2013 OEAA Music Nominees List

Best Hard Rock
* The End In Red -- The End in Red's sound traverses all sorts of alternative rock ground, from post-hardcore to the experimental prog-metal of Tool and the art-pop of Radiohead.
* Cannonista -- Comprised from past members of Civic Minded, Paria, & Trippin Default, Cannonista has cemented a reputation for heavy, but melodic alternative rock. The band cites acts like Deftones, Helmet and Glassjaw for guiding its atmospheric, aggressive rock sound.
* The Wreckage -- The Wreckage has culled members from various Omaha hard rock stand-outs to build its own semi-supergroup of scene veterans. Expect catchy vocal melodies paired with heavy guitar leads and plenty of energy.
* Screaming For Silence -- Screaming For Silence has become a leader of the local hard rock scene, sharing the stage with countless national touring acts like Saliva, Trapt, Hed PE and Theory of a Deadman. The band's sound fits in nicely between the nu-metal and modern hard rock genres. The band has recorded much of the material with Emphatic's Justin McCain.
* Save The Hero -- Formerly known as Cold Steel, Save the Hero have relaunched with an updated sound, focusing on tight, technical playing and writing cohesive, memorable songs, instead of throat-shredding screams and a pummeling nu-metal sound.
* Bloodcow -- Bloodcow have perfected their ridiculous and heavy brand of metal, playing around with big riffs and classic metal to become the best party-time metal rockers this side of Andrew W.K.'s first album.

Best Rock
* The Seen  -- The Seen's melodic, but driving sound situates itself between post-hardcore indie rockers like Thursday and Omaha's own Cursive and bigger pop-punk leaning acts like Say Anything. This is big-sounding guitar rock delivered with impassioned vocals.
* The Minnahoonies -- The Minnahoonies have trademarked an energetic, straightforward rock sound that fits somewhere between Cheap Trick, the Barenaked Ladies and 70s Camaro rock. There's a tongue-in-cheek element inspired by 90s pop-punk that keeps the band's sets fun and their lyrics memorable.
* Voodoo Method -- Voodoo Method's meld of modern rock, a funk-rock beat and classic soul-inspired vocals has endeared them to a growing crowd of local fans. Frontman Pierre Minor, who sports a black bowtie, brings down the house when he takes the microphone.
* Rock Paper Dynamite -- Rock Paper Dynamite play no-frills rock straight from the heart. The band ditches the garage for a more refined sound, without compromising that rock 'n' roll spirit. If Omaha needed an answer to Kings of Leon and the Strokes, this is it.
* Moses Prey -- Moses Prey play power-pop with plenty of guitar amplitude behind them. That's what happens when you get a range of influences such as the Kinks, the Foo Fighters, the Raconteurs and of course, the Beatles, and blend them together. Founders Matthew and Ryan McGuigan bring plenty of Beatles knowledge from their involvement in the Yesterday &
Today project.
* Snake Island! -- Snake Island! hits on touchstones like the Doors, the Gun Club and 13th Floor Elevators in a way that easily conveys both deep knowledge and their own innate creative streak within those influences. The band throbs with elements of surf, rockabilly and other biker-rock moves that contemporaries like the Black Angels just drone away from.

Best Songwriter/Folk
* All Young Girls Are Machine Guns  -- Ukulele-toting Rebecca Lowry writes with an eye for the big emotions that lay within life's smaller, quieter moments. It's all wrapped up in a swinging take on 60s pop and delivered with a sweet hush of a voice.
* Tara Vaughan Band  -- Tara Vaughan's slightly-jazzy piano pop is anchored by her quality vocals and her plainspoken, direct lyrics. Vaughan stands out clearly in a sea of folk-guitar strummers.
* Mitch Gettman  -- Mitch Gettman packs an ear for alternative rock-focused power pop and he's quickly honing his craft as talented songwriter.
* Edge of Arbor -- Jessica Errett, an acomplished solo performer in her own right, leads this five-piece ensemble through well-crafted, twangy bits of dramatic, driving indie-folk songs. In another time, Errett's big voice and lyrically-detailed songs would have placed her on the Lillith Fair main stage.
* Great American Desert  -- Max Beardsley Holmquist has hit his stride as Great American Desert. His rustically rural folk songs are led by his echoing, mountain-high vocals.
* Daniel Christian -- Daniel Christian plays rock-based singer-songwriter fare with an eye towards stick-in-your-head melodies and big vocal harmonies. Faith guides Christian's lyrical content, while an interest in country music keeps the storytelling earnest and believable.

Best Album
* Black Wings by The End In Red -- The End in Red's sound traverses all sorts of alternative rock ground, from post-hardcore to the experimental prog-metal of Tool and the art-pop of Radiohead. Their second album brought new weight to the band's emotionally-driven take on heavy, dark modern rock.
* Sexsomnia by Cannonista -- This alternative rock band elevated their aggressive, but melodic take on heavy alternative rock on their 2012 album with a taste for atmospheric synth parts, which added a deeper dimension to their sound.
* Generals by The Mynabirds -- Laura Burhenn switched up her soulful, smoky folk-pop sound for a rhythmic batch of protest tunes on her second Saddle Creek Records album, showing that even when she roughs up her delivery, Burhenn keeps a solid grasp of melodic hooks.
* I've Seen Days/RPD by Rock Paper Dynamite -- Rock Paper Dynamite play no-frills rock straight from the heart. The band's kept up a brisk pace, releasing five EPs in five years as a band. The band ditches the garage for a more refined sound, without compromising that rock 'n' roll spirit. If Omaha needed an answer to Kings of Leon and the Strokes, this is it.
* Icky Blossoms by Icky Blossoms: Icky Blossoms perfected their indie-dance sound on their self-titled Saddle Creek Records album, which coupled its propulsive sound with a sense of wild psych-pop abandon.
* Conduits by Conduits  -- Conduits let melodies percolate down like a morphine drip before slightly fracturing those textures with noisier squalls. It's topped off by the slow-build vocal delivery of singer Jenna Morrison.

Best Blues
* Kris Lager Band  -- A favorite at Lincoln's Zoo Bar, the Kris Lager Band knows no genre boudaries. Blues, rock, R&B and world music all meld together, seasoned by a jam-band approach.  But what has started to tie it all together is an undeniable funk groove that put butts out on the dancefloor.
* Hector Anchondo -- Hector Anchondo honed his craft fronting local alternative rock icons Anchondo, but he's now turned his attention to power-trio blues. That he delivers these songs with the skills of a seasoned professional is no surprise, but Anchondo, too, is able to deliver a passion and energy behind his blues-rock to make the emotions in the songs stick with his listeners.
* Levi William Band --  Levi William started playing Lincoln's legendary Zoo Bar just as he was starting high school. Now the blues guitarist is drawing big crowds with his own band of electrifying players. He's a talented young players that's already jammed with names like Magic Slim and Curtis Salgado.
* The Lil Slim Blues Band  -- Lil' Slim takes up the blues torch from his well-known father Magic Slim, but adds new types of grit to his band's Chicago blues stylings.
* Honeyboy Turner Band -- They veteran players rip through their own take on the Chicago blues with such authority that they have regular gigs not just at Lincoln's Zoo Bar, but at similar blues joints in Kansas City, Des Moines, Madison and Topeka.
* Brad Cordle Band -- Brad Cordle returned from working his vocal magic in Las Vegas to front his own blues-soul band and its packed with rock-solid playing. Cordle's voice is the star, as he can hit notes on songs from artists of every stripe.

Best Soul/R&B
* Dominique Morgan -- Morgan stepped from the musical theater stage to the local music scene in 2009, with his smooth, modern take on R&B. In addition to two releases on Icon One Music, Morgan recorded the song "Stand Up", which was the 2012 anthem for Omaha's Pride celebration.
* JaSoulo -- Youthful singer JaSoulo is splitting the worlds of hip hop and modern R&B, by putting his music out on mixtapes and hooking up with KiiD to form the group, NyceGuyz.
* Jus. B -- South Omaha's Jus. B records sensual R&B, drawing on influences such as R. Kelly, Luther Vandross and Levert. These are modern slow jams delivered by a smooth voice.
* The 9’s -- Smooth, slighty funky The 9's pair stadium-reaching pop-rock with classic jazz and 70s soul, all with a hefty dollop of Hammond organ to put some extra groove into the band's super-cool smooth.
* Enjoli -- Billed as the First Lady of Icon One Music, Enjoli has a knack for plain-spoken, big-hearted R&B ballads. Her vocals simmer with low, late-night smokiness.
* Taggiz -- Taggiz first gained attention with his 2007 track "She's Gone", winning over modern R&B fans eager to see a local talent recording songs every bit as good as radio hits by Jaheim or Usher. Now with his 2012 mixtapes, Taggiz is growing into his own sound.

Best Country/Americana
* The Electroliners -- There's no alternative here, just true, blue country  and western served up by knowing hands that love this heartbreaking, beer-drinking sound and give it their own swingin' rockabilly treatment. Here, fiddle comes standard.
* Brad Hoshaw & The Seven Deadlies -- Brad Hoshaw is blessed with a voice that is impossible to forget and couples it with his simple tales of Midwestern city life. Corner bars, friendly faces and a murder ballad or two dot his songwriting catalogue, all delivered with a storyteller's wit and a poet's honesty.
* Belles & Whistles -- Mulberry Lane's Jaymie Jones has opened a new chapter, penning modern country music with her teenaged daughter Kelli. The two spin winsome pop tunes with an acoustic bent that would fit perfectly on the radio dial next to Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift.
* The Whipkey Three -- No matter what his band numbers, Matt Whipkey always hands out a surprising, pleasing twists on his consistently skillful Americana rock sound. The Whipkey Three, however, have come closest to tapping Whipkey's best self, streamlining the sound and upping the energetic Heartland rock sound to its maximum heights.
* Traveling Mercies -- Traveling Mercies promise a show "that is equal parts revival meeting and rock & roll exorcism." The band's harrowing take on Americana is as influenced by Woody Guthrie as it is Nick Cave and provides a grim look at its cast of unlucky lovers and losers.
* Matt Cox -- Matt Cox is the country-rocker who can pack in a crowd of well-versed blues fans in both Omaha and Lincoln. That's because is songs are dotted with a rural honesty that feels not like the city, but somewhere just outside the glare of all those electric lights.

Best DJ/EDM
* E Babbs -- E Babbs has teamed up with leading Omaha emcee Jimmy Hooligan to provide the beats and DJ backing that elevates Hooligan's game.
* Surreal The MC -- Surreal has delved into the DJ world, backing up other local hip hop artists with the beats they need to survive.
* Wrekafekt -- Bass-loving Midwest DJ incorporates elements of dubstep, breaks and electro to his remixes and live sets.
* $penclove -- Lincoln DJ Spencer Munson gained prominence co-hosting the all-ages dance night Gunk, but now is flying under the Grindhouse umbrella these days.
* BASStoven  -- DJ Blac and Bentone create their bass-heavy mixes on the fly, mixing and matching beats with their well-seasoned improv skills. Expect elements of dubstep, electro and glitch hop to coast atop that deep bass foundation.
* inflect -- Inflect has made a name for himself providing the necessary DJ skills as part of the live electronica act Somasphere and now he's picking up gigs both with the band and as a solo DJ act.

Best Indie
* The Mynabirds -- Laura Burhenn switched up her soulful, smoky folk-pop sound for a rhythmic batch of protest tunes on her second Mynabirds album, showing that even when she roughs up her delivery, Burhenn still keeps a solid grasp of melodic hooks.
* Conduits  -- Conduits let melodies percolate down like a morphine drip before slightly fracturing those textures with noisier squalls. It's topped off by the slow-build vocal delivery of singer Jenna Morrison.
* Icky Blossoms -- Icky Blossoms perfected their indie-dance sound on their self-titled Saddle Creek Records album, which coupled its propulsive sound with a sense of wild psych-pop abandon.
* Universe Contest -- The biggest Lincoln indie buzz band since Eagle*Seagull burst onto the scene in the mid 2000s, Universe Contest plays a hurtling, cathartic indie rock, which can shift gears into melodic bliss and back to guitar freakout in the course of a few minutes.
* Lonely Estates -- Modern rock five-piece takes pieces from innumerable rock and indie influences, smashing them together into a driving, whipsmart sound. The band itself has rounded-up some wily Omaha music scene veterans and the buzz is growing.
* Cursive -- Tim Kasher guides more of the leaders of Omaha's indie scene and one of Saddle Creek Records' biggest three bands, alongside Bright Eyes and the Faint. 2012 brought Cursive latest album, a concept disc called I Am Gemini.

Best New Artist
* Good Show Great Show -- Good Show Great Show play tricky arrangements of indie rock, influenced partially by folk-rock. The band plays music that at times remind of indie acts like Akron/Family, Grizzly Bear and Menomena.
* Field Club -- Andrea Purdy leads this indie-pop act that writes literate, emotive songs that capture a direct pop immediacy. Field Club assembles its tidy songs with cinematic, layered guitar lines and centers than on Purdy's earnest, believable vocal delivery.
* Universe Contest -- The biggest Lincoln indie buzz band since Eagle*Seagull burst onto the scene in the mid 2000s, Universe Contest plays a hurtling, cathartic indie rock, which can shift gears into melodic bliss and back to guitar freakout in the course of a few minutes.
* DJEM -- Improvisation is at the heart of the world music stew offered up by DJEM (pronounced gem). The band builds its songs off of trace elements of pre-written melodies and beats, but beyond the start point, nothing else is rehearsed.
* ShiShi Sakari -- Explicit, in-your-face, opinionated and empowered female emceee ShiShi Sakari spits out her R-rated rhymes with plenty of piss and vinegar. She's a local talent not afraid to compare herself to Nicki Minaj or call out Kreayshawn in a YouTube video.
* AZP -- A to Z Pro. is Zachary Watkins, Ishma Valenti, and David "Flaco" Trevino. The trio writes and produces songs comprises elements of hip-hop, alternative rock and electronic music. Live, the three are backed by a full band, upping the rock quotient on their genreless sound.

Best Artist
* Snake Island! -- Snake Island! hits on touchstones like the Doors, the Gun Club and 13th Floor Elevators in a way that easily conveys both deep knowledge and their own innate creative streak within those influences. The band throbs with elements of surf, rockabilly and other biker-rock moves that contemporaries like the Black Angels just drone away from.
* Rock Paper Dynamite -- Rock Paper Dynamite play no-frills rock straight from the heart. The band ditches the garage for a more refined sound, without compromising that rock 'n' roll spirit. If Omaha needed an answer to Kings of Leon and the Strokes, this is it.
* The Mynabirds -- Laura Burhenn switched up her soulful, smoky folk-pop sound for a rhythmic batch of protest tunes on her second Mynabirds album, showing that even when she roughs up her delivery, Burhenn still keeps a solid grasp of melodic hooks.
* Icky Blossoms -- Icky Blossoms perfected their indie-dance sound on their self-titled Saddle Creek Records album, which coupled its propulsive sound with a sense of wild psych-pop abandon.
* The End In Red -- The End in Red's sound traverses all sorts of alternative rock ground, from post-hardcore to the experimental prog-metal of Tool and the art-pop of Radiohead.
* Dominique Morgan -- Morgan stepped from the musical theater stage to the local music scene in 2009, with his smooth, modern take on R&B. In addition to two releases on Icon One Music, Morgan recorded the song "Stand Up", which was the 2012 anthem for Omaha's Pride celebration.

Best Cover Band
* Secret Weapon -- Secret Weapon regularly take their fist-pumping 80s music tribute to stages normally graced by touring bands. Chalk that up to their stadium-rock ready stage show.
* Hi-Fi Hangover -- Since 2010, Hi-Fi Hangover has sought to elevate the cover band show into something resembling a national touring act, complete with laser light show. The band plays everything from newer dance-rock hits to classic rock.
* 3D In Your Face -- Not just an 80s tribute band, 3D in Your Face delivers its ode to hair metal with plenty of ridiculous attitude and tongue-in-cheek humor.
* The Confidentials -- Say the words "cover band" in Omaha an chances are someone will respond with "Oh, the Confidentials?" The ten-piece band packs funk, jazz, reggae, soul and rock into a energetic, seasoned performance.
* Charm School Dropouts -- This modern rock cover band focuses on 90s and early 2000s mainstream rock and alternative rock radio staples, choosing a diverse-enough array that it's hard to bet on just what the band might do next. 
* Lemon Fresh Day -- Lemon Fresh Day promise an experience that's like surfing channels on the radio, but from the comfort of your favorite live music venue. The band plays anything within a rock band's grasp, including dance, metal, classic rock and grunge.

Best Ethnic
* Cornerstone Dub -- Lincoln reggae/ska act Cornerstone Dub has logged more than a decade together as a band, drawing on rock influences such as Slightly Stoopid and Sublime and reggae influences including Bob Marley and Barrington Levy.
* The Bishops -- The Bishops vibe on the music of ska, reggae and dub music pioneers, with plenty of horn parts and just a dash of punk rock energy.
* Rhythm Collective -- Rhythm Collective combine Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley classics with their own island originals, penned by Grenada native Joseph Mitchell. In between the reggae and calypso beats, the band also revamps classic rock styles with a Caribbean twist.
* Rosendo Robles -- Spanish language performer Rosendo Robles plays both big-stage Latin crooner and acoustic guitar Latin rock strummer with ease.
* Ellis Island -- This acoustic duo of Mick Doyle and Dave Marsh play traditional and modern Irish songs in a folky, acoustic setting. While the set-up may be simple, the duo provides a upbeat, raucous take on Celtic folk and rock styles.
* Mariachi Luna y Sol -- This sprawling mariachi band can grow to include 13 members, depending on the gig, and they have taken their live show all across the Midwest.

Best Progressive/Experimental/Funk
* Funk Trek -- Funk Trek isn't just a band name, but a declaration of a new genre. This group seeks to find a sound for a new generation of funk, aided by a red-hot horn section and a deep knowledge of experimental rock and cool jazz.
* Satchel Grande -- Whenever there's a need for groove, moustachioed singer Chris Klemmensen and his crew will heed the call, providing a soulful brand of funk that collected plenty of area fans.
* The Midland Band -- The Midland Band offers an aggressive take on jazz rock, headed by a twin-guitar attack and layered ith heavy, but danceable keyboard grooves.
* Touch People -- Darren Keen retired his one-man electro pop act, The Show is the Rainbow, to pour all of his enery into his future-forward act, Touch People. Keen records his own instrumental tracks and then reassembles them electronically for a modern, but visceral electronic music odyssey.
* Blue Martian Tribe  -- Blue Martian Tribe bill the band as exploring the musical spectrum, as they play music that borrows from trance music in one instance and bluegrass the next. They extend these genre workouts with a jam band mentality, letting it go as long as it feels right.
* InDreama -- Nik Fackler leads this experimental indie art-pop band through all matters of sound and he's enlisted an A-Team, including bassist extraordinaire Dereck Higgins, to achieve his wild ideas.

Best Jazz
* Steve Raybine -- Vibraphonist Steve Raybine continues to add to his impressive resume, while playing his own brand of upbeat, percussive jazz.
* Towne/Murray -- Drummer Dana Murray, an accomplished percussion teacher, joined forces with Mitch Towne, one of the most revered keyboard players in Omaha's history, to put their own stamp on their favorite types of jazz.
* Matt Amandus -- Matt Amandus adds modern touches to jazz with his keyboard and piano playing, bringing his services to both jazz and rock recordings.
* Luigi Inc. -- Even after the death of band leader and legendary vibraphonist Luigi Waites, his crack band of jazz veterans have continued to honor their namesake, both at their weekly Sunday night gig at Mister Toad's and with other appearances throughout the city.
* Todd Campbell -- Calling his ensemble the Satin Groove is about all you need to know about how Todd Campbell approaches jazz. With influences like Al Jarreau and George Benson, smooth jazz is the name of the game.
* Omaha Guitar Trio -- Kevin Sullivan, Max Meyer and Andrew Stickman formed their trio while at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and now they bring music of all stripes, from classical to jazz to pop, to listeners' ears.

Best Hip-Hop
* Jamazz -- Long-running local emcee Jamazz has been known to take the stage at any show regardless of genre, appearing at rock-oriented venues like Shamrocks and performing at the jam-band-leaning Hullabaloo Festival. It's this versality that's kept Jamazz on the forefront of the local hip-hop and local music scenes.
* Jimmy Hooligan -- Jimmy Hooligan recruited Snoop Dogg for his "Fly Swatta" video, which showcases Hooligan's own gift for high-energy, funny rhymes. When the tracks are this seriously good, who says rap has to be 100% serious?
* Galvanized Tron ­- In a city not know for its hip-hop scene, Galvanized Tron has sought to come in and ignite a revolution. The hulking rapper modernizes his throwback Wu-Tang-influenced rhymes, while tirelessly getting his name out in the public eye. There's a positivity to his rhymes, even when he takes the state of modern rap to task.
* ShiShi Sakari -- Explicit, in-your-face, opinionated and empowered female emceee ShiShi Sakari spits out her R-rated rhymes with plenty of piss and vinegar. She's a local talent not afraid to compare herself to Nicki Minaj or call out Kreayshawn in a YouTube video.
* Purveyors of the Conscious Sound -- Purveyors of the Conscious Sound meld the sounds of underground hip-hop with dancefloor beats and soulful vocals.
* Scru Face Jean -- Scru Face Jean may only be in his early 20s, but he's been dedicated to his game since he broke free from high school.

posted at 11:32 am
on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

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