Last night, America's Finest City celebrated its vibrant and deeply talented music scene when the 2013 San Diego Music Awards invaded Humphreys By the Bay.
The city's musical community came out in force, with big-name radio DJs like 91x's Robin Roth and FM 94/9's Tim Pyles, popular performers, nominees and more than a few local TV personalities coming out to the scenic spot next to the water and enjoying the annual celebratory bash. Postponed one week from its original date last Wednesday due to a freak torrential downpour, the rescheduled show couldn't have been held on a more perfect evening.
Forgoing a loud, head-banging headliner like last year's P.O.D., 2013's show went for a slightly more subdued, more intimate feel, with artists like Sara Watkins, Sara Petite and Tristan Prettyman playing acoustic-based music. Petite started off the show on an energetic, foot-tapping note, the band thumping out a couple barn-burners for a crowd that was still finding seats. A few minutes later after, she would re-emerge onstage as the Best Americana winner. Blackout Party, who took home the Best Rock award, added one of the few rock punches of the night, blasting through two furious, rollickin' gems and breathing life into a tiring crowd.
Throughout the show though, we were more than pleasantly surprised when some of our favorite bands/artists strolled up to the podium to accept awards: the Heavy Guilt won for Best Alternative, Gayle Skidmore was awarded Best Singer/Songwriter, Odessa Kane bagged Best Hip-Hop Album, the Burning of Rome took home Album of the Year for With Us, and the Silent Comedy won for Best Pop and Song of the Year for "God Neon."
Even though some categories seemed overly predictable, no awards show would be complete without an upset or two -- for example, the Creepy Creeps beat out perennial San Diego favorites Little Hurricane and the Silent Comedy for Best Live Band. The ultimate curveball came, fittingly, on the final award of the night, Artist of the Year. With a list of who's who in the alt-rock scene as nominees (including Little Hurricane, Pinback, the Silent Comedy and Wavves), the lone jazz artist, Gilbert Castellanos, got the nod.
It was an apt ending to a show that celebrates our city's musical talent and its fine heritage -- and also a good reminder that at the end of the day, it's anyone's game.
Album of the Year: With Us, by the Burning of Rome
Artist of the Year: Gilbert Castellanos
Song of the Year: "God Neon," by the Silent Comedy
Best Music Video: "Don't Stop," by Slightly Stoopid
Best Live Performer: The Creepy Creeps
Best New Artist: Soda Pants
Best Hard Rock Album: Women and Children, by Author and Punisher
Best Rock Album: Dirty Sirens, by Dirty Sirens
Best World Music Album: Hell of a Night, by Tribal Theory
Best Cover Band: Cash'd Out
Best Hard Rock: The Schitzophonics
Best Alternative: The Heavy Guilt
Best Hip-Hop Album: Cuetes & Balisongs, by Odessa Kane
Best Pop: The Silent Comedy
Best Blues Album: Oh My Stars, by Low Volts
Best Jazz Album: Federal Jazz Project, by Gilbert Castellanos
Lifetime Achievement Award: Daniel Jackson
Best Club DJ: Marc Thrasher
Best Local Recording: "Awake Now," by Midnight Pine
Best Americana Album: Brushbloom, by The Tree Ring
Best Americana: Sara Petite
Best World Music: Tribal Seeds
Best Hip-Hop: The Lyrical Groove
Best Pop Album: Love Have Mercy, by Old Tiger
Best Blues: The Bayou Brothers
Best Jazz: Gilbert Castellanos
Best Singer/Songwriter: Gayle Skidmore
Best Alternative Album, Allez Allez, by the Night Marchers