Tuesday, March 9, 2010

OC Music Awards Recap

Make no mistake- LA, New York and London may be known for their music scenes, but Orange County is a longtime breeding ground for great music. On any given night, music lovers (like me) can find a great local band filling one of the county's bars with the sweet sound of rock 'n' roll for the cost of a drink or a $5 cover.

Industry heavyweights and many of those local music makers and lovers packed the Grove of Anaheim on Saturday night to celebrate OC's vibrant scene at the 2010 OC Music Awards.
[photo courtesy of OCMAs]

Fans chose their faves in a People's Choice category, and 35 local bands performed at local venues in the lead-up to the show as part of showcases to determine the winners of the Best Live Band and Best Live Acoustic categories.
[Dusty Rhodes & the River Band's performance: photo by Alexandra Baird]

Standouts included Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, who swept up three of the four awards they were nominated for, including Best Rock and Best Live Band. The six-piece indie group also thrilled the audience with their unique brand of energetic, violin-tinged singalong rock.

[The Steelwells won Best New Artist and Best Song: photo by Alexandra Baird]

Newcomers The Steelwells also wowed the audience, and Best Hip-Hop winners Blok got people up out of their seats to move to their spastic, jumpy club sound and glittery costumes. Both bands can be seen around OC soon- The Steelwells will be  performing at the Gypsy Lounge on Friday, March 12 with local faves The Union Line and Jameson, and Blok has a Monday-night residency at Detroit Bar.

 [Blok took home the award for Best Hip Hop: photo by Alexandra Baird]

The OCMAs also honored music journalist Jim Washburn with a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as OC-born Sugar Ray, who won the Impact Award for their charity work. Lit, famous for the '99 hit “My Own Worst Enemy,” played a touching acoustic tribute to former drummer Allen Shellenberger, who died at 39 last year after a battle with cancer.

[Sugar Ray accepting the OC Impact Award: photo courtesy of the OCMAs]

[Lit on the red carpet: photo courtesy of the OCMAs]

Winning bands were treated to prizes of Fender gear, and KROQ, Best Buy and OC Weekly were among the big-name sponsors. The OCMAs also have a partnership with the Laguna Art Museum; check out  OsCene 2010, a multimedia exhibit dedicated to OC culture featuring songs from the nominees, through May 16. The 2010 Orange County Music Awards are a great catalyst for getting the word out that OC musicians are hard-working, talented and deserve some love! Check out all the nominees at ocmusicawards.com.

on my iTunes: The Steelwells- “El Capitan”

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