This past February, when we started putting together the 2010 Westword Music Showcase, we posted an item asking you how we could improve our annual music festival, this year set for Saturday, June 19, in the Golden Triangle (if you haven't already purchased your tickets, you can still buy discounted tix here). Never shy, you wasted no time in speaking up.
For starters, you told us that we were really blowing it by not opening the Showcase to a more all-ages crowd. You spoke. We listened: This year, in addition to the main outdoor stage (which has always been all-ages), there will be four more venues open to underage fans, and they just happen to be four of our most popular ones: the Acoma Center (home to Curious Theatre), Bar Standard, City Hall and Vinyl.
You also offered plenty of feedback with regard to the categories on our ballot -- which ones you thought were conspicuously absent, which ones you considered oversaturated (ahem, indie rock). Well, as you'll see after the jump, we incorporated many of your suggestions on the 2010 Westword Music Showcase ballot.
First, we brought back a number of categories that had previously been retired, including Gothic, Bluegrass, World and Avant/Eclectic. Next, we gave Reggae a category of its own instead of lumping it in with Ska, as in years past. And rather than put bands that only vaguely fit into a catch-all Indie Rock category, we broke things up, adding two new categories, Shoegaze and Lo-Fi/Garage.
We also added a few more genres and subgenres, such as Metal Core and Electro, and polished the names of some existing categories to make them more reflective of the overall scene.
And we took greater care than ever before to ensure that we received input from an every facet of the scene. To that end, we reached out to bloggers, critics, radio programmers and personalities, promoters, club owners, booking agents, past nominees and even readers/fans, enlisting all of them to serve on this year's nominating committee panel (see complete list below).
We solicited their input after establishing some essential ground rules: Without exception, no one was permitted to nominate themselves, nor were they allowed to suggest anyone they work with and/or are even marginally associated with, business wise or otherwise. Committee members were also strongly encouraged to list only those acts which generally left an impression on them in the year rather than relying on name recognition.
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With their help, we subsequently assembled what we believe is our most inclusive ballot ever: 274 acts in 39 categories, with a fortieth spot reserved for a band that gets to perform at the Mile High Music Festival.
Now we need your help in determining the winners in each category. You can register your votes here before Monday, June 21. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony shortly thereafter. And, as always, if you think we blew it by overlooking your favorite band, you can write that act's name in -- or share your thoughts below.
In the meantime, look for an announcement in the next few weeks of which local acts (culled from this very ballot) will be performing at this year's Westword Music Showcase.
2010 Westword Music Showcase Ballot
01. ROCK Alan Alda Bad Luck City Bad Weather California The Foot. Git Some Houses The Knew Snake Mountain Snake Rattle Rattle Snake Statewide Emergency The Swayback
02. POP The Heyday Natural Selection Nautical Mile The Northern Way Regret Night The Rouge The Simple Discussion Skyfox Speakeasy Tiger SuperSeed
03. INDIE ROCK Achille Lauro Astrophagus Candy Claws Fissure Mystic The Jim Jims Jim McTurnan & the Kids That Killed the Man Joy Subtraction Le Divorce Old Radio Popwreck The Still City Vitamins
04. INDIE POP A Mouthful of Thunder American Tomahawk The Autumn Film Carbon Choir The Congress The Don'ts & Be Carefuls Fierce Bad Rabbit Flashbulb Fires I Am the Dot King for a Day Kissing Party
05. SHOEGAZE A Shoreline Dream Blue Million Miles Dust on the Breakers Fell Gangcharger Moonspeed Overcasters Sonnenblume Tjutjuna Woodsman
06. LO-FI/GARAGE Deadbubbles Get Three Coffins Ready Lust Cats of the Gutters The Omens The Outfit
07. INDIE FOLK/ACOUSTIC Brothers O'Hair Churchill Eleanor Hello Kavita John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light
08. AVANT POP A. Tom Collins Ian Cooke Dovekins Stella Luce The Widow's Bane
09. SINGER-SONGWRITER Andrea Ball Dan Craig Rob Drabkin Andy Hackbarth Gregory Alan Isakov Mike Marchant Nathaniel Rateliff Jessica Sonner Angie Stevens Coles Whalen
10. ROOTS/AMERICANA Action Packed Thrill Ride Boulder Acoustic Society Elephant Revival Great American Taxi The Legendary River Drifters The Lovely and Talented Oakhurst Oblio's Arrow Paper Bird SHEL Tin Horn Prayer
11. COUNTRY/ALT-COUNTRY Arliss Nancy Casey James Prestwood & The Burning Angels The Hollyfelds The Kory Brunson Band Marty Jones & the Great Unknowns
12. PROGRESSIVE ROCK Action Friend The Construct Peña The Skivies Yerkish
13. MODERN/ALT-ROCK Aloft in the Sundry Dualistics The Epilogues Life In Electric Novus Folium The Other Side of Clearview SOFO Vices I Admire Vonnegut Young Cities
14. HARD ROCK Black Lamb Forth Yeer Holley 750 Kingdom of Magic Lords of Fuzz The Mighty 18 Wheeler The Outta Controlers Space In Time Speedwolf White Leather
15. METAL Adai Arcanium Havok Ploy for Extinction TaunTaun
16. DEATH METAL/GRINDCORE Allegaeon Clinging to the Trees of a Forest Fire Enemy Reign To Be Eaten Zombie Hate Brigade
17. METALCORE Anchorage Drive-In Massacre Give Em' Hell IAMTHESHOTGUN The Skyline Surrender
18. HARDCORE Bankrobber Before We're Done Come Forth By Day Crooked Ways The Diehard Remain
19. PUNK Boldtype Frontside Five King Rat Lola Black Lyin' Bitch and the Restraining Orders No Bueno! No Plot Kill Pitch Invasion Primasonic Reno Divorce St. Fall Apart
20. POST-PUNK Accordion Crimes Eyes & Ears Hot White Ideal Fathers Lion Sized My Body Sings Electric Night of Joy The Photo Atlas Solar Bear Wire Faces
21. HIP-HOP BAND Air Dubai MTHDS No 1 Left Standing Peace Officer UmConscious
22. HIP-HOP GROUP American Trash Republic Big Wheel Calm Diamond Boiz The Food Chain The Fresh Breath Committee Isolated Generation The Pirate Signal The ReMINDers 3 the Hardway
23. HIP-HOP MC Dent Extra Kool F.O.E. Hypnautic Innerstate Ike Julox ManeRok SP Double Spoke In Wordz Whygee
24. DIY/EXPERIMENTAL Hideous Men Josephine and the Mousepeople Married In Berdichev nervesandgel Pictureplane
25. ELECTRONIC Alert CacheFlowe Cobraconda Fresh 2 Death Savoy
26. ELECTRO POP Breathe Carolina The Chain Gang of 1974 Jonathan and BPro Kill Paradise The Sunset Curse
27. AVANT ECLECTIC Boba Fett & the Americans Get Your Going The Inactivists Little Fyodor & Babushka Magic Cyclops
28. JAZZ Aakash Mittal Quartet Bottesini Project Chie Imaizumi Jazz Orchestra Convergence Fred Hess Big Band Greg Harris Vibe Quartet Rene Marie Ron Miles Ninth + Lincoln Orchestra Matt Skellinger
29. BLUES Boa and the Constrictors Catfish Kray Blues Band The Delta Sonics The Informants Reckless Red
30. JAM/IMPROV The Big Motif Bill McKay Band Denver Funk Mob Kyle Hollingsworth Kinetix
31. BLUEGRASS Emmitt-Nershi Band Head for the Hills Honey Don't Long Road Home Spring Creek
32. FUNK Bop Skizzum Demon Funkies Filthy Children The Flash Mob Funkiphino
33. SKA/DANCEHALL Apex Vibe The Dendrites Murder Ranks P-Nuckle Synthetic Elements
34. GOTHIC/INDUSTRIAL Blackcell Necrotek The Siren Project Torso Velvet Acid Christ
35. WORLD Colcannon Debajo Del Agua Euforquestra The Indulgers Potcheen
36. REGGAE/DUB DubSkin Irie Still Judge Roughneck Lion SoulJahs Lion Vibes
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37. DJ DANCE Crowdrock Dragon Brian Howe Ivy Trajikk Zeno
38. DJ HIP-HOP Chonz Cysko Rokwel KTone Low Key Sounds Supreme Vajra
39. DJ NON-TRADITIONAL Peter Black boyhollow Klaw Musa Ginger Perry Rockstar Aaron
Nominating Committee: David Barber, Sam Baron, Mike Bartsch, Cassidy Bednark, Morris Beegle, Jonathan Bitz, Mike Blecha, Mark Bliesener, Christian Blochinger, Rob Burleson, Chris Callaway, Jeff Campbell, Cory Casciato, Ryan Chrys, Nicole Cormier, Greta Cornett, Bree Davies, Ben Davis, Steven Denny, DenverScener, Julio Enriquez, Dan Ericson, Eryc Eyl, Matt Fecher, Brian Frederick, Jeb "Nerf" Freedman, A.H. Goldstein, Robert Gosbee, Pete Gurule, Eric Halborg, Samantha Hanson, Dave Herrera, Chris Irvin, James Irvine, Leonard Jackson, Ru Johnson, John Kinsner, Thorin Klosowski, Chris Kresge, Adam Lancaster, Dave Leach, Rhett Lee, Sarah Levin, Sean MacAskill, Kiernan Maletsky, Chris Maynard, Laura McGaughey, Jim McTurnan, Dave Meyer, Josh Mullen, Tom Murphy, Kristin Nolan, Jim Norris, Ruthie Owens, Paul Padilla, George Peele, Adam Perry, Katherine Peterson, Michael Powers, Kimberly Robertson, Todd Roeth, Donald Rossa, Mike Roth, Charles Russell, Dan Rutherford, Quibian Salazar-Moreno, Daniel Sax, Luke Schmaltz, Brian Schwartz, Dutch Seyfarth, Jake Schroeder, Sid Pink, Jon Solomon, Loren Speer, Chase Squires, Adam Stroul, Mark Sundermeier, Andy Thomas, Joe Thunder, Claire Tonelson, Kai Turner, Chelsea Twining, Kegan Warner, Tim Weilert, John Wenzel, Xandy Whitesel.