2012 Westword Music Showcase Ballot
Update 3/14/12: The polls are officially open. Please feel free to make your way to the 2012 Westword Music Showcase ballot and register your vote!
The 2012 Westword Music Showcase ballot is here -- no more waiting. Well, that's not entirely true: You will have to wait another day or so before the official ballot hits the newsstands and the web, and you can actually vote for your favorite acts. But in the meantime, as a loyal reader of the Backbeat blog, you're getting the drop on the names that made the roster this year.
Formulating the ballot for the Westword Music Showcase is always a daunting task. As in previous years, this year's ballot was formulated with the input of our nominating committee, everyone from radio personalities and bloggers to talent buyers and promoters, along with some readers.
If you're unfamiliar with the process, here's how it works: We tap our committee members (see the full list below), who are all immersed in the local music scene in one capacity or another, to give us their informed opinions on which acts are worthy of being considered for inclusion. In past years, we simply asked committee members to list the twenty or so artists that had made the biggest impression. This year, we presented them with a blank ballot and not only asked them to list their top acts, but to consider this: "If you had a chance to introduce a group of influential tastemakers from across the country to the absolute best music our city has to offer, what are the acts you'd list?" That's what we were looking for, and that's exactly what they gave us.
As always, we also laid out some ground rules: We requested that members abstain from nominating any acts which they are personally affiliated, have a business relationship with or are in any other way associated with. Any such nominations would be tossed, we warned, along with the rest of their ballot; to the best of our knowledge, they all complied.
As we considered the committee's collective input, we couldn't help but marvel at how the scene continues to thrive. Putting the ballot together always serves as an excellent barometer for the overall state of music in the metro area, which is as healthy and vibrant as it's ever been. It also reminds us of how the scene continues to change. You'll notice, for example, that acts like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, VibeSquad, Paper Diamond, Tennis and Nathaniel Rateliff, among others, don't appear on the ballot. That's not a slight: We've just determined that those artists have attained an elevated status that removes them from ballot consideration at this point.
If you feel that we left out other favorite acts (even your act), feel free to let us know in the comments section below, and then vote to include them on the write-in slots on the actual ballot. You can also tell us which of the acts you'd like to see booked at this year's Westword Music Showcase.
Once the polls open, the deadline to vote is June 25 -- which means you can wait until you've heard many of the acts at the Westword Music Showcase on Saturday, June 23, which will feature headliners Girl Talk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Battles, plus more acts that have yet to be announced.
We'll release the full lineup in April. In the meantime, below are this year's Westword Music Showcase award nominees.
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.