The Six Best "Rivalries" in 25 Years of Dallas Observer Music Awards

James Bland
Rigor Mortis '88
This year, we'll celebrate our 25th Dallas Observer Music Awards. Voting is open now, and the ceremony is on November 5 at House of Blues. Over the years, we've seen our fair share of bands appearing on the DOMA nominee list year after year. And, in a few notable cases, they found themselves in the same match-ups again and again. So here's a rundown of six of our favorite mostly friendly rivalries from the past two and a half decades.

See also: The 2013 Dallas Observer Music Showcase Schedule

6. Drowning Pool versus Slow Roosevelt for Best Metal

Forever known as "Dallas' band on the brink," Slow Roosevelt won the DOMA's Best Metal category so many times during the early part of this century. It was as if their name alone garnered a weird recognition that equated to votes among fans. In 2000, when Drowning Pool appeared to challenge the Dallas' favorites for the coveted title, Slow Roosevelt easily swatted the upstarts down. In 2001, they faced off again with the same results. But that same year, Drowning Pool released their debut album Sinner, which went platinum within six weeks, and found themselves jamming alongside Ozzy Osbourne, while Slow Roosevelt was left with an armload of DOMAs but no record contract or national recognition.

5. Kim Platko versus Bugs Henderson for Best Guitarist

When these two musical giants faced off in the first year of the DOMA, the gods of rock had to brace the heavens for the hellish onslaught that would soon follow. At the time, Kim Platko was a member of Café Noir, a Gypsy Jazz/world music ensemble and played as if the spirit of Django Reinhardt was guiding him. Platko's finger dancing is among the best in the world. Bugs Henderson, however, could take you straight to hell with his guitar playing. His grooves channeled a part of the blues that hadn't been heard since Robert Johnson sung about hellhounds. After Henderson's death in 2012, Ted Nugent called him "a quintessential American soulful guitar adventurer." But our readers already knew that because they awarded him the Best Guitarist and Best Blues title on more than one occasion.

4. Rigor Mortis versus Lord Tracy for Best Metal

Imagine being fired from your band because they're looking to channel the Southern Metal their guitarslinger's weapon is screaming only to come face to face with one of their rivals as a DOMA nominee for Best Metal, especially when your band is releasing hair metal love ballads.But that's exactly what happened in '90 when former Pantera frontman Terry Glaze's new band Lord Tracy battled Bruce Corbitt's thrash metal band Rigor Mortis. Satan's still chuckling about this match up.

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