Welcome to the First Annual "Detroit Music Awards" Awards, honoring the annual ceremony that's known far and wide for its unbridled backslaps (self or otherwise) and a suffocatingly compartmentalized view of "important" local music. Last Thursday's DMAs, brought to us by the Motor City Music Foundation, were dubbed "one more night of your life that you'll never get back" by the announcer. Let's begin our awards by giving said announcer the nod for Best Unironic Use of a Phrase.
So, onto the other "awards" awards. (Full disclosure: In the interest of fairness, there was no dubious voting process, no selection committee, and no self-interested group[s] weighing in for this award presentation. Rather, these awards were scribbled drunkenly on a wet bar napkin during the actual DMA ceremony.)
Best Host: Mark Ridley, owner of the Comedy Castle, who receives this distinction for being the night's only host. His unique brand of witless droning recalled Bob Saget's days of hosting America's Funniest Home Videos, albeit more inebriated and that's a good thing.
Best Use of a T-shirt: This honor goes to one of the members of Keem the Franchise's posse, whose only job seemed to be flailing a white shirt over his head.
Best Idea: (tie) Kevin Saunderson, J. Moss, William Balcomb, White Stripes and the Hummingbirds, who, despite winning awards, had the good sense to not show up. Surely they were busy with more important activities, like scrubbing the bathroom, sleeping or watching the season finale of The O.C.
Longest Piano Interlude: Boogie-woogie keysman Mr. B: Congratulations for your ability to play really fast for a period of time that could only be described as an eternity.
Best Set by a Performer Who Immediately Went on to be Snubbed for an Award: The Volebeats, who were seemingly duped into playing a 10-minute set prior to their loss in the Best Country category, where they were trumped by the Orbitsuns (??!!). This is unlike Hot Club of Detroit, who surprise, surprise won the Best Contemporary Jazz award while all set up and poised for a triumphant performance.
Comeliest Bartender: Laurie, whose level of loveliness increased with each cocktail.
Biggest Surprise: The Palace of Auburn Hills for winning Best Indoor Music Venue. Apparently the "roofs" at the Magic Bag, Small's, Majestic Theatre Center, Lager House, Belmont, Alvin's, Painted Lady, New Dodge and Paycheck's Lounge are only temporary screened bivouacs.
Best Time for Equipment Failure: In the middle of SSM's worthy performance, naturally. The sound of a mic cutting out never sounded so sad.
Most Ridiculous Performance: The Hard Lessons. Singer-guitarist Augie Visocchi must have attended the same School of Rock as the Hives. His antics, which saw him running around in the audience banging a tambourine and doing his best Chris Novoselic impression (the old performance-ending guitar toss), may have been youthfully earnest, but came off all silly-ass. Announcing that his band wasn't pop-rock, rap-rock or American Idol-rock but rather just rock was one thing, but then he called the audience "brothers and sisters." Heaven forbid such a gaffe! Oh, Mr. Kramer, won't you please come home. ...
Saving Grace Award: Obie Trice and the All-Star tribute to Proof. Though the use of old term "all-star" may have been a tad on the liberal side, the performance was on-point and worthy.
Best Acceptance Speech: At the DMA's, little to no attention from the State Theatre crowd was paid to the winners. After all, listening to another artist's speech would waste precious demo-hawking, self-touting and gossiping time, now wouldn't it? That's why Best Hip-Hop DJ winner House Shoes' announcement that he was moving to California because "Detroit ain't listening" summarized the evening beautifully.
2006 Detroit Music Awards Winners
Distinguished Achievement Award: The Andantes
Distinguished Achievement Award: American Music Research Foundation
Distinguished Achievement Award: Gene Elzy
Distinguished Achievement Award: Joe Weaver
Outstanding Acoustic Artist: Jill Jack
Outstanding Acoustic/Folk Instrumentalist: Billy Brandt
Outstanding Acoustic Recording: Jill Jack, "Moon and the Morning After"
Outstanding Acoustic Songwriter: Jill Jack
Outstanding Acoustic Vocalist: Jill Jack
Outstanding Folk Artist: Jeremy Kittel
Blues/Rhythm & Blues (R&B)
Outstanding Blues Artist: Thornetta Davis
Outstanding Blues/R&B Instrumentalist: Johnnie Bassett
Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording: Alberta Adams, "Detroit Queen of the Blues"
Outstanding Blues R&B Songwriter: Kate Hart
Outstanding Blues R&B Vocalist: Thornetta Davis
Outstanding R&B Artist: Detroit Women with Motor City Express
Outstanding Classical Composer: William Bolcom
Outstanding Classical Instrumentalist: Patricia Masri-Fletcher
Outstanding Classical Recording: William Bolcom, "Songs of Innocence and Experience," U of M School of Music Symphony Orchestra
Outstanding Classical Small Ensenble: Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings
Outstanding Classical Vocalist: Abha Dearing
Outstanding Community Orchestra: Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony
Outstanding Electronic/Dance Artist/Group: Amp Fiddler
Outstanding Electronic/Dance DJ: Kevin Saunderson
Outstanding Electronic/Dance Recording: Adult., "Gimme Trouble"
Outstanding Electronic/Dance Producer: Amp Fiddler
Outstanding Country Artist/Group: Orbitsuns
Outstanding Country Instrumentalist: Sir Tim Duvalier
Outstanding Country Recording: Hummingbirds, "Depot Town"
Outstanding Country Songwriter: Dennis and Scott Forbes
Outstanding Country Vocalist: Terrie Lea
Outstanding Anthology/Compilation/Reissue: Eminem, "Curtain Call: The Hits"
Outstanding Live Performance: Detroit Women and Motor City Express
Outstanding Live Sound Technician: Neil T. Sever
Outstanding Local Record Label: Mack Avenue Records
Outstanding Major Label Recording: Stevie Wonder, "A Time to Love"
Outstanding National Single: White Stripes, "Blue Orchid"
Outstanding National Small/Independent Label Recording: Howling Diablos, "Car Wash"
Outstanding Record Producer: Martin Tino Gross
Outstanding Recording Studio: Studio A
Outstanding Video/Limited Budget: Detroit Women, "Rattle Your Cage"
Outstanding Video/Major Budget: Eminem, "When I’m Gone"
Outstanding Gospel Choir: Fred Hammond and Radical for Christ
Outstanding Gospel/Christian Artist/Group: Fred Hammond
Outstanding Gospel/Christian Musician: Bob Meyer/St. Thomas More Choir
Outstanding Gospel/Christian Recording: J Moss, "The J Moss Project"
Outstanding Gospel/Christian Songwriter: Sonnie Day
Outstanding Gospel/Christian Vocalist: J Moss
Outstanding Jazz Composer: Jeremy Kittel
Outstanding Jazz Instrumentalist: Alexander Zonjic
Outstanding Jazz Recording: Jeremy Kittel, "Jazz Violin"
Outstanding Jazz Vocalist: Jesse Palter
Outstanding Modern Jazz Artist/Group: Alexander Zonjic
Outstanding Traditional Jazz Artist/Group: Hot Club of Detroit
Outstanding Alternative/Indie Artist/Group: Crud
Outstanding Hard Rock/Metal Artist/Group: Broadzilla
Outstanding Pop Artist/Group: Jill Jack
Outstanding Rock Artist/Group: Liz Larin
Outstanding Rock Instrumentalist: Bobby East
Outstanding Rock Recording: Liz Larin, "Wake Up, Start Dreaming"
Outstanding Rock Songwriter: Liz Larin
Outstanding Rock Vocalist: Liz Larin
Outstanding Hip Hop Artist/Group: Paradime
Outstanding Hip Hop DJ: DJ House Shoes
Outstanding Hip Hop MC: Paradime
Outstanding Urban/Funk Artist/Group: Black Bottom Collective
Outstanding Urban/Funk Musician: Larry Lee
Outstanding Urban/Funk Songwriter: Nadir
Outstanding Urban/Funk Vocalist: Nadir
Outstanding Urban/Funk Hip Hop Recording: Black Bottom Collective, "People Mover"
World Music / Reggae / Ska
Outstanding Reggae/Ska Artist/Group: Ras Kente & Take No Prisoners Posse
Outstanding World Artist/Group: Orquestra Sensacional
Outstanding World Instrumentalist: James Rodriguez
Outstanding World Recording: Brazil and Beyond "Sounds of the Holidays"
Outstanding World Songwriter: Rick Matle
Outstanding World Vocalist: Pablo OvallesLuke Allen Hackney is a freelance writer. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org