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Get ready for the Indy Music Awards

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In the coming weeks we'll be posting the ballot and voting information for our first annual Indy Music Awards. The main purpose of the awards will be to give props to the musicians, songwriters and producers of the best sounds to come out of the Triangle in the past year. Paper ballots will be available at local music stores and clubs and in the Independent Weekly on Sept. 15 and 22. You can also vote online starting Sept. 15 at www.indymusicawards.com. Check out upcoming issues and the Web site for details.

The awards--nifty little statues handmade with loving care by Shark Quest guitarist Laird Dixon--will be handed out at a big showcase event Oct. 2 in Carrboro at the ArtsCenter and Cat's Cradle from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. We've got a great lineup developing for that night, and we're keeping a lid on the cost (how does 15 acts for $10 sound?) to make sure as many people get a chance to see a mix of some of the best of the Triangle music scene as possible. We're still finalizing the list of performers, so stay tuned on that.

We've also set up a mini rock band camp for kids during the day along with a Future of Music symposium that will explore how changes in technology are changing the way we listen to, obtain and make music.

To help whet your appetite for the event, the good folks at the Town of Carrboro are sponsoring a Sounds Local art exhibit at Town Hall, the Century Center and the ArtsCenter. Drop by any of the locations to check out posters, instruments, memorabilia and other cool stuff collected over the years by members of the local music community. And, in case you failed to grab an extra copy of our annual band guide (Sounds Local Vol. II) you can pick one up at any of the aforementioned art show sites. The exhibit stays up through October.

Remember--details about voting, the event and other cool stuff is online at www.indymusicawards.com. Desert drawings We're happy to have heard some positive responses to Chris Parker's "Desert Island Discs," which features a list of essential records by a local musician with an upcoming show. It provides, we think, a nice insight into influences and inspiration. This week we go a bit deeper: We're now asking artists to draw their own palm tree. Sara Bell kicks the new feature off with her sketch Tree and Sun.

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