Last night was scheduled to be a studio night, but Mike, HP and I decided to head down to the Garage Bar on West 25th Street instead. Our pal RayRay was hosting a little get-together to chill out and watch the video from the Free Times Music Awards, which were held at the end of February.
The FT awards have been a Cleveland tradition for years. Every year, the paper puts out a request for nominations for the ‘best of’ in local music. Ballots are created, votes are tallied, and the winners are honored in an evening-long ceremony complete with live musical performances and award presentations.
I personally have had my issues with the whole music awards process in the past, mainly because for a number of years it seemed that the same bands/musicians were nominated and the same ones won. In my mind it became almost farcical to have the voting at all – they could have mailed the awards at the beginning of the year without nominations or voting. I’d compare it to Guitar Player magazine’s annual guitarist award issue: when that first began, the same guitarists (Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, et. al.) won every year. Farcical, I say.
However, in the last few years the Free Times has instituted a ‘hall of fame’ similar to what GP magazine did: if an artist wins for several years in a row, they’re in the hall of fame and can’t win again going forward. This opens the doors for a lot of fresh new bands to make a mark. And it’s helped get me interested in paying more attention.
Ironically we completely missed the actual ceremony this year. Totally spaced on it. Fortunately we were invited to the intimate gathering last night to relive the magic. It’s a good thing we showed up, too.
The ceremony had been recorded and broadcast live online, and we were going to view the whole thing at the bar. When we arrived we found that the audio of the recording was playing, but the projector screens were showing the “Dell…searching for signal” screen. Bummer.
Since I’m a total geek I suggested that maybe they needed to tell the laptop to send the video to the external monitor port. Typically you have to hit some function key that will do that. The FT folks sent me up to the loft where the laptop was running, and I did what I had suggested. Sweet! It worked, and we got to watch the video along with the audio.
It was fun and well worth a studio night to get out of the house and socialize a little bit. We’ll pick up with more recording on Saturday.