Hothouse Flowers

Groceries spoil in the heat, while the rest of Houston's music community blossoms

Critic's Pick: Clouseaux

Best Metal/Industrial, Best Bassist
Faceplant, Marc Armaos
Faceplant guitarist Jason Self's initial reaction upon hearing the group being summoned to the stage was not exactly typical, though it was totally a rock and roll moment. "Man, I was just getting this girl's phone numbers. Why'd it have to be right then?," Self said, all smiles, in a huddle-style interview with four of the band's five members. Needless to say, Self's got it all -- the glory and a new entry in the little black book.

In his acceptance speech, Bryan Broussard -- the band's frenetic crowd-pleaser and sign flasher -- thanked the band's fans and its street team for its tireless efforts in papering H-town with fliers. Outside the club, he said the band has 16 new original songs written this summer for its next CD release, five of which have been added to the live show. All of the band members said they are anxious to take this next CD to a higher level of distribution. "Right now our distributors are Ford and Chevy," Broussard said in reference to selling product out of the band's vehicles. "Right now we create the demand at our shows on tour, on that one-on-one basis. We're ready for that bigger audience."

John Evans Band
Jeff Fitlow
John Evans Band
Hayes Carll
Daniel Kramer
Hayes Carll

Marc Armaos says he was surprised to beat out "awesome" Nick Gaitan of Los Skarnales in the Best Bassist category. He said he developed his chops by writing original music right off the bat, instead of learning a pile of cover tunes. Then he paused momentarily to buy a copy of the new Clouseaux disc.

Most of all, Armaos is anxious to get the new CD out so that the work he has done to contribute to Faceplant's overall sound in the new original songs can be heard. "I came in from a different perspective (ex-Simpleton) and I convinced them to expand the sound so they're not marketing to one type of person."

Of course, as all Press winners are wont to do, the band debated their inclusion in the Metal category, a variation of which they have won two years in a row. "There's lots of bands out there heavier than us that what I would say is metal, but that's cool, we can hang with those guys." -- G.B.

Critic's Pick: Downfall 2012, Marc Armaos

Best Dance DJ
Mike Snow
Mike Snow was befuddled, amazed and even chagrined when they announced his name as winner of Best Dance DJ at this year's awards ceremony. He was just chilling in the back, with fellow nominees DJ Sun and Ethan Klein. Next thing he knew, he heard his name, and he immediately got one of those bitter beer faces. "I'm flabbergasted," he said right after the win, throwing in another word to describe his shock and awe. "We literally thought it was gonna be [Mister] Spacely or [Michael] DeGrace."

But why? What makes him think he is not as worthy to pick up an award as those dudes? He certainly has accumulated enough years on the scene to merit some status. And with his famed '80s night, "Pop Muzik," which moved from Spy to Lotus Lounge to Typhoon in the last year, folks are obviously aware of who he is and what he's capable of as a club spinner. "I never feel like I'm gonna win, you know," he says. "I just DJ -- you know I'm not about that."

The Randy Spears-looking disco duck hopes that local dance music will be seen as a genre just as credible and respected as the other musical genres represented at the shindig. "All of us dance-club DJs are praying and hoping that will someday happen," he says. "People will get into dance music like they are into hip-hop and live music and rock and country and everything else." -- C.D.L

Critic's Pick: Joe B.

Best Indie Rock

The John Sparrow shoulda won. -- J.N.L.

Critic's Pick: The John Sparrow

Best Roots Rock/Rockabilly
Opie Hendrix and the Texas Tallboys

Ask him for his plans after his upset win over John Evans, and Opie Hendrix has a ready answer. "I'm movin' to Austin! So long, fuckers!" He's joking, of course, we think. Actually, Hendrix is, as the English say, gobsmacked. "It's outstanding," he says. "I've been out there a long time and never been invited to nothin'. This is my first rodeo, son."

Hendrix was zipping up at a urinal when he heard that he had won. "I may have gone up there with my pants unzipped. Some people try to act all cool or nonchalant when they win, but fuck, to me this is a big award. I used to feel like Prince in 'Purple Rain' -- remember when that fat dude told him 'Hey man, nobody likes your music but yourself'? Now, I feel like people do like what I'm doing, that I don't have to try to get in their heads and try to play them what I think they want to hear." -- J.N.L.

Critic's Pick: Greg Wood

Best Bluegrass
Lonestar Bluegrass Band
For the second year in a row, the LBB has taken the prize in this newly minted category. "I am pleased that bluegrass now has its own category," says Chris Hirsch, banjo player and sole original member left of the band which formed in 1982. "We were nominated for many years in categories where we did not belong. We lost to Clint Black, Shake Russell...I think we even lost to ZZ Top once!" Still, he's cognizant of the unity in the small, but dedicated Houston bluegrass community. "We were nominated with some very good bands, and it's nice to know we have so many good friends that believe in us," he adds.

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