We spend the whole year, every year, obsessing about local music. Between our pop culture blog All Shook Down and the old-school printed paper, we tackle the Bay Area from as many angles as possible — interviewing and reviewing artists, DJs, festivals, and more. And every fall, we throw a really big bash to celebrate the people and dance parties this community feels the strongest about.
As with previous music awards, 2009's ballot was a challenge to compile. We narrowed down an entire region's worth of jazz players, alt.country types, club promoters, rappers, punks, popheads, experimentalists, and more into 40 nominees in 10 categories. The list came together after pooling our own ideas for this year's noteworthy acts with suggestions from tastemakers working inside the industry. For one month, readers voted on their picks from that list at www.sfweekly.com.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, we're hosting the music awards finale at Ruby Skye to celebrate all the nominees and announce the winners. In addition to a rock 'n' roll ceremony hosted by comedian and air guitar champ Alex Koll (aka the Awesome), we've booked some of the best live entertainment in the city. Recent SF Weekly cover subject Wallpaper. will bring its ebullient electrofunk to the stage; we'll also have dance and drum ensemble Loco Bloco, and a DJ set by dubstep/electro whizzes Lazer Sword. In this program guide, you'll find bios on our nominees, performers, and host.
Come help us celebrate the present and future of Bay Area music in a style San Francisco is well acquainted with: a blowout of beats, booze, and shiny costumes.
aka the Awesome
A funny guy who also looks pretty funny with all of that hair on his head and face, comedian Alex Koll has never let a weird streak stop him from doing standup, as evidenced during his "serenade" bit to his lady that ends with him yelling "Vietnam!" He's also a perfect fit for a music awards show, since he has credentials in the entertainment world: In addition to performing between bands at SXSW, Koll (as the Awesome) is a two-time regional air-guitar champ.
Led by low-rent mack daddy Ricky Reed, Wallpaper. is a party-starting pop-R&B outfit that makes you want to dance as much as you're laughing. Played by Facing New York's Eric Frederic, the Auto-Tuned Reed is a lovable douchebag who sees no problem with hitting on a girl and then suggesting, "Save a little cash, we could go on some dates/Split it down the middle, 'cause I don't know if I like you yet."
Bryant "Low Limit" Rutledge and Antaeus "Lando Kal" Roy have broken into the global electronic music community with their own "future blap" style, fusing buzzy bass, electro, dancehall, and hip-hop into a cranky, hipster-nourishing brew. This year, the duo pulled off European and American tours without an album, strictly working off both the popularity of their mostly digitally distributed original tracks and remixes and the reputation of their neck-snapping live act.
Loco Bloco's multigenerational dance and drum ensemble is a lively hybrid of Afro-Caribbean, Latin, and American urban sounds and movements. For 15 years, Loco Bloco the organization has provided a first-rate education in dance, theater, percussion, leadership, and even stilt-walking, unlocking the vibrant creativity within low-income, minority, and immigrant Bay Area youth who would otherwise be underexposed to the arts.
Music Awards Feature
Music Awards intro by Jennifer Maerz
Music Awards: Lazer Sword by Shawn Reynaldo
Music Awards: Crown City Rockers by Ezra Gale
Music Awards sidebar: Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Ezra Gale, Jennifer Maerz and Shawn Reynaldo
Music Awards: Jukebox Roundtable by Dan Strachota
Music Awards Program Guide