It’s amazing what can happen in a year — and specifically, the year since the City Paper hosted its very first City Paper Music Awards. Metal/Punk Band of the Year the Shaniqua Brown, led by Rachel Kate Gillon, broke up. Elise Testone, designated the Funk/Soul/R&B Artist of the Year along with her band the Freeloaders, came ever so close to being named the 11th American Idol. And Cary Ann Hearst, who picked up five different awards, dominated the local scene yet again, this time with Shovels and Rope, her band with husband Michael Trent.

But we had a lot to learn for that inaugural issue. The staff at the City Paper, along with some of our best music writers, determined the nominees, which readers then voted on. For 2012, we decided to open the nomination process to anyone with a favorite local band or artist in mind. You told us which acts you love — that included some regulars, but also lots of surprises — and we whittled them down to a select few. Then you voted online for the final winners. You’ll see some familiar faces from the first go-round, but also a lot of new ones.

Stay tuned for the City Paper Music Award issue, which will be released on Wed. Nov. 7, featuring profiles of some of your favorite bands and musicians. And just like last year, we’ll be throwing a party to celebrate all the CPMA winners, featuring live performances from a handful of them. It goes down at the Pour House (1977 Maybank Hwy.) on Thurs. Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. Patch Whisky is designing the awards, which will be handed out that night.

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