1997 Dallas Observer Music Awards

Nominated for: Best Act Overall; Single Release (Paper Dress); Male Vocalist (Todd Lewis), Songwriter (Todd Lewis)

Problems, problems -- the Toadies have had a few over the last couple of years. They didn't like touring with Bush. They're also sick of singing that dark little ditty -- set in a Texas campground -- about murder or rape or vampires or homosexuals or childhood crushes or something. Of course, "Possum Kingdom" is the song that catapulted their previously ignored Interscope release Rubberneck into the platinum stratosphere, and you can imagine what a pain in the ass it must be to deal with that. As you can see, the Toadies have the problems that just about every other band on the planet would kill to have. It's what they get for being one of the best acts playing today -- recorded, live, local or not. Their songs are coarse and catchy, so simple in structure they're primal. Todd Lewis' vocals, resonant with emotional subtext, give away more than his lyrics report. Last year, the Toadies faced a lineup change that brought pin-up guitar hero Clark Vogeler in to replace Darrel Herbert, and the death of soundman and good friend David Kerher. Still, as a band, they have a new cohesion, and the new songs are said to be a product of the whole band, not just Lewis' twisted vision. -- Scott Kelton Jones