Sit down, Steely Dan. Stand up, CAMMIES winners!
Steely Dan is a D Arts DEVO knows that Steely Dan is not a person. I just figured that fans of Donald Fagen would be more cheesed off about my referring to him by his band’s name than by my derogatory descriptor. (And if Mr. Dan is a D, his fans are throbbing, um, jerkfaces.)
I actually don’t have anything too negative to say about Mr. Dan’s music. Some of it’s OK; most of it bores me. And I get why a lot of people—however insufferable they may be—like it. What brings Mr. Dan into my crosshairs this week is an online column he wrote during his time spent at the recent Coachella music festival. Since Mr. Dan and crew were on the bill, Rolling Stone magazine provided some online column space for him to share his thoughts via a tour diary. I was a little intrigued by what the notoriously cranky one might say about hipsters and celebrities dancing together in the desert, and I wasn’t surprised at all to read a douchey line like: “As the Empire declines, so does culture, literacy, and almost everything else.” Fine. But then there was this: “AC/DC, whoever they are (I stopped following most mainstream radio rock soon after we put out our first Steely Dan record in ’72). Really, I’ve heard the name for years, but not sure what they sound like.” Whatever, dude.
First, I don’t believe him. Second, anyone commenting on culture, especially an artist, who starts a sentence, “I stopped listening/following/paying attention …” is a total D. It’s a sentiment I hear plenty sitting in this chair as arts editor. In these parts, it’s usually framed around either some special scene they were a part of or a classic entity (usually The Beatles) placed in opposition to the current batch of “kids these days.” They’ll champion what was meaningful for them growing up (totally fine, we all do it), and then when younger generations add their new flavors to the mix they throw giant fits and crap all over it (a total D move).
It’s easy to remain pessimistic if you keep saying that nothing good ever happens anymore. Conversely, in my experience, it’s hard to not feel the warmth of humanity when listening with open ears to the songs each new generation sings.
So, for all those young’uns about to rock, I, for one, salute you.
The envelope, please … Enough of my griping. CAMMIES 10 is in the books, and we finished things off by handing out a bunch of awards. As always, thank you for supporting local music.
2015 CAMMIES Readers’ Choice winners:
Best Singer-songwriter: Kyle Williams
Best Folk/Americana/Country Act: Bunnymilk
Best Jazz Act: Bogg
Best Blues Act: Sapphire Soul
Best Jam/R&B/Funk Act: Sofa King
Best World Act: Wolf Thump
Best Rap Act: HowFlyy
Best Rock Act: The LoLos
Best Hard Rock/Metal Act: Cold Blue Mountain
Best Indie/Experimental Act: Sisterhoods
Best Electronic Producer: ALO
Best Electronic DJ: DJ Becca
Best Punk/Ska Act: Big Tree Fall Down
2015 CAMMIES Critics’ Choice Awards:
Best Horn Player: Ben Sallmann (Swamp Zen, Los Papi Chulos, Big Mo, etc.)
Best Drummer: Mike Wofchuck (Wolf Thump, MaMuse)
Best Female Vocalists: Lisa Marie and Kelly Brown (Bunnymilk)
Best Male Vocalist: Himp C
Best Guitarist: Scott Pressman (Michelin Embers, The Vesuvians)
Best Songwriter: Ave Grave (aka Sean Galloway)
Best Local CD: Drought, West by Swan
Best New Band: The She Things
Best Local Act: Cold Blue Mountain
Local Badass (tie): Sesar Sanchez, Julian Ruck
Hogan/West/LaPado Lifetime Achievement Award: Jerry Morano