“The Austin Music Blogger Awards” : Why Should The Chronicle’s Music Section Have A Monopoly On Blandness?

Posted in Austin, non-sporting journalism, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 3:30 pm by

A few weeks back, a gentlemen representing something called The Austin Music Blogger Awards asked me to vote on a number of categories, with a Fender-sponsored awards show taking place at the Spiderhouse Ballroom on February 27.

I politely declined, explaining that since I had some sort  of record label relationship with two of the artists nominated, I shouldn’t be eligible to participate. You’d hope, right?

(Impalers – shown performing at an alternative to an alternative of a bogus awards gala, ie. a real show)

Even so, this would’ve been a tough thing to do with a straight face.  That a collection of Austin’s music blogs somehow determined that neither of Spray Paint‘s 2013 albums were amongst the top 5 Austin records of last year is pretty hard to fathom.  Likewise, the omission of the Impalers’ 540 LP was pretty curious.   We’re expected to believe an alleged expert nominating committee had to come up with the town’s Top 5 Venues, and Beerland mysteriously didn’t make the cut?  That Renate Winter, Ángel Delgado-Reyes or Stephen Michael Ruud aren’t amongst the city’s top photographers?

Obviously, there’s differences of opinion about this. The esteemed panel of judges from music blogs that I wouldn’t read if you put a gun to my head are entitled to theirs, just as I’m allowed to state their attempts to acknowledge excellence on a local/regional level feel kinda like, y’know, they have no fucking idea what’s going on.  I expressed as much to the fella who wrote to me, and  he replied that they’re trying to provide “an alternative to the Austin Music Awards”.

Sorry, but pretending the American Sharks are a more interesting band than Spray Paint isn’t an alternative to anything.

Still, because I’d rather be constructive than merely puke all over this noble attempt to sell drinks at the Spiderhouse, I will note the organizers have failed to reveal their nominees for The 2014 Austin Music Blogger Lifetime Achievement Award. I can totally understand the oversight — I’m surprised anyone can stay awake listening to Jess Williamson, let alone put together a huge event honoring her.  So in the spirit of community, here’s the AMBLA nominees :

a) La Snacks
b) Art Acevedo (the Chief Of Police, not the band)
c) Art Acevedo (the band, not the Chief of Police)
d) Cunto!
e) Lance Vallaincourt

If you’re wondering who’s gonna win, well, as they say at most Spiderhouse events besides the poetry slam, good seats are still available.

5 responses to ““The Austin Music Blogger Awards” : Why Should The Chronicle’s Music Section Have A Monopoly On Blandness?”

  1. Amanda says:

    When keeping it real goes right.

  2. Theresa says:

    Maybe you should calm the fuck down and try realizing what they are trying to do. They want to bring the community together and obviously they respected your opinion enough to ask you to vote. Just because you are so narrow minded when it comes to music and only listen to ONE genre at ONE location doesn’t give you the right to slam other people for respecting other peoples views.

  3. GC says:


    They didn’t “respect my opinion”, Nathan asked for my vote because in his own words, I’m supposed to be a “tastemaker”. Which is complete bullshit — I’m just one person, like anyone else. The reason I shouldn’t have been asked to vote is pretty simple — two of the bands nominated record for my label! If the awards are determined by labels — big or small — this even has zero credibility. I mean, they can’t even claim the solicitation process is fair. Richard from Super Secret —- a guy who has done way more for quality local music than me —- had never even heard of this awards show or the genius organizer until this whole thing blew up.

    You’re entirely welcome to claim I’m narrow minded when it comes to music, but it’s simply not true that I “only listen to one genre at one location”. I mean, the evidence to the contrary is so overwhelming I don’t even know where to start.

    I’m not “slamming other people for respecting other people’s views”. I’m slamming something that appears to be an a self-congratulatory circle-jerk at best, an ethical trainwreck at worst.

    “bring the community together?” Or the just portions of the community the organizers wish to acknowledge?

  4. Theresa says:

    Okay, I respect that. But perhaps you should try talking to Nathan in a more civilized way (or any of the people who organized this) and simply ask them their true purpose behind it, instead of assuming their purpose and how they planned on bringing the community into the whole thing. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, however, do you have to go about it the harsh and blunt way you do? These people were trying to do something positive for the city of Austin and you may have gone a little too far on some comments.

  5. GC says:


    as Nathan’s well aware, I raised my objections about the awards’ voting/nomination process and the narrow range of those acknowledged by such with him individually long before I took it public. The organizers have had ample opportunity to explain the “true purpose” behind the AMBA’s in the way they’ve promoted the event and in response to posts here at CSTB. Suffice to say, I don’t think they’ve written much to make it seem anymore credible or interesting than what I’ve described.

    “You are certainly entitled to your opinion, however, do you have to go about it the harsh and blunt way you do?”

    Probably, yes.

    “These people were trying to do something positive for the city of Austin and you may have gone a little too far on some comments.”

    Sir or madam, while doing something positive for Austin sounds lovely on paper, I don’t think there’s anything positive about promoting terrible music and excluding some of the town’s most talented artists because you may or may not be too lazy to figure out who or what they are. Nathan called the AMBA’s “an alternative” to the Austin Music Awards (which I’m sure at one time or another, someone considered a positive thing). I somehow think the city can get pretty well without such a thing, especially one that seems every bit as out of touch.

    There’s all sorts of ways to do something positive for music in Austin and people like Richard Lynn, Dru Molina, Max Meehan, Renate Winter, Jonathan Cash, Kyle Artrip, Ángel Delgado-Reyes, Mark Twistworthy, Ben Tipton, Timmy Hefner are out there getting their hands dirty doing those things everyday. The stuff they’re involved in is hardly limited to one genre or one venue and anyone purporting to represent the entire “Austin Music Community” ought to already know that.

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