Hello, I’m Artie Fufkin

We get busy. Sometimes, too much so.

And, in order to meet our weekly deadlines, decisions occasionally are made that turn out to be problematic down the road. That happened recently, when it was decided that the role of editorial staff members in the nominating process for the SAMMIES—historically something in which editorial was actively involved—would be scaled back so I could concentrate on my weekly workload as arts editor of SN&R. I came up with a list of participants and contact numbers for a nominating committee and supplied that to our promotions department. Then, I filled out a nominating ballot and handed it in.

What happened was that our promotions department came up with a SAMMIES ballot that got slipped into the January 23 issue without anyone from the editorial department looking at it first. By the time it came to our attention, it was too late; the nominees had been set, if not in stone, then in wet concrete that was drying rapidly.

After a few irate complaints were forwarded to me, I elected to correct what I could on the ballot the following week—for example, acts nominated in more than one category were limited to a single category, and new names were added from the pile of nominating ballots we already had on hand, without the ballot eliminating any names. (Actually, I did delete a band called Mixed Friction, which vehemently brought that fact to my attention in short order; the band’s name was restored the following week.)

So, there’s my explanation. We’re not perfect, and some people in the music community are pissed about that. And if anyone is looking for an Artie Fufkin character to take the blame, let it be me.

Go ahead, kick my ass already.

That said, all is not lost. Also missing from the January 23 ballot was a provision so that people could write in the name of an act if they disagreed with our choices. Yes, it’s more of a long shot to win, but if you’re really pissed off, make your own choice. Or, if you’re a band that feels unjustly wronged, you might encourage your fans to write in your name in the appropriate category.

In fact, I actively encourage it. They’re your Sacramento Area Music Awards. If they were mine, I’d make sure that any band specializing in shouted drunken gibberish accompanied by a posse of morons slapping beats on the sides of oversized SUVs with cheap plastic flyswatters would go to the front of the pack—along with Lithuanian nose-flute music acts and barking-dog records. You don’t want to deal with my warped sense of what’s good.

So, make it your own. All ballots have to be in by 5 p.m. Thursday, March 6. Voting may not make any difference in presidential elections anymore, but it can make a difference in the SAMMIES. Oh, yeah: The awards ceremony is Wednesday, April 2 at the Crest Theatre.