Best of Music
Best Rock Star Success Story
This time last year, only Columbus dive bar patrons knew about Josh Krajcik’s soul-stirring Joe Cocker croon. One jaw-dropping rendition of “At Last” later, Krajcik was stunning a national TV audience weekly on Simon Cowell’s singing contest “The X Factor”; he finished in second place. Now Krajcik regularly decamps to London and L.A. for weeks at a time to partner with top songwriters like Adele collaborator Eg White. He hopes to release his major-label debut and hit the road this fall.
Best Happy Hour Soundtrack
Kill two birds with one stone: Grab an after-work drink and catch an early-evening show! Check out local rockers at Rumba Cafe, folksy favorites at Shrunken Head’s Honky Tonk Happy Hour or bluegrass bands at Byrne’s.
Best Local Fan Base
Twenty One Pilots
The eclectic, electrifying hip-hop duo caught major labels’ attention (and signed with one) on the strength of an 1,800-strong sellout crowd at the Newport.
Best New Bar for the Little Brother’s Crowd
Ace of Cups
How many times have you heard laments about the good old days at the iconic indie music venue? Somebody finally opened a place that can legitimately claim its title as The Next Little Brother’s.
Best Place to Live Out Pinball Wizard Fantasies
Nothing beats shopping for records—except, of course, shopping for records and playing pinball. Brett Ruland wanted his vinyl depot to be the coolest and most inviting in town, so he outfitted Downtown’s Spoonful Records with a pair of pinball machines. Best is Wizard!, a 1975 electromechanical game made by Bally and based on the film Tommy. Even better than the nostalgic bells, whistles and dings is the illustration of Roger Daltrey holding Ann-Margret.