OutMusic Awards countdown: Best rock song

Posted on 09 May 2011 at 1:00pm

If you caught it last week, I started a mini-series of sorts on the upcoming OutMusic Awards with the plan of introducing you to a handful of the nominees. The awards are two Mondays from today. Plus, it’s also a buildup before we talk to one local who snagged three nominations. These are definitely the gay Grammys but without the big type of superstars. Maybe that will change someday.

Last week, we looked at those up for Outstanding pop song, but this time, I’m feeling a little more rock ‘n’ roll. Take a look and listen at the five nominees for Outstanding rock song. Who do you think should win? Listen to all five of the nominees below:

Ariel Aparicio — “People Who Died”
I have mixed feelings about this song. Aparicio nicely covered Jim Carroll’s ’80s punk hit, but other than a few sound tweaks, it’s not much different than the original. Thus I’m not sure what OutMusic is recognizing here.

Hunter Valentine — “Revenge”
While I liked their album Lessons from the Late Night enough, I wasn’t overly thrilled by this song. It just pounds at you like a bad lay.

Christine Martucci — “Ocean Avenue”
Martucci will get likely comparisons to Melissa Etheridge and Brandi Carlile, but that’s not so bad. She’s got the voice and decent songwriting chops to pull it off. Martucci was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year for the song “Child Inside.”

Melissa Li and the Barely Theirs — “The Beginning”
OK, first of all, the writer in me is driven crazy by this name. I just need to get that off my chest. The song is sweet and harmless and the band has a Ditty Bops kinda quirk to them. The production on this song could be better, but forgivable being that indie-types don’t have big budgets.

Dylan Rice — “Homewrecker’s Lament

You’ll have to click on the title to hear the song, but I’m pretty swayed by Rice’s dreamy voice and Wilco-like sound. It’s probably more folkish than rock, but I have to admit, I’ve already given it multiple listenings.

Again, it’s hard to sit here and guess which will win without any big-label-industry buzz, but of these nominees, I’m pulling for Rice. I think he shows the most depth here. Martucci’s a close second with a familiar sound, but still a strong showing. I’m curious if Hunter Valentine’s major label cred will put them over or if Aparicio’s revamped cover will warm nostalgic voters. I like the potential that Li and her band have, but this might be their “just an honor to be nominated year.”

And I could just be all wrong. The awards are set for May 23 in New York.

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