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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Arts Institution

    KDHX-FM

    "Community" is a word grown obscure through inconsiderate usage. It's too often used to describe a group of people with little more than a thin thread in common -- ethnicity (the African-American community, the Latino community), common interests (the arts community, the gay community), political views (the libertarian community, the activist community), and so on. In actuality, these groups are… More >>
  • Best TV-News Anchor

    Dan Gray

    Sure, KSDK's Karen Foss is the perennial readers' choice, but what about her sidekick on the 5 and 10 o'clock news? Can't he get any respect? More than anything, Dan Gray is a solid presence on the dial, delivering the news with the right amount of seriousness and style. And in a television market that has long been dominated by… More >>
  • Best Arts Administrators

    Centro Sociale

    If art wasn't administered, would it just run amok? Does arts administration exist, in reality, to keep art contained, rather than -- as arts administrators insist -- to nurture (oh God, that word), as if artists are the eternal unweaned infants of society? For what if art were truly unleashed on civil society, the reins loosened, the bit in its… More >>
  • Best TV-Sports Anchor

    Mike Bush

    Whether it's because of his easy demeanor, his longevity or his lack of pretense, Mike Bush of Channel 5 is hard to knock. A Chicago native and a graduate of the University of Arizona, the 43-year-old Bush has been in town for 15 years, after smaller-market stops in Tucson, New Orleans and Kansas City. Aside from the usual newscasts with… More >>
  • Best Theater Group

    Opera Theatre of St. Louis

    Since last summer, St. Louis has been treated to outstanding theatrical offerings, and though many folks kept the roar of the greasepaint audible, the easy winner for Best Theater Group is Opera Theatre of St. Louis. These days, a city of any size must count itself lucky merely to have an opera company. Yet the price for keeping it afloat… More >>
  • Best TV Weathercaster

    Dave Murray

    The climatically obsessed no doubt would love a precise gauge of TV weathercasters' prophetic abilities. Just how outrageously far off the mark were those highs and lows? How frequently did the sun brightly shine when torrents were promised? How many inches of snow actually fell (and fell and fell) when we were confidently assured of a light dusting? So wildly… More >>
  • Best Dance Program

    Washington University Performing Arts Department

    From its Dance Close-up faculty recital that opens the St. Louis dance season, through the big student dance concerts, to the senior recitals, Washington University's Performing Arts Department's dance program, under the direction of Mary-Jean Cowell, is consistently superior, both in concept and execution, giving students a chance to excel and audiences something to enjoy and even ponder. With faculty… More >>
  • Best Locally Produced National TV Program

    Breaking Bread with Father Dominic

    So you switch on the TV and there's some guy in a monk's habit and Converse high-tops pontificating about bagels. What's not to like? With some three-quarters of the nationwide PBS network now carrying the recipes and gentle musings of baker/friar Father Dominic, local affiliate KETC (Channel 9), where the show is produced, has a slowly rising hit on its… More >>
  • Best Nonmusical Theater Production

    Fences, St. Louis Black Repertory Company

    There have been some outstanding theatrical offerings since last summer, and some sad farewells. We bid adieu to The New Theatre (would someone negotiate with St. Louis University to use that handsome new space?) The St. Marcus Church closed its doors to terpsichorean and thespian tenants, and last year's promising Actors Renaissance Theatre didn't return this season. But let's talk… More >>
  • Best Locally Produced TV Program

    Retrovision

    So you're lounging on the futon, flipping channels on your cable-free TV, waiting for the commercials between 3rd Rock and M*A*S*H to run their course, when you stumble across Luther Campbell leering and lisping his way through his booty-bass magnum opus "It's Your Birthday" on Channel 58. What the --- when did the Box start playing Luke again? That's when… More >>
  • Best Musical Theater Production

    Radamisto, Opera Theatre of St. Louis

    In this category, we included opera along with conventional fare. Why? Because we heard far too many citizens wrinkle their noses and say, "I don't like opera" when they have a world-class organization presenting superb work on their doorstep every May, though folks who do like opera won't turn up their noses at Rogers & Hammerstein or Porter or Sondheim… More >>
  • Best Goofy TV Commercial

    Becky's Carpet & Tile Superstore

    If you grew up watching those hokey ads for the Slyman Brothers, Steve Mizerany or even those Kings of Credit at Schweig-Engel, you'll recognize Becky "Queen of Carpet" Rothman as a worthy heir to a long St. Louis tradition of goofball television spots. There she is, on late-night TV, in a glittering evening gown, sporting a crown, floating on a… More >>
  • Best Play Seen in St. Louis

    A Midsummer Night's Dream, Guthrie Theatre at the Edison Theatre

    Plenty of local organizations are willing to take a chance on touring companies, and though there was some cheerful bombast (Fame at the Fox, anyone? Remember any of those tunes?), local audiences had the chance to observe some quirky and memorable theater. All in all, the most wonderful non-native entertainment was the Guthrie Theatre's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare as… More >>
  • Best Mystery

    Where's Wanda?

    OK, where's Wanda? Has anyone checked under Becky's carpet? For years, the carpet-selling team of Becky and Wanda pitched their rugs in late-night commercials that looked great between Jerry Springer segments. Those magic wands, the inexplicable queen motif, the flying carpet that rose higher than the Arch -- these ads had special effects that made Ed Wood look like George… More >>
  • Best Curtain Call

    On the Razzle, St. Louis Shakespeare Company

    The cast took their bows in character, as if they were posing for Mack Sennett freeze-frames. Here, one actor raises an arm to threaten another; there, another pair bend at the waist to kiss. Such roistering was in keeping with this fast-moving farce, yet also in character with the turn-of-the-century gemutlichkeit that seemed very St. Louis as well. Director Donna… More >>
  • Best Diction in a Used-Car Commercial

    Dave Sinclair

    Let's face it -- most car dealers have the orating skills of Frankenstein's monster (if you can imagine it hailing from Missouri). But for some reason, when the big wheel does the commercial, cars roll off the lot faster than the words roll off his particular tongue. Dave Sinclair was born with the gift of enunciation. From behind his podium,… More >>
  • Best Lighting

    Faustus, Echo Theatre Company

    You want guts? Try staging Marlowe's tragedy in the Neoclassical-style lobby of the Midtown Arts Center using votive candles and the occasional follow-spot. Candles on the floor, by the way. And not a lot of them, either -- just enough to provide flickering shadows on the young faces of these eager actors. Sure, the dimness made it difficult to read… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KDHX-FM

    Quick -- name another radio station in St. Louis that plays Sleater-Kinney, Burning Spear, Emmylou Harris and the Mediaeval Baebes. Or Townes Van Zandt, Susana Baca, James Brown and Muddy Waters. You can't. That's because KDHX (88.1 FM) stands alone in having the most eclectic playlist on the airwaves of our fair city. If you like music, you can't help… More >>
  • Best Setting

    Through the Eyes of a Child, Historyonics Theatre Company

    Historyonics' Through the Eyes of a Child was a warm celebration and elegy of St. Louis's historically African-American neighborhoods (the Ville, East St. Louis, Carr Square and Kinloch) and how they changed "from a place to a place to be from." Interviewer Gwendolyn Moore spoke to people who grew up in these neighborhoods between the 1940s and 1980s, and playwright… More >>
  • Best Radio-Music Programming

    KDHX-FM

    In the past year, KDHX has continued its ascendence as one of the best community-radio stations in the country, expanding its palette to encompass not just folk, blues and country but the more youthful fare of punk, pop, acid jazz, psychedelia and electronic music. That it has no competition in town is sad, but that's the way it goes in… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Tivoli Theatre

    The Tivoli (6350 Delmar Blvd., 314-862-1100) wins hands down for so many different reasons. Five years after its $2 million renovation by Loop mogul Joe Edwards, it's still pretty swank. You can entertain yourself gazing at art-deco gewgaws before the previews start. Nobody's head gets in your way, and projectionists are reasonably conscientious about keeping the movie framed and the… More >>
  • Best Meteorologist

    Ben Abell

    We called Ben Abell last spring, back when it looked like the region was in for a severe drought, and all that we love about the KWMU (90.7 FM) meteorologist came to the fore. Not only does he serve as the reason to get out of bed in the morning -- listen to Abell's forecast, then it's time to get… More >>
  • Best Movie-Theater Concessions

    AMC Theatres - CLOSED

    Movie theaters can sell just about anything at the concession stand if they want to. They could have coffee and tea, sandwiches, crackers, hors d'oeuvres. They could have anything, but they usually don't. They almost always rely on soda, candy and popcorn. There is a good reason for this. Movies are simply better with popcorn. Studies have shown that people… More >>
  • Best Radio-News Programming

    KMOX-AM

    The sad thing about this category is that it goes to KMOX (1120 AM) by default. The worse news is that the outlook for real, live news reporters working for radio stations interested in reporting real, live news is dim, very dim. As more and more radio stations abandon any pretense of station-driven reporting and opt to buy sound bites… More >>
  • Best Film Series

    Webster University

    With the proliferation of art houses in town -- the Plaza Frontenac, the Tivoli, the Chase, the Hi-Pointe -- you'd swear that any film of substance has played at least briefly on one of their screens. But you'd be wrong. Even movies that generate significant buzz in the national press bypass St. Louis all too frequently, especially if the language… More >>
  • Best Radio Program

    Doug Morgan's The Underworld

    KDHX-FM is the very model of innovative radio programming. They play everything from bluegrass to hip-hop to two hours of a cappella on Sunday mornings. (Well, almost everything: They don't have a brutal noise show, but noiseheads never get representation. Our exclusion is our badge of honor.) Despite this small oversight, KDHX is proof that a radio station can succeed… More >>
  • Best New Film Series

    Fontbonne College

    Once, in those halcyon days of the '70s, before the advent of video, college film series flourished. St. Louis University's Jim Rollins programmed a smart, innovative selection of local premieres and revivals, and anonymous Washington University film buffs unspooled complete retrospectives of Charlie Chaplin and an ambitious series of double bills that exhaustively surveyed such genres as film noir and… More >>
  • Best Eclectic Radio Program

    The Pop Life

    On any given Wednesday afternoon, from noon-2 p.m., Anton Stropus plumbs the deep virtues of musical unpredictability. His KDHX-FM program -- often cheering, always bracing -- is a fantasy of escape from the genre-terrorized world of mainstream radio where pop music has been reduced to the hedged bets of know-nothing consultants and homogenized satellite feeds. Spanning geography and history, Anton's… More >>
  • Best Visiting Artist

    Tony Leung

    Despite the residency of theater innovators Lanford Wilson and Marshall Mason at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis last fall, the artist who took up shop in this town with the most noteworthy rep was not the Pulitzer/Tony/Obie Award-winning duo but the actor who went on to win best actor at Cannes this year, international film star Tony Leung. If… More >>
  • Best DJ-Mix Radio Program

    DJ Kaos

    The little oases within the rotten commercial-radio system, a system in which programmers rely on national charts and consultants to dictate their playlists, are the heavenly mix shows that arrive almost nightly on The Beat (100.3 FM) (whose new competitor, Q95, just debuted its own mix shows). Real live human beings with real live taste and creative energy mix beats,… More >>
  • Best Gallery

    Gallery 210, University of Missouri-St. Louis

    Sure, there are bigger galleries. There are galleries with bigger, more dependable budgets. There are galleries with more and more permanent staff members. But this year, Gallery 210 proved to be the little gallery that could. There was no more reliable place to see an inventive show, whether it was a local effort or a traveling exhibition from elsewhere. Gallery… More >>
  • Best Radio Personality

    Frank O. Pinion

    Best, funniest -- it's all the same. Need a stress-buster on the way home from work? Try Frank O. Pinion's "large morning show in the afternoon," weekdays on KTRS (550 AM). If you see folks in their cars between 2 and 6:30 p.m. laughing hysterically for no apparent reason, they're probably listening to Frank. The Tennessee native has bounced around… More >>
  • Best Gallery Exhibition

    Kit Keith, Gallery 210 and William Shearburn Gallery

    If nostalgia is a disease, then Kit Keith's art is the cure. She takes old, even seedy objects -- paper from yellowed accounting ledgers, box springs, faded images from magazine advertisements -- and skews them anew. To a photograph of two adorable white kittens -- the kind a little girl would have cut out of a magazine and pinned beside… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk-Show Host

    Charles Jaco

    This is obvious, but it bears repeating. When it comes to day-to-day, what's-happening hard news and issue dissection on local radio, Charles Jaco is it. Most other hosts on local radio can stumble over a good topic or worthy guests now and then, but Jaco is consistent in his effort and his aim. Yes, he can be a bit full… More >>
  • Best Museum Show

    Abelardo Morell and the Camera Eye, St. Louis Art Museum

    A good criteria for "best" is "that which is most remembered." The images created by photographer Abelardo Morell, which appeared at SLAM last spring, stay with the viewer. Gorgeously rendered black-and-white prints of otherwise undramatic objects -- maps, dictionaries -- have a quality most art lacks in this age of impermanence: the resiliency to maintain the integrity of the image… More >>
  • Best Radio Sports-Talk Host

    Frank Cusumano

    Frank Cusumano isn't as well known as some other hosts in town, but he's developed a unique style that makes him stand out in the crowd. Cusamano asks simple, quick questions and demands quick answers. He'll sometimes deal with a complex answer that takes some time, but he really likes to keep the interview moving. It's a mental workout to… More >>
  • Best Defunct Organization

    Gallery Michael Williamses Closet

    The thing about the art world is that there's this great gulf between (1) the transcendent beauty of some of the best art and (2) the shallow snob caste and exclusive gallery/museum system that buy and sell these works. The hoops through which a serious artist must jump to make a living are just a big joke, and the pretentiousness… More >>
  • Best Sports Announcer Who's a Former Major-Leaguer

    Mike Shannon

    A lot of people spend a lot of time taking Mike Shannon to task because he's not the smoothest talker in the biz; yeah, his grammar and syntax might earn him a low mark in Sister Cecilia's freshman language-arts class, but if you get past that and listen to what Shannon has to say about the game on the field… More >>
  • Best Public Sculpture

    "The Way"

    Sometimes, size matters. Alexander Lieberman's triumphant fire-engine-red "The Way" sculpture at Laumeier Sculpture Park may be overplayed as an image for magazine and book covers, but to approach it in person is to marvel at something that is, unfailingly, magnificent art writ very large. Walking along the long main drag of lawn behind the indoor gallery spaces, you approach "The… More >>
  • Best Radio Voice

    Bob Hamilton

    He's our own Don Pardo, the celebrated NBC staff announcer known for his work on the original Jeopardy! and Saturday Night Live. His delivery is so distinctive, his tone, pitch and inflection so musical and familiar, that each day's account of the passing parade sounds eerily like any day's account. Bob Hamilton, 62, has been doing the news for nearly 30… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Carol Carter

    The deep blues, purples and oranges of Carol Carter's acrylic and watercolor paintings are like magnetic-resonance images of their subjects -- a person or scene divulges something of its interior significance, perhaps, by way of her incongruous color choices. Her sugarcane cutters, tropical fish, irises and other subjects of choice all take on an otherworldly glow as the result of… More >>
  • Best Web-Interface Design Staff

    Chameleon Creative

    The world is an ever-changing, quickly paced collective of sentient receivers and reciprocating senders. Chameleon Creative (www.c-creative.com) not only understands this interactive exchange, they thrive on it. Since 1999, they have won three NJAADC awards, for poster design, interactive design and best new talent. They have two Addys for their Metropolitan Design & Building (www.metrodb.com) and Super Smokers (www.supersmokers.com) sites.… More >>
  • Best Curator

    Terry Suhre, Gallery 210, University of Missouri-St. Louis

    Terry Suhre probably has the toughest job in the art business: He's the curator of a small university gallery. That means he's got to fill a yearlong calendar with art. He's got to curate original shows and nab traveling exhibitions. He has to work with a small space and an even smaller budget. And he has to operate within the… More >>
  • Best Defunct-Newspaper Morgue

    Globe-Democrat Files at the Mercantile Library

    The key to understanding the events of the present can often be found contained in little envelopes stored in the basement of the library on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. The Mercantile Library moved to the university two years ago, after the private institution was purchased by the state. The Mercantile's collection includes the clipping and photo files from… More >>
  • Best Performance-Art Troupe

    Third Lip Cabaret

    The woman, an attractive young blonde who said she had just arrived from New Jersey, squeezed herself into the van's backseat without spilling her beer. And then there were four of us randomly wedged together, strangers in a strange, confined space. We weren't exactly traveling anywhere in the traditional sense, because the van seat wasn't attached to an automotive vehicle.… More >>
  • Best Cool Nicknames in a Local Periodical

    Evening Whirl

    It's only fitting that the Evening Whirl, "a crime-fighting publication since 1938" and the most colorful newsrag in the metro area, gives almost every detective, prosecutor or perpetrator who appears in its pages some colorful handle. In a story about the sentencing of Loveless "Stupid Loc" Jones for the murder of Winzel Frost, we read that the case was cracked… More >>
  • Best Sculptor

    Phillip E. Robinson

    Years ago, when Phil Robinson was concentrating mainly on painting and drawing, he took a finished canvas, stretched it around a cylinder frame and placed it on its side. The only way you could see the entire painting was when the thing was rolling toward you. That piece tells you a lot about how Robinson works. His pieces are humorous,… More >>
  • Best Newspaper Columnist

    D.J. Wilson

    Greg Freeman? Yawn. Columns about his cats and his son's first year in college were stale the first time he wrote them. Bill McClellan? Hasn't broken a sweat in years. Jerry Berger? Used to be interesting, before his ramblings devolved to the point of columns that contain nothing but tidbits on who's marrying (and de-marrying) whom, what kind of car… More >>
  • Best Photographer

    Jennifer Dorsey

    Jennifer Dorsey photographs straight. She doesn't make installations, or peel Polaroid transfers, or use light boxes. Those things are great, but when all's said and done, it's nice to look at a straight image, carefully chosen. A 1999 M.F.A. graduate from Washington University, Dorsey's most recent images are color prints mounted on boxes, so they project slightly from the wall… More >>
  • Best St. Louis Cheerleader

    Greg Freeman

    Lots of folks love St. Louis, but is there anybody who conveys his passion for his hometown to so many people and to so many places? It's not enough that he has a column in the biggest fishwrap in town; he also hosts talking-head programs on local public radio (St. Louis on the Air) and on public television (Mosaic). He's… More >>
  • Best New Photographer

    Bob Reuter

    Bob Reuter is best known around town as an elder brother of the roots-music scene, a guy who has written as many killer songs as anyone without managing to sustain much of an audience. He is also the survivor of a rare blood disease that disabled him from doing his old day job (paint houses) and helped make him an… More >>
  • Best St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reporter

    John McGuire

    As the story goes, back when the Post was changing from an afternoon to a morning paper, several writers were talking about how their lives were going to be altered by the new deadlines when John McGuire piped up: "Well, it won't bother me. My deadline's the same -- April, July, October ..." Not that John McGuire isn't capable of… More >>
  • Best Cartoonist

    Bob Staake

    Bob Staake may not have the name recognition around town his work deserves, but there are few busier cartoonists in the country. Consider these highlights from Staake's résumé: contributions to The Ren and Stimpy Show (the famous dog-water fake commercial) and the animated series Dexter's Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls; illustrations for two Jay Leno Headlines books; regular appearances in… More >>
  • Best Sportswriter

    Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Reading time: less than one minute. When it comes to sports in St. Louis, the one guy who seems to have his finger on the pulse of things is Bernie Miklasz. As chief sports columnist for the Post-Dispatch, that's his job, of course. But coming up with a fresh, frank and sometimes controversial take on things is not as easy… More >>
  • Best Writer

    William H. Gass

    You could argue that William H. Gass has written the best novel (Omensetter's Luck), the best short story ("In the Heart of the Heart of the Country"), the best prose poem (On Being Blue) and the best book of translations (On Reading Rilke) of any living St. Louisan. You would then have to point out that only one of those… More >>
  • Best Bar/Nightclub

    Blueberry Hill

    It almost goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: There's just not a better place to hang out in St .Louis, for various and sundry reasons, than Blueberry Hill. But let's tick a few of them off: They've got great food, including world-class burgers; a wide array of beers; and ambiance -- in the form of bar owner Joe… More >>
  • Best New Bar/Nightclub

    Lo

    That Lo is the best new nightclub is indicative of the dearth of interesting new nightspots; more seemed to close than open this year, and even those that closed were no great shakes. So, kind of by default, Lo's the best of the new. Their initial foray into ridiculous exclusivity (those dumb "membership cards") should perhaps have disqualified them from… More >>
  • Best Alternative-Music Club

    Centro Sociale

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know: What is "alternative" anymore? Nipple rings and tattoos? Uh, no. Punk rock? No way, man; that's yesterday's news. Some "electronica" club? Not since the scene made the cover of Time. Chances are the most "alternative" club in the city is some dingy members-only club buried on the East Side where we wouldn't be able to… More >>
  • Best Jazz or Blues Club

    Troy's on the Park

    The room is small, and it's usually full, whether it's the Wednesday-night poetry reading (sometimes erotic) or the live local jazz on every other night (always erotic). But whatever your fetish, Troy's on the Park can probably quench your thirst. There are 30 martinis to choose from -- owner Troy Williams calls them the "Troy Quickies" or "Troy Specialties," depending… More >>
  • Best Folk-Music Venue

    Focal Point

    To hear Rambling Jack Elliot sing his epic talking blues, "The 912 Greens," is to travel from New York's Washington Square to the back alleys of the French Quarter, bustin' through the Smokey Mountains with Guy and Frank, looking for a five-string-banjo player named Billy Fair who lived at 912 Toulouse St. It's the stuff of legend, a verbal history… More >>
  • Best Dance Club

    Upstairs Lounge

    It depends on what you want, of course. Velvet's the best of the big dumb clubs, replete with the requisite big dumb dance floor, the big dumb dress code and the fake crowd queues they create outside. Velvet brings great house DJs into town, though, and supports the area's better rave promoters by offering them nights at the club. But,… More >>
  • Best Rock & Roll Club

    Way Out Club

    On the right night, you can find some great rock & roll at the Way Out Club's new location on South Jefferson (at Gravois), but that's not what makes it the best rock club in town: It's the venue itself that rocks so hard. Great bars have great bar staff. In the heyday of the old Cicero's, for example, there was… More >>
  • Best Rave Site

    We're Not Telling

    What, you think we're going to spoil it by publishing it in the RFT? Nope, we're not telling you. You're going to have to find out for yourself. But let's just say that it's in the city itself -- not in the Lemp Brewery, last year's unawarded winner (here's hoping they'll reconsider their current no-rave policy) -- and has such… More >>
  • Best Topless Bar

    Roxy's

    We like it raunchy. That's why we like Roxy's in Brooklyn, Ill. Brooklyn and Centreville have long enjoyed the reputation of having the rawest, could-this-possibly-be-legal topless joints in the metro area. Choosing a winner is tough, but the nod goes to Roxy's for two reasons. One, there's a joint cover charge -- 5 bucks will get you into Roxy's, as… More >>
  • Best Casino

    President - CLOSED

    Everyone loves an underdog. That's why we love the President Casino on the Admiral. Yes, it may be an unlucky game of baccarat away from bankruptcy. Yes, its restrooms may not always be tidy. Yes, parking is a hassle. But the President has character. It has history. It has the Mississippi River beneath its gunwales, not a moat that makes… More >>
  • Best Place to Feel Young

    Powell Symphony Hall

    Are strands of gray sneaking into the audience of your hair? And is that crowd thinning? Did you get a walking stick for your last birthday? Might it have been your last birthday, for all the aches and pains you suffer? You might be on your way over the hill, a rough ride that's more like the Scrambler than a… More >>
  • Best Entertainment Value on a Hot Summer Evening

    Compton Heights Concert Band

    There's nothing like a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" to make your heart leap, especially when the authentic Civil War cannons go off in the final few minutes. When it comes to performing the music of yesteryear, the Compton Heights Concert Band doesn't half-step. The 2000 Summer Series marked the 21st year the band has delighted St. Louisans with… More >>
  • Best Place to Drop a Quarter

    Arcade Lanes

    Caught at the moment in one of the down cycles between its periodic renaissances as a hangout, the Arcade Lanes could become your own private funhouse. It's not the cheapest place to drink, but it's a kind of anti-Lo (recommendation plenty), and it manages to provide what no place else does: on any given night, the surest musical thing in… More >>
  • Best Open Mic

    Frederick's Music Lounge

    When it comes to assessing the merits of an open mic (or, as the crowd at Frederick's would have it, a hootenanny), our preferences depend on our perspective -- a novice performer might favor nice emcees, for instance, and audience members that won't scream, "Show us your tits!" (one reason coffeehouses are often favored: no drunks). We're judging this category… More >>
  • Best Booker for a Music Venue

    Shannon Hill, Creepy Crawl

    Many overlooked people make major contributions to the local music scene. An even-handed doorperson allows you to have fun without endangering yourself or others, and he or she steps in when "others" cross that line. A good soundman enhances a band's live show, keeping the music clear and well mixed so you can hear every note. Your friendly bartenders keep… More >>
  • Best Pop Hooks

    Adam Reichmann, Nadine

    Hooks are to pop music what grooves are to funk: the bread and butter, the sine qua non. And like a groove, a hook is much more easily felt than explained. It's all about pith and melody, being catchy without sounding overly clever, and Adam Reichmann has the knack in a big way. His bandmates in Nadine are all imaginative… More >>
  • Best Chorus

    St. Louis African Chorus

    When we think of a chorus, most of us probably think of a church choir, and, as it turns out, St. Louis' best chorus -- the St. Louis African Chorus -- just became a church choir of sorts. Their new CD, A E Na O: The Sacred Music of Harcourt-Whyte was recorded in a local church (St. John the Evangelist),… More >>
  • Best Stage Charisma

    Jennifer Swift

    Beautiful as it is, musical talent is not uncommon, especially not in this town. Any day of the week, you can walk into a half-dozen or more local venues where you will find fulfilling, inspiring music. But it's a rare day when you stumble across stage presence. Charisma is famously hard to define, as it should be -- anything shared… More >>
  • Best Country Singer

    Mark Rennard

    He's the guy in the Flying Mules with the fiddle crimped under his neck, slouched back in his chair, emotionally distant in the eyes and a bit ferocious with the bow. Then he relaxes his fiddle muscles and leans up to the mike, and this 10,000-year-old, warm-as-butter-on-hot-boiled-corn voice just sort of happens. No hamming from him, no bones about it,… More >>
  • Best Non-Western Classical Musician

    Imrat Khan

    We tend to talk of "classical music" thinking of Mozart and the boys, but India has forgotten more classical music than the West will ever have time to learn. The greatest local non-Western classical musician hails from Calcutta, India, and he comes from ancient music: Imrat Khan grew up in a family that traces its musical legacy to the court… More >>
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