China Girls (and Boys)

We all know Houston's reputation as a city disinterested in, if not downright disdainful of, its past. Local scribes with a modicum of interest in Bayou City history, yours truly included, never tire of soapboxing about it.

But it's funny. In honor of the Houston Press Music Awards' 20th anniversary — the 2009 ballot debuts on page 57 — Noise decided to craft a little historical quiz. (Dishes or china is the traditional 20th-anniversary gift, if you're curious about our title this week.) Combing through two decades of back issues, we came across this quote in the very first report on the winners, from November 15, 1990:

"What we've got here is a sprawling, active music scene, albeit spread so thin we couldn't possibly touch it all (nor would we, even if we could)."


Houston Press Music Awards

Wow. Noise could have written that last week. Maybe we did. It's certainly just as true now as it was 19 years ago, but only after reading through year after year of ballots and winners did we realize just how active and sprawling the scene really is, and always has been.

Here's the quiz rules. E-mail your answers to or, those of you reading us online, leave them in the comments field and be sure to leave an e-mail address. No paper, please; that's just the world we live in now. Deadline is Thursday, July 16, at 9 a.m.

Answers and the five top scorers, who will each receive a spiffy new 2009 HPMA T-shirt, will be announced in this space in the Press's July 25 issue. In the event of a tie, we'll come up with a couple more questions and contact the relevant parties. And be sure to check out the daily questions on our Twitter page.

Enjoy, and Noise hopes you learn something. We certainly did.

1. The first Houston Press Music Awards were presented November 10, 1990, at what long-gone local venue?

a. Rockefeller's

b. Music Hall

c. The Summit

d. Power Tools

e. The Axiom

2. For some reason we felt the need to put "alternative" in quotes, but what group was nominated for both Best "Alternative" Rock and Best Avant-Garde Experimental in 1991?

a. Bayou Pigs

b. Pain Teens

c. de Schmog

d. Turmoil in the Toybox

e. Happy Fingers Institute

3. What nationally famous Houston artist won the 1992 "Clash of the Titans" award?

a. Clint Black

b. Geto Boys

c. King's X

d. La Mafia

e. Lyle Lovett

f. ZZ Top

4. What won Best Record at the 1993 HPMAs?

a. Miss Molly & the Whips, Miss Molly

b. Peglegasus, Bacon Lettuce and Tornado

c. Sprawl, The Man With the Yellow Hat

d. Geto Boys, 'Til Death Do Us Part

e. Shake Russell & Jack Saunders, Listen With

Your Heart

5. In 1994, the Press even gave out an award for Best Live Sound (a.k.a. the sound guy). Who won?

a. Danny McVey, Beans Barton & the Bipeds

b. Justin Crane, KTRU

c. Keith Christensen, Fitzgerald's

d. Robert Xeno, Billy Blues

e. Doug Alexander, LD Systems

6. Even though singer Michael Haaga had left the band, dead horse still won Best Metal/Hard Rock in 1995. How many times had it won previously?

a. 0

b. 1

c. 2

d. 3

e. 4

7. What category did Carolyn Wonderland & the Imperial Monkeys not win in the 1996 HPMAs?

a. Best Female Vocalist (Carolyn Wonderland)

b. Local Musician of the Year (band)

c. Songwriter of the Year (band)

d. Best Bassist (Chris King)

e. Local Release of the Year (Play with Matches)

8. Nominated for Local Musician of the Year, Best Local CD/LP (Texas Fire Line), Best Guitarist and Best Blues this year, Little Joe Washington first appeared on the HPMA radar with a 1997 Best Blues nomination. Who won?

a. He did

b. Joe "Guitar" Hughes

c. Carolyn Wonderland & the Imperial Monkeys

d. Mark May

e. Bert Wills

9. Although they won Best Underground the year before, who beat out Blue October for Best New Act in 1998?

a. Chlorine

b. riverfenix

c. 23

d. Middlefinger

10. 2009 Latin Contemporary contender Los Skarnales received its first HPMA nomination in 1999. For what category?

a. Best New Act

b. Best Rock/Pop

c. Best Tejano/Latin

d. Best Horn/Horn Section

e. Song of the Year

11. Now-infamous rapper South Park Mexican arrived on the HPMA scene in a big way in 2000, going from no previous nominations to walking away with four awards. What category did he not win?

a. Musician of the Year

b. Best Rap/Hip-Hop

c. Best New Act

d. Song of the Year

e. Album of the Year

12. Which venue broke the Fabulous Satellite Lounge's stranglehold on Best Rock Club (a write-in category) in 2001?

a. Rudyard's

b. Fitzgerald's

c. Rhythm Room

d. Engine Room

e. Continental Club

13. Multiple HPMA winner Jesse Dayton received his next-to-last nomination in 2002 (when he had already been living in Austin for several years). What for?

a. Local Musician of the Year

b. Best Songwriter

c. Best Male Vocalist

d. Best Guitarist

e. Best C&W

14. Branching off from Best Alternative Rock and evolving out of Best Underground, Best Indie Rock became its own separate category in 2003. Who won?

a. Groceries

b. The John Sparrow

c. MenMechanical

d. Panic in Detroit

e. Swarm of Angels

15. What song beat out Lil Flip's national breakout hit "Game Over" to win Best Local Song in 2004?

a. "Here I Am," Faceplant

b. "Just a Dog," Big Moe

c. "Nectar," Drexl

d. "Suga Suga," Baby Bash & Frankie J

16. Although Chingo Bling won the short-lived Best Latin Rap category the year before, Best Rap/Hip-Hop split into Best Indie Hip-Hop and Best Major-Label Hip-Hop in 2005 to reflect Houston rap's sudden explosion into the national consciousness. Who were the respective winners?

a. Friends of the Enemy/Lil Flip

b. Chingo Bling/Mike Jones

c. QUE/Devin the Dude

d. Savvi/Paul Wall

e. Studemont Project/Scarface

17. What long-running local group scored its first-ever HPMA win in 2006?

a. The Hunger

b. Southern Backtones

c. Fondue Monks

d. Free Radicals

e. D.R.U.M.

18. It took until 2007 for the HPMAs to add a discrete Best Pop category, which lasted exactly one awards cycle (but will probably be back next year). Who won?

a. Arthur Yoria

b. Deadbolt Zen

c. The Handsomes

d. Program

e. SkyBlue72

f. Tody Castillo

19. ...And here we are at the most recent HPMAs, for another month anyway. Who is the reigning Best Tribute Band? (Hint: Although Best Cover Band and Best Tribute Band have now merged, it's nominated again this year.)

a. Brian's Johnson

b. Us and Them

c. Beetle

d. Black Dog

e. The Fab 40

20. Tiebreaker: In one of the biggest — if not the biggest — upsets in HPMA history, what year did Lady D shock the Bayou by beating out the Zydeco Dots for Best Zydeco?

a. 1992

b. 1996

c. 2000

d. 2003

e. 2007


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