Heads up. We’ve changed plans a bit for our annual music awards and are holding open the nominations process for another few weeks as a result. In order to have enough space for a rundown of nominees, we’re going to open voting with our first Music Quarterly on Jan. 25. Look for bios and descriptions of the nominees there. Meanwhile, if you’ve got a favorite band or song you want to see on the ballot, send it in either by completing a nominations form on page 12 or visiting www.indyweekblogs.com/scan and clicking the nominations link.

Marshall Law took the title in 21st Records Big Bad Beat Battle Thursday at The Pour House, beating other finalists E.Jones, Invincible and ShortFuse. Little Brother and The Foreign Exchange emcee Phonte freestyled over several of the winning beats. Roc-A-Fella’s Young Guru and Little Brother’s 9th Wonder will be two of four guest judges at NCCU Music Department’s BEATDOWN Round 1 a B.N. Duke Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 20.

“Dream of you?”
Last night, I had a dream that Ryan Adams wasn’t from Raleigh. Some would call it a nightmare, but I woke up with a smile, happy to have the specter of Raleigh music–“He Who Shall Not Be Named”–lifted away. How grand: That Adams–at 31, a songwriter people love or hate–had not spent his formative musical years in the bars and clubs of Raleigh, shaping a craft with Whiskeytown that has since sparked 1,000 imitators. It’s high time this town stops kowtowing. The inspiration was David Menconi’s year-end album list in Sunday’s News & Observer, which named a Menconi-only mixtape collection called 29 Cold Jacksonville Roses as 2005’s best album. It’s a sequence of 13 of the 41 songs Adams released this year on three albums. Sure, that’s a nice gesture and all for the Raleigh expatriate who made a triumphant return to the Triangle in June, but if this compilation of tracks that aren’t named or listed is the most meaningful “album” released this year, I am woefully in the dark about this whole damn thing. In a year when several albums stand the chance of being actual landmark recordings, the songs released by Adams are not some of them, no matter how local Adams is or has been or how good “Meadowlake Street” or the first verse of “September” is. Well, can’t a boy dream?

For our chance at picking 2005’s best, see www.indyweekblogs.com/ scan on Jan. 11.