Choosing CAMMIES nominees

Chico Soft Rock Choir

Chico Soft Rock Choir

What you got/What you want: If given a choice between different items from the same category, how do you make your decision? Do you choose what you already know—the solid one that is dependable, comforting and presumably of high quality? Or do you seek out something new, and maybe less refined, but potentially more exciting? Each year, when the CN&R sets the CAMMIES into motion, our selection committee is given free rein to choose in any manner it sees fit. The paper trusts in the big group of local promoters, bookers, musicians, music fans, journalists and music-store employees to know their local music, and after tallying the results for five years in a row, I can say that the committee has consistently mixed things up. Each year there have been the trusted Becky-Mo-Spark-Pub-Debauchery icons, plus a selection of new choices.

This past Friday night, the 2010 CAMMIES nominees were revealed to a happy Duffy’s Tavern crowd, and there were indeed some fresh new crews that made the ballot (The Amblers, Rock Creek Jug Band, Brass Hysteria!, Severance Package, Amy Celeste Band, Eye-Que & Live Assist, Gravybrain, Audiotherapy, Cold Blue Mountain, Teeph, Tome of Goetia, The Magnificent Sevens, James Brown, Luke Byron) and also a few standbys that didn’t make the cut this year (Hooliganz, Dave Elke, Gorgeous Armada, Mossy Creek, West by Swan). Change is good, though, and it’s nice to see the committee mix a few things up this year.

One change that will not occur, however, is that the CN&R will add a special category just in order to give a CAMMIES award to the Chico Soft Rock Choir, which closed-out the Duffy’s nomination party with softness like a hurricane. As deserving as the nine-person a capella soft-rock/power-ballad tribute choir is, the best the CN&R can do is give what is called in the biz a “soft” award. There is no trophy, no plaque, no gift certificates or swag, just a glowing reflection off the shiny, smiling faces in a crowded bar singing along:

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee belong/ We belong, we belong together …

Your 2010 CAMMIES nominees:

•Folk/Acoustic: Erin Lizardo, Fera, Luke Byron, MaMuse, Michael Lee, Zach Zeller

•Country/Americana: Aubrey Debauchery & The Puke Boots, The Cheatin’ Hearts, Crazygrass, Rock Creek Jug Band, Three Fingers Whiskey

•Jazz: Charlie Robinson, The Magnificent Sevens (feat. Eric Peter and Mike Wiegert), Rocky Winslow, Rudy Giscombe, Shigemi Minetaka & Christine LaPado

•Blues: The Amy Celeste Band, Bawl ’n’ Chain, Big Mo & The Full Moon Band, Rube and the Rhythm Rockers, Sapphire Soul

•Funk/Jam: Audiotherapy, Electric Circus, Gravybrain, Jeff Pershing Band, Spark ’n’ Cinder, Swamp Zen

•World/Celtic/Reggae: Boss 501, Ha’Penny Bridge, Los Papi Chulos, Pub Scouts, Watson 349

•Hip-hop: Dr. Becky Sagers Ph.D., Eye-Que & Live Assist, One Up The Acoustic DJ, The Resonators, TyBox

•Rock/Pop: The Amblers, Candy Apple, Mute Witness, The Shankers, Surrogate, The Yule Logs

•Hard Rock/Metal: Armed For Apocalypse, Blood of Cain, Cold Blue Mountain, The Makai, Teeph, Tome of Goetia

•Punk: Black Hole of Calcutta, Brass Hysteria!, Gruk, ¡Mammoth Torta!, Severance Package

•Indie/Experimental: Bear Hunter, Dr. Yes! & The Soulgazers, Joybook, La Fin du Monde, Red Giant, The Secret Stolen, The Shimmies

•Electronic: Ayrian, James Brown, MANIC ONE, Metisyn, Oil Panic

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