Our 11th Time Around, the Best HPMA Ceremony Yet

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Photos by Marco Torres
Brand-new Houston Music Hall of Famer Jewel Brown
Tuesday was my eleventh foray to the Houston Press Music Awards, and it was certainly my favorite ever -- excepting maybe the time Molly of Molly and Ringwalds called me out from the stage to insist that her band was "not lame."

What made Tuesday night so special? Well, it started like this: I was hanging out with the bass player in my son's band at Mojeaux's across the street from Warehouse Live, where the awards were held. We'd gotten our heads about right, we decided, so at 7:15 p.m. we headed over to the venue.

As I crossed the street in 90-plus degree heat, I noticed a woman with a cane getting out of her car. I zagged back across the street just as she shut her car door. It was Hall of Fame honoree Jewel Brown, longtime singer for Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong's touring band.


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The 2013 Houston Press Music Award Winners

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Photo by Jason Wolter
Local Musician of the Year and Best Blues winner Texas Johnny Brown, who passed away in June
SLIDESHOW:

The 2013 Houston Press Music Awards In Photos


BEST LOCAL RECORDING
The Niceguys, James Kelley


BEST LOCAL SONG
Cindy Pruitt, "Epiphany"


BEST LOCAL MUSIC VIDEO
Junior Gordon Band, "Big"


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Drink of Ages Brings Local Brews and Bands to Houston Airwaves

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Photos courtesy of Drink of Ages Radio Show
Drink of Ages' Jon Denman (L) and Preston Brown
Preston Brown and Jon Denman know a lot about good beer and good music. From their perspectives, Houston has plenty of both, and it all keeps getting better.

Brown and Denman co-host the Drink of Ages Radio Show, 7 p.m. Saturdays on News 92.1 FM. They'll be presenting Best Producer, Cover/Tribute Act, Zydeco and Keyboards at tonight's Houston Press Music Awards ceremony at Warehouse Live. (Free admission, but RSVP here.)

"Houston is growing into a great town for both (beer and music)," says Denman. "We are still behind other cities in being a beer town, but with the laws changing for craft breweries, we should start catching up real fast. Houston-area breweries are producing fantastic beer.


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The Best Things We Overheard at the HPMA Showcase

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Photo by Groovehouse
Poor, poor Dirt Bar.
"Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk," said a man holding up female at the end of the night.


"We don't fucking live there! We live in Houston, Texas."


"That's my car! It's still alive!"


"I'm fat. Let's party!" (T-shirt outside Dirt Bar)

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Our Favorite 2013 HPMA Showcase Discoveries

As in years past, Rocks Off asked our writers covering the HPMA showcase to tell us the act they like best that, until Sunday, they'd never seen before.

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Photo by Groovehouse
American Fangs
I caught American Fangs for the first time Sunday night, and came away impressed by how polished they sounded. They talented five-piece played tight as hell, no doubt sharpened up by a bit of serious touring. They sounded like pros ready for a much bigger stage, tucked away as they were into a dark corner of Dirt Bar. Somebody get these guys on the Warped Tour. NATHAN SMITH

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The Best Acts We Saw at the HPMA Showcase, Part 2

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Photo by Groovehouse
Electric Attitude
When the set starts with the band's lead singer booty-bumping with the ladies in the front row, you know it's funny. When that same singer, Blake Shephard, stands on top of an amp, shot in hand, not one, but four times, you know it's fun. When he returns to the crowd not once but five times, nearly falling over a woman the last, you know it's a party.

And when his fellow bandmates get together, collectively creating something that easily sounds like 50 musicians or more, you know it's passion. When passersby look into the windows, their faces asking, "Who's makin' all that funkin' noise?" you know it must sound damn good. And when the Reserve 101 proprietors fling open their backdoors to let out the sound into the street, you know it's Electric Attitude. ALTAMESE OSBORNE

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The Best Acts We Saw at the HPMA Showcase, 8/4/2013

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Photo by Groovehouse
Born Again Virgins
Born Again Virgins ripped up their set at Dirt Bar early into the showcase yesterday. I still can't get over the powerful stage presence that guitarist Adria LeCrone has; she rivals front man James Red, which is pretty impressive given he spent most of the set shirtless, sweaty, and damn near growling out those throaty vocals. Bonus points for the Jane's Addiction cover. I can dig. ANGELICA LEICHT

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HPMA Showcase Spotlight: The Suffers, "Houston's All-Star Soul and Reggae Supergroup"

In the weeks leading up to the Houston Press Music Awards showcase on Sunday, August 4, Rocks Off will be profiling a handful of performers each day, mostly in their own words - part of the best top-to-bottum lineup the showcase has ever had, in our humble opinion. See the showcase schedule and ticket information at HPMusicAwards.com, and watch Twitter (@hprocksoff) every day until the showcase for your chance to win tickets.

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Photo by Jim Bricker
To which member are we speaking? What are you nominated for?
This is Kam Franklin. The band is nominated for best Ska/Reggae/Dub and Patrick Kelly is nominated individually for best keyboards.


Please list all of your regular band members and what instruments they play.
Kam Franklin, vocals; Patrick Kelly, keyboard/vocals; Nick Zamora, drums/vocals; Alex Zamora, rhythm guitar/vocals; Jose "Chapy" Luna, percussion/vocals; Adam Castaneda, bass; Kevin Bernier, lead guitar; Michael Razo, trombone; Cory Wilson, saxophone; Jon Durbin, trumpet.

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HPMA Showcase Spotlight: Buxton, "Five Friends Cook Dinner Together, Watch Seinfeld"

In the weeks leading up to the Houston Press Music Awards showcase on Sunday, August 4, Rocks Off will be profiling a handful of performers each day, mostly in their own words - part of the best top-to-bottum lineup the showcase has ever had, in our humble opinion. See the showcase schedule and ticket information at HPMusicAwards.com, and watch Twitter (@hprocksoff) every day until the showcase for your chance to win tickets.

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Photo by Todd Spoth/Courtesy of New West Records
If this is a band, to which member are we speaking? What are you nominated for?
Hey Chris, this is Chris from the band Buxton. We are nominated for Best Folk/Americana.


Please list all of your regular band members and what instruments they play.
Sergio Trevino, lead vocals/acoustic guitar; Jason Willis, electric guitar/mandolin; Chris Wise, bass; Justin Terrell, drums; Austin Sepulvado, electric guitar/keys/accordion.

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HPMA Showcase Spotlight: Mike Stinson, "Words and Music of Reckless Abandon"

In the weeks leading up to the Houston Press Music Awards showcase on Sunday, August 4, Rocks Off will be profiling a handful of performers each day, mostly in their own words - part of the best top-to-bottum lineup the showcase has ever had, in our humble opinion. See the showcase schedule and ticket information at HPMusicAwards.com, and watch Twitter (@hprocksoff) every day until the showcase for your chance to win tickets.

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What are you nominated for?
Best Songwriter? Best Country? Both? Not sure. [Both - Ed.]


Please list all of your regular band members and what instruments they play.
Mike Stinson, vocals/guitar; Lance Smith (lead guitar); Mark Riddell (bass); Matt Johnson (drums).

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