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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST RADIO STATION

KFAI

"We're just doing whatever," the voice on the radio says. "I can't believe they're letting us get away with this." Without looking, you know that the dial is set to KFAI. What other station could it be? For 28 years, this loose experiment in freeform community radio has erred on the side of permission: The late-night DJ in question could be voicing her station's credo. Outside of deciding what shows to air and when, nobody programs KFAI. You can't say this about even the best local stations not larded with commercials—KMOJ (89.9 FM), the Current (89.3 FM), and the partially FM-expanded Radio K (770 AM/100.7/106.5 FM). KFAI is all specialty shows, all the time, which means DJs and news anchors are also programmers and producers. No wonder the music shows are totems of their scenes, from the blues of House Party (Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.) to the garage rock of Radio Rumpus Room (Fridays at 9:00 p.m.) and the hip hop of RSE Radio (Saturdays at 9:00 p.m.). Arguably no better radio in the world exists between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., from the rare metal of The Root of All Evil (early Sunday mornings at 1:00 a.m.) to the rare dub reggae of The Echo Chamber (early Wednesday mornings at 2:00 a.m.). It's obvious that large private music collections power KFAI, including those of Hmong, South Asian, and African tastemakers. One longs for more cooperation between these agendas, more call-in opportunities, more concert simulcasts, and more flexibility in scheduling—though KFAI does make extra time, when needed, for run-over of the nationally syndicated Democracy Now! news program (Monday through Friday at noon, and 5:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday). But such hopes are inspired by the fervent ambitions of a station to be something for everyone—ambitions shared by no other radio in town.

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BEST ALL-AGES VENUE The Garage

BEST ART CINEMA Oak Street Cinema

BEST ART GALLERY Outsiders and Others

BEST BAND NAME

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BEST BAND NAME (SECOND PLACE)

BEST BAND NAME (THIRD PLACE)

BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS Midnight Evils

BEST BLUES BAND Butanes

BEST BLUES BAR Famous Dave's BBQ and Blues

BEST BOOK The Painted Drum

BEST BUDGET MOVIE THEATER Roseville 4

BEST COMEDY Shut Your American Pie-Hole

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL) Brother and Sister Summer Camp

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING) The Go! Team

BEST CONCERT VENUE Walker Performing Arts Center

BEST DANCE CLUB Level

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS Jazzdance

BEST DVD RENTAL Cinema Revolution

BEST FESTIVAL MayDay Parade and Festival

BEST FILM Hansel and Gretel

BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM KFAI The Session

BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER

BEST JAZZ CLUB Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST JUKEBOX Triple Rock Social Club

BEST KARAOKE Grumpy's Bar & Grill

BEST LITERARY PERIODICAL Rain Taxi

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COMPILATION Friends with Benefits

BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL Modern Radio

BEST MOVIE THEATER

BEST MUSEUM Walker Art Center

BEST MUSEUM EXHIBIT Minnesota History Center

BEST NATIONAL TV COMMERCIAL WITH A LOCAL SOUNDTRACK

BEST NEW BAND Ass

BEST OLD BAND Salamander

BEST OPEN-MIC FOR COMEDY Acme Comedy Co.

BEST OPEN-MIC NIGHT Blue Nile Restaurant & Lounge

BEST PIANO TUNERS Gagnon Piano Service

BEST PLACE TO RENT FOREIGN FILMS Intercontinental

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A MOVIE OUTDOORS Loring Park

BEST PUB QUIZ Brit's Pub

BEST PUBLIC ART Local Strategy

BEST PUBLIC-ACCESS CABLE TV SHOW Mikenastics

BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHT The Rhythm Lab

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BEST ROCK BAND Sicbay

BEST ROCK CLUB Turf Club

BEST SALSA NIGHT El Nuevo Rodeo

BEST SECRET JAZZ RESOURCE onefinalnote.com

BEST SINGLE-ARTIST SHOW Theatre of the World

BEST STAGE PRODUCTION Live Action Set

BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Pillsbury House Theatre

BEST TREND IN LOCAL RADIO

BEST TV STATION KTCA