The City Weekly Music Awards aren’t about City Weekly. They’re not about giving our best friend’s crappy tambourine band a free night onstage. They’re not about increasing the cool factor of any of our writers, and they’re (definitely) not about padding our pockets.
They’re about you, the local musicians and music fans who work every day to make this city better: creating and listening to music, going to shows, trying (and sometimes bombing at) crazy new things and supporting one another in a spirit of camaraderie, not competition.
Since the late ’90s, the City Weekly Music Awards (formerly the SLAMMYs) have put local bands onstage with one goal in mind: getting that music out to more people. Every year, bands face the crowd and bright spotlights and give it their all, just as in the early days of the awards.
Our digital editor, Bill Frost, who was the music editor back in the day (he’d probably appreciate me not saying the exact year), says, “The biggest difference between then and now is the ease and reach of social networking to promote shows and get votes—but bands still have to deliver live onstage, which, fortunately, hasn’t changed. Unless you’re the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
For the 2014 CWMAs, we’re shaking things up a bit. We’ve expanded our nomination panels to include more local music writers, radio hosts, venue owners and scene-makers than ever before, and we’ll be declaring a top rapper as well as band and DJ. And a new judging panel at the band and rap showcases will create an even playing field for musicians that are still building a fanbase.
Online voting narrowed down the 60 band, rapper and DJ nominees into the top 10 from each category, whom you can read about on the following pages. This year’s lineup is nothing short of stellar.
The ultimate winners will be determined both by in-person voting at the showcases and the judges. The CWMA champs have always walked away with several perks—including getting their photo on the cover of City Weekly—but this year, each of the three winners will also perform an opening set at this summer’s Twilight Concert Series.
Big things are happening in the Utah music scene, and you need to get out and experience it. After all, the band you dance to at one of the CWMA showcases might be the next Neon Trees—or it might just be an amazing musical moment.
Either way, you won’t know until you come out and give it a shot.