Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pitch Music Awards 2008--Live at the Uptown Theatre

“Is there a Reach here? Is there a Reach … around?”
A firm clasp of brotherly love was given to the Kansas City and Lawrence music scenes this past Sunday night at the 2008 Pitch Music Awards. Hosted by the charming, ambidextrous David Wayne Reed — mastermind behind the above quotation — DJ’d by Bobby Keys, and attended by some 700 musicians and their friends and family, the event was an overall joyous, positive and acceptably rambunctious experience, not at all like last year’s hilariously perverse debauch.
For many, the lingering image of last year’s fête was Ryan Mattes of the Last of the V8s bloodied from a self-inflicted bottle wound, with a belt around his neck and his dick hanging out. This year, the audience may remember instead the sight of Kim Anderson — who has become a stone-cold fox all of a sudden — lashing her strawberry-blond hair in the limelight at the Uptown Theater as her band, Flee the Seen, closed the show with a gut-punching performance.
I’ll reveal more memories of the night as they trickle through the haze of my near-devastating hangover. In the meantime, here’s a partly annotated list of the winners.
Avant/Experimental: Bacon Shoe (Overheard later at the bar: “Hey, there’s the guy from Bacon Foot.”); Blues/Soul: Ida McBeth; Country/Bluegrass: The Last Call Girls; DJ: Dance: Nomathmatics; DJ: Hip-Hop: DJ Sku (“DJ Fresh, this goes out to you.”); Folk/Americana: Pendergast; Hip-Hop: Reach (Was not around.); Indie Rock/Pop: The Republic Tigers (“We’re going to tour the UK with Travis!”); Jazz: Snuff Jazz; Live Act: It’s Over; Metal: Hundred Years War (“If we won this, the rest of the bands in the metal category must be pussies.”); New Act: Expassionates (By the way, these guys have been around for like 10 years. But they, um, revamped themselves this past year.); Pop: Dead Girls Ruin Everything (These boys tore the dance floor up at the afterparty); Punk: We’re Fucked; Rock: Roman Numerals; All-Star Award: Tech N9ne (Travis O’Guin: “If Tech weren’t on tour, he’d be right here at this podium”).
In addition to Flee the Seen, Josephine Collective, Pendergast and CES Cru all slayed their short sets. I got held up in conversation during most of Pendergast’s set, but a friend reported that “It was like Neil Young at the MTV awards” and added that the men of Heet Mob, sitting at a nearby table, enjoyed it.
Mr. Reed’s performance as host was wickedly delightful and included an opening monologue in which he rhetorically led out the Power & Light district and the smoking ban like lambs to be slaughtered by boos from the crowd.
He roasted last year’s host, “that little moose knuckle Brodie Rush,” then awarded Rush with a brick for his portrayal of Pink in the Urban Culture Project’s Reed-directed rendition of The Wall. Rush appeared and reciprocated by giving Reed the red-and-gold briefs he wore onstage last year as the self-proclaimed king of Kansas City. (I was afraid of what might become of these objects, but as of this writing, no reports have come in of any brick- or underwear-related violence.) There were dirty punks, disheveled emo kids, badly behaved wannabe rock stars, hip-hop heroes and a finely dressed contingent of classy-looking older gentlemen from bands such as the Pedaljets, Mr. Marco’s V7, Federation of Horsepower and In the Pines. Indeed, our local culture was represented royally.
And with that, we put to bed our most rockin’ awards season in the 12 years The Pitch has been saluting local musicians with this increasingly massive undertaking.
And to all Kansas City music makers, we wish you fame, groupies and millions in record sales. But in the meantime, you can crash on our couch.
-- Jason Harper

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