Christmas in July

Six dozen of Houston's finest bands for a mere $7

Best Indie Rock; Best Drummer (Mikey Deleon)

Meowcifer has a trio of clubs that they love each in its own special way: "Rudyard's for sound, Mary Jane's for excellent drinks, and Proletariat for good company!" They recently started work on their "first full-length at HeadGear Studios in New York," which they call an "amazing" place where the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio have waxed tracks. "Rainbow of Children" was nearly this band's name -- "Mikey and I toyed around with [that] because we really were trying to find the most silly name," says guitarist Erica, who adds that all their local gigs have been "hilarious." The local scene "has a nice smile," she says, but also "very bad teeth." To get her to bare her fangs, presume that hers is a goth band, which many do based on their band name. She understands the confusion, though. "Who hears Meowcifer and thinks cute moms (and dads!), pop music, harmonies, piano, violin, and a MIKEY!" -- JNL

Southern Backtones
Best Bassist (Mykel Foster)

Having recently "snuck out the [surf-punk] window of their musical upbringing," the Southern Backtones are now cavorting with other genres, including Britpop and psychedelia. The band likes to trumpet the little-known fact that their single "Fallen Angel" was tabbed by Levi's as the national campaign anthem for a back-to-school ad, and says that their current self-titled full-length is "a mellowing of their roots angst" that reveals them to be "psychedelic savants who are constantly at risk of diluting their genius by overthinking their music." (Disclosure alert: Bassist Foster works in the Press circulation department.) -- JNL

Best Cover Band

Taking their name "just by coincidence" from "a very ancient Australian aboriginal legend," the Dreambreakers describe themselves as "a group of musicians, thinkers, poets, observers and citizens." All that and "a powerful new emerging rock band" to boot, one that adds in original music to its mainstay -- covers by the likes of the Searchers, the bluesy, original incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, the Kinks, Traffic/Spencer Davis Group and the Who. (In other words, British oldies too often neglected here.) The band brings both a high degree of musicianship and a wealth of historical knowledge to these seldom-played gems, and if you're hoping for a good time at this show, they won't break that dream. -- JNL

Miss Leslie and the Juke Jointers
Best C&W

Based on their name alone, a lot of people seem to think this trad country band's gonna be rockabilly, but Miss Leslie doesn't mind too much. She was gonna call the combo "Miss Leslie and Her Hired Hands" in honor of Hank Thompson's teenage nom de twang, but "somehow it sounded too much like a landscaping company." The band's first CD, Honky Tonk Revival, will be out in August, and it promises to reflect a life permeated by music. "When I'm not on stage, there's music in my head going all of the time," she says. -- SF

Boaka Bar
1010 Prairie, 713-225-6372

4 p.m. JD Arnold
5 p.m. Baby Jae
6 p.m. Little Martin
7 p.m. DJ Sun
8 p.m. Sean Carnahan
9 p.m. Champa Moore

JD Arnold
Best DJ

Massage therapist by day and house DJ by night, longtime Rich's spinner JD Arnold's credo is "I love what I do! I do the love of my life!" Like his competitors DJ Sun and his English countryman Little Martin, Arnold brings international flair to the DJ booth. Each year he travels to Europe and around the States in search of the hottest trends and coolest sounds. If he couldn't live in Houston, he would move to Amsterdam, where he loves "the people and the atmosphere," especially the fact that older people dig house over there. "In Europe, you see people of all ages, from 18 to 45," he says. "It's not all 18-year-olds..." -- JNL

Baby Jae
Best DJ

One of hip-hop megastation the Box's go-to remix DJs, Baby Jae and the rest of the Kracker Nuttz crew he co-founded are wreckin' records every Friday night on their award-winning Friday Night Flow show. Or you might hear him live at a hip-hop hot spot near you; the Kracker Nuttz get around. A DJ since he was 11 years old, Jae has won numerous battles and contests over the years, and eerily echoes JD Arnold when he discusses his passion for the music: "I do what I love and I love what I do," he says. "So if I do or don't succeed, I just want to be appreciated for what I have accomplished." -- JNL

Little Martin
Best DJ

Manchester, England, native Little Martin has one of the coolest chits in town: Back in the '80s, he spun records at that city's legendary Hacienda club. (Go rent 24 Hour Party People if you haven't heard of it.) After moving to Houston, a chance meeting with fellow Brit Jonathan Sewell eventually led to Rent, a monthly house/funk/disco dance-travaganza that debuted at Helios in 2003 then was held at Union, and now, resides at the Meridian. Rent was last year's winner in the now-defunct Best Recurring Club Night category, and Martin won this year's City of Spin event as the city's top electroclash/'80s house DJ. -- JNL

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