The party line

After 13 years of sitting through lengthy Sacramento Area Music Awards shows, we fought for our right to party and won—sort of

Sacramentans prove that they like to party all night long.

Sacramentans prove that they like to party all night long.

Photo By Larry Dalton

The real story at the 14th annual Sacramento Area Music Awards— aside from stellar performances by Th’ Losin Streaks, Crazy Ballhead and Deathray—was the people who turned out to drink, dance and check out the new format. This year’s Sammies, held last Thursday night at the Empire Club, had a new venue, a catered VIP party for the winners, fewer bands, longer set times and way less ceremony. Were the new Sammies able to make a lasting impression? Here’s what some locals had to say.






“I really liked the new format. It felt very ‘industry,’ and the location was cool. The pre-awards VIP event was great for those of us who like to network with the other folks in the industry.”
Michelle Franzwa
director of talent and entertainment for Dig Music

Mike Farrell (pictured here) and Matt Kanelos were on a winning streak at last week’s Sammies. Kanelos nabbed a Critic’s Choice award for his drumming skills, and Farrell was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Photo By Larry Dalton






“I had a great time all in all. I think the way everything was awarded simple and sweet was great. The bands that played were diverse and an excellent representation of some great music Sac can show off—especially Th’ Losin Streaks!”
Amber Kloss
promoter for First Kloss Productions



Houston, we have a winner.

Photo By Larry Dalton




“This year’s show was interesting, but instead of feeling like an event, it felt like a $6 show for $12.”
Matt K. Shrugg
drummer for Th’ Losin Streaks





When I say “Crazy,” you say “Ballhead.” Crazy. Ballhead. Crazy. Ballhead.

Photo By Larry Dalton


“This year’s award party was done in trend-setting fashion. It was dope!”
Crazy Ballhead
2005 Sammie winner for Outstanding Rap/Hip-Hop Musician






“I have been to the last three Sammies at the Crest and had a much better time then. The space is beautiful, kids can come, and the staff is pleasant. The Empire is a horrible club that should be shut down or at least have an attitude adjustment.”
Lisa D!
local DJ


The members of Didley Squat (all under the age of 21) managed to sneak into the VIP party long enough to accept their award for Outstanding Pop Band.

Photo By Larry Dalton





“The first hour before the doors opened was really cool. I got to talk to a lot of musicians that I’ve never met, and I thank the SN&R for that. I felt special and appreciated, but I think the SN&R went too far from what they had going with the Crest. I think they should do another Crest thing next year with less bands playing and then have a small party for the VIPs at Old Ironsides—an obvious local-band supporter!”
Dusty Brown
three-time Sammie winner for Outstanding Electronica Band





Deathray sets its phasers on fun.

Photo By David Robert


“I liked Th’ Losin Streaks a lot. I’ve seen them quite a few times, and this performance was pretty over-the- top. And, of course, Shaun Slaughter and Jon Droll’s DJ sets were great.”
Chris Loental
bassist for the Evening Episode






“My main gripe was simply that the event was 21-and-older. In my opinion, the Sacramento music scene is suffering dearly because of its persistence in keeping minors out of it. I’m not saying the SN&R furthered this lockdown of sorts; I’m only saying it didn’t help.”
Jacob Barcena
guitarist for Didley Squat



Photo By Larry Dalton




“For me, being a Sammie recipient, the highlight of the show could have been receiving the award. Having them laid out on a table was somewhat anticlimactic. It’s always nice to be presented with an award as opposed to searching for it on a table.”
Stephen Bingen
trumpeter and vocalist for Raigambre






“News&Review doesn’t have to put on an awards show for the local musicians. They don’t have to put up money and free food and free beer for a bunch of musicians who, for the most part, sit around and complain about the venue, the way it’s run, how it’s unfair, how this sucks and how that sucks. A lot of towns could give a shit about their local music scene, and we musicians here in Sacramento are damn lucky we’re in a town that goes to such extremes for us. ”
Noah Nelson
vocalist and guitarist for Las Pesadillas