Flagpole Awards Commentary, Part 2

Let’s just pretend the flag says “2011” ok?

 Hey guys! Welcome to the second part of the AMJ/EoA Flagpole Music Awards Cross-Over Postathon! You can check out our comments on the first ten categories over on Echoreyn of Athens’ blog.

We hope you like it and remember to vote, vote, vote for your favorite local acts!   EoA’s comments are first, followed by mine.

Americana

Favorite: Betsy Franck and the Bareknuckle Band
Favored to win: Packway Handle Band
Two years ago at Athfest, Betsy Franck blew me away with her powerful voice, and I’m still a huge fan.  The Packway Handle Band’s been a crowd favorite for a while, though, and I’d say they have a good chance of winning  the award for Americana once again.

Favorite: Don Chambers + GOAT
Favored to win:Packway Handle Band
I love Don Chambers. Possibly because he sounds so much like Tom Waits to me. But Packway Handle is, as Echoreyn pointed out, a crowd favorite. They’re a ton of fun and pretty well known to boot.

Punk
Favorite: Karbomb
Favored to win: Karbomb
I’ve never been much of a fan of punk, but if I had to choose a favorite, I’d choose Karbomb for their more melodic take on the genre.  

Favorite: Write in Shitty Candy
Favored to Win: Reeks of Failure
I really don’t understand why everyone seems to avoid Shitty Candy. They’re punk and downright hilarious. A bit lewd as well but hey, it’s punk!

Jam
Favorite: Lefty Hathaway Band
Favored to win: Lefty Hathaway Band
Lefty Hathaway Band’s got a quirky jam style that almost sounds like the instruments are speaking, and as a regular crowd favorite, they’ve got my vote.

Favorite: Lefty Hathaway Band
Favored to Win: Mama’s Love
Ditto to the above statement. As for the crowd favorite, Mama’s Love is more than capable of launching a voting campaign to win this thing.

Country / Southern Rock
Favorite: Futurebirds
Favored to win: Futurebirds
Ah, the Futurebirds!  Awesome southern rockers, these guys are headliners this year, and they’re garnered all kinds of buzz from every corner of the southern US.  I’d say they have quite a great chance of going home with a trophy this year as well!

Favorite: Futurebirds
Favored to Win: Futurebirds
Yeah.

Metal
Favorite: ‘Powers
Favored to win: ‘Powers
Now I’ve got to admit, I’ve never seen ‘Powers live, but I’ve heard so many people gushing about their 
shows that I’d say their chances aren’t too shabby.
Favorite: Harvey Milk
Favored to win: Harvey Milk
Have you heard the Milk’s latest?! I’m not much for metal but even someone like me can get into Harvey Milk.  They blow this category away.

Upstart

Favorite: Sam Sniper
Favored to win: powerKompany
PowerKompany’s sweet melodies are a treat for the ears, and it seems that the fans around town have been taking notice.  My absolute favorite for Upstart of the Year, though, would have to be a write-in vote for southern funk rockers Sam Sniper.  

Favorite: Write in BombsBombsBombs
Favored to Win: PowerKompany
PowerKompany has name recognition behind them but I’m tossing my vote to BombsBombsBombs. Pretty fun rock pop stuff with a hell of a lot of shows played in the past year. They were on the calendar listing almost every other week. Sheer vote for insanity.

Live
Favorite: Misfortune500
Favored to win: Reptar
There’s no denying it, Reptar puts on an insane live show.  ‘Powers, too, was the talk of the town after last year’s Athfest show, and Kite to the Moon’s costumes and unique array of instruments are always exciting.  But have you seen Misfortune500’s high caliber rock show?  These guys are definitely my write-in pick for the Live category.

Favorite: Write in Misfortune500
Favored to win: Reptar
Who couldn’t see that one coming? When you can work merch for a band for 20 odd concerts and still not be tired of seeing them, that’s a pretty damn good live act. For me anyway. But how does E6 qualify as a single live band? It’s a freakin collective!

Album of the Year (May 2010 – April 2011)
Favorite: of Montreal – False Priest
Favored to win: of Montreal – False Priest
I loved of Montreal’s latest release, and I’d say there’s a good chance that fans will pick this one as well.

Favorite: write in The Humms – Lemonland
Favored to win: Elf Power – Elf Power
The Humms had the best album of the year. Period. Exclamation point. Dead Confederate’s “Sugar” was more like “Splenda” and of Montreal’s latest was pretty weak. I would hope Grape Soda or Five Eight would get a nod for their tight albums but if I have to go with my gut on this one, I think Elf Power will take it away. 
 

Best Cover Art (May 2010 – April 2011)

My pick for best cover art is Maserati’s Pyramids cover.  The structural word design is simple yet intriguing.  

 It’s really hard to do an album cover right, especially if you have a band member on it. By turning the photo upside down, playing with the saturation, and keeping you looking to both sides instead of the middle, Monahan’s “Stop Saying I” is one of the few photo records you can say is awesome.

Artist of the Year (May 2010 – April 2011) 
My vote for 2011‘s Artist of the Year would have to be the Orkids.  Performing all over Athens throughout the past year, they’ve shown the town that it’s ok to love bouncy pop tunes and they also put out a rockin’ music video.  Other potential choices for this category would have to be the ever-touring, ever-rocking Bambara and live show masters Misfortune500.

Moof. Man, there was a lot of great stuff going on this year. My vote for 2011’s Artist of the Year is for Reptar. The band practically exploded in the past 7 months, going from house parties to SXSW in mere months. The record kicks ass, the shows kick ass, and they kick ass. Great job guys!

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