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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST OPEN MIC

BALLS Cabaret

Open-mic nights come and go in this town, rising and falling with the fortunes of arty coffeehouses and bars owned by aspiring poets. Some last for only a few feeble experiments, some plod along for years. None, however, matches the import of Leslie Ball's weekly cabaret at the Southern Theater, which got its start all the way back on August 5, 1991 and has chugged along regardless of foul weather, debilitating illness, or occasional lack of interest. Leslie's cabaret is truly open mic—just call and leave a message that you want to perform (612.340.0155) and, if there's a slot, she'll pencil you in. As a result, there's a marvelous variety of performances on hand, much broader than the straightforward doggerel readings and acoustic-guitar sets that plague most open mics. (It probably also helps that Balls takes place in a theater.) On any Saturday night, you might find a motley assortment of storytellers and street musicians. But, mixed in, you'll also tend to discover improv comedians, tap dancers, puppeteers, standup comics (both Ari Hoptman and Nick Swardson have made regular appearances), and truly indefinable performances. All of this is overseen with genuine affection by Miss Ball, herself a fine and rather underrated singer/songwriter.

BEST ACOUSTIC PERFORMER Piper's Crow

BEST ACTOR Ansa Akyea

BEST ACTRESS Tracey Maloney

BEST ALBUM OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Chooglin'

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE The Garage

BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Tom Mischke

BEST ART CINEMA Oak Street Cinema

BEST ART GALLERY Creative Electric Studios

BEST BAND NAME Huge Rat Attacks

BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS The Soviettes

BEST BLUES BAND The Butanes

BEST BLUES BAR Famous Dave's

BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR 900 Miles from Nowere

BEST BUDGET MOVIE THEATER Roseville 4

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Ananya Chatterjea

BEST CLASSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Minnesota Orchestra performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony

BEST CLUB DJ E-Tones

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL) The Plastic Constellations and Tapes 'n Tapes at First Avenue

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING) Rakim

BEST CONCERT VENUE Varsity Theater

BEST DANCE CLUB Foundation

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Anytown: Stories of America

BEST DANCER Karen Sherman

BEST DIRECTOR Wendy Knox

BEST FESTIVAL Grand Old Day

BEST FILM Sweet Land

BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY Bill DeVille

BEST HIP-HOP ARTIST Brother Ali

BEST HIP-HOP RADIO PROGRAM Redefinition Radio

BEST INDEPENDENT THEATER Emigrant Theater

BEST JAZZ ARTIST Frank Morgan

BEST JAZZ CLUB Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant

BEST KARAOKE James Ballentine VFW Post 246

BEST LITERARY JOURNAL Conduit

BEST LIVE ARTIST Dance Band

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COMPILATION Duluth Does Dylan Revisited

BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL Afternoon Records

BEST MOVIE THEATER Riverview Theater

BEST MUSEUM Minneapolis Institute of Arts

BEST MUSEUM EXHIBIT Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love

BEST MUSIC STORE (CHAIN) Guitar Center

BEST MUSIC STORE (INDEPENDENT) Twin Town Guitars

BEST NEW BAND Mouthful of Bees

BEST OLD BAND Dan Wilson

BEST OPERA The Grapes of Wrath

BEST PLACE TO BUY VINYL Hymie's Vintage Records

BEST PLACE TO RENT FOREIGN FILMS Cinema Revolution

BEST PLACE TO WATCH A MOVIE OUTDOORS Stevens Square Park

BEST PUBLIC ACCESS CABLE TV PROGRAM Black Focus

BEST PUBLIC ARTS PROJECT Art Shanty Projects

BEST R&B ARTIST J. Isaac

BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHT Radio Riot

BEST RADIO STATION KFAI (90.3/106.7 FM)

BEST READING OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Mark Mallman and Chuck Klosterman Kill Themselves to Live

BEST ROCK BAND Little Man

BEST ROCK CLUB First Avenue

BEST SINGLE ARTIST SHOW Jaron Childs: Ruptures

BEST SONGWRITER Jeremy Messersmith

BEST SPORTS TALK RADIO HOST Paul Allen

BEST STAGE PRODUCTION Last of the Boys

BEST THEATER FOR COMEDY Brave New Workshop

BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Children's Theatre Company

BEST TV STATION TPT:Channels 2 and 17

BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE) Prudence Johnson

BEST VOCALIST (MALE) Mike Gunther