The votes are in, the trophies are off being engraved, and our best musicians should be starting to have fashion crises about now as they wonder what to wear for the big night. Yes, it's the New Zealand Music Awards 2006 - or the Tuis - which take place at the Aotea Centre on Wednesday.

Here's a recap of the year's nominations with the TIMEOUT TEAM'S PICKS for who we think should take away the Tuis.

PlayStation 2 SingStar Album of the Year
Don McGlashan - Warm Hand
Bic Runga - Birds
Dave Dobbyn - Available Light
Concord Dawn - Chaos By Design
Elemeno P - Trouble in Paradise
TimeOut Pick: Bic Runga's Birds because while its melancholy mood may have meant it hasn't lit up the local charts like her previous albums, it's also her best set of songs yet on an album, with an atmosphere all its own. And if you can't win a Tui or two with an album called Birds ...

The New Zealand Herald Single of the Year
Bic Runga - Winning Arrow
Goldenhorse - Out Of The Moon
Mt Raskil Preservation Society featuring Hollie Smith - Bathe In The River
Pluto - Long White Cross
The Feelers - Stand Up
TimeOut Pick: Mt Raskil Preservation Society featuring Hollie Smith's Bathe In The River because it also won writer Don McGlashan the APRA Silver Scroll and has spent more than 30 weeks in the charts easily making it this year's superstar single.

Kiwi Best Group
Bleeders - As Sweet As Sin
Elemeno P - Trouble In Paradise
Fly My Pretties - The Return of Fly My Pretties
TimeOut Pick: The Bleeders - As Sweet as Sin because their tight, thrashy songs, frenetic live gigs and solid debut album have broader appeal than the hardcore and punk scene they grew up in.

Best Male Solo Artist
Che-Fu - Beneath the Radar
Dave Dobbyn - Available Light
Don McGlashan - Warm Hand
TimeOut Pick: Don McGlashan because his debut solo album reminds what a distinctive songwriting talent he continues to be. Songs about Third World industrial accidents? Check. Iconic New Zealand dolphins? Why not? Harbour bridges? Sure thing ... .

Best Female Solo Artist
Aaradhna - I Love You
Anika Moa - Stolen Hill
Bic Runga - Birds
TimeOut Pick: Bic Runga because of what we said in the best-album category.

Breakthrough Artist of the Year
Aaradhna - I Love You
Bleeders - As Sweet As Sin
Frontline - Borrowed Time
TimeOut Pick: Frontline because the combined talent of a former ITF champ and a battle MC was always going to be too explosive to ignore.

C4 Best Music Video
Mark Williams - Wandering Eye (Fat Freddy's Drop)
Alyx Duncan Fuji (Minuit)
Adam Jones Long White Cross (Pluto)
TimeOut Pick: Alyx Duncan - Fuji (Minuit) because she does things with Japanese cooking we never knew were stylistically possible.

Best Dance/Electronica Album
Concord Dawn - Chaos By Design
Recloose - Hiatus on the Horizon
Sola Rosa - Moves On
TimeOut Pick: Recloose's Hiatus On The Horizon because, well, we're still playing this clever, lively and nuggety album. And besides, it's summer again.

Best Aotearoa Roots Album
Anika Moa - Stolen Hill
Fly My Pretties - The Return of Fly My Pretties
Rhombus - Future Reference
TimeOut Pick: Anika Moa's Stolen Hill because, while we struggled with whether the finalists constituted Aotearoa roots music, on the album Moa sings in Maori and delves into her own heritage.

Best Maori Album
Mahara Tocker - Hurricane's Eye
Rodger Cunningham - Toto
Te Reotakiwa Dunn - Te Reotakiwa Dunn
Best Gospel/Christian Album
juliagrace - juliagrace
Mumsdollar - A Beautiful Life
Shooting Stars - Over The Water
Best Classical Album
Bridget Douglas and Rachel Thomson - Taurangi
The New Zealand Trio - Spark
Tower Voices Of New Zealand - Spirit of the Land
People's Choice Award
Elemeno P
Bic Runga
Goodnight Nurse
Fat Freddy's Drop

Best Rock Album
Bleeders - As Sweet As Sin
Blindspott - End The Silence
Elemeno P - Trouble In Paradise
TimeOut Pick: Blindspott's End The Silence because after being labelled nu metal first time round they progressed musically and still maintained their market share on their second album.

Best Urban/Hip-Hop Album
Frontline - Borrowed Time
Nesian Mystik - Fresh Men
Opensouls - Kaleidoscope
TimeOut Pick: Frontline's Borrowed Time because the scorching beats and witty rhymes made for a memorable and technically flawless debut.

Show info

New Zealand Music Awards at Aotea Centre, Wednesday October 18, 6.30pm

Be there: Tickets for the public are available for $47.50 from usual outlets. From 4pm in Aotea Square there will be free live performances and giveaways as celebrities arrive on the red carpet for the awards.

On telly: C4's Select Live! broadcasts from the red carpet from 4pm-6pm, Wednesday October 18. The awards ceremony screens on C4 on Thursday October 19 with the NZMA Red Carpet Special (8.30pm) and the NZMA ceremony (9pm). It screens again on C4 on Sunday October 22, 4pm.

Awards programme

Free with your New Zealand Herald on Tuesday, October 17, will be the official New Zealand Music Awards 2006 programme, including profiles of the finalists, a history of the awards, a review of the year in New Zealand music and much more.