With September just around the corner, there can only be one thing on your mind. Well, yeah, it will be jeans weather soon, but that’s not what I had in mind. In what’s becoming a sort of a tradition around here, City Paper is getting prepped for its second annual Music Awards. The ceremony will take place on Sept. 21, but right now we’d like to give a shout out to all the nominees and allow them a month to bask. The categories were chosen by CP staff, but the nominations were decided by a readers’ poll, and in most cases the competition was tooth ’n’ nail. Without further ado…
Best Rock Performer: Blues rock heroes K-Floor; the atmospheric song-driven rock of Roi; soul survivors The Delta 72; spacey, swirly Jersey foursome Lenola.
Best Hip-Hop Performer: The new incarnation of Philly hip-hop vets Incognegro; razor-tongued Black Lily regular Flo Brown; the young and restless LM Mental; jazzy, funky Fathead.
Best DJ (scratcher): Philly institution Jazzy Jeff; The Remedy’s co-chair Cosmo; drum ’n’ bass wiz kid J Smooth; DMC competitor DJ Active.
Best DJ (mixer): Worship Recordings’ dub master Rob Paine; party-rocker Cozmic Cat; the waydown house of Deep C; the soulfunkadelia of Dozia.
Best Jazz Performer: Sax wiz Ben Schachter; the progressive, probing sounds of New Ghost; the open jams of The Jazzheads; the Latin/jazz stylings of Minas.
Best Folk Performer or Singer/Songwriter: The polished songcraft of Nancy Falkow; the tongue-in-cheek crooning of Mia Johnson and Hoagy; the hillbilly, washtub thump of Psych-a-Billy; self-described dork rocker Adam Brodsky.
Best Roots/World Music Performer: meditative, Middle Eastern influenced Animus; Celtic rockers Blackthorn; the out-there klezmer of Benny and the Vildachayas; percussion enthusiasts Spoken Hand Society.
Best New Music/Classical Performer: Network for New Music; Settlement Music School’s Contemporary Players; Temple School of Music; The Beach Balls.
Best Producer: Philly’s Jim Carrol tribute/EstroFest 2000 mastermind Mike Villers; the man behind the bohemian soul of Erykah Badu and Eric Benet, James Poyser; Cycle Sound wiz Brian McTear (Matt Pond PA, Mazarin); Philly legend Larry Gold.
Best Female Vocalist: Poet/soul slinger Jill Scott; silky-smooth Nancy Falkow; piano-pounder Amber DeLaurentis; firecracker/Black Lily regular Jaguar.
Best Composer: Electronics improv guru Charles Cohen; the guy pulling the strings behind the Big Mess Orchestra, Andy Bresnan; piano portraitist Stephen DiJoseph; sax choir leader Odean Pope.
Best Lyricist/Songwriter: Dreamy pop-weaver Quentin Stoltzfus of Mazarin; hip-hop poet queen Ursula Rucker; heady rhymer The Last Emperor; crafter of heartbreaking, string-backed dirges Matt Pond.
Most Stylish: Dark-rockers Tapping the Vein; trip-hop lollipops Sweetie; Axis productions house-throb Vikter Duplaix; shag haircut-lovers The Delta 72.
Congratulations to all the nominees.
Now, you probably have some questions. You might be wondering, "Why a Best Female Vocalist, but no male vocalist category?" Well, last year, we had a category just for guitarists and this year, we’re focusing on ladies who can belt it out. Maybe next year we’ll have best bassist, or drummer, or zitherist or dude who plays that wooden fish. We play fast and loose like that.
You also might like to know how winners will be decided, which is a reasonable question to ask since there are trophies on the line. They’ll be chosen by a panel of about 150 industry judges who’ve been selected for their knowledge of the local scene, their unquestionable taste and, keeping with election themes, their high moral character and rectitude.
The winners will be announced at a gala, black-tie ceremony at the Trocadero on September 21 which will be emceed by two of Philly radio’s finest, Jim McGuinn of Y100 and Lady B of Philadelphia 103.9.
Performers at the event will include Jill Scott, K-Floor, Sweetie and New Ghost. But we’re hoping that, kinda like the Grammy’s, the evening will morph into an all-star jam. Alex Adrock and DJ Skip, two winners of City Paper’s Pitch Control DJ competition, will spin.
Thu., Sept. 21, doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. Balcony seats are available for $17.50 through Ticketmaster and the Trocadero box office.
More Awards: The first annual Jennifer Carey Emerging Writer Award will also be presented at the Awards Gala. Jennifer, a City Paper contributing writer who covered the hip-hop scene, was murdered in April at the age of 28. It is our hope, through this award, to honor her passion for music. Submissions should be feature-length stories or reviews on a music-related subject published in academic year 1999-2000 in a student-edited college or university newspaper or magazine in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware. The winner, along with being announced at the award ceremony, will receive a cash prize and be published (along with two other finalists) in City Paper. Please send original tear sheets or high-quality photocopies only to Jennifer Carey Award, Attn: Brian Howard, Music Editor, Philadelphia City Paper, 123 Chestnut St. Third Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106. One story qualifies as a single entry. Please limit three entries per person. For more information call 215-735-8444 ext. 202. To read more about Jennifer, visit www.citypaper.net/articles/051100/mus.jen.shtml.
The Nominees Are...