Monday, November 4, 2013

Boston Music Awards Continues to Praise Established Bands

The Boston Music Awards announced the 2013 nominees this week.
Proposing that the Dropkick Murphys and Amanda Palmer be nominated a combined fifteen times in the last four years speaks volumes about one’s knowledge of the Boston music scene.

The Boston Music Awards’ mission is “To bring together the music community of New England to honor its best and brightest performers while raising money for music charities to ensure our stages and studios are filled with talent for years to come.” However the repetitive nature of the nominees hinders the chance for many deserving locals to be recognized for their talents and community offerings. 

Don’t agree with me? Aerosmith is on the ballet for 2013 'Rock Artist of the Year'. Aerosmith. Really? Is my dad on the committee? Why not add Godsmack to the list.

Let’s talk about the twice nominated SKATERS. As much as I enjoy SKATERS, who were featured on the June Rock Out With Your Cocktail Out playlist, they are not a Boston band. This year they are nominated for 'Rock Artist of the Year' and 'Best Boston Artist Who Doesn’t Live in Boston'. Take a moment to mull that over.

First let’s address 'Rock Artist of the Year'. SKATERS is not from Boston. Per Allston Pudding, Wikipedia, the band’s Facebook page, and any other publication talking about the band, SKATERS is from New York.

Despite the category ‘Boston Artist Who Doesn’t Live in Boston’ being open for interpretation, states eligibility is based upon “A musician, producer or industry professional who has strong ties to New England. We define strong ties as someone who is a New England native or has lived here for a substantial period of time who has actively worked or is actively working here.” A number of terrific Rhode Island and New Hampshire bands that list Boston as a second home come to mind, but I guess not for the BMA "Voting Academy".

The folks at the BMAs made a hefty stretch to consider SKATERS a Boston band that isn’t from Boston. Singer Michael Ian Cummings and drummer Noah Rubins formed the band Dead Trees in Boston. But after recording their debut EP Fort Music, the band with ‘strong ties to New England’ got the hell out of dodge, uprooting to Portland, OR in 2006 and then relocated to Los Angeles in 2009. Cummings and Rubins eventually moved to New York to form SKATERS. At this point, we are talking about a entirely new band. A band formed in NYC. In fact, Cummings told New York Metro in an April 2013 interview that SKATERS’ songs are, “…all New York-based songs.” With the exception of bassist Dan Burke (Viva Viva, The Lot Six), this all sounds exponentially Boston to me... Do I think SKATERS is deserving of an award? Yes. But it shouldn't be a Boston Music Award.

Tremendous slow clap to the "Voting Academy" that is severely removed from the Boston punk scene. The 'Punk Artist of the Year' category all together is a giant cop out. The list includes national heavy hitters like the unofficial state band, The Dropkick Murphys (who I respect), The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (who I adore) but haven’t put out a record since 2011 and The Street Dogs who were on hiatus for a good chunk of this year. This list was basically put together by a person who does not live in Boston.

As a blog that specializes in the Boston punk scene, I am absolutely floored at the continuous lowbrow decisions made by "The Academy" for this category. Yes these are good bands, but they've also made it. What do they have to gain from being nominated or voted Boston's best whatever? They already know it. I'm pretty sure when Ken Casey was singing the National Anthem at Fenway Park during Game 6 of The World Series, he wasn't thinking about getting a Boston Music Award. But the thing is, a lot of these local bands, who are very talented, do keep Boston Music Awards in the back of their minds when they play a great show or get a quality review on their record.

Let’s break it down:

What about Great Lakes who toured Europe and contributed to the This is New England - a 100% Benefit Compilation this year? Or Rebuilder who opened for The Dropkick Murphys and Dead Milkmen and who started their own record label to promote local music? Earthquake Party! opened for The Thermals and Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg with Andrew W.K. and just donated their time at a benefit show for local food distributor Community Servings. What about A Wilhelm Scream who sold out The Sinclair and was one of the headlining bands at FEST12?

I honest to goodness believe that the decision making went down like this. “We have 3 more spots left.”
“Well, who did we nominate last year? Just put them on the list again. Wait! Don't forget Aerosmith."

I would like a write in. I would like to nominate Boston punk bands that play dingy bars and use their vacation time to go on tour. I would like to nominate Boston punk bands that contribute to local benefit compilations and draw crowds to clubs on a weekly basis. I would like to nominate Boston punk bands that work a full time job and put in extra hours at night to practice. Who spend their paychecks on space rentals and gear and marketing and merch and to gas up their shitty vans. I have respect for all nominees but I don’t so much care for the people who continuously discount the thriving DIY punk rock scene that fills this town with fucking amazing music every night of every week.  The "Academy" should take a note from the many wonderful Boston music blogs they nominated this year and read up on local music.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this is pretty ridiculous. There are so many good Boston bands and yet they want to recycle the winners over and over. BORING. I am glad to see Karmin on the list. I love them.


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