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Rockers, Rollers, Readers, 

I know you're all excited to dive right into this 15th annual SF Weekly Music Awards program guide, but indulge me for one second (I know what you're thinking: "Wouldn't be the first time." Yeah, well, shut up). Back in sixth grade our teacher made us all concoct and participate in this grand pageant called "Africa Fest." It was some multiculti, teach-the-world-to-sing, introduction-to-the-concept-of-white-guilt affair that had us kids coming up with African-themed songs, dances, and skits to be performed for our parents, classmates, and teachers. Being a starry-eyed, obsessive fan of the Oscars, the Grammies, and other glitzy awards shows, I devised what became the grand, overzealous production known as the "Gourd Awards." Set for the finale of Africa Fest, the Gourd Awards -- well, I'll let the theme song I wrote for it explain: "The Gourd Award/ The Gourd Award/ Everybody wants to win the Gourd Award/ Music and singing, what a treat/ The Gourd Award, it can't be beat." (As you can see, I was a less-than-gifted lyricist.) The reason I'm telling you this, besides a desperate need to fill space, is to establish that while I may no longer be a starry-eyed, obsessive fan of awards shows, I know a good one when I see it, and this here fandango we've got planned is going to be one fist-pumping, hip-hopping, rump-shaking musical menagerie. Ms. Mulligan, God rest her soul, would be proud.

As many of you know, this is the first show in a decade not produced by the venerable Silke Tudor. Yes, Silke's gone to that great musical freakfest in the sky, and by that I mean Brooklyn. Lacking her vision, talent, and address book, we did what we could to put together an SF Weekly Music Awards show that was worthy of the name. And by and large I think we've succeeded (although our success will ultimately be determined, as it is every year, by how drunk SF Weekly Editor John Mecklin gets). I mean, for one thing, we've got freekin' Blackalicious. How cool is that? (Since you're probably wondering, the band thinks it's performing at a Vice magazine party, so do us a favor -- mum's the word.) We've also got beat-boxer Kid Beyond, who, for those who haven't witnessed him, makes that guy from the Police Academy movies look like a stuttering boob. Then there are the juicy phat sounds of -- wait, did I just say "juicy phat"? Oh well, fuck it -- Hyim & the Fat Foakland Orchestra and Stymie & the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra. That's two orchestras! And just for good measure, we've thrown in some amazing DJs, URB magazine honoree DJ Tom Thump and U.S. International Turntablist Federation champion DJ Relm. It's almost enough to make you forget about the real reason we're here ...

AWARDS! Who doesn't love awards? You? You don't? OK, then you're not invited. In fact, why are you even reading this? Leave. Now. For the rest of you, we have 10 different awards to give out tonight to the 10 amazing local bands that YOU, devoted, literate friends of mine, voted for. So sit back, order a Mojito, and for a few short hours forget all about the looming apocalypse that awaits us should a few dyslexic Floridians find their way to the polls. Pretend you're JFK -- you know, the new one: "This is [insert your name here], reporting for duty." Now put your dance pants on. Everybody in the club's gettin' tipsy.

Your Humble Music Guy,



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