Here Comes Tomorrow

U21 bands win big in the Music Poll. What does it mean to this generation?

Some of Mother Falcon's flock
Some of Mother Falcon's flock (by John Anderson)

The 2009-2010 Austin Music Awards are out, and Austin's next wave of talent stood side by side with the best of the best. In each genre, young bands who have been working hard to get their names out are finally getting recognized.

Electro-pop bandits Speak came away with Best New Austin band. If I had to put money on which of these bands was going to get big first, it would be these guys. Already on Playing in Traffic, the same label as Los Lonely Boys, they are pioneering a new brand of super fun pop music, as heard on debut EP Hear Here.

Bright Light Social Hour is one of the hardest working indie bands in Austin. I’ve been lucky enough to see them go from winning the battle of the bands at the Red Eyed Fly to their victory at the Sound and the Jury competition, which earned them a slot at last year's Austin City Limits Music Festival. Bright Light continues to get better and better, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they grew into hometown heroes like Spoon, always welcomed by amazingly gracious fans anytime they play in town.

And, of course, Mother Falcon, won best None of the Above, a great compliment for an orchestral band that's never had any intention of fitting into a trend. People just happened to like the lush, baroque pop sound of their Still Life EP.

Even in genres like Folk and Blues, younger artists came away with top nominations. Blues Mafia's had a tough time playing music that isn’t usually marketed to a young audience, but they play it so well that they’ve built a following of honest blues lovers. Last year's Best U18 band the Fireants are still on top, coming away with Best Roots Rock Band before leader Ian Stewart heads off to Berklee.

[Editor's Note: Further U18 wins came from multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz for Best Female Vocalist, Best Country/Bluegrass, and Best Folk Act. The all-girl band Schmillion won the Best U18 Band, a first for that category. In U21 bands, Team Next and the Cipher placed well in hip-hop. Good showings from the Daze throughout the poll and a shout-out to Baphemetis in the Metal category.]

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More U21
Milezo on the Rise
Milezo on the Rise
Why Austin's U21 bands are unique

Aaron Miller, Nov. 2, 2010

Ride the Wonder Winds
Ride the Wonder Winds
Marmalakes strike the right chord

Aaron Miller, Aug. 2, 2010

More by Ricardo Valenzuela
Speak Week Is for Lovers
Speak Week Is for Lovers
Speak's first release explodes on the scene

Feb. 9, 2010


U21, Music Awards

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle