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Album of the Year 2019: Injury Reserve

Hands down, our album of the year for 2019 is Injury Reserve by Injury Reserve. Highly scientific methods go into choosing our Album of the Year: What album did we play the most in the car? What album did we constantly barrage our friends and family with? What album got the most air-time on our radio show? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, Injury Reserve…

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Coolest Band on the Block 2019: The Exbats

The first rule of being cool is you can’t care at all about being cool. As soon as you start thinking about it, or making decisions with the direct goal of achieving coolness, you’ve lost. That’s part of what we love about The Exbats. These cats are just making music to have fun and it shows. The daughter-father team of Inez and Kenny McLain from Bisbee recorded at Midtown Island Studios with Matt Rendon and released a compilation of fan favorites earlier this year that was then released on vinyl through Burger Records. How cool is that??

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Songbird Award 2019: L. Hotshot

In the past, the Songbird Award has been given to singers whose dulcet voices climb to ethereal heights. You know, like a bird. Then again, what if that bird was not quite a canary on a branch chirping away, but more like a predator hawk soaring toward its prey? Nothing embodies the destructive power of a bird of prey quite like L. Hotshot from Scorpion vs. Tarantula…

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Best Americana Album 2019: ‘Arizona Burrito’ by Jim Bachmann

There’s a Southwestern slant on the porch-picking sounds of Arizona Burrito, the 2019 album from Jim Bachmann. Mixing up blues and country with a bit of roots rock to keep things lively, Jim Bachmann creates a salt-of-the-earth sound for his plain-dealing lyrical sensibility. Arizona Burrito harbors anthems for the downtrodden, love songs for the heartbroken, and adds that little extra muscle you need when you’re trying to keep that boot of the modern world from crushing the life right out of you…

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Best Punk Album 2019: ‘Bored Again’ by US Depressed

The trio known as US Depressed dropped their debut, Enjoy Your Poodle, in 2016 and followed it up this past May with the often-dreaded sophomore release. But, for these Valley post-punk-rockers, the sophomore slump was just a thing for other bands… lesser bands. Bored Again pairs misery and misanthropy with a fun and feisty sound that you’ll want to listen to from start to finish. And then all over again…

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Best New Band: Stripes

Four teens from Tucson make up the super cool band known simply as Stripes who came out swinging this year with their 4-track debut EP, 520. The EP was recorded at Midtown Island Studios with Matt Rendon which only adds to the coolness factor. Forming out of the ashes of The Frecks, Stripes dropped 520 in May, but they released a brand new single (and music video) just before the end of 2019. Hopefully this means they have a lot more in the works for this year…

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Best Live Performer 2019: Dadadoh

Whenever DaDadoh takes the stage, he captivates audiences with style and swagger. Whether performing with Spicy Mayo or his mainstay, DaDadoh + the P.O.C., Bryan Preston (aka DaDadoh, etc.) knows how to work a room, even from above floor level, and never fails to bring the energy. DaDadoh is a boon to any band that can ensnare his skills on or offstage. In addition to his charismatic onstage presence, DaDadoh is a talented songwriter, musician, rapper, vocalist, music producer, comedian, hype man, A&R Rep for TVLiFE Entertainment, and all around nice guy…

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Best Band Keeping It Pushing: Meat Puppets

The Meat Puppets formed in Phoenix back in 1980 and, with the exception of two short breaks, they have been playing music together under the moniker for four decades. Despite this long trodden path, the Meat Puppets haven’t lost their ability to crank out fresh tunes for fans, both new and old, rather than relying on old standbys to keep the crowds coming…

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Best Album We Totally Ignored: ‘Twos’ by PRO TEENS

… and that sucks because it means albums like Twos by PRO TEENS might slide right past us after they’re released. We can see the inherent problems with this system because Twos is pretty fucking rad for everyone who likes their surf sludge with a little bit of pop and an extra layer of sullen. And the album came out in August. And we didn’t pick up the review because, once again, it slid right past us…

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Spirit Award 2019: Dani Cutler

Dani Cutler holds the unofficial title of “Scene Mom” within the local music scene, but we thought it was time we made it official. Then we thought, “Can we do that?” I mean, as bloggers, we kind of assign our own authority, right? But, as luck would have it, bloggers and radio show hosts have more than a few things in common and one of those things is a shameless appreciation for our own opinions. So we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge Dani Cutler and her unwavering commitment to supporting the local music scene and the artists who give us a scene to support…

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