Houston Music's People Of The Year
Editor's Pick: Grandfather Child. It was a good year for the blues all around - the Black Keys' well-deserved radio breakthrough with Brothers; Lightnin' Hopkins' long-overdue historical marker in Third Ward - but Lucas Gorham's crew is a razor-sharp reminder that the best blues is dangerous and unpredictable, as threatening as it is uplifting. Dude could probably battle Robert Randolph to a sacred-steel draw, too.
Marc Brubaker: Several people in this town are heavily involved in the local scene, but Chris Ryan might be the standout star of the year. Not to discount what others have done, but Ryan is a man constantly busy in Houston music - and aside from folks running clubs, he probably interacts with more bands than anyone else. Between the bands he plays in - The Energy, Black Congress, new solo project Time, and the bands he records at Dead City Sound, Ryan has a hand in an astounding amount of music in this town. In addition, the projects that he undertakes prove him to be quite adept. As if that weren't enough, Ryan popped the question to local mega-bassist Melissa Lonchambon (Omotai, Sharks & Sailors), enabling the future potential for Houston music superbabies.
Craig Hlavaty: Slim Thug. I don't think I was ever entertained more by someone musically or on Twitter this year. Kanye West was fun for a while, but once his album dropped he shut up for the most part. On the other hand, Slim kept on rolling after his album hit, talking to fans and listening to their questions. He even responded to me in August and came to pick up his HPMA award here at the office. He live-tweeted the events when a person on his plane had a freak-out a few weeks back. He was tweeting like a fiend even after I went to sleep for the evening, which is pretty late.
Jef With One F: Of all the local talent I've talked to this year, I've gotten the biggest kick out of Cory Sinclair of The Manichean. The reason is simple... he's nuts. Cory is one of those guys who will chainsaw a Barbie doll dressed as Wonder Woman on stage not because it would be awesome, but because doing so would have a deep psychological, sociological, grammatical and gastrointestinal meaning.
He's off in his own little box putting together music and art that transcends transcending itself. Every time he sends me an email with his latest scheme, I perk up. Clicking open is tantamount to a Lynchian adventure minus the cream corn... so far, anyway.