SF Weekly Music Awards: Winner's Circle

I'm writing this the morning after last week's annual SF Weekly Music Awards — and because I avoided a certain "new alcohol" that even the bartender muttered "screamed instant hangover," my memories of the party blessedly aren't coated in a boozy dew.

It was an evening of slowly sipping pomegranate cocktails with the Om Records dudes, shoveling down sushi with Yerba Buena Center ladies, and handing high school diploma-style awards to the local musicians/DJs — as well as hearing a couple runners-up good-naturedly quip that they are now the "Susan Luccis of the music awards," having unfortunately been nominated twice without grabbing a decoration for the old mantelpiece.

The final tally of reader-chosen favorites came out as follows: recognition for the old-schoolers — Chuck Prophet (folk, country, Americana); DJ Sergio (DJ, turntablist); Meat Beat Manifesto (electro, electronic, experimental); props for the new-schoolers — Honeycut (soul, funk, R&B) and Black Fiction (indie rock, noisepop); and kudos for the acts continuing to push forward — Crown City Rockers (rap, hip hop), Bat Makumba (world music), High on Fire (metal, hardcore, punk), and Mitch Marcus Quartet (jazz). Congrats are in order for everyone, as well as big thank-yous to all the performers: DJs Adrian & Mysterious D from Bootie, Birdmonster,Scissors for Lefty,Every Move a Picture,the Coup, and our gregarious MC, Sterling James — a radio diva with more than a decade of experience under her belt (currently she takes to the airwaves for Energy 92.7 and KBLX). The woman has been invested in local music for years, beyond the handful of categories we pulled last Wednesday (she serves on boards ranging from Youth Speaks to the Hip Hop Dance Festival and hosts the North Beach Jazz Festival), so she's most definitely down with support for the community.

As with any awards shindig, though, there are always the ones who got left out — beyond the Susan Luccis there are the, um, Crispin Glovers? The Miranda Julys? The off-ballot artists who've released excellent records this year or burned their live shows to the backs of our skulls for life (I'm talking about you Saviours, Christopher Willits, Sic Alps, Skygreen Leopards, and, um, Total B.S., among others). But for now, a couple awards-night honors for some off-topic categories:

Swankiest get-up: Boots Riley is one suave clotheshorse. He granted fans the power to shake it decked out in a mauve three-piece suit that put style on par with substance for the Coup's funk-drenched set.

Biggest cockblock: Speaking of the Coup, Pam the Funkstress literally nailed the cheeseball PDA factor of making-out-like-you're-in-a-Sonic-Youth-video-during-a-show early on in the group's set. She chucked a hand towel directly to the heads of a couple young tongue-mashers, much to the nearby crowd's delight.

Most pressing need for electrical tape: Although their name was mistakenly omitted on our cover, the boys of Scissors for Lefty were the lovely, nipple-taped and towel-draped models for last week's issue. Although they hit the stage with their chests covered, the bouncy indie pop band still pulled one from left field before they played a note: projecting a quick film about how happy they were to be on the Warfield stage, complete with firecrackers!

Minor miss: Not being able to see what "near-winner" Chow Nasty's rumored hilarious, prerecorded acceptance speech — filmed before a recent local show — involved.

Best rumor about the Warfield: A late-night conversation on the bus home revealed how the Hell's Angels are allegedly allowed, per an old Bill Graham agreement, to attend any show they like for free. Birdmonster could've opened up an entirely new fanbase in black.

Not present that night: cops with taser guns. After the recent Houston incident involving a noise complaint at a Two Gallants show and guitarist Adam Stephens getting the receiving end of a police taser, it looks like the local act is getting busy hiring some attorneys. Two Gallants are currently soliciting eyewitness reports of that Texas show for their legal team through their Web site, so those whose memories aren't coated in a boozy dew, get typing.

 
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