By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
"It means so much to us to get this award in Houston, to be recognized by our hometown," Suhr said. "We're doing our best, always, to perform for our fans, and it just means so much to us that we win this. We're really very grateful to everyone for all the support and encouragement."
Suhr said the group tries to give its audience a respite from the troubles and grind of everyday life. "There is so much conflict and sadness in the world right now," he said. "We try to give our fans a break from all that. Our shows are designed to give them a little bit of happiness, a little time to relax." Not that Suhr has any time to relax. Along with longtime manager Susana Trimmer, he's promoting the new CD and making the rounds on Houston's talk show circuit. He's also writing new tunes (Suhr has won the Billboard Songwriting and John Lennon Songwriting contests, as well as contests in Europe, and his songs appear on movie soundtracks and television commercials). -- O.F.A.
Best Pop: The Handsomes
Best Pop: The Handsomes
With the support of a loyal fan base and some killer live shows, this funky quartet wins Best Pop honors for the third year in a row. When asked about their feelings on the win, this is what they had to say: "It's awesome! We weren't expecting to win. We won the last two years and we thought it was time somebody else won, but we're happy that we did win." -- Christopher Whaley
Best DJ: DJ Red
In a surprise move in the Best DJ category, DJ Red walked away with the honors. Holding it down at the Lounge in Houston, DJ Red is fast moving forward in his career as an up-and-coming producer. Obviously stunned when he was announced as the winner, DJ Red said, "It feels great. I've received a lot of support in this city, and I wasn't expecting to win. Even I voted for DJ Sun because he's one of my heroes. I feel like it's a lot of great talent in this city." Later he told us, "I know a lot of the bands don't think of DJs when they think of the Music Awards because we don't play live music, but a lot of the DJs are also producers. We're making our own music, and we're contributing to the music scene in Houston, so I think it's good that there's an acknowledgement of the DJs adding to the content of music in the city. This is keeping us on the same level as musicians, and that's a good thing because we all -- DJs, musicians, producers -- all us have to keep contributing and contributing at a high-quality level." DJ Red has big plans for next year. "Right now I'm pushing my tracks in the UK, so next year I'm going to be touring in Europe and South America, getting the music out there." -- C.W.
Best Experimental/Avant-Garde: Satin Hooks
As clichťd as it may sound, Satin Hooks is definitely one of the hardest-working bands in Houston. Part rockers, part savvy businessmen, the guys from Satin Hooks have an unparalleled grasp on how to milk MySpace for all its worth and have developed their own advertisement technique for their many shows. "We think we can reach international success," said guitarist-singer Kerry Melonson assuredly. While rubbing shoulders with the heavy hitters of rock may be the long-term goal, the Satin Hooks have more a immediate concern: making people dance. Melonson wants people to know that with the group's off-kilter chords and rhythms, people can bring their girlfriends to the band's shows. "Moshing gets old really quick," Melonson said. "You shouldn't have to wear earplugs all the time. I think we can say we're lady-friendly." Fans of the band and their ladyfriends can check out new Satin Hooks material when the band's new album comes out in late September or November. Currently wrapping it up in the studio, Melonson has high hopes for what he thinks will be a really important album. "It's one of the best-sounding albums out of Houston, if we do it right," he cautioned proudly. "It's going to be shiny." -- Chester Soria
Best Punk: Poor Dumb Bastards
In 1998, Poor Dumb Bastards earned not just one but two HP Music Awards. After winning Best Song and being hailed as Best Band of the Year, lead singer Byron Dean graciously accepted the awards the only way he really could have: naked. Fast-forward to 2006, past an eight-year hiatus from the Awards, and PDB is back where it belongs, winning 2006's Best Punk. Four drummers, eight guitarists and three bass players later, after first coming onto the Houston scene, the Bastards are back.
"The coolest thing [about playing] is the people," Dean said. "They get that we're not trying to change the world. We're not trying to be Bono." Indeed they're not. Has Bono opened for the Smashing Pumpkins in the nude, or almost had a beer bottle shoved in his rectum on stage? And we've yet to hear U2's rendition of the PDB classic, "My Dad, Two Whores & a Crackpipe."