2011 Westword Music Showcase Ballot

Categories: Music Showcase

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Seventeen years! It's hard to believe we've been doing the Westword Music Showcase for that long. I can still remember being at the first one in LoDo nearly two decades ago. And when I think back, it seems like that cold, rainy Sunday night was just a few years ago.

But then I get to thinking of all the summers that have passed since and all the great headliners who have performed at the Showcase over the years -- Guided by Voices, Violent Femmes, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk, A Place to Bury Strangers, Ghostland Observatory, Drive-By Truckers, Lucero, Dirty Projectors, Neon Indian, Ra Ra Riot -- and I marvel at how far it's come since then.

And that's just a short list of the acts I can remember headlining since I've been at Westword, a list that doesn't include all of the homegrown outfits that have performed at the Showcase. From the Fray and the Flobots to Nathaniel Rateliff and the Rouge to Pictureplane and Chain Gang of 1974, we've had the privilege of hosting some of Denver's best up-and-coming acts over the years -- and then elevating them to our unofficial hall of fame when they reach a certain level of success.

And that, after all, is what the Showcase is all about, the whole reason the festival was created: to showcase the best locals, and help them along. That's where the Music Showcase Ballot comes in. Arriving at this list every year is a painstaking process. Having helped curate the festival for nearly a decade, I can tell you that the job gets more challenging every year, thanks to the staggering number of new acts that keep emerging.

If you're just joining us, here's how the process works: After we've hand-picked the main-stage performers, we reach out to our nominating committee -- people from every part of the scene -- for their input and ask them simply to list the twenty bands who made the biggest impression on them in the past year. (We also ask that they refrain from nominating their friends, relatives, collaborators, colleagues, business associates or anybody else they might have ties to.)

After determining that some acts, like Rateliff this year, have grown too big for the ballot, we basically match the committee's picks against ours and formulate the list, doing our best to put the artists in the appropriate categories. This is probably the most hand-wringing part of the process, since -- and this is certainly a testament to the diversity of our scene -- many of the acts in Denver don't fit neatly into a single category. Just the same, we do our best.

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This year, based upon feedback we received last year, we added some new categories, eliminated some old ones and simplified and/or altered others. In the end, we ended up with a ballot that consists of 235 acts in forty categories. We had to make some tough decisions and, as a result, we may have left off some acts that you feel are deserving. Unfortunately, this is an unavoidable part of the process.

But you don't have to suffer in silence. If you think something's missing, don't be shy. Let us know which acts were overlooked by adding their names on the write-in portion of the ballot in the category that makes sense. And if you think we blew it with the categories, let us know that, too. We're listening, and your feedback could make a difference next year.

Important: if your act is listed on the following pages, please drop us a line as soon as possible so that we can get your current contact info and ensure you're included in our Showcase coverage this year.

Click through for the list of acts appearing on this Westword Music Showcase Ballot and then be sure to cast your vote!


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19 comments
Russ Christiansen
Russ Christiansen

bone orchard revival....saw them last month. great band. kinda roots, kinda alt-country.feel free to write them in. think they should have a shot at this.

boing
boing

Um, why isn't The Still City on this ballot? I'm pretty sure they, like, *won* the thing for their category last year. Ballot fail.

Frogsgonefishin
Frogsgonefishin

Frogs Gone Fishin' are honored to be nominated in the Jam category! THANKS!!!

CJ
CJ

Thanks to those who included Reckless Red in the nominees. It's our second year running, and it's great to get a nod from the Denver music community.

Votingcommittee
Votingcommittee

Hey, you guys should also do a vote on "Best Alternative Weekly" and vote Westword as winner every year. It'd be a sort of "wink wink nudge nudge" type of acknowledgement to people who are aware that most of the committee are in the bands that are nominated, or or at the very least good buddies.

Ted
Ted

surprise surprise! Members of Swayback were on the commitee. What a surprise they are up for Rock - Alternative band. They may have not have any influence on being nominated, nudge nudge...This is such a joke. Could Westword actually done a better job with this? Maybe asking people who actually go out to shows and club nights on a regular basis. Then again the only people from Westword who goes to shows and club nights are the Street Teamers. Nice panel. fail.

Ted
Ted

surprise surprise! Members of Swayback were on the commitee. What a surprise they are up for Rock - Alternative band. They may have not have any influence on being nominated, nudge nudge...This is such a joke. Could Westword have actually don't a better job with this? Maybe asking people who actually go out to shows and club nights on a regular basis. Then again the only people from Westword who shows up to shows and club nights are the Street Teamers. Nice panel. fail.

Really?
Really?

isn't it a conflict of interest for some of those people to be on the nominating committee?

time to party!
time to party!

there were plenty of all ages stages last year and even more this year. Time to party!

Aneely6241
Aneely6241

Am I right in assuming that all of these bands will be unavailable to people under the age of 21?

tobias j.
tobias j.

ditto that. still city is the most bona fide denver act i've seen to be omitted tis year. didn't notice robin walker's name either. she packs more punch that most full bands i've seen lately.

Zetakayehouse
Zetakayehouse

Ted, we were on the panel as well. We are typically at 3-4 shows a week. Get a clue.

Tim
Tim

members of the nominating committee were not allowed to suggest bands that they are in and/or have direct business ties to.

Oo
Oo

that would be next year.

can't wait!
can't wait!

most if not all stages will have all ages access!

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