One great band you won’t be seeing at our 48-Fort-Worth-band Music Awards Festival, Sunday, June 24, at eight venues in the West 7th corridor, is Fate Lions –– unfortunately, frontman Jason Manriquez can’t get out of work. In the meantime, though, Fate Lions guitarist Drew Gabbert and bassist Todd Walker will be working on an EP they’re  recording with drummer Austin Green (Telegraph Canyon, The Apache 5) and producer Will Hunt at Hunt’s Spaceway Productions studio downtown. The new trio, Missing Sibling, will embark on a regional tour in August, not long after the record is finished, Gabbert said. “People who have heard the demos say it reminds them of Guided by Voices,” he said, “so I would call it noisy power-pop with a few doses of Camera Obscura and a helping of early Silversun Pickups.” In other words, Missing Sibling plays ragged but melodic rock ’n’ roll. The band’s origins date back to last winter, when Fate Lions were “going through a bit of a hiatus,” Gabbert said, and he was feeling inspired. He ended up writing about 15 songs in 10 days. He began recording the songs at a local music school’s studio, playing all the instruments himself. Walker was hooked after one listen. Green was a logical choice for drummer –– he’d filled in a few times for Fate Lions shows. Hunt (Burning Hotels, Evanescence’s Amy Lee, Holy Moly) was the band’s first choice for producer. “We decided we wanted to jump out of the gate guns blazing with the best recording possible and have a producer we trust,” Gabbert said. Missing Sibling sent the demos to Hunt, who quickly got on board. “We were ecstatic to get such positive feedback from someone like Will, when we respect his work as much as we do,” Gabbert said. The farthest the tour will reach is Athens, Ga. … Only because people have once again asked, I’m obliged to explain the compilation of our annual Music Awards ballot. A few months before publication date, I send out blank ballots to local movers and shakers (my music writers, other music writers, local venue owners, local radio people), asking these fine folks to write in their top how-many-ever artists and recordings. I tabulate the write-in votes, fill in some blanks, and –– voila –– the ballot. If you haven’t been following closely at home over the past several years, this year’s ballot is massive, easily the biggest in the 14 or 15 years we’ve been doing Music Awards. In the past, we limited the number of nominees in each category to five, which made for some tricky decisions. Over the past couple of years, though, I’ve been saying, Fuck it. If two or more bands/albums receive the same number of write-in votes, I’m not going to embark on some sort of arbitration hearing. I’m just going to list all of the vote getters. However, I must hasten to add, there simply have never been as many superb nominees –– in all categories –– as there are this year, a testament to the amount and quality of music coming out of our humble little town of cow. In a couple of weeks, you’ll get to read all about all of the nominees in our annual Music Awards issue. Is the ballot comprehensive? No. Are there hardworking bands in town whose names should have appeared on the ballot? Sure. Will the Weekly begin to accept only write-in nominations from readers? No. Plus, as in the cesspool that is American politics, just getting on our annual Music Awards ballot should be seen as some sort of acknowledgment if not an out-and-out pat on the back for hard work undertaken and accomplished.


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