Another Orange County Music Awards is upon us, and as is our habit, we think ourselves into a good migraine over the merits of founder Martin Brown's celebration of all things aurally OC. To alleviate the pain, we thought we'd raise all the mind-bending questions about this year's OCMAs—and then answer them.
The OCMAs are back at the Galaxy Concert Theatre this year? What happened to the Grove of Anaheim?
Brown says the Grove was asking waaay too much money after the Nederlander people took over the booking—more dough than Brown could cough up, anyway. Besides, Brown does marketing work for the Galaxy. Employee discounts rule!
How many bands entered this year?
Brown says 330, about 40 percent more than last year. They all paid that paltry $25 entry fee, too, which always makes the OCMAs seem more like a contest. But, hey, if you're nominated, you get in free. Some local music award shows don't have entry fees but make bands buy admission tickets. Martin's got to make bank somehow, but he also thinks he'll wind up writing a $5,000 check to Big Brothers and Sisters of Orange County. See? He isn't really that mean!
So who's playing?
Scarlet Crush, Sideswipe, Channel, Holly Nelson, Joe Arant, Darenda Owens, Corday, the Fenians, Natural Afrodisiac . . . and a whole mess of others—basically the winners from last year's show, plus a closing set by Weekly cover boys Buchanan. We can't think of anything snotty to say here.
That's funny—how come I don't remember any of last year's winners?
Silly! Nobody remembers or cares who wins unless you actually win something. We pop-quizzed Martin Brown about who won a certain category last year, and even he couldn't remember! In that way, the OCMAs are exactly like the Grammys—a great party and a great excuse to get screaming drunk as a pretty good soundtrack plays in the background.
I needed an ass transplant after enduring last year's OCMA marathon. Will this year's show be shorter, or should I bring a cushion?
Each band will play one song each instead of two, which Martin Brown hopes will trim the show down to a spiffy three hours. Until the presenters start plugging useless crap, which always drags everything down to the let's-jab-knitting-needles-in-our-eyes-for-fun level.
What's this bit about bank employees being on the judging panel? What the hell do bank employees know about good music? Won't they just vote for whatever band most closely resembles 3 Doors Down?
A La Habra credit union is one of the sponsors, and they sent out a press release cock-a-doodling that three of their employees were on the judging panel for the Best High School Band semifinals. God knows how deeply this disturbed us, but Martin says there were 32 other judges that day—musicians, music teachers, label people, people who really know music. We weren't there, but we wished we were after we heard that one of the nominees was Salute to Darkness—a Darkness tribute band! Whoever wins the award Saturday gets to play, and we hope it's these kids because a surreal injection of campy coolness is just what the OCMAs need.
What's with Martin Brown's freaky Bee Gees obsession?
Brown loves the Bee Gees even more than he loves Al Stewart, which is why, to complete a lifelong spiritual quest, he's thinking about moving the site of next year's awards to the Anaheim Convention Center arena—the very same venue where the Bee Gees made their American concert debut on Jan. 27, 1968. Apparently, the arena can be configured to accommodate an intimate, theater-sized crowd of 2,500.
Is it true thatOrange County Register pop-music critic Ben Wener might co-host?
That's what we were hearing last week, anyway. And this would be the same Ben Wener who ripped the OCMAs a new drainpipe in his review of last year's show, which proves Martin Brown is either very Christ-like in his ability to forgive or very desperate, but not so desperate he didn't ask anyone from the Weekly to co-host.
Just what the hell is the difference between Best Rock and Best Classic Rock? Between Best Punk and Best Pop-Punk? Between Best Indie and Best Indie Rock? Why not just give everybody a fucking award?
Martin wants to acknowledge as many people as possible, so that's why there's so much Balkanization. Just be happy you're nominated, cretin!
I'm a DJ, and there are no DJ categories. Does Martin Brown hate me?
"DJs are not a legitimate form of music, in my opinion," Brown says. So, yes, he hates you.
Why aren't there any Christian categories? Does Martin Brown hate Jesus?
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A Christian category would be based solely on lyric content, not genre, and Brown says he won't do that. He wouldn't mind a gospel category one of these years, though.
Will Martin Brown buy me a drink?
Maybe. Just look for him Saturday—he'll be the funny-talking, bored-looking guy with nothing better to do.
The Orange County Music Awards at The Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600. Sat., 8 p.m. $20-$25. All Ages.