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 2002 DMA Highlights
Eleven mini-articles for your perusal. Check out Mitch's highlights of the 2002 Detroit Music Awards and then send him some of that "Chaser" stuff from GNC for the hangover.

What do you mean, "Dont drink?" - Mitch


Brother's Groove MIA from DMA

Chris Codish and The Brother's Groove begged-off the awards show this year to take their vibe north to "The Loading Dock" in Traverse City. Guess the brother's needed to get our of D-Town for a while. But Codish will return Monday to find the DMA fairy has left another five awards under his pillow this year, including Outstanding Urban instrumentalist and R&B Instrumentalist for how he handles his organ with such finesse. Remember, if you live in the Royal Oak / Ferndale area you can catch the bands "City Beat" performance on CH 55 (Comcast) and channel 10 (WOW) for the entire month of April.


The Wrenfields "Rise Above" the Fray

Another big winner of the night was alt/country rockers The Wrenfields who took three DMA's out of five in the country category including Outstanding Country Recording for "21st Century Pioneer", Outstanding Country Vocalist - Noreen Novrocki, and Outstanding Country Artist or Group. A teary-eyed Matt O'bryan thanked the crowd, overwhelmed by the fact that only two years ago to the day he was lying in a hospital bed dying of Hairy Cell Leukemia. But the feisty rhythm-guitar player and President of KLA Laboratories cheated death and recovered with the unwavering support of his band mates, especially drummer and lyricist John Pyro whose inspired lyrics expressed Matt's triumphant return in the song, "Rise Above" - co-written with guitarist Tom Morgan and the third track off their smash debut. The band is currently writing and recording material for a follow up to be produced by Tyler Brown (Mark Olson, Victoria Williams) and released sometime later this year. You can catch the band live at the Downtown Hoedown on Saturday, May 18th at 2p.m.


Broadzilla Doesn't Kill Mitch - At least not yet.

Metal matriarchs Broadzilla beat back some tough competition this year including 500 Feet of Pipe, Riot in Progress, Diegrinder and Speedball to take the award for "Outstanding Hard Rock / Metal Artist or Group." The girls looked happy to accept the award, less happy to see me, "the only reviewer who had the balls to give us a bad review," said vocalist Rachel May in reference to my Club Bart expose' (Ok, so I had an attitude.). Instead of stabbing me to death with my own pen, Rachel graciously gave me a copy of their new release, "Lady Luck" which I'm enjoying as I write. Thankfully, "Liquor Snatch" is not what you'd think. Sounds as though the girls have really delivered the goods this time. (The amazing inner-sleeve photos make me wish I were a young, long-haired metal crunching, liquor-snatching bass player again. Grrrrrr....Nice Packaging!) Get your copy of "Lady Luck" by cllicking Here. Easily worth the ten bones.

Photo by Jacalyn Selinsky


DMA Cooties Make Glam-Punks Cower

Storm Records psycho stars and glam-punk forefathers (15 years!), The Trash Brats took the award for "Outstanding Rock Artist or Group" - or more like a "Motley Lookin' Crew Who Seem Seven Feet Tall When You Meet Them in Person" (could have been drummer Craig Cashew's six-inch platform boots). But the boys aren't as trashy as they'd have you believe; I found two of the brats in the men's room complaining about The State Theater's total disregard for personal hygiene. "They have this big grand buffet upstairs but they don't even have any god-damn soap in the bathroom!" complained singer Brian Oblivion. Disgusted by the thought of sharing cooties with this crowd, Oblivion suggested to his towering comrade, "Let's go get in a fight! Things are getting way too tame around here."


She's not gay, but I love her anyway.

I finally had the pleasure of meeting former Atlantic Records artist, Liz Larin, I've been listening to her ingenious bass lines and cool vocals on Rebel Heels' critically acclaimed "One By One By One" for...geez, I don't even want to tell you how many years it's been now (secret's safe with me Liz!) Larin took this year's award for Outstanding Rock Songwriter, Outstanding Rock Vocalist and Outstanding Acousitc Act. She spent some years on the west coast pursuing another deal as a solo act and came back frustrated and jaded from over-exposure to the insider's tract of the music biz. But a loss for the big record companies is a musical windfall for us; Larin's writing, recording and performing in our own back yard again. With the release of "Merry Wicked" on her own Bona Dea Music label she's back in D-town - where the love is. But apparently not everybody is as happy to have Liz back again; she told me she was rejected from this year's Michigan Womyn's Music Festival because she wasn't gay. "My lesbian friends were really pissed-off about that," said Larin. Don't take it hard Liz, you can play at our next self-glorifying life-style in-party any time!


Ashtray please.

I ran into Outstanding Reggae / Ska Artist or Group winners Superdot while looking for what seemed to be the only ashtray in the State Theater. The boys shared the butt-bowl and gave me a five-song EP of their music. Their enthusiastic and dance-inspiring vibe will put a smile on your face while you're partying at the beach in the coming months. Look for a full-length release soon or convince them to sell you one of their fancy Bio-Kits which include their five-song EP, Quick Time video tracks for both Macintosh & PC, photos, biography & discography. What more could a SuperDot fan ask for? Well, more ashtrays at The State Theater would be a good start.


Hip Hop for Schizophrenic Dancing Bag-Ladies

Caught the unusual and riveting performance of Sista Otis and The Wholly Rollers who hoisted placards denouncing the so-called "War On Drugs" at the end of their set. Nice to see an artist with the cahones to show her politcal bent on stage. Otis had the dance floor packed with people bouncing to her brand of - what I call Hip Hop for Schizophrenic Dancing Bag-Ladies (well it made John Pyro laugh anyway). No wonder she took this year's Outstanding Folk Act. Great show. Great message. Down with the Asset Forfeiting Federal Office for Repossessing Drugs - we can't A.F.F.O.R.D. it ! - get it?
Noticed drummer Sonya Mastick was up there slapping the skins for the Sista. I caught her in years past working percussion with Eliza. She's also worked with such notables as Jelly's Pierced Tattoo, The Average While Band, April Wine, Tiles, and the list goes on and on. Always a pleasure to see her work.

Photo by Lianne Powell Frazier


DMA "Sticks" It to Gary Jibilian

Chatted with Stickmeister/bassist Gary Jibilian and his charming, lovely wife Denise at the corner of the bar. We drank, smoked and exchanged gossip while the party buzzed around us. Gary plays bass for The Thornetta Davis Group who took the award for Outstanding Blues Recording for "Live at the Music Menu." The Music Menu is a regular gig for this band and you must see them - especially if you have any illusions about your musicianship. A friend and I caught TDG at 5th Avenue Billiards about a month ago and stood paralyzed, jaws dropped open at the spectacle of technique we were witnessing. World Class- enough said.
Unfortunately, Gary didn't win in the three World sub-categories he was nominated for, but he wins in my book for taking on an instrument (the NS/Stick) that few have the courage to approach let alone master. Can't wait to see what he does with it next.


"Immunity" from Negative Vibes, Mon!

My favorite performance of the night was the Immunity reggae band, winners of 2002 DMA award for Outstanding Live Performance and 2002 Special Honorees in the Reggae Category (they have a whole page worth of DMA's on their site). There's really nothing like a little Marley music to get your summer cooking with the proper heat and Immunity had just the right amount of flame. They had this editor dancing at his table, singing along and generally making an ass of himself. I DON'T CARE! Like their website says, "When Immunity plays, the people dance." It's that simple. Just give me the sun, a pair of flip-flops, a sandy beach, a bottle of spiced-rum, a volleyball and the Immunity reggae band jamming on an outdoor stage and I can call my summer a complete success!


Riot In Progress "Spank The Monkey" in Public

Rapcore-crunchers Riot In Progress 'brought down the heavy' on stage at the 2002 DMA awards. While they didn't pack the dance floor (more from fear than disapproval, I'd guess), the press photographers and everyone else under thirty were bobbin' and twistin' their heads to their wall-pounding performance. R.I.P. was the shot of adrenaline needed to remind Detroit there's a whole sub-scene of bands in this genre who are NOT going away.
Wrenfield bassist, Frank Budd went ape-shit over their "Spank The Monkey" chorus and repeated the it over and over until we bought him another drink to shut him up. Just teasin' Frank...


Paradigm, P.A.R.A.D.I.M.E. or Paradime

Multiple DMA winner Paradime owned the crowd in zero flat In his performance at The State Theater. The Outstanding Hip Hop MC and winner of Outstanding Hip Hop Recording and Hip Hop Act threw down some rhymes and called on the crowd to show some love. "I want you all to say, 'Fuck You Asshole!' Come on! 'Fuck-You-Asshole!' " I didn't catch the motive for this but then I've always been a little mystified by Paradime. Let's see, PARADIGM means a pattern, model, example or a conceptual viewpoint used to explain complex ideas. Perhaps the intentional mis-spelling of the word, to the phonetic PARADIME, shows how deviated his worldview really is (i.e. fuck the rules, orthographic or otherwise). Or maybe he's way over our heads and PARADIME is an acronym for Parametrizable Domain-Adaptive Information and Message Extraction - or maybe I just don't know what the fuck I'm talking about and should just shut up and enjoy the rhythm and the rhyme like the rest of the crowd. Outstanding Country Vocalist Noreen Novrocki was diggin' on his trip; eyes closed and fingers fluttering about, she looked happily intoxicated by his masculine urban mojo - or was that just the booze talkin?

Hey, be sure to check out Paradime's Site - probably the coolest background sounds I've heard.

Send your comments, complaints and corrections to Mitch. He'll try to do right by you.

Posted on Sunday, April 21, 2002 @ 22:49:26 EDT by Chief Editor
Topic: Featured
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