And the Nominees Are...

Diverse musicians and singers are up for hardware at the first-ever Edmonton Music Awards, to be handed out March 28

BY EMIL TIEDEMANN

IT seems like every time I ask random strangers or district music makers, "What do you think of Edmonton's own music community?," the responses are generally the same: Vibrant. Thriving. Untypical.

Everybody knows somebody who's in a band here, and Facebook is faithfully overflowing with local events promoting open mics, acoustic showcases, or CD release parties. So, it comes as no surprise that homegrown musicians and songwriters, singers and bands will be honoured for their untypical contributions to this miscellaneous musical scene.

"It was great to see how many people are paying attention to the local scene," said area producer, musician, and promoter Danny Fournier, referring to the more than 1,100 fans and musicians who submitted nominations to the first annual Edmonton Music Awards.

They voted for the best in Edmonton's rock, pop, country, hip-hop, metal, folk, dance, and roots styles, during a 2-month submission period last year. But fans will only determine the winners of a few, online-casting categories (People's Choice, Artist to Watch, and Best Live Performance), while a panel of non-local music industry pros--collectively, the Edmonton Music Council--will select victors for the remaining ones.

Jeff Morris
According to Fournier, having winners chosen by experts from outside our city limits will allow everyone an equal chance, based purely on talent, and nothing else. "To me, that helps eliminate any potential bias," he suggested.

Singer-songwriter Jeff Morris--who's Original Songs on a Borrowed Guitar album I purchased at random early last year--is up for six (of 13) awards, more than any other act. But, with five, pop vocalist Cara Albo is not far behind. They will compete against each other for Best Solo Artist, Best Live Performance, and the People's Choice pick...all categories for which I, a substandard car radio serenader, was overlooked!

Other notable names up for honours during the March 28th show (@ The Haven Social Club) include Christian Hansen & The Autistics, DRT, Hot Panda, Jezibelle, Wool On Wolves, Fire Next Time, and of course, Corb Lund. But, noticeably vacant from the list of nominees are electro rockers Shout Out Out Out Out, blues players Boogie Patrol, and rapper and sitting poet laureate Cadence Weapon. Not to mention Lund's lack of acknowledgement.

If you'd like to vote for one of the online-based categories, click here. Simply because of the meagre size of the Haven, the actual ceremony (March 28, a Monday) will most likely be an event for the officials and nominees only. But, the evening prior (March 27, a Sunday) is going to feature videos and live performances for fans and friends. For more information, check out the EMA's Facebook page.

Below is a full list of the nominees for the inaugural, 2011 Edmonton Music Awards, presented by Oddball Productions:

Fire Next Time's Wild Rose Sorrow
Best Album:
-Swans (Christian Hansen & The Autistics)
-Wild Rose Sorrow (Fire Next Time)
-How Come I'm Dead (Hot Panda)
-Original Songs on a Borrowed Guitar (Jeff Morris)
-Grey Matter (Wool On Wolves)

Best Single:
-"Blue Sky Falls" (Jeff Morris)
-"Public Display" (Jezibelle)
-"Just Say Go" (Michelle Molineux)
-"The Long Kiss Goodnight" (Mockteerah)
-"Twenty Something" (The Weekend Kids)

Best Group:
-Christian Hansen & The Autistics
-Mass Choir
-The Provincial Archive
-The Wheat Pool
-Wool On Wolves

Christian Hansen & The Autistics
Best Solo Artist:
-Al Brant
-Cara Albo
-Douglas Mitchell
-Fendercase
-Jeff Morris
-Ky Babyn

Best Female Artist: 
-Ann Vriend
-Cara Albo
-Colleen Brown
-Dani Jean
-Kayla Patrick

People's Choice:
-Al Brant
-Cara Albo
-DRT
Jezibelle
-Jeff Morris
-Jezibelle
-Kayla Patrick
-Kemo Treats
-Ky Babyn
-Michelle Molineux
-The Red Threat

Best Pop/Hip-Hop/Dance Artist:
-Cara Albo
-Christian Hansen & The Autistics
-Fendercase
-Kemo Treats
-Michelle Molineux

Best Country Artist:
-Al Brant
-Corb Lund
-Hey Romeo
-Kayla Patrick
-The Wheat Pool

Cara Albo
Best Metal/Hard Rock Artist:
-DRT
-Hollywood Assassyn
-Jezibelle
-Mockteerah
-One Soul Thrust

Best Roots/Folk Artist:
-Eamon McGrath
-Fire Next Time
-Jeff Morris
-Ky Babyn
-The Provincial Archive
-Wool On Wolves

Artist to Watch:
-All Else Fails
-Demon Republic
Wool On Wolves
-Erica Viegas
-Heaviside
-Lisa Nicole Grace
-Mars & Venus
-Maryland
-Micelli
-Red Shag Carpet
-The Flash Jam
-The Frolics

Best Music Video:
-"The Long Kiss Goodnight" (Mockteerah)
-"Please Don't Say It's So" (My Sister Ocean)
-"It's Not Me, It's You" (Radio For Help)
-"Robb Angus" (Skidoo 32)
-"Twenty Something" (The Weekend Kids)

Best Live Performance:
-Acronycal @ The Starlite Room
-Cara Albo @ Lyve On Whyte
-DRT @ The Banger at the Hanger
-Fire Next Time @ The Wunderbar
-Jeff Morris @ Axis Cafe
-Jezibelle @ The Taphouse
-One Way State @ The Pawn Shop
-Radio For Help @ The Pawn Shop
-The Red Threat @ The Avenue Theatre
-White Lightning @ On the Rocks

Below is Best Music Video nominees Mockteerah, and their clip for "The Long Kiss Goodnight."



Good luck, nominees!

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