So the Dallas Observer awards were last night. The highlight of the night was the "Original Kreme" frozen coffee I picked up from Krispy Kreme on lower Greenville right before the VIP party started. Damn that thing was good. Overly sweet, but good. If that drink was a band, I would have stuffed the shit out of the ballot box for it. I guess I should have savored that frozen treat, however, because the rest of the night was all downhill from there.
When my accomplice and I arrived at the awards, we learned that our names were NOT on the v.i.p list. Gasp! How dare they not have us on that list! Don't they know who we are?! Two nutjobs dressed in P.L.O./gangster gear on a hot Dallas evening shouldn't have so much trouble getting into such an important event. We explained "who" we were and were politely ushered right in. It didn't even take a Trojan horse. Once inside, Sam Machkovech greeted us and respected our secrecy. It was the kindest I've ever seen Sam. If I didn't know better, I'd say he is a nice young man. Actually, last night made me feel as if I'm too hard on Sam sometimes.
So we headed into the main room and I was pretty let down that the only food to speak of was from Hooters. It's free, but I just couldn't bring myself to walk over to a Hooter's table. It's just not in me. Once inside we got a wide variety of reactions to our outfits. Some people seemed disgusted. These looks usually came from the overdressed girlfriends of guys in bands. I guess it's okay to dress up at the Granada (it is a theater after all), but something tells me that most of these girls would still rock a pair of Jimmy Choo mitsu stilettos at the Cavern or some other comparable sewer. Other people gave knowing and supportive smiles. Many of the band people were especially nice, and I'd like to thank them for their courtesy and good conversation. When we took our seats, an older woman grabbed my shoulder from behind and exclaimed,"Y'all are under arrest!" I was nervous about our appearance, so I jumped the gun and took her seriously for a second. "Why?" I asked. "Because you shot JR!" She then erupted into loud laughter. It was charming.
Not as charming was Pegasus Now, who played the VIP party. I could have waited and had Pegasus later. They played some Ira Kaplanesque guitar noise over mid-tempo pop songs, and although that formula hasn't done it for me lately, they weren't nearly as bad as I was expecting a band playing this event to be. That's probably one of the best things you can say about an Observer event performance.
Sam M. started off with a skit that referenced the roughing up of a Dallas Roller Derby girl. This had all the wit and subtlety of a fifth grade talent show, but it did kind of lighten the mood. Usually when I read Sam's work, I picture this smirking know-it-all know nothing, knocking 'em back at the Sons of Herman Hall bar while he scribbles out articles. Last night, I saw someone genuinely ready to make an ass out of himself, and I can give him some credit for that. Unfortunately, that doesn't help much in music reviews.
I won't go through each DFW music entity and who lost or won, because that's being battled elsewhere. Ifyou want to see some real sore losers, take a peek at what some of the people over at Denton Rock City have been saying since Tuesday. The Denton crew up front was even chanting that site's name as they announced the blog/website nominees. Now, I don't give the Observer much credit, much less their music "awards," but I think it's a little pitiful to be yelling the names of people and things that lost, or worse yet weren't even nominated. I mean, you weren't picked as one of the best in local music by a group of people that still listen to Flickerstick. Does that really bother you, Denton? As much as I respect Paul Slavens (though I prefer substitute hosting on his show by Gini Moscorro) I wasn't a big fan of him accepting on behalf of the John Peel of Dallas, JoshVenable. Well, he's like John Peel if John Peel had believed everything NME said and therefore had fucking deplorable taste in music.
I didn't know Record Hop was playing and that was a welcome surprise, because they still owe me for the impossibly drunken set I endured at Fry St. Fair. Thankfully, they made up for it in a handful of songs. The Brutal Juice collaboration was pulled off well too, but the crowd energy at Fry St. made that idea more effective. They also seem to have seamlessly worked their new drummer in, and that's no easy task.
A real low point for me was seeing some of the hosts that the Observer picked. Only in Dallas would an ex-special teams coach be asked to partake in such an event. He kept advertising a bar he owned down the street, and judging from the marketing tactics of some of the local bands in attendance (those horrible DOMA Myspace bulletins), I guess he fit right in. He definitely had more personality than the game show hosts from 105.3, however.
At some point there was break dancing, and I welcomed the relief from lukewarm acts and bad hosts. This gave everything more of a variety show feel, and I think that's more appropriate seeing as the awards aren't just for Denton drunks and pretty boy Dallas indie rockers. Oh, we should mention Ft. Worth too, because the Theater Fire played. I liked the Theater Fire's arrangements, and they didn't offend me, so I salute them for that. I couldn't make out the vocals as well as I'd like (essential in this genre) but that's okay. They were doing fine with the washboard and trumpets. Their music was gentle compared to everything else at the event, and I started to falling into a deep slumber during their set. I then realized that my face cloth was tied too tight around my jugular. Between that and my limited breathing, I almost passed out. It's hard work keeping your identity hidden.
Finally, it was time for them to announce the bestwebsite/blog award, as presented by two of my own personal heroes, Zac Crainand Robert Wilonsky. These two men helped me struggle through my teenage years. Where would I be today if I hadn't been weaned on a steady diet of their confusing and infuriating rock critic speak? Reading their work in the late nineties really taught me how to hate stuff. Especially their articles. So I was actually kind of moved to see them up there. Two men who had championed so many things I disliked and ignored everything I loved. Robert Wilonsky did say we were the best dressed people there, and while I appreciate the compliment, it should have gone to the Undoing of David Wright, so that they could have at least won something. The Paperchase sidemen didn't even appreciate being recognized as Dallas' best experimental and electronic act, but as long as they won in that category instead of an award for best rock band... I suppose justice was served.
As you probably know, We Shot JR and the rest in the website category lost to Texas Gigs. When I heard extremely loud cheers behind me upon the announcement, I realized that we had been sitting in front of the Texas Gigs gang the whole time. As we walked out of the building, I felt like we were two villains sneaking away into the shadows while the good guys triumphed in the spotlight. It all made so much sense to me. As the usual gang of who's-who's slapped each other on the back under the Observer banner, I was very glad to be what this music scene fears...A living, breathing ANONYMOUS.