What’s the greatest nation?


For more information, visit www.sammies.com.

Not long ago, SN&R commandeered an airless, too-small, too-hot back room at Brew it Up! to assemble a committee—which, you must remember, is different from a group, or a crew, or a band, or a loose federation of performers—to nominate, pontificate, congratulate and try not to hate on our upcoming 17th annual love fest for the city’s live-music situation, also known as the Sacramento Area Music Awards, or Sammies.

Discussion ensued. A contingent of shy, vaguely threatened-feeling white people over 30, including your faithful correspondent, huddled quietly in the corner with mouths shut and ears open.

And all things considered, it went pretty damn well. Sure, we got quibbles, but they were mostly semantic. How best to categorize. How to represent. It just showed that everybody present really was present, that they want their Sammies props to be proper.

Next day’s feedback even included at least one seal of quasi-approval from the valued members of the brain trust. “A very Sac event,” quoth the blogger. Indeed.

The system seemed to be working.

Frightening, isn’t it? Something weird is going on, what with all this love in the air.

Don’t tell us it’s just because spring has begun. How, then, do you explain my dinner at Ella later on, during which two yuppie-wanker hotheads spontaneously and tackily tackled each other to the floor, rumpling their business-casual $200 jeans, stymying the polite service staff and prompting your shy, vaguely threatened-feeling correspondent to lament the decline of civilization?

Ah, if only this riffraff could be trained to act more like the good citizens of the Sammies nomination meeting. Then the world will live as one.

What was my point? Oh: You should know how much effort and diligence went into this—which, according to fabricated calculations, is approximately 500 cubic Sammie Nomination Units. Heh: units. Anyway, on that fateful night, the process of cat-herding our music-minded bretheren and sisteren in the general direction of consensus on award-worthy local musicians had only just begun. Still more feedback was required, and finer tuning. Later, Nick Miller worked the phones like some Robert Redford reporter-movie hero. Others among us made more calls. We sent texts. We sat around in rooms. We calmly debated. And less calmly. We split hairs, refined those categories. Extracting the metal from the hard rock and other substances from other places, we were like miners and engineers and archaeologists and opinionated douchebags all at once. Finally, we had our list.

Your list.

And now, because you stopped reading this a long time ago, we’re very pleased to announce the 2008 Readers’ Choice Sammies nominees.

You’ll be able to vote for your favorite group in each category beginning in May. Critics’ Choice nominees will be announced on April 17. The 2008 Sammies Festival will be held on July 17 at the Crest Theatre.

Doey Rock
Live Manikins
Righteous Movement
State Cap.
Tribe of Levi

Automatic Static
Broken Iris
Middle Class Rut
One Dying Secret

Dance Gavin Dance
Enemy Inside
Five Victims Four Graves
The Hoods
Killing the Dream
Red Tape

The Ancient Sons
Agent Ribbons
Baby Grand
Buildings Breeding
The English Singles
Knock Knock

Cowboy Killers
The Devil Makes Three
Lee Bob Watson
Light Rail
Richard March
Rowdy Kate

The Bananas
Blame Betty
Final Summation
Helper Monkeys
The Mayyors
The Secretions

DJ Crook 1
DJ Mr. Vibe
DJ Rated R
DJ Roger

Tha Fruitbat
Two Playa Game

Alas, Alak, Alaska!
Art Lessing & the Flower Vato
Dead Western
Who’s Your Favorite Son God?

Aaron Ross
Be Brave Bold Robot
Justin Farren
Mariee Sioux
Ricky Berger
Winter Trees

An Angle
The Evening Episode
The Happy Medium
The New Humans
Two Sheds

Bright Light Fever
Th’ Losin Streaks
Red Host
The Snobs
Them Hills