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  • Article

    Best Band Name - Malade de Souci

    Malade de Souci may or may not exist: Few people have seen them play, fewer still know who they are and no one seems to know anyone who might actually be in the band, assuming the band exists. We're not saying they do: We are simply acknowledging tha...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band Paraphernalia - Conformists

    There isn't a lot of money to be made on the local rock scene if you're a musician -- Clear Channel sees to that; hence the merch table that appears at nearly every show. Local bands attempt to financially justify getting the night off from work to p...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band to Leave Town in the Past 12 Months - Hroom Hroom

    Those quick to assume that music fans in St. Louis can't handle anything too challenging will be at least slightly relieved to find out that Hroom Hroom weren't driven out of town on a musical rail; instead the duo relocated to Chicago for the higher...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months - The Reactions

    The curse of the RFT music awards strikes again! The teenage striped shirt-wearing trio the Reactions won in the Best Garage category and almost immediately thereafter went their separate ways, citing "creative differences." Unlike most breakups attr...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Country Band - Dealer's Choice

    As a band, Dealer's Choice exists but once a month; as individuals, they've made their marks in country music (and we're not just talking locally). For Dealer's Choice, history keeps unfolding every second Saturday, at a smoky, bric-a-bracked dive in...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Bluegrass Band - Cumberland Gap

    For some aficionados, if the band doesn't sound like the Bluegrass Boys or Flatt and Scruggs, it ain't no part of bluegrass. For others, any jam band with a mandolin qualifies. Cumberland Gap doesn't have time for territorial skirmishes: They're too ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Gospel Artist - Fontella Bass

    Should all the mid-'60s soul singles vanish from the planet, leaving you with only "Rescue Me," Fontella Bass' 1965 masterpiece, you could listen, learn and distill the genre anew. Why? Because the gospel sound, the DNA of soul music, is there. Daugh...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Songwriter - Andy Ploof and John Wendland

    When you write for a group of impeccable players fronted by an overpowering singer, you're lucky anyone notices your songs at all. The now-defunct One Fell Swoop wasn't one of St. Louis' best bands because they could pick and sing. They had songs in ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Vocalist (Female) - Kim Vrooman

    Last Halloween Kim Vrooman and her band Earthsol masqueraded as Led Zeppelin. They didn't just wear costumes. Set up in the cramped confines of Obie's (recently reborn as Griffin's) in Soulard, the band raged through two hours-plus of Zep, nailing ea...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Vocalist (Male) - Thayne Bradford

    Yes, he's a virtuoso on fiddle, guitar (acoustic and electric) and mandolin, and he has played with such bluegrass legends as Bull Harmon, Benny Martin and Vince Gill. But it's his voice, a tenor of exacting clarity and startling range, that confirms...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Folk Artist - Jim Nelson

    One of the most reticent and recondite musicians in St. Louis is also one of the most knowledgeable, skilled and in-demand. Though he'd blanch at the description, guitarist and singer Jim Nelson is to St. Louis folk music what Bob Costas is to baseba...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Cover Band - The Skulls

    The intensity of the Skulls is found in the sweaty face of lead singer Devin Baker -- and also on his arm. His face contorts as he screams out the lyrics to "TV Casualty" and other Misfits covers, but on his arm lies the tattoo that explains it all: ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best All-Ages Venue - The Pageant

    Built in 2000, the Pageant has quickly filled a gap in the St. Louis music ecosystem, becoming the venue of choice for national bands not big enough for an arena or shed tour. The White Stripes, the Foo Fighters and others have all played here recent...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Turntablist - Kenny Kingston

    To the headz, the term "turntablist" denotes a very specific craft within the DJ community: one who performs tricks and antics and body spins and choreographed dances and basically showboats his or her talents for a few minutes at a time. But really,...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Rock Band - Riddle of Steel

    What is the riddle of steel? Many have contemplated this, but only Crom knows the true answer. The answer -- at least for St. Louis -- is that the Riddle of Steel is a juggernaut rock three-piece formed like a phoenix from the ashes of many other reg...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Music Festival - Washington Avenue Beat Festival

    Beat Festival, the transcendent biannual electronic music festival on Washington Avenue, is the most happening Sunday night in St. Louis ever (and maybe better than the best Saturday night, too). Thousands of wristband-sporting celebrants come out Me...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best New Artist - In Medias Res

    Sure, the music scene is notoriously cyclical, but who saw this revival coming? Five years ago, if you had mentioned funk to a punk rocker, he would've rolled his eyes and made some joke about Primus. But all of a sudden everybody's claiming Gang of ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Local Label - Ascetic Records

    Hieu Nguyen and Matt Snell launched Ascetic in 2001 because, according to Nguyen, "there have been so many cool labels that have supported so many good bands, we just wanted to do the same." In a relatively short time, the label has put out ten relea...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Jam Band - Naked Groove

    "Ass" is a difficult concept to grasp. It's not that people don't understand its ramifications; more likely, they're not willing to accept the fact that ass is a common denominator in many of the things in life that are good. They think it's a nasty ...

    on September 24, 2003
  • Article

    Best Noise Band - Brain Transplant

    Much like guacamole-flavored potato chips, the music of Brain Transplant don't hardly make no sense to regular folk. You can try to stuff the pigeon into the hole, but you're just going to end up with a mess of blood, feathers and splintered bone. Ac...

    on September 24, 2003
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