BEST RADIO PROMO GIMMICK
ntttBlaze O’ Glory (94.9 The Blaze)
nttIt may not be as effective as a colorful van parked outside of a concert blaring louder obnoxious tunes than the colorful van next to it, but rock station 94.9 The Blaze has a built-in promotional vehicle that no other local FM outfit can claim: a “tribute” band made up almost entirely of on-air personalities'and they don’t totally suck. Blaze O’ Glory (which plays only tunes you’ll hear on The Blaze, natch) features morning DJ Marcus on drums and weekenders Doug Wylde and Fish on guitars; sadly, the band recently lost DJ/vocalist/lead tambourinist Marci to a Phoenix radio station. But Blaze O’ Glory will likely carry on … wayward son. Sorry. BlazeOGlory.com
BEST NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST Readers’ Choice
ntttBill Frost (City Weekly)
nttWhile inconsequential media has called Frost a cynical bully, his readers know differently. He’s Salt Lake City’s conscience, plain and simple. As much as he’d probably refer to his three-weekly-column output as no big fucking deal, the amount of crackling wit, venom and ego-puncturing precision he works into a few lines is never less than impressive. But arguably it’s The Ocho that’s his greatest achievement. In eight scintillating lines of deadpan humor, he shoots at the heart of whatever is this city’s obsession of the week. Frost captures SLC’s seedy pulse in a way that deserves awe'unless you’re the one he has in his sights.
nt2. Robert Kirby (Salt Lake Tribune)
nt3. Holly Mullen tt(formerly Salt Lake Tribune)
BEST IN-YOUR-FACE TO J-SCHOOL
ntttNew Deseret Morning News Editor Joe Cannon
nttWhen Joe “No Longer Just Chris’ Brother” Cannon was named John Hughes’ successor as the new editor of the Deseret Morning News in December, head-scratching ensued over how a guy with zero newspaper experience beyond recognizing one in a street rack could be put in charge of guiding the editorial department of one of Utah’s Big Two newspapers. Leave it to D-News Chairman Ellis Ivory to lay all concerns to rest: “He may not be a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer that John Hughes is, but he is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reader,” Ivory told The Salt Lake Tribune. “He’s just with it.”
BEST LOCAL BLOG Readers’ Choice
ntttAtropos (X96 Radio From Hell)
nttSince Radio From Hell listeners are a famously loyal lot, did show-recap blogger Atropos win this on his own merits, or because Kerry, Bill and Gina pushed for it? One read answers that: Atropos’ blog is as funny as RFH itself; sometimes it’s “better than the actual show,” Bill Allred has admitted. Atropos is a ninja master of brevity and punctuation, sculpting down rants and stories to sharp sentences that retain and even enhance their original ridiculousness: “Gina walked the three blocks to the mall. Mid-trip, a big black pick-up truck pulled up alongside Gina. The man rolled down the window and asked Gina if she wanted a date … No! The man just drove away. Bill was curious as to whether the man should be driving with such poor eyesight.” X96.com
BEST LOCAL POLITICS BLOG
nttJokes about Utah’s unique political climate might seem to write themselves, but there’s a unique wit to Ethan Millard’s SLCSpin.com. The unapologetically left-leaning site weighs in seriously on matters like last fall’s U.S. Senate election but also has featured such clever touches like an up-to-the-second running clock of Orrin Hatch’s time in D.C. (more than 11,000 days, in case you’re curious). And how priceless was his note on the change in classifying a planet'”has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape”'followed by photos of Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan and Salt Lake City Councilman Randy Horiuchi? SLCSpin.com
BEST LOCAL NEWS WEBSITE Readers’ Choice
nttWithout a doubt, this is the best way to keep up-to-date on KSL’s radio and television offerings. Want the latest on that local carjacking, LDS missions and Zions Direct Stock Report? It’s all here in one easy to navigate, clear-as-a-bell format. The folks behind this site clearly know what they’re doing, too, by adding a full menu of linking Web resources.
BEST TAKING THE CLEANERS TO THE CLEANERS
ntttFilm Sanitizing Shutdown
nttA U.S. District judge handed down the decision in July 2006 that editing “bad” language, sex and violence out of movies and reselling them as sanitized family fare is an “illegitimate business” that infringes on the rights of Hollyweird. “Their [studios and directors] objective ... is to stop the infringement because of its irreparable injury to the creative artistic expression in the copyrighted movies,” the judge said. “There is a public interest in providing such protection.” That meant DVD-editing companies like Utah County’s CleanFlicks had to keep their hands off Kate Winslet’s Titanic boobies (the perky catalysts of the film-scrubbing biz) and quit hiding behind the “It’s about choice!” slogan. Unfortunately, the issue arose again recently in Orem due to an “educational” loophole, so this may never die.
BEST UNTOLD STORY
ntttAndrew Valdez: No One Makes It Alone
nttThird District Court Judge Andrew Valdez’ autobiographical account of his early years gives blow-by-blow coverage of him rising out of a disadvantaged youth with the help of an elderly mentor and his own tennis skill. But when you come to his tale’s end, you’re left wondering how a mother’s tough life impacted the values of a youth who would later become one of Salt Lake City’s highest profile juvenile judges. Perhaps Valdez will answer these questions in a sequel. Signature-Book.com
nttWatching Orderville High School student Jake Millard, 17, play second base in baseball or point guard in basketball is humbling. Jake’s right arm is 4 inches shorter than his left due to pre-birth complications. When he catches a baseball with his left-handed mitt, he lodges the mitt in his right armpit, pulls it off, then throws the ball with his left. It’s a minor miracle of speed, coordination and determination. But then his mother Julie says defeat’s not an option. She watched her then-3-year-old one New Year’s Eve spend hours in a hall with a ball until he was able to dribble it. Julie’s only complaint is she wasn’t at the field last year when he scored his first home run.
BEST REDNECKS ON PARADE
ntttThe Utah Minuteman Project’s “Wake Up America” Rally
nttAt the Utah Minutemen’s “Wake Up America” rally on May 1, 2006, at the City & County Building in Salt Lake City, the media equaled or even outnumbered the 100-ish illegal-immigration protesters who wanted to be rid of Mexican “gangs,” “drugs” and “crime” (“Deport, don’t support”) so we can get back to using “prope language” (actual spelling on one sign, bulleted with Jesus fish). The Latino community was unfazed, but the white folk? Frightened, embarrassed, take your pick.
BEST USE OF A PART-TIME JOB
nttWhile most college kids wait tables or sling coffee to fund their education, Rae Meadows moonlighted at a local escort agency fielding messages from gentleman callers. The then University of Utah grad student answered a classified ad for a phone manager at an “entertainment company,” knowing full well it might inspire her creative writing pursuits. Meadows, who quit just months into the gig, eventually used her brief encounter with sex work as fodder for Calling Out, a fictional account of a Salt Lake City woman who'unlike the author'actually transitions from receptionist to escort. Entertainment Weekly listed Meadows’ debut novel as one of 2006’s Hot Summer Reads. Sometimes it really pays to pay your dues.
BEST ARTISTS IN ACTION
ntttTRASA Urban Arts Collective
nttIt took time to communicate the message'five years, to be exact. Visionary partners Kristina Robb and Brandon Garcia are teaching Salt Lake City residents how art can be a catalyst for community action and dialogue. Since the symbolic rebirth of TRASA Urban Arts Collective in its west-side home, The Pickle Company, the nonprofit organization has hosted multimedia installations and a week of events with performance art troupe La Pocha Nostra including Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Roberto Sifuentes and Violeta Luna. Don’t miss another opportunity to connect where art and politics intersect. 741 S. 400 West, 450-8977, ThePickleCompany.org