The 2014 Houston Press Music Award Nominees

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Graphics by Monica Fuentes
You've been wondering, and asking us, and lately offering up a few social-media suggestions. But it's time. Apologies for the delay, but the 2014 Houston Press Music Award nominations are at hand.

What took so long? To draw up the ballot this year, we consulted about two dozen individuals from all corners of the scene. They're all intensely connected to local music; many of them make it their livelihoods. Of course there were some tough calls, but overall we think this patchwork approach has produced about an accurate reflection of the past year's award-worthy achievements that a scene as sprawling as Houston's is likely to see.

We certainly hope so, but this isn't over quite yet either. We've still got one more wrinkle in store, but all in good time. Good luck to all the nominees; you're all winners in our eyes by not moving to Austin or further elsewhere. Voting is now open (and will stay open until July 31st at 11:59 p.m. but why wait?) , and you can do so at the link below:

The 2014 Houston Press Music Award Nominees


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BEST LOCAL RECORDING

  • Abstract Desires, BLSHS
  • Footprints On the Moon, Doughbeezy
  • The Spirit Speaks, Jones Family Singers
  • Wild Desperation, B.E. Godfrey
  • Find What You Love and Let It Kill You, Linus Pauling Quartet
  • Royal Oak Blues Cafe, Trudy Lynn
  • The Champ, Ragged Hearts
  • Hell and Half of Georgia, Mike Stinson
  • Make Out King and Other Stories of Love, The Tontons
  • 88-92, Wild Moccasins


BEST LOCAL SONG

  • "The Box I Take to Work," Mike Stinson
  • "Emergency Broadcast," Wild Moccasins
  • "I'm From Texas," Doughbeezy
  • "Gwan," The Suffers
  • "If I Fall," BLSHS


BEST LOCAL MUSIC VIDEO

  • "The Cosmic Draw," Featherface
  • "Gag Reflections," Wild Moccasins
  • "Gwan," The Suffers
  • "I'm Alive," Z-Ro
  • "The Ninth Level," Two Star Symphony


LOCAL MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR

  • Doughbeezy
  • Kam Franklin (The Suffers)
  • Nick Gaitan
  • B.E. Godfrey
  • Nick Greer
  • Chase Hamblin
  • Asli Omar (The Tontons)
  • Mike Stinson


BEST NEW ACT

  • Big Gerb
  • BLSHS
  • Catch Fever
  • Children of Pop
  • The Dead Links
  • De'Wayne Jackson
  • Satellite d'Homme


BEST SONGWRITER

  • B.E. Godfrey
  • Steven Higginbotham (The Wheel Workers)
  • K-Rino
  • Mike Stinson
  • Sergio Trevino (Buxton)
  • Nick & Alex Zamora (The Suffers)


BEST PRODUCER

  • Steve Christensen
  • Donnie Houston
  • Rock Romano
  • Jack Saunders
  • Trakksounds
  • Dan Workman


More nominees on the next page.



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51 comments
HCE13
HCE13

All the popular bands have their well deserved nominations. Not to take away from their musical ability and  their exquisite live performances, that being said...


Popularity doesn't mean anything,it just means more crowds (more bandwagon jumping) more dumb asses, more yuppies, higher price tags (door, drinks, merch), more people with cell phones, who more or less, spend all night taking photos to prove "Hey I was there!" instead of taking in the music and performances, less parking, less seats, more obstructed views, I could go on, but I digress...


I would love the other bands to have the recognition and exposure as some of these who seem to make the list every year, sure. It's not just an "award" it has got to be fulfilling to some degree.


I ask myself though, you see the turnout at FPSF, but where are these as regular -show attendees (that aren't out-of-towners of course) ? 


All I can say to Houstonians is get out there!!! SEE the shows, EXPERIENCE the music, MEET the people, CAST the vote, VOTE when necessary.




blkblueguitar
blkblueguitar

To those who say the award winners don't benefit from this.. I won this several times in the past, and the amount of random people who all of a sudden knew about us was amazing. Also opened quite a few small doors that turned out to be real nice. Don't let them downplay the award.. win that shit.

missdunk69
missdunk69

SInce this won't let me put, Picture Book in two words, after putting it as one, its PICTURE BOOK!!!HANDS DOWN:)

ramblinhamblin
ramblinhamblin

Myself, Chase Hamblin, and my bands The Roustabouts and Picture Book want to say a heartfelt thank you to the Houston Press, the music community, and to the people who nominated us. I know bands and the public get pissy every year about the nominations and the winners, but that's how these things go. There are more bands and more talent than ever in Houston, so not everyone can get nominated. However, the awards are not objective dictates from Thor at his seat in Valhalla that your band is the greatest at your category. Rather, they are meant to be fun and showcase our city's hard-working talent.  Is it somewhat of a popularity contest? Yes, but then so is life in general and the music industry specifically. While it is certainly an honor and I'm very happy to be nominated and will be very pleased if we win something, keep in mind that nothing great happens to the winners, they just keep playing and putting out music, so please don't put so much into these awards. Don't hate them if you and your band were not nominated. Just keep playing and making art. That is way more important. PS. Vote Chase Hamblin 2014 ;)

Ian T. Komouss
Ian T. Komouss

Any "process" that has somehow failed to include great new bands like New York City Queens, longtime powerhouses like Clory Martin and Andrew Karnavas, and somehow includes someone that actually had left Houston, contrary to your write up, is obviously broken and misrepresents Houston.

jenkinshouse55
jenkinshouse55

I was one of the two dozen.  I was honored to be asked to contribute nominees and very serious about my choices.  I've seen about 60 of the bands that ended up being nominated.  I see over 300 bands a year, and I don't work at a club or get paid to be there.  I don't work for Houston Press, but if you go to a lot of shows you probably see me and say "Hey, it's that guy!"  


Here's my opinion...  Did the acts that got nominated deserve it?  Most Definitely!  


Are there other deserving people that didn't get nominated that I wish did?  Yes, sadly of course there are.  Several of my favorites didn't make the cut.  But that's how it goes with a big nominating committee.  


My advice - keep working - play your gigs - do it because you love music (or you're just addicted to it).  Learn from these nominees because to get nominated they must be doing something right.  Go to more shows yourself and get to know as many Houston acts as you can, especially outside your genre.  In my experience many bands don't go to as many other Houston bands' shows as we should.


I know some people will disagree, but this is a better system than to open it up to everyone (it actually was done by committee about 10 years ago so this isn't a brand new idea).  There were just too many people gaming the system (begging for votes) the last few years.

sunshineamg
sunshineamg

What about our ladies from PuraPharm? I am surprised not to see them represented.

janak81
janak81

Some Musicians might think that & it seems that some people @craighlavaty_ are jaded my the music scene in Houston "all I saw was whining and crying from people who thought that their careers wouldn't be fulfilled without some sort of award"  I hope you were not one of the 12 HP elite that they fail to name or provide credentials for that get to chose for entire city of Houston Population 2.2 million! There are bands out there that work their asses of & have a great following in this city and deserve to have their voice heard. whether they are nominated or win an award or not is up to the voters of this great city! 

craighlavaty_
craighlavaty_

Do some musicians in Houston think that just because they took the time and effort to release something that it automatically deserves a nomination, or even a win?

PumkinPatchJones
PumkinPatchJones

Just mind blown how Lotus Effect's Totality didn't get nominated for best video. That one's kind of blatant. Dropped the ball on that one.

bogwart
bogwart

"....all corners of the scene..." Really? It looks/sounds/feels like a popularity contest with only a hand full of acts being represented on the ballots. It looks like you picked your favorites. There are many other great acts out there that you've overlooked.

courtneyawalker
courtneyawalker

There are quite a few new bands that didn't make this list. How does a band get considered for nomination? Who are the people that were consulted? Just curious as to what the new process is as it seemd like having the public make the nominations was a better way to guage what the general public is actually listening to.

Paul
Paul

 How do you vote? My guess is the Wild Moccasins, Tontons, or Suffers will win! They cultivated a group of 2 dozen people from two corners of Fitz and Free Press.

Geoff Widmier
Geoff Widmier

Hope you and your friends enjoy awarding each other.

Craig Hlavaty
Craig Hlavaty

Being a big part of the HPMAs for a number of years, I am glad that you guys consulted about two dozen individuals from all corners of the scene, instead of the alternative, which was tedious and let's face it, left a lot of room for inconsistencies. Not to mention people trying to "game" the system. This is a much better way to cull names. Excited to see the winners. Great batch of LPs this year too.

Sean Ozz Oliver
Sean Ozz Oliver

24 people out of millions decided this year? I put my vote into you guys going back to last years one nomination per person method of all of greater Houston. " To draw up the ballot this year, we consulted about two dozen individuals from all corners of the scene. "

Sean Ozz Oliver
Sean Ozz Oliver

You guys never released the nomination forms for 2014 though?

Sean Ozz Oliver
Sean Ozz Oliver

So this year the people had nothing to do with the nomination process?

h_e_x
h_e_x

@STStephens I'm not too familiar with the band, but the constant begging for attention is a bit gauche. Makes them come off as desperate.

blkblueguitar
blkblueguitar

@jenkinshouse55 Won't people be begging for votes during the public voting time? I've already seen my timeline blow up in the last 24 hours for people begging for votes.. Don't see how this new "process" eliminates spamming and begging...

craighlavaty_
craighlavaty_

@janak81 That makes no sense and it just sounds like you think that just because someone plugs a guitar in an amp on a stage that they deserve a nomination, award, pat on the back, and a mansion just for doing so. 

And please name these bands that work their "asses of" so we can all support them. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

@PumkinPatchJones I was one of the two dozens, and I definitely nominated them. Didn't make the cut, obviously, but I wanted to point out that I did do it

randmc333
randmc333

@bogwart I think what bogwart and a lot of other people are getting at, is that the nominees were mostly the people the Houston Press already chooses to give of their coverage to.  Not to say they don't deserve it, but it ends up looking like a self-fulfilling prophecy, so to speak.  


1.  We cover these bands and give them press and say they are good

2.  These same bands get nominated via our process to get an award from us 

I don't think it is like that, but that is how it looks to a lot of people, and I think that is where a lot of frustration comes from.  I don't see it is as crying or whining so much as asking for a fighting chance.  Was William B. Travis crying or just hoping for a fighting chance when he wrote all those letters asking for help at the Alamo?  Okay, I got a little carried away there.

But whatever, the Houston Press music writers seem to be well-intentioned, nice people who do they best that can.  I still love them, and still love Craig Hlavaty, too.  It's easy to bitch about them and overlook all the times they help local bands out by giving them a little press when they don't even have to.  

For the bands who didn't get nominated, this should be a wakeup call and an opportunity for some soul-searching.  You should be making music for the love of making music, not for some award given out by a local paper.  Yeah, awards are nice and the publicity is nice, but if you play undeniably great music then the rest will probably take care of itself.  And here's the truth nobody wants to face--maybe your band isn't that great, and maybe you don't put in the work required to reach your full potential as a musician.  Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you can't.

Bands should take the B L A C K I E approach to the HPMAs--don't say shit unless you happen to win.  I have never heard that dude ask for a single nomination, vote, support, or anything--usually he just says thank you when he wins.  He puts his heart and soul into his music and lets all the other BS work itself out.


Finally, I love this music scene, all the people who create all the different  sounds and styles, all the venues (even the shittier ones), all the frustration, success, departures, debuts, and all the other craziness that makes it so goddamn fun and interesting and heartbreaking and beautiful.  

craighlavaty_
craighlavaty_

@bogwart Please name them. Make sure they actually play regular gigs too and promote themselves, and don't just show up to whine once a year when they aren't given the chance to stuff the online nomination box using an automated bot.

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

It was nice to be consulted. And you know what? I submitted only the acts I knew something about. If I didn't know something in a category I ignored it. 

JefWithOneF
JefWithOneF topcommenter

For what it's worth, I nominated you

anon.
anon.

@jkbennett @jenkinshouse55 Sorry, buddy, I agree with you regarding New York City Queens.  Maybe HP doesn't get them, but you can head on over to Space City Rock for plenty of NYCQ coverage.

jenkinshouse55
jenkinshouse55

@blkblueguitar @jenkinshouse55 Yes, you have a point there, though mostly what I've seen is in essence "congratulations to everyone nominated".  Houston Press will never make everyone happy.  Maybe they could or should have added a "fan's choice" as in one extra nominee from each category that comes from the public - it's a good discussion to have.  


My main point is that if you go to a ton of Houston-based shows, these nominees are actually a fair representation of the best of Houston Music.  Do they have everyone I'd say should be nominated, of course not.  Did a few bands get maybe a little too much love, yeah, probably... But the bands nominated had good to great years and they should be commended for their work.


If you or your favorite acts didn't get nominated and you're disappointed, I know how you feel.  You're not alone that's for sure.  Over the years some of my favorite Houston bands have been ignored.  It can be very tough in Houston - like everywhere else - to get the right breaks.

craighlavaty_
craighlavaty_

@blkblueguitar Doesn't change the fact that people in this town are eternally butt-hurt and have an inferiority complex. 

bogwart
bogwart

@randmc333 @bogwart I'm sure Craig is a nice guy. I hope he and his fellow buddies over there give all the winners a tube of mustache wax and a case of PBR. Seriously. 


We make music for the love of it....absolutely and truly, that's the reason why we're all in this. We all spend thousands of dollars on gear and time away from our friends and families and we recoup (monetarily) very little in return OTHER THAN the feedback we get from the crowd. That's truly the reward in it all. 


For the record, there was no crying or whining in my original statement. Music is my passion and I'm not sorry for taking it personally. There's a way to respond to an opposing view and his route was not the most appropriate. 

bogwart
bogwart

@craighlavaty_How about building a more fair system for rewarding those who do work their asses off every weekend gigging all over the city and promote themselves and the other local bands they gig with regularly. You assume much, sir. 

joshcade
joshcade

@jkbennett What if I told you a lot of deserving bands were disappointed that they were not invited to play Summerfest? Ya win some, ya lose some. 

craighlavaty_
craighlavaty_

@bogwart I worked on the HPMAs for seven years and all I saw was whining and crying from people who thought that their careers wouldn't be fulfilled without some sort of award. People turned really catty and nasty, but the worst part was watching people who played one or two gigs a year in Houston getting their friends to stuff the nomination ballot even though they had done nothing to contribute to the scene. 

"Reward" is a fun word. Do these people play for the love of playing and interacting with a crowd or because they want an award. 

I ask you again to name these bands that are gigging their asses off. 

bogwart
bogwart

@craighlavaty_I'm speaking on behalf of myself so I'll leave the band out of it. I'm not speaking for the rest of the members but we play a minimum of 1 show a month from Clear Lake to Spring and all parts in between. You're right...there probably are plenty of people who do practice once and expect to launch a career, but then there's the other majority who do play for the fun of it and for the reaction from the crowd. HOWEVER...seeing the same few bands nominated for the list here does seem a bit construed, don't you think? 


FYI...if you want my opinion, give all the awards to GFY (Clifton Newjersee especially) and/or Poor Dumb Bastards for their individual and group contributions to the Houston rock scene. Hell, I'll buy them a beer next time I see them and say it myself. (Honestly not affiliated with either band)

FLCON_FCKER
FLCON_FCKER

@bogwart @craighlavaty_ I'm happy just to be nominated, honestly.  It means I'm making enough of an impact that my project comes up in conversations about "electronic music" in houston. And three of the six slots in that category or on the same PRINTS team some friends and I started some time ago.  It's all quite validating.


craighlavaty_
craighlavaty_

@bogwart Maybe those are the bands who are actually active and doing things that are interesting and not boring to the people who HP polled, you think? 

And as far as the PDB, I think that even they would say that awards like this are overrated, but if they help you sleep at night, more power to you. 

The music business is silly and stupid, and you seem to take the local scene way too seriously. True recognition doesn't come from a trophy or plaque. It comes from fans telling stories years and years after a show and being able to hum obscure album cuts while they are at work. 


But if you think an alt-weekly award for Best Tribute Act will make or break someone, I don't know what to tell you.

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