The Ghosty Awards: or If I Was King of the DOMA’s


Last week, I received an email from Jeff Gage of the Dallas Observer, letting me know it was time to send in nominations for this year’s Dallas Observer Music Awards.  I’ve been given the privilege to be on the nominating committee since 2008, and making these decisions is never easy.

One factor that makes this process harder this year is that you’re only permitted one nominee per category.  Don’t get me wrong; most of the time I can clearly state who or what is the most deserving winner for each particular award.  In some cases, however, there are two acts either equally or nearly equally worthy of winning that category.  Another frustration I face is feeling that if I nominate an overly popular candidate (Ishi, Leon Bridges, etc.), other lesser known but equally deserving nominees will get overlooked.

This year, for the first time ever, I’m posting the list of nominees in most of the categories.  Some categories I’m omitting because either I don’t know enough about the genre to pick a worthy nominee, or in some cases there were only one or two candidates I wanted for that category.  I am only listing the categories in which I had at least three nominees.  In the coming days and weeks, I hope to find a way to have my readers vote online for these candidates.  I’m calling these, appropriately enough, the Ghosty Awards.  There will be no fancy awards or ceremonies here, just the recognition and appreciation of both the readers and yours truly.  And for the record, I have submitted my nominees already to the Dallas Observer, and I will at a much later date reveal my picks.

Here are the candidates for the first “annual?” Ghosty Awards:

Best Album
Jetta in the Ghost Tree, Clandestine, Vol. 1
Nicholas Altobelli, Searching Through That Minor Key
The Orange, Sharing Vitamins
Rahim Quazi, Ghost Hunting
Telegraph Canyon, You from Before

Best Alt-Country Act
Dead Flowers
The Phantom Sensation
Telegraph Canyon

Best Bassist
Androo O’Hearn (Jessie Frye)
Chad DeAtley (Dove Hunter)
Mikey Frenchtoast
Samantha Villavert (
Sealion, Son of Stan

Best Club Venue
Three Links
The Underpass

Best Concert Venue
The Bomb Factory
Granada Theater
House of Blues
Kessler Theater
South Side Ballroom

Best Country Act
Convoy & The Cattlemen
Jake Paleschic
Sugarfoote & Company
Vincent Neil Emerson

Best Cover Act
Captain and Camille
The Free Loaders
Hard Night’s Day
Le Cure
Rich Girls

Best Drummer
Chad Ford (Jessie Frye)
Joe Carpenter (Jetta in the Ghost Tree)
Joe Hardy (Hawk vs. Dove, Hello Lover)
Quincy Holloway (Dove Hunter)
Rob Tovar (Mad Mexicans, Rude King)

Best Electronic Act

Best EP
The Chloes, No Filter
Missing Sibling, Commiserate
Pearl Earl, Karaoke Superstar
Rude King, Coming Back to You”
$kaduf, Grove Side the Realest”

Best Female Vocalist
Camille Schuh
Claire Morales
Jenn “Zooki” Sturges (monkeysphere)
Zenya Vi

Best Folk Act
Andy Pickett
Cameron Matthew Ray
Nicholas Altobelli
The Phantom Sensation
Zach Balch

Best Funk/R&B
Ducado Vega and Zenya Vi
Ellen Once Again
Leon Bridges
Mattie Michelle

Best Group Act
The Azalea Project
Hawk vs. Dove
Jetta in the Ghost Tree
The Orange

Best Guitarist
Chris Demiglio (The Demigs)
Ducado Vega
Garrett Owen
Jennifer Rux (Year of the Bear)
John Hardy (Hawk vs Dove)

Best Live Act
Ducado Vega and Zenya Vi
Hawk vs. Dove
The Orange
Rahim Quazi

Best Male Vocalist
Jonas Martin
Leon Bridges
Rahim Quazi
Scott Tucker (The Orange)
Zach Balch

Best Music Blog
Central Track
Ghost of Blind Lemon
Gorilla vs. Bear
The Music Enthusiast

Best Music Video
Alsace Carcione, “Black America”
Ducado Vega and Zenya Vi, “Hella”
Rahim Quazi, “Ghost Hunting”
Richard Gilbert, “I Love the Night”
$kaduf, “40 & Big B’s Burger”

Best New Act
The Azalea Project
Dripping Wet
Pearl Earl

Best Pianist/Keyboardist
Kevin Buchanan (The Diabolical Machines, Missing Sibling)
Lysandra Chapman (The Chloes, Funeral Shoes, Paper Saints)
Rahim Quazi
Sean Kirkpatrick (Nervous Curtains)

Best Pop Act
Foxy & the Hares
Hannah Claire
Party Static
Rahim Quazi

Best Radio Show/Podcast
Live and Local, KEGL
The Local Ticket with DJ Mark, The Ticket
The Paul Slavens Show, KXT

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act
Alsace Carcione
Blue, the Misfit
Grades of Absolute Truth
The Outfit, TX

Best Record Label
Dallas Distortion
Dreamy Life Records
Hand Drawn Records
I Love Math Records
Idol Records

Best Record Store
CD Source
Dead Wax Records
Good Records
Josey Records
Off the Record

Best Rock Act
Birds of Night
The Demigs
Jonathan Tyler
The Orange
The Roomsounds

Best Song
Leon Bridges, “Coming Home”
The Orange, “Valium”
Pearl Earl, “Karaoke Superstar”
Rahim Quazi, “Ghost Hunting”
Telegraph Canyon, “Why Let It Go”

Best Songwriter
Brandin Lea, Jetta in the Ghost Tree
Chris Demiglio, The Demigs
Nicholas Altobelli
Rahim Quazi
Salim Nourallah

Best Talent Buyer
King Camel Productions
Parade of Flesh
Tentacle Productions

In addition, I’ve also created a few categories of my own that I would like to see in future DOMA’s. I’ll admit that the Best Psych Rock Act category might be too fleeting of a musical fad to warrant its own category (though I hope not).  The other categories, however, I feel would be welcome additions for next year’s DOMA’s.

Best Digital Single
Dezi 5, “Lose Control”
Ducado Vega and Zenya Vi, “I’m Not Your Exxx”
Gaston Light, “Wake Up and Fight”
Moon Waves, “Lapse”
Summer Ames, “Keep Walking”

Best Psych Rock Act
The Cush
Jetta in the Ghost Tree
Moon Waves
The Orange
Year of the Bear

Best Ska Act
The Broke$
Rude King
The Wife and Kids

Best Solo Act
Doug Burr
Jonas Martin
Leon Bridges
Nicholas Altobelli
Rahim Quazi

Best Under 21 Act
The Azalea Project
Camille Schuh
Dripping Wet
Moon Waves

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