Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST ROCK BAND

Vampire Hands

From Portland to Princeton, the blogosphere hums with whispers about Vampire Hands, and not one LiveJournal has been able to muster the ironic sneer necessary to make a single "they suck" joke. In the last few years, which have seen the local four-piece release two EPs (At Wizard Island: Too Punk to Fuck and Cuz It's a Beach Funeral), and an LP (Virgin Dust American Lips), Vampire Hands have emerged as the band that inspires concert-goers to exchange mutual "holy shit" glances between every song. Colin Johnson's garrulous scream is a perfect foil to bassist Chris Beirden's chilling, fragile falsetto, and their vocal interplay is effortlessly sustained by a Gothic, Germanic pop glisten that, thanks to the guitar and drum work supplied by brothers Chris and Alex Rose, evokes Eno and Neu! at their most challenging. Me and You Cherry Red, their brand-new full-length, is their most dizzying release yet, and it comes packaged with the suspicion that Vampire Hands may be too precious to hold tightly. Whether it's their steady upward trajectory, the national promise that accumulated around their recent tour with Thunder in the Valley, or simply their visceral and hypnotic songwriting, their shows and albums leave behind the sense that something of great rarity has been imparted, and that we better enjoy Vampire Hands at the Turf Club while we can.

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

BEST BAND NAME Emerson, Lake and Lyndale

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

BEST BLUES BAND The Butanes

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 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