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    Boston Music Awards names 2017 nominees

    Lowell band PVRIS
    Lowell band PVRIS

    Lowell-bred “St. Patrick” rockers PVRIS, Allston alt-rock act Palehound, and rising Boston rapper Cousin Stizz are among the wide-ranging crop of nominees for this year’s Boston Music Awards, announced Friday morning.

    The annual awards, which were inaugurated in 1987, are always a reliable metric by which to measure the success of local talent, and this year’s set of nominees drives home the breadth of genres Boston-area musicians are operating within. Rock is most prominently featured in the major categories, with indie-rock outlets like Animal Flag, Palehound, Pile, and Weakened Friends represented in the paramount Artist of the Year section; hip-hop/rap acts also had a strong showing between Cousin Stizz, Joyner Lucas, and STL GLD’s presence there.

    But across the myriad categories open for voting this year are nestled Americana-folk idols (Hayley Thompson-King, who just released experimental disc “Psychedelic Melancholia”), lo-fi Bandcamp-bred singer-songwriters (Sidney Gish, who opens for Margaret Glaspy at The Sinclair Thursday), and neo-folk pioneers (the Ballroom Thieves, playing at Canton’s Festival at the Farm this weekend alongside fellow nominees Julie Rhodes, Matthew Stubbs, and Session Americana). With the huge swath of genre-traversing talent on display, consider these awards (as usual) the ultimate rejoinder to that cousin at the Thanksgiving table who thinks Boston music starts and stops at Dropkick Murphys.


    The Boston Music Awards changed hands last year, with Redefined CEO Paul Armstrong stepping up to help showcase local talent by honoring a variety of performers, producers, venues, and even photographers. This year’s awards mark the event’s 30th anniversary, so the 30 greatest Boston artists of the last 30 years will also be chosen; both committee members and the general public will be allowed to contribute nominees starting today, with a shortlist due to be announced for voting Oct. 2. Additionally, voting will take place on two outside-the-box categories — Music Photo of the Year and Music Artwork of the Year — once nominees for those categories are revealed on Oct. 2.

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    Voting is open to the public at and ends Oct 30. Those over 18 who want to attend the ceremony at the House of Blues on Dec. 7, which traditionally features performances by nominated artists, can snag tickets for $25 here.

    Artist of the Year

    Animal Flag

    Cousin Stizz

    Julie Rhodes


    Joyner Lucas






    The Ballroom Thieves

    Weakened Friends

    New Artist of the Year

    Ali McGuirk


    Bat House

    Carissa Johnson


    Mint Green

    no hope / no harm


    Sidney Gish

    Vintage Lee

    Unsigned Artist of the Year

    Animal Flag



    Carissa Johnson

    Julie Rhodes

    Lady Pills

    Latrell James



    Weakened Friends

    Album of the Year

    Avenue, “Mass Ave & Lenox”

    Bad Rabbits, “American Nightmare”

    Cousin Stizz, “One Night Only”

    Eddie Japan, “Golden Age”

    Joyner Lucas, “508-507-2209”

    Palehound, “A Place I’ll Always Go”

    Pile, “A Hairshirt of Purpose”

    PVRIS, “All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell”

    STL GLD, “Torch Song”

    The Ballroom Thieves, “Deadeye”

    Song of the Year

    Avenue, “Ain’t [Expletive] Funny”

    Cousin Stizz feat. Offset, “Headlock”

    Millyz, “Lessons”

    Palehound, “If You Met Her”

    Pile, “Texas”

    PVRIS, “Heaven”

    Ruby Rose Fox, “Rainbow Sufragette”

    STL GLD, “Good”

    The Rationales, “Ready to Go”

    Weakened Friends feat. J Mascis, “Hate Mail”

    Music Video of the Year

    Converge, “I Can Tell You About Pain”

    Cousin Stizz feat. Ofset, “Headlock”

    Joyner Lucas, “Just Like You”

    Palehound, “If You Met Her”

    PVRIS, “Heaven”

    Token, “Exception”

    Music Video of the Year (Unsigned Artist)

    Avenue, “Ain’t [Expletive] Funny”

    STL GLD feat. Dutch ReBelle, Tigerman WOAH, Julie Rhodes, “Feels Like Home”

    Bat House, “Alright, Spaceboy”

    The Devil’s Twins feat. Slaine, “Satan Stone”

    Megan Tracy & the Missed Connections, “Color the Air”

    Dutch ReBelle & Marcela Cruz, “Don’t Know Why / Mophizzy”

    Live Artist of the Year


    Cousin Stizz

    Julie Rhodes

    Latrell James




    The Ballroom Thieves

    Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys

    Weakened Friends

    Alternative/Indie Artist of the Year

    Bent Knee

    Future Teens

    Lady Pills



    Weakened Friends

    Americana Artist of the Year


    Julie Rhodes

    Session Americana

    The Rationales

    These Wild Plains

    Tigerman WOAH

    Blues Artist of the Year

    Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

    Matthew Stubbs & The Antiguas

    Monster Mike Welch

    Peter Parcek

    Shor’ty Billups

    The Silks

    Country Artist of the Year

    Annie Brobst

    Ashley Jordan

    Girls Guns and Glory

    Hayley Thompson-King

    Houston Bernard Band

    Jessie Chris

    DJ of the Year


    DJ Knife

    Frank White

    Leah V



    Electronic Artist of the Year


    Camino 84




    Radclyfe Hall

    Folk Artist of the Year

    Dan Blakeslee and the Calabash Club



    Tall Heights

    The Ballroom Thieves

    Town Meeting

    Hip-Hop Artist of the Year


    Cousin Stizz

    Dutch ReBelle

    Latrell James

    Michael Christmas


    International Artist of the Year

    Debo Band

    Dub Apocalypse

    Jireh Calo

    Shun Ng

    Ubuntu Band

    Yoko Miwa

    Jazz Artist of the Year

    Alison Keslow

    Esperanza Spalding

    Grace Kelly

    Jireh Calo

    People Like You

    Yoko Miwa

    Metal Artist of the Year





    Protean Collective


    Pop Artist of the Year



    Jenna Lotti



    Ruby Rose Fox

    Punk/Hardcore Artist of the Year


    Choke Up

    Nice Guys


    The Hotelier

    The Kominas

    R&B Artist of the Year

    Bad Rabbits

    Haasan Barclay

    Marcela Cruz

    Rebecca Zama

    Rey Royale


    Rock Artist of the Year

    Animal Flag

    Black Beach

    Carissa Johnson


    Salem Wolves

    The Devil’s Twins

    Singer-Songwriter of the Year

    Abbie Barrett

    Hayley Thompson-King

    Lori McKenna

    Marissa Nadler

    Ruby Rose Fox

    Will Dailey

    Female Vocalist of the Year

    Courtney Swain (Bent Knee)

    Ellen Kempner (Palehound)

    Julie Rhodes

    Lyndsey Gunnulfsen (PVRIS)

    Ruby Rose Fox


    Male Vocalist of the Year

    Evan Kenney (Dirty Bangs)

    Fredua Boakye (Bad Rabbits)

    Martin Earley (The Ballroom Thieves)

    Tad McKitterick (Sidewalk Driver)

    Walter Sickert (Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys)

    Will Dailey

    Session Musician of the Year

    Dave Brophy

    Duke Levine

    Jonathan Ulman

    Matthew Girard

    Mike Levesque

    Paul Ahlstrand

    Live Production Engineer of the Year

    Benjamin Stoppelman

    Brendon Downey

    Chris Johnson

    Dan Gonzales

    Ian Nault

    Reid Calkin

    Studio Engineer of the Year

    Benny Grotto

    Brian Charles

    Dave Minehan

    Ed Valauskas

    Janos Fulop (The Arcitype)

    Sean McLaughlin

    Music Photographer of the Year

    Ben Stas

    Cara DiFabio

    Eddy Leiva

    Greg Gaffney

    Jen Vesp

    Jonathan Beckley

    Matthew Shelter

    Natasha Moustache

    Richard Knowles

    Tim Bugbee

    Music Promoter of the Year

    Aaron Gray, Grayskull Booking

    Alyssa Spector, Lysten Boston

    Jason Trefts, Illegally Blind

    Lisa Finelli, Xperience Creative

    Ned Wellbery, Leedz Edutainment

    Ryan Agate, RTT Presents

    Live Music Venue of the Year

    Brighton Music Hall

    House of Blues

    Paradise Rock Club


    The Middle East Downstairs

    The Sinclair

    Intimate Live Music Venue of the Year

    Atwood’s Tavern

    Great Scott

    Lizard Lounge

    O’Brien’s Pub



    Music Night of the Year

    Emo Night at The Sinclair

    Heroes at Middle East

    Make It New at Middlesex Lounge

    PVRPLE at Good Life

    Soulelujah at Zuzu

    The Wave by CLLCTV Boston at Middlesex Lounge

    Live Ongoing Residency of the Year

    Bearly Dead at Thunder Road

    Country Club at State Park with These Wild Plains

    Downbeat Mondays at The Sinclair with Matthew Stubbs and The Antiguas

    Gospel Brunch with The Revelations at Atwood’s Tavern

    OldJack Last Saturdays at Lizard Lounge

    Tim Gearan Band at Atwood’s Tavern

    Music Blog of the Year

    Allston Pudding

    Boston Hassle


    Red Line Roots

    Sound of Boston


    Isaac Feldberg can be reached at, or on Twitter at @isaacfeldberg.