The 2013 Dallas Observer Music Award Winners

The Granada: Best Live Music Venue. Photo by Jason Janik

As we have every year for the last quarter-century, we present the Dallas Observer Music Awards. This year, our panel of music experts and industry veterans nominated 200 artists, venues and organizations. Over 4,000 people voted on those nominees, and their selections are the 40 winners listed here.

They're a worthy bunch. Some are well-known outside North Texas, like Sarah Jaffe (whose latest exploits include singing the hook on an Eminem song and providing the soundtrack for Pixar's most recent short) and The Polyphonic Spree (whose new album reached number eight on the Billboard Album Chart, in addition to winning our Best New Release DOMA). Some of this year's winners are elder statesmen of this area's music scene: Paul Slavens, who was nominated for the very first DOMA in 1988, won a pair this year.

You can see one outline of the music scene in this year's winners. Booty Fade is less than a year old, but the collaboration between DJ Sober and producer Picnictyme represents the pulse of Dallas' nightlife scene better than anyone else. The O's, whose members have a pedigree that includes major label deals, have earned enough goodwill here that they could probably win city council seats in addition to their continued success in the DOMA voting. Denton's Seryn and Dallas' Larry G(ee) are probably the area's two best bets for a national breakthrough in 2014.

But there are rewards to be found in every single nominee and in many bands and artists who missed this year's cut. So go to the Granada Theater, or Three Links or any of the other music venues among this year's nominees, and find some music you like. We're guessing most of these bands would agree that winning a DOMA is nice, but seeing new faces at a concert is better.

Best Group Act: RTB2
See also: RTB2 On Their New Album: "Every Record Should Feel Like The First"

Jason Janik

Best Solo Act: Sarah Jaffe
See also: Sarah Jaffe Sacrificed Both Mind and Body to Make Her Second Album

Best New Release: Yes, It's True by The Polyphonic Spree
See also: The Polyphonic Spree's Best Dallas Show Ever: Review, Photos and Setlist
See also: Tips for Stalking the Polyphonic Spree This Month, While They're On a Break From Touring

Ed Steele

Best New Act: Son of Stan
See also:
Son of Stan's Jordan Richardson and the Re-Making of a Rock 'n' Roll Dream


Best Song: "F#$K Like a Stripper" by Booty Fade
See also: Get familiar with Booty Fade

Best Music Video: "Raise Your Head" by The Polyphonic Spree (Directed by Alex Gabbott)

Best Live Act: The Effinays

Best Vocalist: Sarah Jaffe

Best Guitarist: Jason "Shaggy" Kerr

Best Bassist: Tony Ferraro

Best Drummer: Zach Mayo
See also: Premiere: The Breakfast Machine's Underwater, Sledgehammer-Wielding Music Video for "Getz"

Ed Steele

Best Pianist/Keyboardist: Paul Slavens
See also: Musician and Radio Host Paul Slavens Looks Back on 25 Years of North Texas Music
November Residency at Dan's Silverleaf

Mike Brooks

Best Blues Act: Miss Marcy
See also: The 10 Greatest Dallas Blues Artists

Best Country Act: Tejas Brothers
See also: Album review

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault