You've seen the tagline in Urban Tulsa for weeks now, but you may be wondering what it means: "The Absolute Best Just Got Better."
We've made mention of it in the past few issues, but now the game is on and the details are out. For years, Urban Tulsa has held its annual reader-dictated Absolute Best of Tulsa awards, recognizing everything and everyone from city leaders to best restaurants to local musicians. Now, we're taking it a step further with the Absolute Best of Tulsa Music Awards.
While we've still got the ABoTs, we felt that our local music scene deserved even more attention; and, considering the current lack of a proper Tulsa music awards, there's no better time than now to take action. With that said, the best is indeed getting better as the first Absolute Best of Tulsa Music Awards arrives Sat., Aug. 8 at Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main.
Virtually every aspect of the local music scene will be recognized in 28 different categories ranging from best male and female vocalists to song and album of the year and best club DJ, radio station and local producer/studio. We've even got categories for best party and lounge cover bands. It's all there, folks.
Yes, there have been similar awards ceremonies in the past; but climate, culture and economics have seen them transform, dwindle and disappear. Nevertheless, we still have a vibrant and healthy local music scene in Tulsa (something that has never changed).
Considering Urban Tulsa's history of supporting and promoting the arts and music in nearly every form, we felt it's time for us to step up and do our part. After all, who should be able to do better at recognizing local artists than those who support them most: the paper in your hands and, more importantly, UTW readers.
Online voting is underway at www.abotmusicawards.com and we're counting on the Urban Tulsa constituency to step up and tell us who should be given the honor of being named "Best" in each category.
In the past, I've received questions as to how someone could get on the ballot or how nominees were decided for other local awards programs. With the Absolute Best, there's no need to ask: the nominees were decided solely by our readership, with five candidates in each category taken directly from the preliminary ABoT nomination ballots that circulated in the month of May. If your favorite band isn't nominated, then it's your job to remember to get them in next year. As of right now, however, it's time to assess the contenders and tell us who's the best in each genre and category.
We've set up an all-new online voting site, which you can link to from www.urbantulsa.com or access directly at the aforementioned address. Once there, you can peruse each category--complete with pictures, a brief description of each artist and an audio sample (if provided).
If you feel like you don't have enough information to make an informed decision, you can even follow a link to each artist's Web site to find out more before casting your vote.
Voting is open thru July 17 at 11:59pm, after which all the votes will be tallied and we'll prepare for the main event. After all, voting is just the beginning of it all. What's an award contest worth without a party to celebrate? As Urban Tulsa and its readers have proven time and again, we know how to throw a party.
There's no place in Tulsa with more musical history, be it in country swing, pop, rock or punk, than Cain's Ballroom; so it's only fitting that we should pull out all the stops with an awards ceremony at Tulsa's most prestigious dance hall.
Local stars and their fans will be able to rub shoulders, have fun and celebrate the Tulsa music scene together in what promises to be one exceptional night. All of our winners will be recognized and awards will be presented in the top categories in front of friends, fans and peers alike.
What would a music awards ceremony be without music, though, right? After all, do we really watch the Grammys or MTV music awards just to see people parade up and down a stage? Hell no! We watch to see who's going to put on the best show and pack three and a half minutes with passion, fire and dynamite!
Well, we may not be able to accommodate actual pyrotechnics, but we're sure there will be enough electricity and musical explosiveness to keep things exciting as each of the five nominees for "Band of the Year" pull out all the stops to prove their point.
And before the end of the night, our host (and local music celebrity in his own right) Zac Maloy will announce who the Urban Tulsa readers have decided is the best in each category, including "Band of the Year."
Tickets for the Absolute Best Music Awards are $25 for reserved table seating or $15 for general admission tickets to what promises to be the biggest and best party of the year. You can get yours now at Cain's box office, Ida Red, Starship Records and all area Reasor's ticket outlets or online at www.protix.com. After the awards, the celebration will continue at the official Absolute Best of Tulsa Music after-party.
More details on the awards ceremony and after party will continue to emerge during the coming weeks. As for now, however, Urban Tulsa is counting on you to make your voice heard and tell us who should be recognized as the best in each category from our city's local music community.
Make your opinion known and support your favorite artists. While you're at it, you might even discover a couple new ones that you weren't aware of. After all, this really isn't about competition, it's about supporting our local music scene and nothing fosters growth more than a nurturing environment. Vote now!
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