VOTING: There has been some concern voiced by several of you (including Ben Lacy's thread) that this could end up being a simple popularity contest. There's nothing wrong with popularity contests, but that's not what we're after. So, we've taken several precautions against that.
1) I've tried my best to gear this towards a celebration of the music community, not as contest. Not so much "so and so is better than so and so", but "we'd like to take this year's opportunity to honor so and so".
2) The nominations process took place by announcing it here and elsewhere. It was open to the general public, but by far the biggest "demographic", as it were, who participated in voting were music professionals of one stripe or other. That is, musicians, music retailers, music stores, recording engineers, and others in the industry were the primary voters. NOT just the band with the most mobile fan-base.
3) The final voting is about to take place. Who will be voting? The nominees ONLY. Why? This is the last filter against the aforementioned "mobile fanbase" coming in and stealing the day.
Again, this also leaves ME (and others behind the scenes, like the wonderful Heather Parrish) out of the decision process, so there are no worries of biases or ignorance of the entire community seeping in.
Soooo....coming up: We announce the nominees THIS WEEK!!!