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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST OLD BAND

Salamander

Although Salamander have been together in one configuration or another since guitarists Sean Connaughty and Erik Wivinus first started collaborating in 1992, last year's Bent Hemlock is a promising new portent for a band usually welcomed more warmly on out-of-town radio stations and concert stages than in their hometown. (Their record label is located in Australia.) A mix of the mossy, the creaky, and the downright fresh, Hemlock starts with the acidly bittersweet Brit-folk plaint "Galleon" (sung by middle-school prodigy Madeline Westby), and ends with the wheezy, weary modal drones of "An Open Transom." In between, the band waves to Leonard Cohen, nods to Nuggets, and winks at Spacemen 3 without really sounding like any of them. And their low profile masks a veritable anthill of activity. Wivinus recently embarked on a solo East Coast tour, Dave Onnen and Matt Zaun play in Blitzen, and Connaughty's 2004 solo disc, Five Hands Tall, was a haunting slab of brain-bent verbal improvising. Plus, the band members provide much of the musical and logistical support for the now annual Heliotrope music festival. It just goes to show, you don't have to be seen on the scene to have a powerful, positive effect on it.

BEST ALBUM OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Atmosphere

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE The Garage

BEST ART CINEMA Oak Street Cinema

BEST ART GALLERY Outsiders and Others

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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 JAZZ RADIO PROGRAM KFAI

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 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

BEST RADIO STATION KFAI

BEST RADIO STATION ABOUT NOTHING FM 107.1

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