The 2011 OC Music Awards

In many ways, the 10th Annual Orange County Music Awards was a considerable success. Held at the City National Grove of Anaheim on March 5, it was sold out a week before the actual event. The show was well-organized and efficiently run—no technical difficulties, started and ended on schedule. Still, it wasn't all run-of-the-mill. Here are five of our favorite moments.

Stan Freese's Lifetime Achievement Award: Nothing approached the levity brought upon the room by Stan Freese, who accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as Disneyland's music director. Freese spent 10 years as a tubaist on the '70s variety show Hee Haw and is the father of Vandals drummer and musical gun-for-hire Josh Freese and sometime Green Day keyboardist Jason Freese. Disney Creative Director for Theme Parks and Resorts Marilyn Magness presented him with the award, recalling that as Freese led the Disney marching band down Main Street USA, he would veer from side to side so he could touch the folks lining the curb. As he delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech, he was joined onstage by Mickey in the flesh—or, rather, cloth. He told aspiring musicians to be "the best you can at what you're doing."

The Wildboys' Kanye West Moment: The night ended with the announcement of Best Album, which went to Avenged Sevenfold. Before the prize could be claimed, however, one of the members of the electro rap duo Wildboys, a bloke who operates under the pseudonym Charles Bronson, hijacked the microphone and said something about local indie band New Limb making a great album followed by phrases such as "I don't care if you hate me." (And that's probably the closest the Wildboys will ever get to Kanye West.)

Dahga Bloom Not Giving a Fuck: Psychedelic experimental band Dahga Bloom gave one of the most remarkable showings of the evening. On a darkened stage and backed by flickering, colorful shapes, the sextet sat in a tight semi-circle and played an instrumental jam featuring atonal, wheezing keyboards occasionally drowned out by wonky radio-wave sounds. This was all accompanied by a steadily chugging backbeat whose conventional essence was at odds with the sonic cacophony it underpinned. Truly compelling shit.

Bluesman Micah Brown's Dexterity: Brown demonstrated once again his mastery with six strings as his fingers nimbly danced across the fret board and his rhythm hand picked out a melody with the locomotion of a hungry caterpillar.

BLOK's Mom Defending Her Kids: Mrs. BLOK accosted OC Weekly in the lobby and asked why we were always trashing them, insisting her kids are geniuses and that we should "write about the music." Hey, if we did that, we'd never mention BLOK! From a March 7 post on Heard Mentality.


This column appeared in print as "Five Memorable OCMA Moments."


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