELECTRONIC ALERT Eminence Ensemble Human Agency Octopus Nebula Project Aspect Signal Path
ELECTRONIC - EXPERIMENTAL Alphabets CacheFlowe Iuengliss Kevin Costner Suicide Pact Men in Burka
ELECTRONIC - POP Flashlights Juno What?! ManCub Real Magic Total Ghost
JAZZ Carmen Sandim Sextet Greg Garrison Greg Harris Vibe Quintet Aakash Mittal Raincheck
BLUES The Informants The Delta Sonics Dan Treanor The Lionel Young Band The Young Austin Band
FUNK Bop Skizzum Demon Funkies Fox Street All Stars Filthy Children Funkiphino
SOUL/R&B Bmore J. Carey Venus Cruz Amanda Hawkins Jon Shockness
REGGAE/DUB Apex Vibe Coral Thief Desciples Dubskin Judge Roughneck Lion SoulJahs Peace Officer SlaughterHouse Rootz Trichome
WORLD Conjunto Colores Izcalli The Indulgers Pink Hawks Potcheen
DJ - DANCE Brick Lee Dragon Fresh2Death Ivy John Templeton
DJ - DUBSTEP Ishe Coult 45 Dirt Monkey Jantsen Rumblejunkie
DJ - HIP-HOP Cysko Rokwel DeeJay Tense Ktone Low Key Gypdahip Top Shelf
DJ - PROGRESSIVE Peter Black boyhollow Ginger Perry MU$A Option 4
Nominating Committee: David Barber (Herman's Hideaway), Erin Barnes (Donnybrook), Morris Beegle (Hapi Skratch), Dane Bernhardt (Crazy Horse Studios), Jonathan Bitz (Denver Syntax), Doug Bohm (CoClubs), Nicole Cacciavillano (Sub.mission), Nick Callaio (Backbeat), Cory Casciato (Onion), Maddie Casey (Ultra 5280), Brandee Castle (Open Air 1340 CPR), Britt Chester (Backbeat), Nicole Cormier (Backbeat), Greta Cornett (FoCoMx/Scene Magazine), Bree Davies (Backbeat), Ben DeSoto (hi-dive), Virgil Dickerson (Suburban Home/Greater Than), Tim Dwenger (ListenUpDenver), Julio Enriquez (Reverb/Cause=Time), Dan Ericson (Signtologist), Guy Erickson (KGNU), Boyd Fletcher (Backbeat), Randall Frazier (Walnut Room), Ruthie Foster (reader), James Freeman (That's the Thing About That), Jeb "Nerf" Freedman (KTCL), Brian Frederick (Backbeat), Lisa Gedgaudas (UMS), Peter "Black" Gurule (Meadowlark), Brianna Hernandez (Swagger), Dave Herrera (Backbeat), Dylan Alexander (Teenage Vulture), Josiah Hesse (Backbeat), Jamie Hillyer (Module Overload), Leonard Jackson (reader), Tyler Jacobson (Post 303), Ru Johnson (Backbeat), Corey Jones (Open Air 1340 CPR), Tiffiny Kallina (The Ruckus), Dan King (Outlook Hotel), Thorin Klosowski (Gawker), Andrew "Alf" Kremer (KTCL), Chris "Chris K" Kresge (KRFC), Scott LaBarbera (Oriental), Rhett Lee (Soiled Dove), Bradley "B Lo" Lopez (KBPI), Jeff McQuilkin (Examiner), Dave Meyer (reader), Paige Montgomery (Reverb), Jawsh Mullen, Tom Murphy (Backbeat), Sid Pink, Patrick Rodgers (Backbeat), Sue Ross (Sidekicks Saloon), Donald Rossa (Dazzle Jazz), Lynn Ryan (reader), Quibian Salazar-Moreno (Boulder Weekly), Danny Sax (Gothic Theatre), Matt Schild (The Onion), Dutch Seyfarth (Backbeat), Jon Solomon (Backbeat), Eric Smith (Prophecy Records), Loren Speer (reader), Amanda Spilos (Ultra 5280), Lance Stack (Flat Response), Don Strasburg (AEG Live Rocky Mountains), Greg "Uncle Nasty" Stone (KBPI), Alisha Sweeney (Open Air 1340 CPR), Amber Taufen (Backbeat), Andy Thomas (Greater Than), Clifton Thompson (Donnybrook), Kai Turner (103.5 the Fox), Brian Turk (Marquee Magazine), Jeremy "Jolt" Ulibarri (Guerilla Garden), John Wenzel (Denver Post/Reverb), Jess Whitten (Open Air 1340 CPR), Kelsey Whipple (Backbeat), John Wilbur (Post 303), D "D tha Man" Williams (Backbeat), J.R. Wolfe (reader), David Zaharia (Voodoo Productions), Mollie Zaring (reader).
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