By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Since 1993, and in several incarnations, 30footFALL has consistently delivered fun, fast, silly-ass punk rock that, at intervals, gets serious -- but never cheesy, like certain Bay Area pap. The quartet keeps getting nominated in the punk category, and that's probably because it embraces the genre's essence; entire "cover" shows devoted to the Sex Pistols and the Dead Kennedys are evidence of that. 30footFALL is on a healthy schedule of regional touring and readying its new album for a release this summer; the group's durability certainly isn't in question. Their restraint, respectability and potential to rise aren't either. -- T.S.
6 p.m. Verizon Wireless Theater
Best World Music
It's nice to see Kelly Dean and his part-time team of leisure-loving veteran horn players and rhythm musicians back on the rundown of eligible winners this year. They may no longer have a memorable weekly gig at Instant Karma, but numerous shows still prove that Houston won't count them out. Here's the question: What the hell is this group doing in the Best World Music category? Last time we checked, TKoH! was a jazz/funk band consisting of middle-aged, predominantly white men, usually wearing khaki shorts and picnic shirts, who delighted in playing '70s soul covers from the likes of Stevie Wonder and Tower of Power. Were the Best Funk/R&B and Best Jazz categories full this year? -- C.D.L.
9 p.m. Harlon's Bayou Blues
After their first hit, "Para Que Quiero un Corazon," topped the Tejano charts and radio play lists for the better part of a year, this nine-member group snagged a couple of Tejano Music Awards nominations, including Rising Male Star for vocalist Pablo Urbina and Most Promising Band. That early success prompted Hacienda Records to sign the group to a multirecord deal; the Corpus Christi-based label released the group's Si Tu Te Vas to rave reviews earlier this year. La Traizion's national tours have included sold-out stops in Ohio, Illinois, Texas and California, and appearances with the Kumbia Kings, Ramon Ayala and Ram Herrera. -- O.F.A.
8 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe
Tony Vega Band
Best Contemporary Blues
Tony Vega, last year's Best Blues winner, regularly plays some of the best guitar around. While there are only four members in his band (Vega, the Mighty Orq/a.k.a. J. Davidson, Brock Proctor and Jeremy Pierce), Vega's combo has a big, big sound. Both Vega and Orq sing and play lead guitar, and it's those twin guitars and the group's tight four-part harmonies that have become the band's signature. Fresh from a European tour that included stops in Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, Vega is back in Texas getting ready to release a new live CD the group recently recorded at the Big Easy. -- O.F.A.
8 p.m. Lotus Lounge
Don't ask Wes Wallace what he did this year to deserve a nomination for Best Dance/DJ -- he doesn't know. But when you think about it, after 20 years of working the turntables in Houston's more notorious haunts (Rich's, the gone-but-always-praised Heaven), doesn't he deserve something? A golden turntable, perhaps, or a complimentary lap dance at Rick's...Wallace says he's content spinning tunes over at Numbers, his home for 15 years, where he has successfully commanded the DJ booth at the club's '80s night as well as its teenage night. Perhaps this nomination serves as a token of appreciation from some grateful fans out there. But we still say a lap dance could've done the job a whole lot better. -- C.D.L.
6 p.m. Spy (upstairs)
Best Indie/Alt Rock
The Squares have run neck and neck with Groceries as Houston's top indie act for several years now. Like their rivals, the Squares are chic -- according to singer/guitarist Erica Cruz, they are "the most stylish band in town." And drummer Mikey DeLeon's fuzzy pink drum kit is exhibit 1-A in their favor. This year's CD, The Sound Made Visible by the Westbury Squares, testifies to the substance behind their style. Cruz, DeLeon and bandmates Davey McEathron and Vince Hernandez know a thing or two about catchy melodies, and chances are you'll hum "The Anti-Chorus" long after it quits vibrating from their amps. -- J.N.L.
8 p.m. The Mercury Room
Local Musician of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Best Bassist (Dwayne Casey), Best Drummer (Ilya Kolozs)
Jeepneys and Lavendula alum Arthur Yoria struck out under his own name about five years ago, but it wasn't until last year that things really started to pick up for the Chicago-born, Houston-bred modern popster. His four-song, self-titled EP won him rave reviews, a trip to South by Southwest and nibbles from Warner Bros., Atlantic and Sony Music. His all-star band includes bassist Dwayne Casey, drummer Ilya Kolozs and pedal steel player and Susan Alcorn-acolyte Matt Rhodes. Yoria has drawn comparisons to everyone from Davíd Garza to Elvis Costello. -- J.N.L.
6 p.m. BAR Houston
She's usually called Houston's salsa queen, but Norma Zenteno's sound is actually Latin jazz. And although most folks think of her strictly as a singer, she's also a gifted songwriter and musician. Zenteno has a sultry style, a loyal and enthusiastic audience, and a couple of well-received self-produced CDs, so she ought to be record label candy -- but apparently A&R execs aren't as savvy as Houston fans. Zenteno's other band is the rock-based Raised by Wolves. Despite the name, she was actually raised by Roberto Zenteno, a premier trumpeter who often appears with his daughter and also fronts his own orchestra. (Given her slew of charming and handsome brothers -- Robert, David, Javier and Ernest, also musicians -- she could have called the group Raised with Wolves, but hey, that's another story.) -- O.F.A.
9 p.m. Spy (inside)