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Your Guide to the Houston Press Music Awards Showcase

Great local bands, one awesome evening.

It's been a good year for Houston metal albums, and Venomous Maximus's Beg Upon the Light might well be the best in the crop. Introducing Insect Warfare's Beau Beasley on organ brought in a dynamic Deep Purple-ish feel, but don't let that fool you. Beg Upon the Light is aggressive as all get-out, and "Moonchild" might be one of the best metal songs in Texas history. JEF WITH ONE F

9 p.m.: THELASTPLACEYOULOOK

Nominated in: Best Modern Rock

thelastplaceyoulook's raising funds on Kickstarter for a sorely needed new tour van drew some ire from locals, but it worked; the group hit the road and returned with their first new music since 2009's See the Light Inside You broke nationally. It was tough, but TLPYL has become a band capable of making their living on the road — which their high-octane pop-rock chops make so much easier. JEF WITH ONE F

HOUSE OF BLUES — BRONZE PEACOCK ROOM

1204 Caroline, hob.com/houston

5 p.m.: DJ IPOD AMMO

Nominated in: Best Rap DJ

Having DJ iPod aMmo open up your rap show/party/any gathering should be mandatory. He's easily one of Houston's chillest DJs, with a Dre-to-Kanye range and a broad set of musical bridges that can calm crowds down or stir them up into a dancing frenzy. This solid cat will never leave you hanging for a good groove. JEF WITH ONE F

6 p.m.: NICK GREER & THE G'S

Nominated in: Best Soul/Funk/R&B, Best Keyboards (Nick Greer)

While most hip-hop artists strive for the perfect laptop beat, Nick Greer is busy pounding his piano keys. True, it's not uncommon to hear a piano loop in a genre that sprang from jazz and blues, but Greer taps into a market yet to be fully pioneered. Whatever the case, one thing is for sure: He needs only one song to get your attention. ­ALYSSA ­DUPREE

7 p.m.: DOUGHBEEZY

Nominated in: Local Musician of the Year, Best Solo Rapper

Doughbeezy may well harness inertia — that mysterious force some say is the most powerful in the universe — better than any other musician in the city. The man never seems to stop, doing more than 40 shows a year at bigger and better venues all the time. "Break It Down, Roll It Up" is well on its way to being a modern Houston-rap classic, and at this speed, the "Southeast Beast" may very well own an empire before long. JEF WITH ONE F

8 p.m.: THE NICEGUYS

Nominated in: Best Local Recording (James ­Kelley), Best Rap Group

The Niceguys are among those rare artists who actually practice what they preach, with delicious beats and perfectly intertwining vocal deliveries. Last year's James Kelley is easily one of the best hip-hop albums to drop in Houston in recent years, and a little help from the likes of Slim Thug and Bun B never hurts. ­ALYSSA ­DUPREE

9 p.m.: FAT TONY

Nominated in: Best Solo Rapper

Fat Tony has been working hard since 2005 to get to where he is now, and now is a pretty good place for him. Brand-new album Smart Ass Black Boy has drawn the attention of publications like XXL and cracked CMJ's hip-hop charts while Tony has appeared at various festivals including NYC's 4 Knots and Canada's upcoming NXNE. No surprise, then, that Fat Tony has become one of Houston's best-known and most respected rappers. ­ALYSSA ­DUPREE

HOUSE OF BLUES — CROSSROADS STAGE

1204 Caroline, hob.com/houston

4 p.m.: JUNIOR GORDON BAND

Nominated in: Best Local Song ("Big"), Best Local Music Video ("Big"), Local Musician of the Year (Junior Gordon), Best Male Vocals (Junior Gordon), Best Country

Sad ol' songs about your dog dyin' and your wife leavin' are lost on Junior Gordon, who is all about country music with an energetic, upbeat and at times quite funny vibe. Known for his onstage antics as much as his music — think stage-diving, bar-hopping and c-rapping from sheer excitement (country rapping, for you newbies) — he's nothing if not a good time. ­ANGELICA LEICHT

5 p.m.: LITTLE JOE WASHINGTON

Nominated in: Best Blues

No other Houston bluesman is as captivating as Little Joe Washington, who creates pure blues-funk magic with the intensity and dexterity of a kid half his age. The dirty guitar licks and gruff, salt-of-the-earth voice emanating from his tiny dreadlocked frame make Little Joe a worship leader, zydeco master and grandfather of soul all in one. ­ANGELICA LEICHT

6 p.m.: SECOND LOVERS

Nominated in: Best Folk/Americana

Despite folk music's rising popularity on today's pop charts, Second Lovers isn't jumping on some bandwagon. Instead, the indie-pop-­infused sound of debut LP Wishers, Dreamers & Liars holds up against any competition, and new two-song EP New Mexico could really put the group on the map. ­ALYSSA ­DUPREE

7 p.m.: ZYDECO DOTS

Nominated in: Best Zydeco

Zydeco Dots have been getting nominated for (and winning) HPMAs for about as long as the awards have been around. The band fetches a pretty penny for private engagements these days, so our showcase is always a convenient chance to see some Grade-A Gulf Coast party music on the cheap. CHRIS GRAY

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2 comments
R.T.  Castleberry
R.T. Castleberry

Is this the Music Awards or Stripper Awards? Because it if it's music, this is a really stupid, sexist magazine cover.

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jonacmckee

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