I Survived the Flagpole Athens Music Awards

Last night's Flagpole Athens Music Awards had all the zany exuberance of a high school skit night, complete with hula hoops, adolescent humor, and recurring technical problems. A highlight of the night might have been the screening of the three finalists for best music video. What we saw of them was brilliant. But the dvd must have been damaged, so we were treated to freezes and jerks. The dominant theme in the musical acts was loudness. I had to check my ears to make sure they weren't bleeding. Don't get me wrong. I understand that rock is loud. I grew up with rock. But there's loud and then there's, well, Dead Confederate at the Morton last night. Dead Confederate and Casper and the Cookies offered up some fresh, interesting musical ideas, but the decibels got in the way. Congrats to Deaf Judges on a delightfully high-energy hip-hop opener, and my award for most entertaining musical performance at a Flagpole music awards show goes to Art Rosenbaum, whose unplugged mountain music spoke to all of the generations represented in the Morton audience. I'm also giving special awards to Jeff Fallis, who read his funny and touching poem "The True Golden Era" about Athens over the years, and Wilmot Greene -- the owner of the Georgia Theatre -- whose plea for help in rebuilding the theatre drew an outpouring of heartfelt goodwill. All in all, I left the Morton last night with good vibes about the future of music in our town.

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