Last night's BOSTON MUSIC AWARDS was a stripped-down affair at the LIBERTY HOTEL -- yes, the joint formerly known as the Charles Street Jail. An appropriate setting, perhaps, for a long-running local-music event that feels like it's on probation. The awards presentation zoomed by in a mere half-hour with only a handful of presenters and fewer categories than in previous years -- they've done away with the traditional distinction between "local" and "national" acts, which is an easy thing to do in a year with no new albums by Aerosmith, the Dresden Dolls, or DROPKICK MURPHYS (who still managed to win Best Punk Act). The big winners, no surprise, were PASSION PIT, who took Act of the Year and Song of the Year. The surprise about Album of the Year was not that it went to a band from Rhode Island -- we're used to this kind of thing; Rob Zombie once got a BMA, even though he hadn't lived in Haverhill since he left his momma's house -- but that THE LOW ANTHEM were able to pry a category away from the Pit at all. But mostly, when the winners veered from the predictable they leaned toward the disappointing. An awards ceremony that cannot find a better rock act in Boston than the UPPER CRUST -- who, by the way, were fantastic 12 years ago and are still fun now -- just isn't trying hard enough. One notable exception to aforementioned disappointment: CONVERGE winning Metal Act of the Year, which has been a long time coming.
The only rowdy moment? A jean-jacket kid who tried to pull a KANYE
WEST and bum-rush the mic while Newbury Comics honcho MIKE DREESE attempted to
present BMA bankroller ERNIE BOCH JR. with the "Humanitarian of the
Year" award. Dreese pushed the young punk in the chest, spouted a few
choice profanities, and warned that he was "about to get an assault
charge" before order was quickly and quietly restored.
We sent our own CHRIS FARAONE to chat up the partygoers while they stood in line and waited (and waited, and waited) for an elevator to shuttle them between the Liberty's second-floor ballroom and the conference-rooms-turned-rock-clubs on the upper decks, where more than a dozen acts, from MEAN CREEK to Boston's #1 R&B family, the BELLOs (Louie and Lisa) to hip-hop heavy BIG SHUG, threw down til midnight.
Click above to get a glimpse of how it went down. The complete list of winners is as follows. (As usual, chances are you heard about them first in the Phoenix.)
Act of the Year | Passion PitAlbum of the Year | Oh My God, Charlie Darwin | the Low AnthemSong of the Year | "The Reeling" | Passion PitAmericana Act | Sarah Borges & the Broken SinglesBlues Act | David MaxwellDJ/Electronic Act | Bodega GirlsFolk Act | Ellis PaulGospel/Choir Act | Berklee Reverence Gospel ChoirHip-Hop Act | EsotericInternational Music Act: DeboJazz Act | Esperanza SpaldingMetal Act | ConvergeNew Act | Mean CreekMale Vocalist | Eli "Paperboy" ReedFemale Vocalist | Sarah Cronin (Drug Rug)Producer of the Year, Hip-Hop | D-TensionProducer of the Year, Pop/R&B | Malik WilliamsProducer of the Year, Rock | Paul Kolderie/Adam Taylor Punk Act | Dropkick MurphysR&B Act | Lisa Bello Rock Act | The Upper Crust Singer/Songwriter | Will Dailey Live Act | RubblebucketPop Act | Everyday Visuals Unsung Hero Award | Dennis Brennan Humanitarian of the Year | Ernie Boch Jr.