The Omaha Entertainment Awards presentation is tonight 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. In the interest if full disclosure, as an academy member, here is who I voted for in each category, along with who I think will win:
Adult Contemporary: Singer-songwriter Scott Severin got my vote. Of all the candidates, he reaches the furthest in his music and lyrics. The winner, though, will be Sarah Benck, who has the largest following among the nominees.
Alternative Indie: With the nomination timeframe going all the way back to January 2005, I had to vote for Bright Eyes, whose dual releases in January 2005 were probably the best records released out of Omaha in the past two years. The rest of the academy will agree.
Bluegrass Country: Of the nominees, South Paw Bluegrass band is probably the closest to what the genre should represent. The academy will likely agree (if they listened to all the nominees’ music).
Blues: I consider blues bands to be defacto cover bands, and taking that approach, it’s impossible for me to not vote for Blue House. The award, however, will go to Sarah Benck, again based on sheer popularity.
Classical/Symphony: The Omaha Symphony is top of the list. The academy will agree.
Coverband: A category that shouldn’t be included and likely won’t be next year, I didn’t cast a vote having not seen/heard any of the nominees. The winner will be Acoustic Groove.
Folk Americana Roots: Folk to me is either interpreting classic/traditional folk songs by Guthrie, Dylan and others, or writing songs in the folk style. Since none of the candidates perform traditionals, my vote goes to the best songwriter of the bunch, Simon Joyner. The academy will select Charlie Burton, who is another local hero and pals with a lot of the academy members.
Gospel: Again, I didn’t vote here (We were instructed not to vote if we didn’t know what we were voting for). The winner will be Heidi Joy, who I think is one of the worst performers in the area, but who has the largest following among the candidates.
Hard Rock/Metal: Just based on momentum, I had to vote for Stigmata, who have solid backing from The River and from live shows (and they played the OEA show at Shag). The winner will be Venaculas, however, based on their longevity in the scene.
Hip-Hop/Rap: Buck Bowen is the only one that really speaks in a voice that represents the world I live in. Is Omaha a gangsta haven? Hardly. The winner, however, will be Surreal the MC, as an acknowledgment of everything he’s done for the local music scene.
Jazz: Again, a no-vote for me. I would have voted for Luigi Waits had he been nominated. Steve Raybine will likely win as he’s the closest of all the nominees to playing real jazz.
Live Music Event: Bright Eyes in Memorial was the most important of the five nominees. The winner will be the Jazzwholes Whole-a-ween show.
Punk: None of the nominees are punk bands. That said, I voted for JV Allstars. The winner, however, will be Straight Outta’ Jr. High based on their exposure on The River.
R&B/Funk: Satchel Grande, which isn’t really an R&B band, still got my vote. The winner will be The Jazzwholes.
Rock: For pure beer-bottle rock, you can’t beat Anonymous American. The rest of the academy will agree.
Slam Poetry: I have no idea why this is a category. Slam Poetry is like a sad, sick combination of amateur poetry and stand-up comedy. Horrible. No vote. No idea who’ll win.
Techno/Electronic (DJ Category): Having heard none of the nominees, I didn’t vote. No idea who will win.
Traditional / Indigenous: Again, I did not vote. The winner will be Mariachi y Luna based on the exotic quality of their name.
Finally, the six academy-only categories. There was no list of nominees, we were instructed to give our top two or three in each category. Here’s what I put down:
Best Live Music Event of the Year: 1. Bright Eyes in the park, 2. Whole-a-ween.
New Artist of the Year: 1. Ladyfinger, 2. The Terminals, 3. Eagle*Seagull
Best Musical Ambassador: 1. Conor Oberst, 2. Tim Kasher, 3. Thomas Wilkins
Artist of the Year: 1. Bright Eyes, 2. Cursive, 3. Tilly and the Wall
Album of the Year: 1. Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning; 2. Cursive, Happy Hollow; 3. Simon Joyner and the Fallen Men, Skeleton Blues.
Lifetime Achievement Award: 1. Preston Love, 2. Luigi Waits
See you at the show.
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