Like Hell Yeah

A full house came out to Warehouse Live last Wednesday evening for the 2010 Houston Press Music Awards ceremony. Emceed by 103.7 FM's Johnny Bravo, the evening honored winners in more than 40 HPMA categories as chosen by our readers.

First-time winners included L.A. transplant Mike Stinson (Best Song, "No One to Drink With"), Ira Perez (Best Female Vocals), Tim Qualls (Best New Act), Tax the Wolf (Best Progressive Rock), Jennifer Grassman (Best Keyboards) and — in perhaps one of the biggest awards upsets ever — Cypress trio Potbelly broke D.R.U.M's hold on Best Reggae/Dub, which began more than a decade ago when the cate­gory was still called Best World Music.

No strangers to the stage were Nick Gaitan, who scooped up Local Musician of the Year as well as repeating as Best Bassist; Kristine Mills, who slid over to Best Songwriter after winning Best Female Vocals last year; and Los Skarnales, who took the evening's first award in Best Latin Contemporary and later returned for a scorching performance of some trademark cumbia de la raza. (Skarnales releases its latest CD, Dale Shine, Friday at Fitzgerald's.)

Gaitan and his group The Umbrella Man began the evening's music with minor-key zydeco polka "Mind's in Misery," and Lee Alexander gave a haunting acoustic rendition of "Wheel," whose online sales he is donating to the Lightnin' Hopkins Historical Marker Fund.

Once they were finally located, Grand­father Child simmered through the title track to Best EP/7" winner "Waiting for You," before erupting into a vicious blues-metal stomp. After moving the crowd with Best Song nominee "Like Hell Yeah" and "Home" (featuring partner in rhyme Smash Bro), Fat Tony toasted his Best Underground Hip-Hop hat trick with "three times for Third Ward."

As usual, there were random outbreaks of silliness. Accepting Best Record Store for Cactus Music, Buxton's Chris Wise and Cody Swann of the Wild Moccasins (first-time Best Indie Rock winners) had the Twitter fingers flying when they smooched onstage. Best Hardcore/Noise champs A dream Asleep drew some laughs with their T-shirts strategically arranged to spell "TITS," and Best Punk first-timers Skeleton Dick came appropriately dressed in X-ray attire.

It wasn't all fun and games. Little Joe Washington is ailing again, said the 71-year-old bluesman's grandson while accepting yet another Best Blues award for the Houston icon. Get well soon, Joe.

Congratulations to all. Your 2010 Houston Press Music Award winners:

Best LP/CD

Devin the Dude, Suite 420

Best EP/7"

Grandfather Child, "Waiting for You"

Best Song

Mike Stinson, "No One to Drink With"

Local Musician of the Year

Nick Gaitan

Best New Act

Tim Qualls

Best Male Vocals

Lee Alexander

Best Female Vocals

Ira Perez

Best Songwriter

Kristine Mills

Best Rock

Lotus Effect

Best Punk

Skeleton Dick

Best Indie-Rock

Wild Moccasins

Best Progressive Rock

Tax the Wolf

Best Hardcore/Noise

A dream Asleep

Best Metal

Pinche Gringos

Best Instrument/Experimental

Two Star Symphony

Best Latin Traditional

Mango Punch

Best Latin Contemporary

Los Skarnales

Best Latin Hip-Hop

Chingo Bling

Best Mainstream Hip-Hip

Bun B

Best Underground Hip Hop

Fat Tony

Best Reggae/Dub


Best Jazz

Free Radicals

Best R&B/Funk/Soul

2 Dollar Sound

Best Blues

Little Joe Washington

Best Zydeco

Zydeco Dots

Best Country

Robert Ellis & the Boys

Best Folk

Flying Fish Sailors

Best Roots-Rock/Americana

Sideshow Tramps

Best Cover/Tribute Band


Best Guitarist

The Mighty Orq

Best Bassist

Nick Gaitan (The Umbrella Man)

Best Drummer

Ash Hendley (World's Most Dangerous)

Best Keyboards

Jennifer Grassman

Best Miscellaneous Instrument

Geoffrey Muller

Best Club DJ


Best Producer

DJ Red

Best Radio Personality

Rod Ryan (94.5 The Buzz)

Best Radio Station

KPFT (90.1 FM)

Best Radio Program

The Rod Ryan Show (KTBZ)

Best Record Store

Cactus Music

Best Local Label

Space City Records

Best Live Music Venue

Warehouse Live

Best Instrument/Equipment Store

Guitar Center

Best Local Twitter Personality

Slim Thug

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