OEA Awards: Comments from Marq Manner

There’s been some issues with the comments system on the blog (and just problems with Blogger in general) today. Marq Manner, music man about town and an OEA Award organizer, had some comments for my blog post about the nominees and the OEA Awards in general.

Instead of hiding it on the comments section of that post, I wanted to break it out and make it bigger.

He makes lots of good points here and explains some of the ways decisions are made for the awards.

Hello Kevin,

Thank you for the announcement. I would like to comment on some points. Comments, suggestions, and perception of the awards show from both the press, public and musicians have played a huge role in shaping this event and the categories over the years.

-Until this year we have not gotten a response back from you or any OWH music reporter. I just assumed that employees of the OWH may not be able to be involved. if I missed a response back from you last year, I apologize. We still ask every year. I am glad that you will be involved this year as your opinion is valued. The nominees are decided by a small group who go over the public ballots that are compiled by an accounting firm. The full academy votes on the winners.

-There is no “alternative” category (we dropped that I think two years ago to go with just “indie” music. Adult Alternative is a radio format that six years ago was something that a lot of bands in Omaha fit into. It evolved into a songwriter category-and I will be suggesting it just be a singer-songwriter category next year. I personally am not a fan of that tag either and understand the confusion involved with it. It was skipped this year when talking about other changes that we were making.

-These are not my words-but this is what was decided by the board (of which there are more music members than ever before). “We felt that this was a way to open up the categories and competition a little more. Progressive and Funk feature tendencies that are similar in structure so we felt this would be a great combination. Again we made some changes this year that we felt would increase the interest of the awards. Moving Funk from the Soul/R&B/Gospel category into a group that we felt was a better representation of the scene seemed like a positive move. I hope this clarifies. More feedback is always appreciated.”

-Every year things evolve in the Omaha music scene and we try to evolve with it. We also listen to comments from the press, public, and musicians and take those comments seriously. Some other changes that we have made this year based on suggestions/complaints are that we “dropped” easy listening from the Jazz category. This is in response to members of the jazz community and because a “vocal standards/easy listening” contingent is not making an impact in Omaha at this time. We have dropped best “Christian” and moved gospel into the soul category. We added EDM (Electronic Dance Music) to the DJ category to try an represent more of the dance music scene in Omaha. We also shortened the Country/Americana category from four words to two. :)

-Some nominees are public nominees. Some bands and artists get their fan bases active and thus you may see some bands and artists on the list that many might not be familiar with. In the past some names have come out of the public nominees that might have fallen under the radar had it not been for the top public nominee. I would love to say that I know everything happening in every age group or scene in town-but I do not. People like Daniel Christian, Ember Schrag, and others have come out of these nominations. Both of those artists tour more and are/were more active in their “scenes” than many of the nominated bands by the academy in those given years.

-The OEEA’s are about the region. A band like the Minnahoonies play many shows in Omaha proper and have played OEAA showcases. We do not feel it is fair to exclude bands from the area. Shenandoah, Iowa is not going to have a music awards show nor is any other town around them. The closest one is Omaha and this is where they play.

-Many city and state awards shows around the country recognize artists after they have “made it”. We choose to do so as well. The Minnesota Music Awards always did (I think this is defunct), The Minnesota Black Music Awards do this, The Boston Music Awards do this (heck they named the ancient Peter Wolf of the J. Geils band as album of the year last year), City of Music (Seattle) awards major artists (Brandi Carlisle, Fleet Foxes, etc. though it is a different format than ours), as does the Austin Music Awards.

I appreciate the announcement andyou having a section where are able to comment. Thank you.

MarQ Manner
Music Nominating Co-Chair Omaha Entertainment And Arts Awards

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