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Pickin' and winnin' 

Sometimes, it seems like being an unknown commodity can actually be a plus. Just ask Chris Forsythe, who fronts local metal band Malakai. While recalling the group's early tours, he offers an observation that will ring all too true for many musicians who've spent time on the road.

"The first few years we were in the band, we used to tour all the time," says Forsythe, who runs sound at the Black Sheep when not pillaging his way through brutal anthems like "Chasing Demons" and "Dead by Design." "We'd go play Kansas and New Mexico and Arizona, and it got to the point where we had better followings everywhere we went outside of the Springs than we had here. I think it's more of a challenge getting noticed in Colorado Springs, to be honest with you."

But if familiarity breeds disinterest, you wouldn't know it from the response to our inaugural Indy Music Awards. No fewer than 2,500 readers voted for their favorite local musicians.

And you'll be able to hear more than a dozen of the winners playing on three stages during our free awards festival at Stargazers next Thursday, Sept. 8. Read all about them in our collection of freshly minted profiles and interviews.

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