Brand New Day

The music awards ballot is online! Plus, meet your Best New Artist candidates.

Daybreak Boys

RFT Music Awards Showcase

As of today, there's a mere month left until the annual RFT Music Awards Showcase — which will take place on Sunday, June 3, from 2 p.m. until midnight in the Loop. We're still in the process of finalizing what artists are going to perform at what venue on that day, but I'm pleased to announce that balloting is now open for business on our Web site. More specifically, bookmark this URL — — and go cast your vote for your favorite St. Louis musicians in twenty different categories.

Voting will continue right up until the day of the showcase, so spread the word! And as an added incentive: This year, the top three vote-getters overall are going to perform at our newly reinstated music awards presentation, which will take place on Tuesday, June 12, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Pageant. So start posting MySpace bulletins, tell all your friends, and make plans to log on and make your voice heard. (And remember — we can catch ballot-stuffers, so don't even try it!) All information, including a link to the MySpace page, can be found here:

In the meantime, to get you pumped up for the balloting and showcase, here's a handy primer to the ballot's Best New Artist candidates!

Daybreak Boys
Sounds like? Strummy, danceable nü-garage-rock that's sensitive without being anemic.
Cred: The trio was one of many St. Louis bands to perform at this year's SXSW festival in March.
Memorable moment: Wait a few weeks: The group is planning to release its first EP with a show at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room on Saturday, May 26.
Touchstones: The Strokes, the Killers, New Order

Heroes of the Kingdom
Sounds like? The dinosaur-size roars of Led Zeppelin crossed with Cheap Trick's sense of melody and the yowling, prog-inflected vocals of the Mars Volta.
Cred: The members of the quartet are veterans of many bands; for instance, drummer Micah Parker honed his skills in Ring, Cicada.
Memorable moment: At an all-covers show in April at the Ground Floor, the HotKays (as they're affectionately nicknamed) basically became Cheap Trick — complete with costumes and a bitching version of "Surrender."
Touchstones: Cheap Trick, Led Zeppelin, Mars Volta

Sounds like? Wise-beyond-his-years hip-hopper who has the laid-back, street-heavy STL sound down.
Cred: His single, "Pop, Lock & Drop It" is climbing up the Billboard charts; at press time, it was up to No. 15 on the Hot 100 singles charts.
Memorable moment: Signing an impressive record deal with Jive before he can even legally drink.
Touchstones: Nelly, Bow Wow

The Humanoids
Sounds like? Old-school punk that RFT scribe Jason Toon describes better than I ever could, in his feature this week.
Cred: In its short lifespan, the band has opened for the Queers, the Draft and Agent Orange at the Creepy Crawl.
Memorable moment: When I heard the Humanoids' EP playing over the sound system at Vintage Vinyl for the first time, I wondered what old-school LA punk band was playing — it was that authentic.
Touchstones: Germs, Descendents

Stella Mora
Sounds like? Every fabulously talented shoegazer band from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, but with the bonus of having ethereal dual-female vocals.
Cred: Its members have seriously good taste in music.
Memorable moment: Impressing a packed crowd at Cicero's at their very first gig — a show that didn't at all sound like it was their first gig.
Touchstones: My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Slowdive

Walkie Talkie U.S.A.
Sounds like? Catchy power-pop wrapped up in a cozy blanket of raucous fuzz and indie-rock jingle-jangle.
Cred: Vocalist/guitarist Jason Hutto has been in, worked with or mentored approximately 650 local bands over the years — perhaps most famously the Phonocaptors and Sexicolor.
Memorable moment: During one particularly raucous Saturday-night gig at Mangia Italiano, the band faithfully covered the Soft Boys' proto-punk stomp "I Wanna Destroy You."
Touchstones: Guided by Voices, early R.E.M., Pixies

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