Punk’s not dead — it just wears a scally cap and a Joe Thornton-era Bruins jersey.
Dropkick Murphys, fresh off two sold-out gigs in the Fenway Park bleachers, a Billboard-charting record, and a non-stop tour reminding people that, yes, they are from Boston, took home Artist of the Year and Live Act of the Year at Sunday’s BOSTON MUSIC AWARDS.
The Liberty Hotel was once again a posh crock-pot of the city’s increasingly diverse music scene, allowing normally disconnected tribes to mix and mingle in a space in which they’d probably otherwise not be welcome. And the mish-mash was perhaps what was most noteworthy about this year’s BMAs: Razormaze watching Freezepop, Big Digits watching Stereo Telescope, Rain — and pretty much everyone — watching Viva Viva.
Fort Point Recordings’ bluesy and powerful garage-rock act took home a much-deserved Rock Act of the Year award and blasted through a gritty set at a packed the Liberty Ballroom. “Seriously man, I’m having so much fun,” deadpanned Viva vocalist Dave Cave mid-set. “So fun.”
A forced smile seemed to be the way of the night. Something was off about this year’s BMAs. The elevators were not a problem like last year, but the party vibe felt strained. Fortunately, good music did prevail.
Mean Creek won Album/EP of the Year for January’s Hemophiliac EP, but afterwards were much more interested in talking about their new record, which drops in April. “We put our hearts into it,” Mean Creek’s Chris Keene said as Cool Ranch spun the dance party in a side room. “To me, it feels like a make-or-break album. We haven’t made a great album yet.”
In other awards, the Middle East won Best Live Venue, this week’s Phoenix frat-rap feature subject Moufy took home Best New Artist, and Freezepop won Electronic Artist of the Year. Gentlemen Hall were best Pop Rock Act, a party-crashing Razormaze snagged Metal/Hardcore Artist of the Year, and the David Wax Museum’s “Born With a Broken Heart” was named Song of the Year. Allston Pudding was deemed Best Music Blog.
“We rolled up in an old Ford pick-up truck from Allston,” said Allston Pudding’s Perry Eaton, son of Cadillac Jack, of Duke & the Drivers. “We didn’t expect to win anything. It’s overwhelming.”
Here's the full list of 2011 BMA winners:
Gospel/Inspirational Artist Of The Year: Renese King
Best Live Ongoing Residency: Session Americana
Best DJ/Dance Night: Fresh Produce at Good Life
Best Live Music Venue: Middle East
Best Music Blog: Allston Pudding
Producer Of The Year Rock: Ed Valauskas
Producer Of The Year Hip Hop: Taj
Singer Songwriter Of The Year: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper
Rock Artist Of The Year: Viva Viva
Punk Artist Of The Year: Dead Cats Dead Rats
Pop Rock Artist Of The Year: Gentleman Hall
Metal/Hardcore Artist Of The Year: Razormaze
Jazz Artist Of The Year: Esperanza Spalding
International Artist Of The Year: Mamadou Diop
R&B/Soul/Urban Contemporary Artist of the Year: Shea Rose
Hip Hop Artist Of The Year: Slaine
Folk Artist Of The Year: Lori McKenna
Electronic Artist Of The Year: Freezepop
DJ Artist Of The Year: Leah V
Blues Artist Of The Year: Roomful Of Blues
Americana Artist Of The Year: Girls Guns and Glory
Male Vocalist Of The Year: Christian McNeill
Female Vocalist Of The Year: Lisa Bello
Video Of The Year: "Close To Me," Gentlemen Hall
Live Artist Of The Year: Dropkick Murphys
Song Of The Year: "Born with a Broken Heart," David Wax Museum
New Artist Of The Year: Moufy
Album/EP of the Year: Hemophiliac, Mean Creek
Artist of the Year: Dropkick Murphys