By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
[Applause. Drunken shouts of "My grandfather voted for Buchanan! Lincoln sucks!" Shot of Mary Todd Lincoln breaking down in tears.]
KANE: Koo's Art Cafe. Like the Hub, Koo's has been around since 1994. And, like Chain Reaction, this was another all-ages club nobody thought would last, even more so when they put up a graffiti wall in the back so aerosol artists would have a place to spray their stuff. That last action, in particular, raised the ire of Santa Ana city councilman Ted Moreno, who basically saw Koo's and the young people who gathered there not only for the music but also for the occasional lefty-leaning socio-political event as Evil Instruments of Satan Incarnate.
[Shot of Bob Saget hostingAmerica's Funniest Home Videos flashes on the screen behind Kane.]
KANE: I said Satan. So, the laugh's on Moreno, who was busted for accepting cash in exchange for his vote. Also, Koo's remains the only live music club in OC regularly booking live hip-hop, a stat that alone deserves a nod.
[Applause. Drunken shouts of "Oh, so you think you're better than me?!"]
KANE: Linda's Doll Hut. Okay, so Linda's isn't all-ages, we're fudging here.
[Drunken moan of "Mmm, fudge."]
KANE: But as the oldest continuously-operating local music club in OC (active since, um, 1989—but in this county, that's a friggin' eternity), Linda's deserves the Meryl Streep slot, earning a nomination because . . . well, just because it's the Doll Hut! And dissing Linda's Doll Hut would invite Bad Award Show Karma.
[Applause. Shot of men dressed in black leotards and tights with "Bad Award Show Karma Krew" written on their chest dejectedly being led out of the hall.]
KANE: Steamers. A jazzer's dream room, Steamers has been largely responsible for putting the words "Fullerton" and "nightlife" together, something unfathomable just a decade ago. Steamers differs from most jazz clubs in that their main interest is in serving music, as opposed to other rooms that offer up music and dinner—places where the performers are relegated to mere background noise by the Time the appetizers arrive. Steamers is cozy and intimate, so much so that when regulars like Joey DeFrancesco, Ron Eschete or Ron Kobayashi are locked in their groove, you can almost envision what it must have been like in those smoky old New York jazz clubs of the 1940s and '50s. Don't get too caught up in the moment, though—like everywhere else, there's no smoking allowed.
KANE: And the winner is . . . Chain Reaction!
[Applause. A large screen rises.]
SWAIM [from off-camera]: We go now to Rebecca Schoenkopf, live on location. Rebecca, how's it hanging?
REBECCA: To the left, Will! I'm here on location at the legendary roadhouse Linda's Doll Hut in Anaheim. Here with me is Linda Jemison herself, who single-handedly kept Orange County's music scene alive after the demise of places like the Golden Bear and, um, what was that other one? Okay, well, it doesn't matter. Linda, how does it feel to have won the award—yet again—for Orange County's Best Music Club?
JEMISON: Well, Rebecca, it's really an honor. I just have always loved music, and I like to see the bands get a fair . . .
SWAIM: Rebecca, we seem to have a problem. Could you step to the side for a minute?
REBECCA: Sure, Will. What's wrong?
[Schoenkopf leans forward toward the camera, presses one hand tightly to her ear as if listening intently.]
SWAIM [whispering]: Linda's didn't win this year.
REBECCA: What are you talking about? Everybody knows Linda's is . . .
SWAIM: No, really. Chain Reaction won. And I would really appreciate it if you would pay a little more attention at meetings, since we're on the subject. This isn't the first Time this has happened, you know.
REBECCA: Chain Reaction? Really?
SWAIM: Yes. Really. And now it's your job to go get that trophy out of Linda Jemison's hands.
REBECCA: Aw, crap. I just assumed . . . Hey, Linda?
LINDA Jemison: Yes?
REBECCA: Will says you didn't win. I need the trophy back.
LINDA: Oh, really? Well, guess what, you little fink? You're not getting it back.
REBECCA: C'mon. There's no need for that. I'm really sorry about this . . .
LINDA: You can't just jerk people around like that! Somebody needs to teach you some manners, jerking people around like that.
REBECCA: I'm serious! GIVE ME BACK THE DAMN TROPHY, LINDA!
LINDA: COME ON WITH IT, THEN! LET'S SEE WHAT YOU'VE GOT, YOU LITTLE BITCH!
SWAIM [intrigued]: Everybody! Cat fight!
REBECCA: I can take her, Will. Don't worry! She's pretty tough, but I'm fast! Back to you! Ow!
[Fade out. Applause. The screen goes away.]
KANE: Our next category is Best Record Store. Automatically disqualified were the big-ass chain stores like Tower, The Wherehouse and The Virgin Megastore, as well as smaller chains you may not have known about such as Moby Disc (too LA-based). They're big. They're mostly wonderful. And you're already familiar with them. Again, sorry to our Long Beach friends, but we had to cut out shops like 45 Revolution and Fingerprints. Zed Records saved us the trauma of excluding them by going out of business a couple of months ago.