The 2013 Dallas Observer Music Award Winners

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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"
Bandcamp

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Jason Janik

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

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
Website

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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

Website


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


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

Best Live Act: The Effinays
Website

Best Vocalist: Sarah Jaffe

Best Guitarist: Jason "Shaggy" Kerr
Website

Best Bassist: Tony Ferraro
Website

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

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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

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Mike Brooks

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

Best Country Act: Tejas Brothers
See also: Album review
Website

Best Alt-Country Act: The O's
See also:The O's Blaze Their Own Trail on the New Thunderdog
Website

Best Americana Act: Whiskey Folk
See also: Whiskey Folk Have a New Album and a New Band -- Finally
Facebook

Best Electronic Act: Ishi
See also:
There Once Was A Band Called Ishi...

Website

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Jason Janik

Best Experimental/Noise Act: Vulgar Fashion
See also: The Alchemy of Vulgar Fashion: Patience, Magic and Blood
Bandcamp

Best Folk Act: Fox and the Bird
See also: Fox & The Bird's Road to Tonight's Album Release Show at Sons of Hermann Hall
Facebook

Best Funk/R&B Act: Larry G(ee)
See also: More Dallas Music on TV: Larry g(EE) to Perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tonight
Website

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Ed Steele

Best Hardcore Act: Brutal Juice
See also: This Week In Dallas Music History: Brutal Juice Is Too Brutal for Deep Ellum
Website

Best Jazz Act: Snarky Puppy
See also: Album review
Facebook

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Jason Janik

Best Latin/Tejano Act: Mayta
See also: Meet the Latin/Tejano Dallas Observer Music Award Nominees
Facebook

Best Metal Act: Pinkish Black
See also: Pinkish Black's Sinister Waltz Has Been Building Momentum For 20 Years
Facebook

Best Pop Act: Seryn
See also: Seryn Comes To Grips With Their Place
Website

Best Punk Act: The Phuss
See also: The Phuss are perfectly happy in the garage
Website

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Jason Janik

Best Rock Act: We'rewolves
Facebook

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Jason Janik

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act: A.Dd+
See also: A.Dd+ Performed at the Dallas Museum of Art, and It Was Glorious: Video
See also: A.Dd+ Packed 776 People into the Granada: Dallas Hip-Hop Has Arrived
Bandcamp

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Jason Janik

Best Cover Band: Sweatloaf
Facebook

Best DJ: Sober
Website

Best Producer: Booty Fade

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Jason Janik

Best Weekly DJ Night: Showdown at the Sundown (Tuesday)
See also: DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 33: Blake Ward
Facebook

Best Label: Hand Drawn Records
See also: The 10 Best Record Labels in Dallas
Website

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Jason Janik

Best Live Music Venue: Granada Theater
See also: Rebirth Brass Band, 9/7/13, Granada Theater: Review and Photos
Facebook
Twitter

Best New Live Music Venue: Three Links
See also: The Experienced Three Links Owners Get Their Priorities from the Odd Fellows
Website

Best Talent Buyer: Spune
See also: Spune's Lance Yocom on His Favorite Local Bands and His Company's Upcoming Festivals
Website

Best Record Store: Good Records
See also: The Nine Best Unconventional Music Venues in DFW
Website

Best Radio Show/Podcast: Paul Slavens Show on 91.7 KXT
Profile

Best Festival: 35 Denton
See also: 35 Denton Will Return in 2015, Under the Direction of Founder Chris Flemmons
Website

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Jason Janik

Best Music Blog: Central Track
Website

See also:
-The 100 Best Texas Songs: The Complete List
-The Ten Most Badass Band Names in DFW
-The Best Bands in DFW: 2012 Edition
-Photo Essay: The Tattoos of Dallas' Nightlife Scene

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