Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Music Festival

Eaux Claires

The picturesque location has as much, if not more, to do with the success of Eaux Claires as the music does. Getting out of the city and into the secluded woods on the banks of Wisconsin’s Chippewa River is restorative and relaxing, and the performances reflect that same serene, tranquil vibe. In 2016, the festival co-curated/founded by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and the National’s Aaron Dessner struck a fine balance between rock (Deafheaven, Melvins, and Bon Iver debuting their new album, 22, A Million), rap (Vince Staples, Shabazz Palaces), electro-pop (James Blake, Beach House), and industry legends (Erykah Badu, Mavis Staples). The second-annual fest also boasted striking artwork, tasty food trucks, and local vendors, plus random, unduplicatable pop-up performances. The Wilco-centric lineup for 2017 further proves Eaux Claires is hitting its creative stride.

Readers’ Choice: Basilica Block Party

Best Acoustic Performer Sam Cassidy

Best Album 'Wordless Wonder' by Real Numbers

Best Album Cover 'Bend Your Bones' by Fraea

Best Band Name Lazy Scorsese

Best Band to Break Up Frankie Teardrop

Best Club DJ DJ Keezy

Best Concert (Local) Communist Daughter record-release show at First Avenue (Nov. 11, 2016)

Best Concert (Touring) Kanye West at Xcel Energy Center (Oct. 10, 2016)

Best Concert Venue Palace Theatre

Best Cover Song 'Congratulations' by Dessa

Best Earworm 'Phone' by Lizzo

Best EP 'Nite Time' by Ness Nite

Best Hip-Hop Artist P.O.S

Best Hip-Hop Producer Travis Gorman

Best Hip-Hop Verse Finding Novyon on 'Cups' by Sean Anonymous & DJ Name

Best Jazz Artist Zacc Harris

Best Jazz Club Dakota Jazz Club

Best Jukebox Turf Club Clown Lounge

Best Karaoke The Infernal Singalong Machine at Grumpy's

Best Live Artist Lizzo

Best Metal Band Sunless

Best Compilation 'Sound Verite Records/IX Vol. 1 2016'

Best Music Controversy Pro-consent reimaging of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside' goes viral

Best Music Residency Andrew Broder & People: A Residency for Music and Action at the Turf Club

Best Music TV Show 'The Lowertown Line'

Best Music Video "It's Good to Be Alive" by Mark Mallman

Best Music Video Director Mercies May

Best Musical Act of Protest Kitten Forever donate music sales to fight Trump

Best New Band Poolboy

Best Place to See a Show with Kids The Garage

Best R&B Artist Ness Nite

Best Record Label Doomtree Records

Best Record Store Day Location Flashlight Vinyl

Best Reunion Happy Apple

Best Rock Band Hippo Campus

Best Selling Out Hamburger Helper's 'Watch the Stove' mixtape

Best Single 'Kismet Kill' by Haley

Best Song to Cry To 'Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun' by Gaelynn Lea

Best Song to Have Sex To 'Full Court Press' by Tickle Torture & Velvet Negroni

Best Songwriter The Cactus Blossoms

Best Stage Style Finding Novyon

Best Venue to Close Mill City Nights

Best Venue to Open The Warming House

Best Vocalist Lady Midnight