As Jeff Milo blogged yesterday, the organizers of the Detroit Music Awards have a hell of a time getting the city’s real music folk to take the thing seriously. It’s never about who does get included, but the huge amount of talent that seems to be ignored year after year.
However, when sat in the Palladium 12 Theater in Birmingham yesterday (big leather seats, by the way – very plush) to watch the five nominated videos deemed, in president Howard Hertz’s words, “most suitable for the big screen”, I found myself firmly on the side of the DMAs. The reason? Two incredibly annoying old ladies.
The videos were shown before a screening of a new Ed Harris / Pierce Brosnan movie (filmed in Michigan) called Salvation Boulevard, and the majority of the festival-goers in the theater were there to see the movie. The videos were sort of the opening act. However, everyone was good enough to sit and watch the videos, displaying suitable decorum. Everyone, that is, except for the two bags who were sat directly behind me and chose to voice their displeasure throughout. Of course, had I stuck around and used my phone throughout the movie, they would have been the first to say how people today have no manners. Vile creatures.
So anyway, the videos. The first came from Kaleido, featuring local former pop diva Christina Chriss. She’s dyed her hair, grabbed some locals players, formed a band and, while the results could have been horrible, “Jane” is surprisingly catchy and likable. It’ll be a little too Paramore for the hipsters, but it isn’t bad at all. The video sees Chriss changing her clothes and hair color with startling regularity, which confused the old ladies to no end. As they spoke of how horrible they thought the music was, they referred to the “red haired girl and the black haired girl”, no clue that it was the same girl.
Then came FlashCash, whose “Spiraling” video seemed to feature people groping each other over electro beats. Awesome, right? Not for the oldies. “Who here really wants to see this?” they said. “Me”, said I.
They also said that the Infatuations’ “Blame it on You” was “at least not unbearable”. That’s an understatement. The disco-rock band’s video, featuring a mock bar fight and some cool scenes of the city may not have been the best-produced video, but it was certainly the best song.
John Maison is as commercial as Detroit country gets, and his video for “Fast Enough”, featuring him playing guitar in the middle of a dusty road and ending with a wedding scene, is as clichéd as country videos get. The song has all of the attributes of a million-seller though, so who’s to knock him. As for the rude women, they were just yabbering throughout about how Ed Harris was on a talk show recently.
The final video, Mark Randisi’s “Spooky” (featuring the Motor City Horns) shut the women up. Not sure if they liked the song, or if someone behind them wired their jaws shut. Either way, it was a blessed relief. Randisi is playing his song on a patch of ground or a parking lot (or perhaps a rooftop) somewhere downtown, which looks great. He plays that kind of crooner-jazz that Sinatra fans will lap up, and the MC Horns sound phenomenal.
That’s it. I decided against sticking around for the movie just to annoy said old girls. But fuck, I’m still seething.