City Weekly Music Awards 2010 | Music Awards | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

City Weekly Music Awards 2010 

The best in local music: Voted by you, written by us.

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NBC jumped on the Glee-inspired train recently with its a cappela competition The Sing-Off, which featured local all-female group Noteworthy racing to win $100,000 in December 2009. Unfortunately, the group from Brigham Young University did not win, but sang to rave reviews regardless. Panel member Ben Folds even gave them props, saying they had “loads of charisma ... loads of energy.” (Jon Paxton)

Not only has the GAM Foundation— initially developed to increase the awareness, appreciation and popularity of jazz in our community—produced several hundred concerts with its Jazz at the Sheraton series (including Ahmad Jamal, Brad Mehldau, Dave Brubeck … the list goes on and on), its organizers have also contributed more than $1 million to music departments through GAM’s jazz education outreach program. The true cherry on top is watching local audiences enjoying access to jazz the way it’s meant to be experienced—live, high-energy and sonically brilliant. (Jacob Stringer)


Paul Jacobsen might believe, “I am the weak link in the Madison Arm,” but without him, the group wouldn’t exist—neither would their songs, which the local folk/Americana artist writes and brings to very infrequent practice sessions. Perhaps more accurately, “It doesn’t hurt to have one of my favorite songwriters (Ryan Tanner) in the band. If you think Jason Isbell didn’t make Patterson Hood work harder, you’re wrong. Or you need to go buy a Drive-By Truckers record.” Jacobsen and the Madison Arm plan to release an EP later this year (“some old songs revisited, some new songs, a few covers”), contribute to albums by Sarah Sample and Dustin Christensen, release a collection of old hymns covered by new artists, and work on Atherton’s long-awaited follow-up to Skyline Motel. Jacobsen also plans to hit the road on regional solo tours and participate in songwriting competitions, which, as he jokes, “are the road to lucre.” (Jamie Gadette)

The Salt Lake Alternative Jazz Orchestra (SLAJO) is a bit of a Utah institution. After six years of playing what they deem to be future jazz big band, including riotous renditions of jazz standards mixed with jazz takes on modern pop tunes—like Radiohead or Nirvana—this (relatively) young, 14-piece orchestra is comfortable playing both main stages at jazz festivals and in dank, subterranean, local clubs. (Jacob Stringer)

Since launching in 1990, Samba Gringa Brazilian Rhythm & Dance has grown into a full-fledged school, community-arts staple and club phenomena. As the official band of the 2009 MLS Champions Real Salt Lake, Samba Gringa energizes each and every home game with their incessant, heart-thumping rhythms. But the real fun begins when these musicians and dancers migrate indoors, igniting a contagious carnaval environment in clubs citywide. There’s no escaping the fun once the drum-corps starts in, the crowd starts gyrating and the feather dancers make their inevitable appearance. If you’re lucky, there may even be fire. (Jacob Stringer)


Congratulations to Michael Gross & the Statuettes for making it to the top 3. Unfortunately, these humble pop-rockers didn’t think they’d get this far and booked an out-of-town show for the night of the CWMA closing party. For those who’ve never experienced the band live, be sure to catch them on the flip side. Their sound, as Gross describes, “is not flashy, and it´s not rocket science, but it’s honest.” It’s also incredibly catchy. Their latest release, Impulse & Exports, is six tracks of surging, straightforward pop with a glistening electronic edge pulsing beneath crystal-clear vocals. The group plans to write and record new tunes in the coming year, play as many shows as possible and, perhaps, start accepting the fact that they’re good enough—and gosh darn it, people like them. (Jamie Gadette)

Jonathan Meiburg from the band Shearwater is quoted as saying, “One of our very favorite shows of 2008 was our Slowtrain in-store. We drove straight from San Francisco, pulled up to the back of the store, dragged our entire setup inside and played our new album, Rook, start-to-finish—and they let us get away with it.” What he didn’t understand was that it was us, the locals, who felt like we got away with something. Leave it to Slowtrain to get touring acts like Shearwater, Northfolk & Western, Callow and Girls to play free, all-ages shows whose impact lasts long after the tour van pulls away. 221 E. Broadway, 801-364-2611 (Jacob Stringer)


Chase Loter, aka DJ Chase 1-2 (winner of the 2010 CWMA DJ of the Year) and Craig Te’o took a struggling record store and turned business around to become Fourth Street Music, a hub for DJs and local hip-hop heads popular for its impressive vinyl selection. The duo recently packed up and merged with local hip-hop store Uprok at a new location (342 S. State), formally taking over the music end of the partnership. Still firmly behind the turntables, they continue their efforts to promote local music. (Gavin Sheehan)

Liquid Joe’s
seems to wax and wane in and out of locals’ consciousness. There are periods where both national and international touring acts regularly make appearances, but for now the Salt Lake City mainstay seems to be enjoying a stint as the place to catch local tribute faves Metal Gods and Spazmatics. Organizers recently started hosting two local weekly showcases, giving each band 50 tickets to hand out to friends and family, ensuring a great appreciative house for every show. Downtown residents, what more incentive do you need to head to the ´burbs? 1249 E. 3300 South, 801- 467-JOES, (Jacob Stringer)


The Naked Eyes have pretty hair— lush, flowing locks like those of Jimmy Page or Eric Clapton circa Cream. Their physical attributes are only partially responsible for the crowd of attractive young ladies who groove in the front row at each Naked Eyes show. Mostly, the Ogden boys’ appeal stems from the hypnotic storm of swirling psychedelic rock they generate seemingly without breaking a sweat. Perhaps their audience is also turned on to The Naked Eyes’ crafting abilities. Each copy of the band’s Spell Talk comes cloaked in a hand-woven jacket with painted-on text. The future is bright, and these guys have the coolest shades.

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