And the San Diego Music Award Goes To…

The 25th annual SDMAs spread the love around -- with a few fantastic surprises

Tolan Shaw_SDMA 2015
John Hancock

You only turn 25 once -- and the San Diego Music Awards did it in front of us all on Oct. 5 at Humphrey’s by the Bay. It was a relatively tame birthday, with the awards spread across talent (no sweeping like the Burning of Rome’s at last year’s awards) -- until, you know, a little band called Louis XIV played and Prayers took the stage during their acceptance speech with a few choice words for the audience. It wa a different kind of excitement than 2014 brought, watching so many worthy musicians take home a little physical token of our appreciation.

Though there was no surprise on the SoundDiego team when the second award of the night went to the Bassics for Best New Artist! We’ll be seeing these young gents at our next free SoundDiego LIVE party on Friday, Oct. 9 [RSVP here]! Or we’ll be seeing a lot of one of them, anyhow, since most of the group is too young to actually enjoy the party. (Savor that youth, boys. It’s fleeting.)

Former SoundDiego contributor Chris Cantore of the recently R.I.P. station KPRi 102.1 joked with co-presenter Woods of FM 94/9 about not having jobs and being taken on as a new morning show team by 91x -- which, by the way, WAS JUST A JOKE, so cool it, Twitterverse -- while presenting Schizophonics with the Best Hard Rock award! Those Schizos also won Best Live Band. Congrats once, congrats twice. We only wish you guys were here to celebrate with/serenade us.

Also picking up two awards, Slightly Stoopid proved they know exactly what they’re doing. True to San Diego’s unbreakably funky heart, the pop-reggae outfit took top honors when SoundDiego's own host Daye Salani and reporter Dita Quinones presented them Album of the Year to add to their Best Music Video by a San Diego Band award. 

The real excitement of the night came late in the game, however, when SoundDiego LIVE alum Prayers came up to take the award for Best Alternative for their cholo-goth style. “You know we’re the f---ing best,” said Rafael Reyes, the duo’s singer, standing beside his mesh-topped date. “You are in the presence of legends.” Homeboy went on to give an acceptance speech that referenced Kanye West and Donald Trump (in vastly different regards) that made us thank the heavens for Prayers, who keep San Diego interesting.

And the winners are...

Lifetime Achievement Award
Peter Sprague

Best World Music
Todo Mundo

Best New Artist
The Bassics

Best Rock
The Routine

Best Hard Rock
Schizophonics

Best Americana
Sara Petite

Best Cover Band
Lady Dottie & the Diamonds

Best Blues
Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact

Best Jazz Album
Danny Green Trio, “After the Calm”

Best Pop Album
Tolan Shaw, “Chin Up”

Best Music Video by a San Diego Band
Slightly Stoopid, “The Prophecy”

Best Jazz Band
Gilbert Castellanos

Best Blues Album
Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, “Sure Fire Soul Ensemble”

Best Pop
Gayle Skidmore

Best Local Recording
G Burns Jug Band, “The Southern Pacifico”

Best Singer-Songwriter
Sierra West

Best Club DJ
DJ Claire

Best World Music Album
B-Side Players, “Dos Generaciones”

Best Hip-Hop Album
1019 and J. Treel, “Treel Tales of Number Running”

Best Hip-Hop
Vokab Company

Best Live Band
Schizophonics

Best Rock Album
Barbarian, “Night Blooms”

Best Hard Rock Album
Joy, “Under the Spell of Joy”

Best Americana Album
Nancarrow, “Simple Things”

Best Alternative
Prayers

Best Alternative Album
Wild Wild Wets, “14th Floor”

Artist of the Year
Switchfoot

Song of the Year
Little Hurricane, “Heart Skips a Beat”

Album of the Year
Slightly Stoopid, “Meanwhile...Back at the Lab”


Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.

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