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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST BLUES BAND

The Butanes

Why do the Butanes consistently rule as the Twin Cities' best blues band, despite plenty of legitimate contenders? Simply because no other band near the northern reaches of the Mississippi has a similarly encyclopedic knowledge of blues, classic R&B, and soul, nor the versatility to play virtually anything in that realm. The Butanes do it so convincingly that even natives of Memphis, New Orleans, or other hardcore bastions of essential roots sounds are incredulous that these guys hail from the land of the wind-chill factor. In fact, the Butanes have played with an incredible array of blues and R&B legends, from John Lee Hooker to Earl King to Bo Diddley, who have universally sung the band's praises. Chief instigator Curt Obeda leads the way on guitar, while bassist John Lindberg and drummer Robb Stupka spark the grooves. Virgil Nelson adds bubbling organ, and assorted punchy horns weigh in with funky brass blasts. Obeda also handles lead vocals when the Butanes aren't backing another singer. Locally, that's often Memphis native and supreme soul man Willie Walker, who has recorded a couple of fine albums with the Butanes, most recently 2006's Memphisapolis. Whether it's some fictional mid-river burg, uptown New Orleans, Beale Street, or their frequent south Minneapolis hangout at the Eagles #34 club, the Butanes are the real deal, igniting their potent brand of the blues like no other around these parts.

BEST ACTOR James Craven

BEST ACTRESS Sarah Agnew

BEST ALBUM OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS Atmosphere, Strictly Leakage

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE The Garage

BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Dan Cole

BEST ART CRITIC Patricia Briggs

BEST ART GALLERY First Amendment Gallery

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BEST BAND TO BREAK UP IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS The Hockey Night

BEST BLUES BAR Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Club

BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR The Dog Says How, by Kevin Kling

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER Morgan Thorson

BEST CITIZEN-BASED MEDIA OUTLET The Uptake

BEST CLUB DJ Soviet Panda

BEST COMEDY Jerry Springer—The Opera

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (LOCAL) Doomtree Blowout at First Avenue

BEST CONCERT OF THE PAST 12 MONTHS (TOURING) M.I.A.

BEST CONCERT VENUE First Avenue

BEST CRAFT SHOW No Coast Craft-o-Rama

BEST DANCE CLUB The Front

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE Zenon Dance Company fall season

BEST DANCER Anna Marie Shogren

BEST DIRECTOR Joel Sass

BEST FESTIVAL Twin Cities Pride Celebration

BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY Kerri Miller

BEST HIP-HOP ARTIST Brother Ali

BEST JAZZ ARTIST Irv Williams

BEST JAZZ CLUB Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST JUKEBOX 331 Club

BEST KARAOKE Staraoke Karaoke at Grumpy's

BEST LITERARY JOURNAL Rain Taxi

BEST LIVE ARTIST Skoal Kodiak

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COMPILATION Foreclosure and Eviction

BEST LOCAL RECORD LABEL De Stijl

BEST MOVIE THEATER Riverview Theater

BEST MUSEUM Minneapolis Institute of Arts

BEST MUSEUM EXHIBITION "Frida Kahlo," Walker Art Center

BEST NEW BAND Gospel Gossip

BEST OPERA La Boheme

BEST OUT-OF-TOWN CHEERLEADER FOR LOCAL MUSIC WFMU-FM

BEST PINBALL SS Billiards

BEST PLACE TO BUY ART FROM A VENDING MACHINE Chambers Hotel

BEST PLACE TO BUY PUNK/METAL MUSIC Extreme Noise Records

BEST PLACE TO BUY USED DVDS CD Warehouse

BEST PLACE TO LEARN AN ART FORM Highpoint Center for Printmaking

BEST PLACE TO LEARN TO DANCE Zenon Dance School

BEST PLACE TO WATCH MOVIES OUTDOORS Walker Art Center's Summer Music and Movies

BEST PLACE TO WATCH MOVIES OUTDOORS AT A BAR Solera

BEST PUBLIC ART The Merit Wall

BEST R&B ARTIST The New Congress

BEST RADIO PROGRAM AFTER MIDNIGHT The Root of All Evil

BEST RADIO STATION The Current 89.3 FM

BEST RECORD LABEL (COMEDY) Stand Up! Records

BEST ROCK BAND Vampire Hands

BEST ROCK CLUB Turf Club

BEST SONGWRITER M.anifest

BEST STAGE PRODUCTION Peer Gynt

BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Open Eye Figure Theatre

BEST TV NEWSCASTER Bill Carlson

BEST TV SPORTS ANCHOR Eric Perkins

BEST TV STATION ION Television: Channel 41

BEST TV WEATHERPERSON Paul Douglas

BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE) Laura Larson of Baby Guts

BEST VOCALIST (MALE) Mike Gunther