The envelopes have been ripped, the speeches have been given, the Champagne poured, and it's time to announce the winners of the 2008 North Bay Music Awards in print!
At a swingin' affair out at the Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol Oct. 22, a bustling crowd filled the room as DJ Wordlow got things moving on the turntables with his stack of rare soul 45s. Onstage, Volker Strifler warmed up by playing guitar solos over Spider Harrison's deep funk classic "Beautiful Day." Against the wall, artists Jared Powell and Joe Leonard put the starting touches on a pair of 5-by-6-foot street-art murals, and the crowd, fresh from the Boho Awards party out in the beer garden, bought beers and boogied down. And all of this before the awards even began!
Between blocks of award announcements, we were extremely lucky to have the Volker Strifler Band, Free Peoples, Not to Reason Why and Sonicbloom all grace the stage with short, sharp sets as excellent and varied as the awards categories themselves. Bill Bowker and Brian Griffith from KRSH 95.9-FM served as special guest presenters, keeping the suspense strong until the grand reveal, and winners were given framed "gold" record awards along with the opportunity to deliver acceptance speeches.
Throughout the evening, special moments kept occurring. At the last minute, Spencer Burrows from Frobeck sat in with Volker Strifler, sight unseen, to fill in on keyboards. Bill Bowker gave gracious thanks to the listeners who've supported local radio from the days he broadcasted from a little shack at Santa Rosa's KVRE. A member of Sonicbloom, in an acceptance speech, thanked "my mom, even though she's not here, I gotta thank my mom," alongside shout-outs to Ol' Dirty Bastard and Stevie Wonder. The members of Dgiin amiably argued about who got to keep the award, and Jason Bodlovich, himself nominated in the jazz category, admitted that he had voted for winner Mel Graves.
Special thanks go out to the Hopmonk Tavern for having us; to all the bands who performed, especially to Not to Reason Why for showing up early and supplying the backline; to Jared Powell and Joe Leonard of Black Saints tattoo and Monkey Wrench tattoo for painting an amazing mural; to DJ Wordlow for keeping it funky; to Bill Bowker and Brian Griffith from the KRSH for rockin' the mic; and especially to you, the readers and supporters of local music who turned out and made it real. Over 2,000 of you voted—a record, and a testament to the immense passion you have for your music community.
Without further ado, turn the page for the 2008 NORBAY winners!