Over these 14 years, we've sought to do one thing, and one thing only, with the TAMMIES: We've tried to honor the best of the best from Tucson's music scene. The Weekly makes little or no money off of the TAMMIES; we put the time, effort and money into the awards because we care about our city and its culture.
In recent years, we've heard complaints--many justified--that these awards aren't necessarily going to the music scene's best and brightest. It's a definite problem--a problem we've tried to address.
These efforts have seen mixed results. One effort we've been happy with was the introduction, several years ago, of the TAMMIES Critics' Choice Awards. We feel that we've been honoring a fine group of musicians with these awards, thanks to the expertise of music critics from local newspapers, radio stations, Web sites and other sources.
We've also increased our efforts to weed out the bands and musicians who stoop so low as to stuff the ballot box. While we've done a decent job of eliminating these illegitimate votes, these efforts have done nothing to stop some bands from nonetheless semi-dominating the Readers' Choice voting by getting their fans to vote for them in large numbers.
Thus, for the 2008 TAMMIES, we're going to make some big changes:
· There will be two rounds of voting. In the first round, both readers and our critics' panel will vote for their favorites in about 15-20 revamped categories.
· The top 2-3 choices from both the readers and the critics' panel will be combined--in some cases, along with a choice from Weekly music writers--into a multiple-choice slate, with about five finalists in each category, for the second round of voting.
· That second round of voting will be done online, at TAMMIES.com. The page will include links to the finalist musicians'/bands' Web pages, MySpace pages and other useful information.
· Finally, our panel of critics will reconvene to choose a separate set of awards, honoring bands/musicians for special achievements.
Will these efforts lead to a better slate of TAMMIES winners next year? We sure hope so. In any case, we welcome your feedback and ideas on how we can make the TAMMIES even better.
Thanks again for reading and for your support of Tucson's music community.