2016 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards Predictions

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The 9th annual RadioMilwaukee Music Awards are upon us, and we can’t wait to see some Milwaukee musicians get their well deserved shine tonight. In addition to the awards being handed out, the show will also feature performances from Ian Ewing, NO/NO, Soul Low, Milo, GGOOLLDD, and D’Amato. Tickets are still available, but a very limited quantity are left. Here’s our predictions (in bold) for tonight’s big winners:

Album Of The Year:

  • The Pukes – Revenge of the Pukes
  • Lorde Fredd33 – Dead Man’s View
  • Soul Low – Nosebleeds
  • IshDARR – Broken Hearts & Bankrolls
  • Trapper Schoepp – Rangers & Valentines

This is a very tough one to call, which is always a good thing when you’re talking about quality Milwaukee music. Any of these albums could theoretically win. The Pukes made a name for themselves with a huge year, Lorde Fredd33 continues to see success, Soul Low’s buzz got even bigger, and Trapper Schoepp put out a very solid album and toured extensively behind it. The buzz surrounding IshDARR may have been big enough to get the fan vote, however, as Broken Hearts & Bankrolls saw a successful release as the year wound down.

Critic’s Choice:

  • Soul Low – Nosebleeds
  • B~Free – Ode to a Luv Affair
  • Direct Hit! – Wasted Mind
  • Scallops Hotel – Too Much of Life Is Mood
  • Trapper Schoepp – Rangers & Valentines

Trapper Schoepp’s Rangers & Valentines features nothing but incredible songwriting and production from front to back, and it seems like a solid pick for a Critic’s Choice award this year. Again, this seems like a tough call, but we think Trapper will pick up the hardware here.

Best Album Artwork:

  • Antler House – Across The Waves
  • Brett Newski – Land Air Sea Garage
  • Lorde Fredd33 – Dead Man’s View
  • The Pukes – The Revenge of The Pukes
  • Ugly Brothers – 16 Tiny Mountains

All of these options feature strong, mostly hand drawn aesthetics, but Antler House’s Sean Anderson and artist Brie Keane did some great work on their cover. I’d give them the award. Close runner up goes to The Pukes, though.

Solo Artist of the Year:

  • Brett Newski
  • Trapper Schoepp
  • Lex Allen
  • IshDARR
  • Milo

Can we just say how cool it is that many of the artists featured in this category are creating a buzz for themselves not only in Milwaukee, but around the world? IshDARR toured Europe, Trapper Schoepp toured the United States, and Milo jetsetted around the country, as well. My pick is that IshDARR picks up trophy number two, though. It’s undeniable that he created the biggest name for himself both at home and away in the past year.

Music Video of The Year:

  • Soul Low – “Be Like You”
  • Joe Qunito & Miguel Diaz – “Black Magic”
  • WC Tank – “27th & National”
  • WebsterX – “Everything”
  • Well-Known Strangers – “Splinter”

I kind of hate to admit it, but the duo of Cody LaPlant and Damien Blue are somewhat untouchable when they collaborate with WebsterX. That’s not to discredit the other videos, but when that kind of creativity collaborates with one another, it’s dangerous. Videos have been crucial to WebsterX’s success so far, and this one will be another award-winner.

Best Disc We Missed:

  • Bright Black – Bright Black EP
  • Dreamhouse – Bloom
  • Moses – Not Quite Vegas
  • Stereo Frontier – From Here On Out
  • Mike Regal – Premonitions

This category is a bit of a wild card, as some of the more prominent artists nominated might not have gotten the popular vote. I think Stereo Frontier takes it, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moses or Mike Regal claim the award, as well. It’s anyone’s call, really.

Independent Release of the Year:

  • IshDARR – Broken Hearts & Bankrolls
  • Ray Nitti – A Few Chunes
  • Brett Newski – Land Air Sea Garage
  • The Pukes – Revenge of The Pukes
  • Scallops Hotel – Too Much Of Life is Mood

Here’s where I see The Pukes taking home an award. IshDARR and Brett Newski are the closest contenders, but I would say the buzz created off of The Pukes’ album was the biggest of the five nominated. The band landed on just about everyone’s radar this year, and this release was the catalyst of all of that.

Song of the Year:

  • REYNA – “Ink On My Skin”
  • Joe Quinto & Miguel Diaz – “Black Magic”
  • Lex Allen – “Cream & Sugar”
  • Chris Siegel & Strehlow – “This Is How” feat. Siren, Lex Allen & Christine Hoberg
  • Tigernite – “Nice Guy”

Another very tough call. I think the combination of Chris Siegel, Strehlow, Siren, Lex Allen, and Christine Hoberg are victorious, but by a narrow margin. The song received a lot of airplay on 88Nine, as did almost all of these finalists. I don’t feel the most confident in picking this one, but I could easily see it winning.

Band of the Year:

  • Foreign Goods
  • Soul Low
  • GGOOLLDD
  • RedBelt
  • Dreamhouse

Ugh, can this just be a tie? Can we do that? No? Okay fine. What’s difficult about this is that all five bands did something great for themselves in a different way this year. Also two of these bands perform tonight, so there will be a friendly awkwardness somewhere in the room, as well. I can see GGOOLLDD, Soul Low, or Foreign Goods walking away with this award, but in my heart, I’m going with GGOOLLDD. I mean, they’re headlining their second show at Turner Hall the next night after selling out the venue earlier in the same calendar year. That gives you an idea of the impact they’ve had within the city.

Be sure to follow us on Snapchat to keep up with the award show, as we’ll be in the building tonight. You can also check back tomorrow for a recap of what is sure to be a great night of local music (or just to laugh at how wrong I was).

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