Checking in: SAMMIES 2020 winners and nominees

In any normal year, we at SN&R would be in full-on SAMMIES mode, asking readers to vote for their favorite performers and prepping a big event to celebrate the winners.

Unfortunately, the SAMMIES are on hold for 2021, and COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders prevented the big shindig we’d hoped for in 2020 to celebrate the winners.

But if there’s any time we need the comfort of music, it’s now. For the next few weeks, we’ll be checking in on some 2020 SAMMIES nominees and winners and nominees to see how they’ve stayed creative over the last year. Be sure to check out the Bandcamp and Spotify pages of each artist.

Th’ Losin Streaks, nominee, Punk/Post-Punk

Band Th' Losin Streaks performing.
Th’ Losin Streaks. Photo by Mari Tamura

How did it feel to be nominated for a SAMMIE? 
It’s always nice to be acknowledged – we were split up for 7 or 8 years before we started playing again. That’s a lifetime in the music scene, so it was great to find that people were still interested in what we were doing.

How have you stayed active/creative through the pandemic?
At first we couldn’t do much together… Mike and I worked on new material and Stan taught himself a filmmaking program and started making animated videos. In the late summer we got access to a large warehouse space with an industrial exhaust fan. we could use it a  few days a month, so we started getting together and learning all the new songs we’d been writing. With us spread way apart and trying to sing through masks, over the fan noise, it’s not ideal, but at least we’re doing SOMETHING. With any luck we’ll have an album’s worth of new material by the time this is all over.

What are you listening to lately?
I’ve piled up a few hundred old 45s from flea markets and such over the years – stuff from the 50s-70s. If i didn’t recognize the label or artist, I’d grab it if it was cheap. I’ve just been going through those boxes, the whole year, playing all these obscure old records. I’ve found some incredible stuff, and have really fallen in love with a lot of that post-Elvis pre-Beatles era RnB, doo-wop and rock and roll. You can’t go wrong with The “5” Royales! -Tim Foster

Listen to Th’ Losin Streaks on their Bandcamp page.

Band of Coyotes, winner, Rock

Band of Coyotes

How did you feel about being nominated last year?
We were bummed to hear there wasn’t a SAMMIEs this year! Our heart goes out to you, thanks for always recognizing bands like us and we appreciate what you’re doing for the local music scene.

How have you stayed active/creative during the pandemic?
Working out eight days a week. We all got Pelotons, one member is doing planks everyday and another biked more than 10 miles today.

What have you been listening to lately?
Joni Mitchell. We met her ex boyfriend once. Benny Sings, and Sam really likes Relient K.

Check out Band of Coyotes on their website

Island of Black and White, winner, Reggae/Jam

Island of Black and White

How did you feel about being nominated last year?
We were honored to be nominated again last year! We are thankful for all our fans, and for all their love and support over the many years the band has been working hard. We are bummed the SAMMIES won’t be happening this year. We are hoping that everyone is safe, happy, healthy, and able to keep doing what they love. We are grateful for the SN&R family for working so hard for the music scene!

How have you stayed active/creative during the pandemic?
We have been doing a lot of online shows from home, to stay active during the pandemic. It has been one way to stay in touch with our fans and fellow musicians. We have also been doing “Doorstep Music,” where we have been visiting fans at their front doors (at a safe distance), for special events, and celebrations. It is amazing to get to see our supporters, and bring them any amount of happiness and excitement during these hard times. We have also been working on a new album, and releasing singles in the meantime. We have stayed pretty busy, considering the current pandemic, checking things off of our to do list! Staying positive and productive, as best we can. 

What have you been listening to lately?
We have spent a lot of time in our home studios, recording our new album, and probably listening to that more than we would like.  We have also been discovering a lot of great musicians, locally and internationally. Having the time to listen to new things, and check out new projects, has been a blessing. Something about having a little extra free time, allows for endless possibilities.

Find Island of Blackand White on Facebook

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