Yes kids, it’s time to bring up the old blog from the basement, dust it off, and find a place for it on the coffee table. Sure it doesn’t match the new couch, and it smells a little funky, but I think with a fresh coat of paint I’ll be able to show it to company again. Given the self-indulgence of keeping a blog, I thought I’d re-start this one by talking about another exercise in self-indulgence: the awards ceremony—part anticipation, part masturbation, and part consolation.
Attending an awards ceremony held for local musicians feels a lot like walking into my high school cafeteria, except now the booze is legal (unless you’re the kids from Sauna, sorry guys). You know what I’m talking about, we did it back then and we still do it now. You wear something you think looks cool, but not trying-too-hard-cool, and you immediately look for the other bands you hang with. Once you’ve gathered your tribe together, you stand around talking about everyone else in the room—still wearing those liberty spikes, huh? and looks like someone robbed a Hot Topic. All while looking over your shoulder for people you want to talk to, and people you don’t.
Everyone has their own clique, separated by the categories in which we’re nominated: the punks hang with the tattooed rockabilly chicks in platform combat boots, the skinny indie-rock nerds hang with girls in glasses and Chuck Taylors, the metal heads don’t hang with any girls, the hippies smoke pot outside in their van, the hip-hop kids stake out their own corner of the theater, and we all move carefully back and forth to the bar without making eye contact with the bands we don’t know. Of course we do know them, we’re like that guy in your math class that used to date your sister, but never seems to recognize you in the hall. Or maybe that’s just my inner Billy Corgan hoping that everyone knows who I am.
Then there’s the “cool kids table.” You know, the bands who’ve claimed the sweet spot in the parking lot by the gym, who always win prom queen and who never seem to remember your name or what band you play in–
Them: nice to meet you Katie.
Me: um…it’s actually Kitty and we met last week at the showcase, and the month before that at your show, and the month before that…
Them: oh, sorry, we’ve just been so busy touring; everybody starts to blend together.
Me: but I sat behind you in history class all last year… (actually, none of this is true, I would most likely let them call me Katie and then run away)
Not that these bands actually show up, of course. They’re busy getting drunk at the house party we weren’t invited to. I find myself wondering if this happens at all awards ceremonies. Like, do Paul Giamatti and Catherine Keener stand around talking shit about Brad Pitt and Ashton Kutcher while Joaquin Phoenix gets high in the parking lot?
None of this is to say I don’t enjoy these gatherings of fellow musicians. Truthfully I love the idea of this, of getting together and supporting one another, acknowledging one another (and I would never begrudge the winners their congratulations). But that’s not what award ceremonies are really about, are they?
In the end, we do our best to mature past adolescence, to grow-up, be less judgmental, more inclusive, but ultimately we can’t escape the fact that real life is one big high school, and we’re all looking for someone to sit next to in the cafeteria. At least I don’t smell like zit cream anymore.