• BEST MUSEUM
    • Knoxville Museum of Art
    • Runners-Up:
    • East Tennessee History Museum, Frank H. McClung Museum, Museum of Appalachia
    • BEST GALLERY (PLACE TO BUY ART)
    • Bennett Galleries
    • Runners-Up:
    • The Art Market, Hanson Gallery, Liz-Beth and Co.
    • BEST LOCAL ARTIST
    • Matt Burns, Saint Tattoo
    • We love that we asked you for the best local artist, and you came back to us with a tattoo artist. You’re the best, Knoxville. But let’s be honest, these guys can be pretty damn talented. And they’re working in a difficult medium. Most traditional artists don’t have to overcome squeamish or twitchy canvases to get their work down. Saint Tattoo artist Matt Burns is mighty prolific. Check out some of his work in the shop or on Saint’s website. He works in skull, fire, cross, and knife. He even does detailed portraits (take a look at the dead-on be-hatted Lee Van Cleef). Burns is a veteran of the competitive tattoo world. He has been slinging ink since 1995, and he’s been an oft-requested member of the Saint staff nearly from the beginning. He works Tuesday through Saturday afternoons and evenings. (C.M.)
    • Best Local Artist Runners-Up:
    • Mike Berry, Paul Hassell, Cynthia Markert
    • BEST LOCAL THEATER GROUP
    • Actors Co-op
    • The Actors Co-op has had a pretty successful season—its summer production of Lysistrata drew rave reviews, it introduced a one-man show of David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries for Christmas, it staged The Sunset Limited, Cormac McCarthy’s meditation on things eternal, and it has a production of Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade just underway at Ironwood Studios—and a tumultuous one, too. Its long relationship with the Black Box Theatre in Bearden came to a close after Sunset (and a vaudeville show in March), and the company is now operating without a permanent home. It has a few big shows set for the Bijou Theatre in the winter, but it’ll be a roving band of itinerant actors for much of the 2008-2009 season. Mostly, that just means a chance to try a bunch of new places and find out what works. Should be fun to watch them search for a home. (M.E.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • Carpetbag Theatre, The Clarence Brown Theatre, White Lightnin’ Burlesque Troupe
    • BEST LOCAL ACTOR
    • Brad Renfro
    • Sadly, 25-year-old Brad Renfro died on Jan. 15, a victim of the kind of hard living that claims so many entertainers well before the blossom of youth has faded. But he left behind a host of loving friends and family hereabouts, as well as a body of work that includes several precocious and even stellar performances in films like The Client, Apt Pupil, and Bully. His last film, the Bret Easton Ellis-penned The Informers, will be released in 2008. (M.G.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • David Brian Alley, Steve Dupree, Johnny Knoxville
    • BEST LOCAL DANCE COMPANY
    • Circle Modern Dance
    • Runners-Up:
    • Gypsy Hands, Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble, White Lightnin’ Burlesque
    • BEST DJ
    • DJ Slink
    • (See also: Best Local MySpace page)
    • Runners-Up:
    • 4matiks (Forrest Kurth), DJ Kelly (Club XYZ), DJ Mic One
    • BEST HIP-HOP BAND
    • The Jaystorm Project
    • In a town where mainstream hip-hop acts are just now beginning to surface, a guy like Jaystorm isn’t just in the running, but ahead of the pack. As much funk and old-school soul as hip-hop, with a hint of reggae, there’s no denying the hip-hop influence on his R&B. The big difference is the band behind him, a collection of ace musicians with a tight, intuitive ensemble relationship and impeccable taste. It may not be exactly what you think of when you think of hip-hop, but watch it shake your butt. (M.E.)
    • Runners-Up:
    • The Big Deuce, Big Orange Blues Band, Mr. Mack
    • BEST LOCAL AMERICAN BAND
    • Robinella
    • Runners-Up:
    • Christabel and the Jons, the everybodyfields, Scott Miller and the Commonwealth
    • BEST LOCAL COVER BAND
    • The Coveralls
    • Runners-Up:
    • The Breakfast Club, Same As It Ever Was, The Vibraslaps
    • BEST ROCK CLUB / BEST ALL AGES VENUE
    • The Valarium
    • Sort of an expanded version of Blue Cats, which closed in November (and still managed to get 31 votes in the Best Rock Club category), the Valarium is located in the old Electric Ballroom building on a weird little spur of Western Avenue. (It’s a little hard to find, stuck as it is in between the main section of Western near Henley Street and interstates 275 and 40. Check the club’s website, thevalarium.com, for directions.) The new club is a substantial improvement over the latter days of the Ballroom, with extensive interior renovations, new parking and exterior lights, and a steady line-up of mid-range acts that might not have had anywhere else to play in Knoxville. In just a few short months the club has hosted the reunited Dinosaur Jr., Southern Culture on the Skids, Yonder Mountain String Band, N.E.R.D., Gov’t Mule, and As I Lay Dying, with a handful of local showcases (10 Years, Down From Up) and upcoming performances scheduled by Clutch and Less Than Jake. Most of those shows are all-ages, too, a significant step for Knoxville’s night life. The kids want to rock, too. (M.E.)
    • Best Rock Club Runners-Up:
    • Barley’s Taproom, Pilot Light, World Grotto
    • Best All-Ages Venue Runners-Up:
    • Market Square’s stage, Bijou Theatre, Tennessee Theatre
    • BEST COUNTRY & WESTERN CLUB
    • Cotton Eyed Joe
    • Runners-Up:
    • Coyote Joe’s, Electric Cowboy, Toot’s Little Honky Tonk
    • BEST GAY CLUB
    • The Carousel
    • Runners-Up:
    • Club XYZ, Kurt’s Bar, The Rainbow Club
    • BEST ADULT ENTERTAINMENT CLUB
    • The Mouse’s Ear
    • Runners-Up:
    • Emerald Club, Last Chance, Th’ Katch
    • BEST TV STATION
    • WBIR, Channel 10
    • Runners-Up:
    • WATE, Channel 6; WTNZ, Channel 43; WVLT, Channel 8
    • BEST TV PERSONALITY
    • Robin Wilhoit, WBIR
    • In the small galaxy of local celebrity, Robin Wilhoit maintains her equable nebula around a town that’s perfectly suited to her expert teleprompter readings and tasteful wardrobe (with the exception of that red quilted pleather jacket). When she shifts her delivery between stories of tragedy to quirky local interest, it’s as effortless as when Mom gave us the bad news and then the good news about our baby-sitting contract. Her commitment to breast-cancer awareness makes her even more of a local wonder, as the phrase “Buddy Check 10” has made its way into the local lexicon. But the best part of Wilhoit is that she’s not an alarmist—she’s just delivering the news, which is exactly what we want. (Travis Gray)
    • Runners-Up:
    • Russell Bivens, Todd Howell, Moira Kaye
    • BEST RADIO PERSONALITY
    • Hallerin Hilton Hill, WNOX
    • Runners-Up:
    • Derek and Rob from the Funhouse on WUTK; Gunner, WIVK; Red Hickey, WDVX
    • BEST RADIO STATION
    • WUTK 90.3
    • Runners-Up:
    • WWST (STAR) 102.1; WDVX 102.9 and 105.9; WIVK 107.7