Best Blues and Soul Preservationist

Eddie Stout of Dialtone Records While Stout is an Austinite, we feel he deserves an award from us anyway. After all, many of the artists he records -- Little Joe Washington, Gloria Edwards and soon Earl Gilliam -- are from here; and no one else is cutting official albums on them. And what albums they are: Washington's volcanic Houston Guitar Blues has attracted favorable national attention and stamped the pint-sized bluesman's ticket to Japan several times, the last of which was as an opening act for the White Stripes. Edwards chips in on the all-female, funk-soul-R&B compilation Texas Soul Sisters, and her rumbling, low-down "Hoochie Mama" is one of the best tunes to come out of Houston in years.

Best Blues and Soul Preservationist

Eddie Stout of Dialtone Records While Stout is an Austinite, we feel he deserves an award from us anyway. After all, many of the artists he records -- Little Joe Washington, Gloria Edwards and soon Earl Gilliam -- are from here; and no one else is cutting official albums on them. And what albums they are: Washington's volcanic Houston Guitar Blues has attracted favorable national attention and stamped the pint-sized bluesman's ticket to Japan several times, the last of which was as an opening act for the White Stripes. Edwards chips in on the all-female, funk-soul-R&B compilation Texas Soul Sisters, and her rumbling, low-down "Hoochie Mama" is one of the best tunes to come out of Houston in years.

Off the Kuff In a field cluttered with "what I had for breakfast" and "my girlfriend/boyfriend is so cute" entries, Charles Kuffner's gazette keeps track of local and national politics, music, baseball and a bunch of other stuff in an informative and digestible way. And among political bloggers, Kuffner also stands out as a sensible moderate Democrat amid all the paranoid libertarians, smug right-wingers and shrill lefties typing their screeds in cloudy cuckoo land.

Off the Kuff In a field cluttered with "what I had for breakfast" and "my girlfriend/boyfriend is so cute" entries, Charles Kuffner's gazette keeps track of local and national politics, music, baseball and a bunch of other stuff in an informative and digestible way. And among political bloggers, Kuffner also stands out as a sensible moderate Democrat amid all the paranoid libertarians, smug right-wingers and shrill lefties typing their screeds in cloudy cuckoo land.

Crazy Tony Avitia Say what you will about Crazy Tony Avitia, but the man will not be ignored. Since tearing out of the northside in the late '80s as a member of 30footFALL, Avitia has released numerous compilation CDs of local and Texas funk, punk and rock on his Broken Note label and won several Houston Press Music Awards as a member of the "slip-hop" ensemble I-45. Avitia's latest gambit is promoting huge shows -- and he attacks that endeavor with boundless energy. Earlier this year, Avitia let the world know, via a massive flyer campaign, that "Crazy Tony Is Back!" And thank God he is.

Crazy Tony Avitia Say what you will about Crazy Tony Avitia, but the man will not be ignored. Since tearing out of the northside in the late '80s as a member of 30footFALL, Avitia has released numerous compilation CDs of local and Texas funk, punk and rock on his Broken Note label and won several Houston Press Music Awards as a member of the "slip-hop" ensemble I-45. Avitia's latest gambit is promoting huge shows -- and he attacks that endeavor with boundless energy. Earlier this year, Avitia let the world know, via a massive flyer campaign, that "Crazy Tony Is Back!" And thank God he is.

Lagoon! by Clouseaux This band's tiki lounge exotica sound demands a tiki-lounge-exotic-adelic album cover, and they deliver. The picture on the cover presents us with a palm tree, Polynesian warriors plying the coast of a mountainous island under a full moon, and another godlike tiki guerrilla standing in the foreground. The picture calls to mind a '50s-era children's book -- We Go to Tahiti, or something like that. We also like the concept: Lagoon! makes reference to not only the band's South Seas island sound but also Sig Byrd's Houston, another of this year's winners. (See Best Out-of-Print Book About Houston.)

Lagoon! by Clouseaux This band's tiki lounge exotica sound demands a tiki-lounge-exotic-adelic album cover, and they deliver. The picture on the cover presents us with a palm tree, Polynesian warriors plying the coast of a mountainous island under a full moon, and another godlike tiki guerrilla standing in the foreground. The picture calls to mind a '50s-era children's book -- We Go to Tahiti, or something like that. We also like the concept: Lagoon! makes reference to not only the band's South Seas island sound but also Sig Byrd's Houston, another of this year's winners. (See Best Out-of-Print Book About Houston.)

KPFT
KPFT/90.1 FM It's tempting to play the contrarian and give this award to some other spot on the dial, but KPFT is simply the best station in town. No other station has as much variety; blues, zydeco, rock en espaol, jazz, several forms of rock, world music, old-school Tejano and hip-hop all vie for space in the KPFT weekly schedule, not to mention some good, some bad and some ugly current-affairs programming. While the commercial stations all aim for the lowest common denominator, KPFT tries the opposite approach, and if the results are sometimes maddening, much of the time it's pretty damn good.

KPFT/90.1 FM It's tempting to play the contrarian and give this award to some other spot on the dial, but KPFT is simply the best station in town. No other station has as much variety; blues, zydeco, rock en español, jazz, several forms of rock, world music, old-school Tejano and hip-hop all vie for space in the KPFT weekly schedule, not to mention some good, some bad and some ugly current-affairs programming. While the commercial stations all aim for the lowest common denominator, KPFT tries the opposite approach, and if the results are sometimes maddening, much of the time it's pretty damn good.

Best Of Houston®

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