Cast your votes for The My Spilt Milk Awards, which will be given out Thursday, April 7 at The Howlin' Wolf.

my spilt milk awards ar

[Updated] Early voting has started for March 5’s Louisiana Primary, and it is time to vote for the winners for The My Spilt Milk Awards, which take place Thursday, April 7 at The Howlin’ Wolf. The ballot below includes our nominees as well as space for you to write-in your choice if you think we missed somebody.

We look forward to seeing what happens and who you vote for, but we've achieved one of our main goals just by putting this out and putting in one place the names of some artists across genre lines that we think are doing something special. It's easy to get lost in our own cultural silos and not know what's going on in the next one. That happens to us too sometimes, which is why we left room for you to support people we might have missed. Our goal isn’t to have our choices validated. What we want is to see is that the artists who make a difference get recognized.

Who made the best recorded first impression in 2015?

Who made the biggest jump into bigger rooms, bigger shows or better time slots in 2015?

Who will we be talking about for awards this time next year?

Who had the most uncompromising vision in 2015? It’s hard to imagine who expected a #BlackLivesMatter album from an artist as established as Terence Blanchard, and Dee-1’s 3’s Up made it clear that he’s spiritually and morally upstanding when popular music frequently plays fast and loose with both. Quintron and Miss Pussycat do their own very specific thing with such rigor that you’d think they have a mission statement squirreled away somewhere.

Our notion of “New Orleanian” and others may vary, and perhaps we’ll have more exacting terminology this time next year. We’re interested in who got the most life out of sounds associated with New Orleans, whether it’s funk, R&B or jazz.

This category almost didn’t happen because Song of the Year implies the song that everybody knows and responds to, and not simply someone’s really good song. But we felt so strongly about Donovan Wolfington’s “Ollie North” and Young Greatness’ “Moolah” that the ballot felt incomplete without them, even if there wasn’t a third song that we could think of that had the same mass appeal or potential for it. If you know one, please write it in. 

What artist that isn’t nominated for anything had the most award-worthy 2015? If you want to send your reason why to, that will be handy when it comes time to give out this award, but it’s not required.

Why these three? Big Freedia continued to be the face of bounce with her Fuse television show, her book Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva!, and most importantly, she extended a bounce show from 20 to 45 minutes or an hour, proving that the music can be more than a New Orleans novelty. Trombone Shorty released a Caldecott Award-winning children’s book and in a 12-month period played the main stages of Voodoo, Jazz Fest, and the Essence Music Festival. Rapper Young Greatness signed to Atlanta’s Quality Control label, released the acclaimed mixtape I Tried to Tell Em, the killer single “Moolah,” and a second mini-mixtape, VII.

The My Spilt Milk Awards will be a party, not a formal event, with mini-sets by Tank and the Bangas, The Breton Sound, Rotary Downs, and The Soul Rebels, who’ll play a hip-hop set. AF the Naysayer will open, and comedian Andrew Polk will host the show. Tickets are on sale now for $25 ($30 the day of the show), and VIP for $60 ($65 the day of the show, and the VIP package is still being finalized). 

On Saturday from 3-5 p.m., I’ll be at Nola Mix Records (1522 Magazine St. between Race and Felicity) spinning vinyl with The Breton Sound’s Jonathan Pretus, drinking beer, talking music, and selling tickets at 25 percent off. 

Updated March 21, 10:39 a.m.

Rotary Downs was added to the bill.

Updated March 22, 11:47 p.m.

The text has been changed to reflect the name change of the event.