Monday, January 28, 2008

The MAMA Awards Stupidity Returns

It's time for that yearly circle jerk, ego clusterfuck that is the MAMA awards. Rick from Rick's Cafe is pushing the entry process over at the mostly dead in the water Daily Page local music section.
I hate the whole idea. It's a lame ass attempt by local people to imitate the Grammys, and a night of hyper extended ego bloat, where all those local music people in love with themselves pay a good chunk of money in the name of charity to put on airs, bad dress clothing and hope that they've flogged their fans enough to suck down the horrid process of voting on line for them at the MAMAs/Broadjam site, a kloodged up site that is counter intuitive to use, demands a lot of information they claim they don't need.
I went to the MAMA awards two years ago. The band I was in won a MAMA, and I went only because somebody else paid for my ticket in.
It sucked. There was a red carpet and some dolled up bimbo and tech monkey with a video camera at the entrance, pumping up the fantasy by stroking up the egos people walking in, followed by overpriced drinks and self involved bozo conversations in the lobby, then followed by a long, boring bunch of presenters and a fair number of bad performances.

I still shudder at SubVocal's singer acting like a cross between an early Madonna and a bad pole dancer. The only good thing about their set was Tracy Jane Comer's cello playing, and I felt sort of sorry for somebody with her talent having to share a stage with that writhing mass of overactive and oversexed weirdness.
We got dragged backstage after we did our stupid monkey dance picking up the MAMA, where they wanted to know if we wanted makeup done before we got our photo taken.
Stage makeup for photos we never even saw? In Madison?How frakkin' stupid is that?
Real local people playing dress up? I prefer Halloween, it's a fuck of a lot more honest.
I know there's a need out there for dog and pony shows, a lot of both huge and frail egos that need to be propped up. And I know that there is money involved in the whole deal, profits for Broadjam, and some money might just trickle down to the school system.
But it seems a lousy and inefficient way to raise money for what our tax dollars should be already paying for, a way to wank one's ego off while having only a part of the money go to the schools.
I'd prefer a big party where people dance their ass off and give all of the money to the cause selected, not a giant promo for Broadjam and Rick with some trickle down money going to the schools.
My loud band did a party/benefit the last two years for the Goodman/Atwood Community center. We pulled in a thousand bucks both times, and all of it went right to the cause.
Simple, direct and fun as hell.
And winning a MAMA had a seriously messed up effect on my old band. Or at least my former bandmate with delusions of grandeur. He spent the next year fixated on it, and it was a big part of our friendship dissolving into an empty shell.
It became more important to make a perfect CD and get another award than it did to be a band. So we stopped playing enough gigs, the big reason to be in a band. And that weird focus on outside approval instead of playing music for the joy of it had the effect of making people forget about us.
By the time I got booted from that band and they played at the MAMAs, they didn't even win one. I just wanted to play music, rip shit up and be a working band, not in a studio creation that was an extension of somebody's delusions of greatness, not to mention the fascist shit that came with it.
In the end, it's that time you spend playing your ass and your heart out, making music and touching something real that matters. The people we play for and connect with doing music, not the mutual admiration society that the MAMAs represent.

Fuck awards, let's dance.

No comments:

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson