Last night, US Air Guitar Championships finalist Eric "Mean" Melin performed his signature routine on stage at the Uptown. Later, by popular vote, his band, the Dead Girls, won best band in the Pop category.
We're still editing photos, videos and verbiage from last night's Pitch Music Awards Ceremony -- and wrestling with the inevitable hangover. In the meantime, join us in congratulating this year's winners. About 4,600 people voted this year, which is really cool. David Wayne Reed -- he of the hot pants-- was the evening's charming host. Inhale (and scroll down) slowly and see.
Blues: Trampled Under Foot
Country/Bluegrass: the Last Call Girls
DJ: Dance: Nomathmatics
DJ:Hip-Hop: DJ Sku
Electronic/Dance: the Ssion
Folk/Americana: the Gaslights
Hip-Hop/Rap: Stik Figa
Indie Pop: the Republic Tigers
Indie Rock: the Appleseed Cast
Jazz: Ensemble: the Wild Women of Kansas City
Jazz: Solo: Megan Birdsall
Latin: Son Venezuela
Pop: the Dead Girls
Punk: Fag Cop
Reggae: 77 Jefferson
Rock: the Architects
Singer-Songwriter: Sara Swenson
Frontman/Frontwoman: Abigail Henderson
Live Act: the Sex Police
New Act: Audiovox
See you there. XOXO!!
As soon as I get it, I'll post the schedule for this Sunday's Pitch Music Awards Ceremony. In the meantime, here's a schedule for the VIP pre-party for the nominees and guests. (NOTE: All nominees must RSVP now if you haven't already. Like NOW now.)
6 p.m. - Doors open.
6:07 p.m. - Doors still open.
6:11 p.m. - Cars pass, crickets chirp.
6:13 p.m. - The Hearts of Darkness drive up, Joad-family-style, piled in the back of a flatbed truck. Truck has no breaks; Hearts end up in a California peach orchard.
6:15 p.m. - Skatterman and Snug Brim roll up in wrapped Hummer. (However, since parting ways with Strange Music, they have been forced to scale down, so the Hummer is wrapped in a giant tortilla.)
6:18 p.m. - Mark Lowrey arrives, still drunk from his gig the night before, makes beeline for hot wings buffet.
6:22 p.m. - Brody Buster arrives, is not on guestlist because he didn't RSVP, cries into harmonica, which creates an entirely new, super-emo form of the blues.
6:24 p.m., NYC - Don Draper takes Which Mad Man Are You? Quiz on Internet; finds out that he's Don Draper.
6:27 p.m. - Darren from In the Pines receives a phone call informing him that he's Miley Cyrus' real dad.
6:35 p.m. - Pitch photographer Forester Michael arrives, smokes cigarette, takes a picture of David Wayne Reed's crotch, which is also somehow smoking a cigarette.
6:37 p.m. - Greg Enemy arrives, also is not on list, finds kitty door in back of Uptown and darts through in his magical Keds.
6:44 p.m. - Skatterman and Snug Brim eat Mitch Rich in a giant tortilla.
6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. - Upstairs bar is slammed with two-fisted drunken scenesters.
7:50 p.m. - Hammerlord lays you.
7:59 p.m. - Gornography agrees to become the new backing band for the Wild Women of Kansas City.
Though local rapper Sephiroth's impromptu performance with Mark Lowrey got all the blog attention hither and yon, it wasn't the only genre-jumping hip-hop performance under the sponsor tent last Thursday at the 2009 Pitch Music Showcase.
Catching up on my RSS feeds just now, I stopped by D/Will's blog, where, days ago (sigh), the hometown hip-hop producer and MC posted footage of himself rapping while fellow PMA nominee David Seume plucks a sparse fingerstyle riff and sings. It's an interesting counterpoint to the jazzy, bombastic Lowrey/Seph combo. And until today, I had no idea it even happened. D/Will: fire your publicist!
I've been watching all white-knuckled and nail-bitey the coverage of local air guitar superstar Eric "Mean" Melin.
And now, the Wayward Blog is overjoyed to announce that Mean Melin is bringing his unstoppable airness to the Pitch Music Awards Ceremony this Sunday, August 16, at the Uptown Theater. For those who've only read about or seen videos of Melin's routine, this is your chance to the legend live and in the blood-splattering flesh.
Adding to an already killer lineup for the evening, Melin's 60-second air throwdown will share the bill with the Pedaljets, Stik Figa, Making Movies and London Transit. David Wayne Reed returns as this year's host. $5 tickets for the 8 p.m. ceremony can be purchased at the Uptown; call the theater box office at 816-753-8665 or us at 816-561-6061 for details. Tickets to the VIP pre-party are $20.
Now ... I knew that Mean Melin's airness ran deep, but I didn't know how deep. Until I checked out his Tumblr and found this.
"Years before he truly understood that air guitar actually meant playing the air and not just miming WITH a guitar, 2009 KC regional air guitar champ Mean Melin made this VHS demo (an air guitar instruction video) for a TV video production class in 1990..."
You gotta love how he rattles off detailed instructions for air guitaring like it's as normal as mowing the lawn or branding a pentagram onto a newborn child's palm while listening to Slayer. If more dudes (and chicks) like Mean Melin rise up, maybe one day it will be.
Our friend John Kreicbergs of Patchchord.com was kind enough to resume his role as showcase videographer. This year, he captured hot footage of six of the night's acts. Enjoy.
For most folks, the Pitch Music Showcase is kinda like a baby South by Southwest. You bounce around from bar to bar all night, trying to cram in as many musical acts as possible, and maybe taking advantage of the bit of free booze offered at the sponsor tent. The night is heady and frenetic. But that's never been my experience. As a show of support to the cause and my employer, I always volunteer to be the emcee at one venue all night. This year, I spent virtually my entire evening at McCoy's.
It's safe to say that the night of the Showcase is one of the best nights of the year to go out... even better than New Year's Eve, Irish Fest, Rock Fest, the first First Friday of the summer or your cousin from Blue Springs' bachelor or bachelorette party at Toby Keith's. It's awesome. You don't even have to be a hipster to have fun.
It'll be hard to ever again find the energy I felt back in 2006 at the Showcase when onemilliontinytinyjesuses had a packed house at the Dark Horse standing in wide-eyed disbelief at their experimental robot rock, and I'll never get the fuzzies again the way I did last year when I heard the Roseline downstairs at Blayney's. It's kind of magical.
This time around, I opted to stay at the Beaumont from start to finish. I could perch above the stage on a Jim Beam barstool, get blasted with air conditioning and hear a diverse mix of bands I'd either not seen before or seen a hundred times.
First up, the Kings of KC Swing...
I arrived to the location exactly at 8:20. There were less than 15 people there. Part of me wished at that moment, that I was the one who had booked the bands for the evening. I would have put the Grand Marquis on later in the evening. Maybe sometime soon I will see or hear about these guys play to a packed hometown crowd that's not at a private party or a restaurant gig. Who else is playing jump swing locally two or three nights a week? They travel all over the region (Manhattan, St. Louis, Omaha, Des Moines, to name a few) and play to tons of swing dancing couples all night long at those gigs, but I guess the swing scene isn't so huge here in Cowtown. Weird.
I'm not sure whether it was Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler arriving in their limo to a gaggle of paparazzi outside of the Riot Room or if it was seeing Kurt Loder interviewing T-Pain on the roof of McCoy's, but somewhere between those two sightings -- but two incidents within a major-media-filled, celebrity-packed evening -- I realized, Man, the Pitch Music Showcase has gotten sorta big.
Then I realized someone had slipped peyote into Hefeweizen.
South By Southwest it ain't. And you'll see exponentially more concertgoers packed into the Sprint Center when New Jersey acts such as the Jonas Bros. or Bruce Springsteen come to town than you will over the course of our annual, night-long all-local fiesta in Westport. But for people who follow the Kansas City-Lawrence music scene it's a must-rock night.
This year's lineup boasted 28 acts from a lot of the 16 different genres represented on the 2009 Pitch Music Awards ballot. They played at the Beaumont Club, McCoy's, the Foundry and the inside and outside stages at the Riot Room. And I saw almost all of them.
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