Christmas in July

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

407 Main, 713-228-5483

4 p.m. Lady D & the Zydeco Tornadoes
5 p.m. Cameron Dezen
6 p.m. Zwee
7 p.m. Spain Colored Orange
8 p.m. Dune TX
9 p.m. Faceplant

Lady D & the Zydeco Tornadoes
Best Zydeco

Ribald but never raunchy, Lady D and her Tornadoes are the only band other than the Zydeco Dots ever to win this award. Clearly, the Opelousas, Louisiana, native has come a long way since her first gig -- which was for 25 ducks at a pond in a Clear Lake park. Now she plays every year not only at this event, but also at the Kemah party boat scene and at Galveston Mardi Gras. "The Diva of Zydeco" is a commanding presence behind her accordion, and chances are, you'll obey when she sings the title words of songs like "Party People" and "Let's Zydeco." -- JNL

Cameron Dezen
Best Female Vocalist

When not running the "small PR firm" she helped start with her husband, this Tori Amos-esque singer-songwriter is releasing albums to critical acclaim. The May 2005 release of Love + Rescue has been praised for its "blustery" music, "emotional" lyrics and "sultry" vocals. Career highlights include sharing a mike with Cheap Trick's Robin Zander in front of a sold-out House of Blues crowd and opening for Sally Taylor (daughter of James) while on tour. She enjoys Houston's "small but supportive" music community but opines that there "aren't enough women" in the scene. -- BM

Best Funk/R&B/Reggae

Comprising a "yoga instructor" a "sonographer" and a couple of teachers, last year's Best Funk winners Zwee are poised for a repeat. Singer-guitarist Frank Zweback had to abandon plans of becoming a professional basketballer when prepubescent projections about his height went unfulfilled. "I stand now at just about five foot nine," he notes. Hoop dreams dashed, Zweback now enjoys "the feeling of connection and rightness" performing music gives him, adding you "can't beat" the way "it makes [him] feel." Hmmm. Sounds just like something NBA thug prince Allen Iverson would say. -- BM

Spain Colored Orange
Best New Act; Best Keyboardist (Gilbert Alfaro)

This Lennon-loving, Beatle-backing bunch has just signed with Lucid Records and is perfecting its key-heavy sound in studio for an album due in October. Band members recently had a heart-to-heart about their old name, 8Track Charade, concluded that "everyone hated it" and changed it before signing. Favorite local venues include Rudyard's, where "the sound guy" is "meticulous." Singer-keyboardist Gilbert Alfaro appreciates Houston music scene devotees who come "out on a weeknight to see us play, even though they have to work the next day," but doesn't understand why local acts "tend to compete against each other." Adding, "Houston's a big enough city that we can all be successful." Viva Spain! -- BM

Chris Sacco (Dune TX)
Best Guitarist

When not "supplying rappers with blank CDs," Chris Sacco spends his time shredding six-strings in longtime act Dune TX. Sacco believes "there is no such thing" as a bad gig when you love what you do. "It's only rock 'n' roll," he says. "Butch up and play." An alumnus of "Practice What You Preach University," Sacco continued playing one local gig after having "20,000 volts" of electricity heat his molars. Among the pressing issues weighing on Sacco's mind are whether "wacko" Tom Cruise is a robot and "What happened to an open bar tab for the band?" Those new to the band should check out their last two releases, both recorded by famed Judy's studio-guru Steve Ames. -- BM

Best Metal

The band sponsored by "Jager, Hurley, Red Bull and Musicman Guitar" wants you to know that they aren't just "rap/rock." Such pigeonholing wouldn't afford them the opportunities to tour "50 cities" over "30 states" while sharing stages with acts as diverse as Slayer and Foo Fighters, Saliva and Creed. The guys think "The Texas Buzz, Zakk United and Scout Bar" have all helped the Houston music scene with a needed "boost" over the last year and aren't bugged at all by a music community that "seems to be improving." -- BM

St. Pete's Dancing Marlin
300 Main, 713-227-1511

4 p.m. Sky Blue 72
5 p.m. LoneStar PornStar
6 p.m. Kemo for Emo
7 p.m. MorningsideDRIVE
8 p.m. Molly & the Ringwalds
9 p.m. The Handsomes

Sky Blue
Best Female Vocalist (Jessica Zweback)

Bassist Frank Zweback has got an unusual feat listed among his recent accomplishments: He "accidentally sprayed the entire contents of his Cinco de Mayo tequila shot all over the sexy shot girl's face," recalls his sister and bandmate Jessica. As for the more traditional feats, Jessica says that the band's upcoming Sugar Hill-recorded CD "was produced by fantastic Robbie Parrish" and "engineered in a most kick-ass fashion by Steve Christensen and John Griffin." Meanwhile, the band is out seeking oblivion and yodeling the nights away at a club near you. "There was one night we all decided to trip on acid and couldn't remember any of our songs. Instead we played the entire soundtrack to The Sound of Music. They got really mad at St. Pete's Dancing Marlin. I think they fired us." -- JNL

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