They'd like to thank their producers...

Selected winners of the Boston Music Awards
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  December 16, 2008

The Camp

If 2008 goes down as the year when the Boston Music Awards were retooled for the better — and I predict it could — then the trophies from last Sunday night should be considered more than just glorified paperweights. Donnie Wahlberg, whose New Kids took Act of the Year (National), went so far as to claim he'd rather have a BMA than a Grammy, particularly since the Grammy folks have passed him up for punch lines like Milli Vanilli. Sunday night's gala at the Roxy was a bright testament to the Boston music scene's maturity across the spectrum. Space constraints mean we can highlight only a handful, but here are four winners whom you won't likely see in the same building again until next year's ceremony. For more on the BMAs, go here.

Wild Light (Outstanding Rock Act of the Year),"California on My Mind" | Who says a New Hampshire band with a single titled "New Hampshire" shouldn't qualify to win a prime performance spot and a superlative statue at the Boston Music Awards? Not us, not so long as this justifiably hyped Arcade Fire relative (multi-tasker Tim Kyle was a founding member of the celebrated Montreal indie outfit) continue to frequent haunts like Great Scott (January 4) and rep the East Coast the way they so eloquently do on this track.

The Camp (Outstanding Live Act of the Year) | "Gentleman Needs" | Although non-hip-hoppers graciously tolerated their rap contemporaries Sunday night, along with the piles of show flyers and intoxicated entourages that the rappers brought along, one thing that likely aggravated some was that the Camp — a relatively new hip-hop group — beat Bang Camaro, State Radio, and even the Bosstones for Outstanding Live Act. If it's any compensation, this battle rap trio (plus DJ Hevan) attract exponentially expanding eager hordes at their beer-swilling, rhyme-ripping gigs, and they even keep a swarm of chesty sweethearts dubbed the Campettes in tow to handle their "Gentleman Needs."

Girls Guns and Glory (Act of the Year (Local)/Outstanding Americana Act of the Year) | "Ramblin' Ole Daddy" | It's arguable whether Girls Guns and Glory are an Americana act (though they classify themselves as such on MySpace), and also whether they're truly local (this month alone they have shows in nine states). What's not debatable is that their head-turning, dusty-barnyard sound tied Amanda Palmer for the most number of awards this year. We haven't done the research, but there's a chance GG&G are the first BMA winners with a song title that includes the words "ramblin'," "ole," and/or "daddy."

Marissa Nadler Singer/Songwriter of the Year | "Rachel" | For those who stuck around till the end, one highlight of the BMAs was seeing Southie rapper Slaine follow the dreamy folk of Marissa Nadler on stage — it was sort of like munching vegan pizza before jumping into a six-way coke orgy. Nadler's vocals and acoustics made better use of the Roxy's sound system than any other performer all evening. She thanked the audience for acknowledging "underground artists," but once Kemado drops Little Hells next spring (her fourth full-length, with Blonde Redhead's Simone Pace on drums), she might be hard to ignore.

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