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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Visions of 2008; Omaha Entertainment Awards -- Who should win, who will win (probably)...

Here's what you've been waiting for -- my annual music predictions for the coming year (read it here). I think I said in the article that last year's predictions were the toughest, but in retrospect, I actually did better with my predictions last year than I did the year before. Odd. As I say in the article and in my Year in Review piece, 2007 was the year for monumental change in the Omaha scene. I don't see a lot of dramatic stuff happening in '08, just more of the same. Most of this year's predictions are just common-sense hunches. Still, there are a few surprises...check it out.

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Speaking of predictions, here are my picks for tonight's Omaha Entertainment Awards, along with how I voted (I am an "academy member" ya know). The "big show" is being held at The Holland Center. If you can't afford a ticket, you can watch along at home (if you have Cox digital cable) by tuning into Cox 248 at 7 p.m. Here we go:

Best Adult Alternative: This is the so-called "singer/songwriters" category, which of course makes no sense. I would never consider Anchondo or Oxygen "singer-songwriter" bands. And, uh, where's Bright Eyes? In fact, where's Saddle Creek, whose roster consists almost entirely of singer/songwriters? Obviously, Oberst is the best singer/songwriter in Omaha (as well as best "adult alternative," whatever that means), but he wasn't nominated, so I voted for Sarah Benck. The winner will be John Henry.

Best Alternative/Indie: Hard to vote against Bright Eyes, especially considering that Cursive and The Faint didn't release albums last year. I like Little Brazil and Tighten the Noose, but not as much as Cassadaga. Bright Eyes will win.

Best Ethnic: Based solely on their OEA showcase performance, my vote went to Mariachi Luna y Sol. The Turfmen will probably win.

Best Hard Rock/Metal/Punk: Like Bluegrass/Country, here's another example of where the OEA folks decided it would be a good idea to roll different categories into one. Obviously none of the nominees play punk. A. Symbiont is more of a hard rock band. The rest are metal. It's a mess. That said. I voted for Paria, and Paria will take home the OEA crystal dildo.

Best Folk/Roots/Americana: These categories also don't belong together. Folk and Americana are very different animals. Black Squirrels comes closest to folk, Bright Eyes and Whipkey come closest to Americana. Filter Kings and the Mercury's are twangy rock (maybe Americana?). None of them are "Roots." I voted for Whipkey. Bright Eyes, of course, will win.

Best Jazz/Standards/Easy Listening: I have to think that a few local jazz fans will see how this category was put together and cringe. Jazz isn't "easy listening" (at least not good jazz). Having heard only a couple of these artists, I didn't vote in this category. The winner will be the ever-joyless Heidi Joy (who doesn't sing/play jazz nor is easy to listen to).

Best Hip Hop/Rap: I didn't vote in this category, either. The winner will be Breathless (But wouldn't it be great if Buck Bowen could do another acceptance speech?).

Best Blues: Another non-vote for me. Sarah Benck and The Robbers isn't a blues band. Sarah Benck and the Robbers will win.

Best New Artist: Coyote Bones got my vote. Despite being on Conor's record label, Capgun won't win since few people know who they are. Instead the award will go to Tim Wildsmith, who I'm told got more public votes than any other performer in the nomination process.

Best R&B/Funk/Soul: Satchel Grande blows away everyone in this category, and of course, got my vote. That said, The Wholes, who don't play R&B or Funk (judging by their performance at the OEA showcase) will take the prize.

Best Rock: Rock should be, well, heavy music -- hard, fast, angry. And no nominee plays harder, faster or angrier than Ladyfinger, who got my vote. The winner will be the odorless, colorless, flavorless gas we call Oxygen.

Local Album of the Year: I voted for Cassadaga, which also is the biggest selling local album (nationally, anyway) among the nominees. In a tight vote, Bright Eyes will pull this one out.

Artist of the Year: Again, how do you vote against Bright Eyes? It's the only band among the nominees that charted on Billboard, that toured throughout the U.S. and the world, that locally drew more people to their shows than any other nominee. The rest of the Academy will see things the same way.

See you at the show (maybe).

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What are you waiting for? Get your entry in to win a copy of the coveted Lazy-I Best of 2007 Compilation CD! Just e-mail me ( with your name and mailing address and you'll be entered into the drawing. Tracks include songs by Stars, Interpol, Rilo Kiley, Wilco, Les Savy Fav, Justice, Baby Walrus, Bright Eyes, The Good Life, The Monroes, The Third Men and many more. Details and track order are right here. Enter today! Deadline's January 17.

--Got comments? Post 'em here.--

posted by Tim at 10:45 AM

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