BEST BELATED BITCHFEST -- BEHIND THE MUSIC: RATT
"This is the third time we've tried to work with these guys," says a VH1 producer of Behind the Music: Ratt, which debuted in May. He says drummer Bobby Blotzer got bleeped the most. "Every time he mentions [former singer Stephen] Pearcy's name, it's preceded by 'that motherfucker.'" The show has lots of local footage and includes interviews with the late Robbin Crosby, shot for a previous BTM attempt before the guitarist died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2002. Pearcy's segments include his contention (not shared by all band members) that Crosby was felled not by sexual excess, but by dirty needles.
BEST SONGWRITER'S JAM -- THE GAME
"It started when Jeff Berkley, Steve Poltz, and Gregory Page toured Australia," says Cathryn Beeks of the genesis behind her monthly songwriter's jam the Game, held at the Mission Bay Boat and Ski Club. "They'd make up a song title, and then the next night, each of them would have to play a song based on that title." Beeks now invites locals to have a whack at instant songwriting for a live audience, so far attracting players like Sven-Erik Seaholm, Mark DeCerbo, and others. Three sample lyrics from a previous Game, where the song title was "Quick":
Joe Rathburn: "A picture's etched on my brain, of them taken by that hur'cane / They were gone just...that...quick."
Bart Mendoza: "You want the stars, the sun, the moon / all yesterday, if not that soon."
Mark Jackson: "So if you're gonna quit me, baby, be quick / And don't you try to burn me with your witch's candlestick."
BEST ODE TO A FORGOTTEN FRUIT -- "POMEGRANITE GREY" BY COLIN CLYNE
Colin Clyne explains his fascination with a certain fruit. "My late Nana used to always have pomegranates in her fruit bowl...I was reading about art history and interpretation and was delighted to read about the symbolism attributed to the pomegranate in art history and how it represented birth and creativity due to its overflowing seeds." The title of his new song "Pomegranite Grey" is purposely misspelled. "I lived in Aberdeen [Washington], which is also known as the 'Granite City' due to the majority of buildings being built of granite. It's a very cold and grey-looking place during the winter months. I have this theory about British music being built round the melancholy of the weather and greyness usually found in most cities."
BEST PRODIGY-TURNED-PRO -- HARGO
Twenty-three-year-old Hargo got his first taste of fame at 16, when his tune "Giving" was selected as official theme song for the 1999 South Africa Peace Conference. "Actually, I was only 8 when I wrote that for choir," he says. A 2000 performance opening for Seal earned a ringing endorsement from the headliner ("This young man's music moved me deeply"), while the B-52's Kate Pierson recently said of Hargo, "He's a fabulous singer-songwriter." Hargo's debut album In Your Eyes was released last year.
BEST FILIPINA FLIP-FLOP -- PATRICIA JAVIER IS BORN AGAIN
Filipina recording artist and cheesecake model Patricia Javier (her most popular VCD Bare Naked opens with her moaning, "Please me, undress me") has announced she's put away the lingerie and become a Christian. "I've been born again and God has given me a new life, so my new album has ten inspirational songs that pay homage to our Lord," she recently told a Manila newspaper. The 32-year-old lives in Chula Vista with her chiropractor husband, Dr. Robert Walcher, whom she married last December. "We met here," she says. "We were split for a few months, but God helped us to reconcile. Robert didn't have religion before, but now he's a Christian like me. He allows me to sing Thursday nights at Ben's Restaurant, which is owned by a Filipino." You can still view video of her stripping at http://www.metacafe.com/watch/87790/patricia_javier_barenaked.
BEST POLITICAL ALBUM -- THIS GOLDEN THE WILD TRUTH
"It's pretty much about how we need to take back our country's soul," says Wild Truth singer/guitarist Sven-Erik Seaholm of the inspiration behind This Golden Era, the group's first CD in ten years. "While we were all 'getting ours' to 'keep America rolling,' a bunch of evil fuckers took over the country, turned it upside down, and shook it until its pockets were empty. So, of course, the next 'right thing to do' was to drag us all into a quagmire of never-ending Middle-Eastern conflict. While we're all saluting the high-flying banner of oil and trying not to feel bad by eating a pill to cure everything imaginable, there are actually guys on the floor of Congress arguing that preserving nature isn't as high a priority, in light of the impending apocalypse."
BEST BLUES FIND -- ROBERT JOHNSON'S RECORDING STUDIO
Thanks to local blues historian Tom Jacobson, we now know the downtown Dallas locale where Robert Johnson recorded 13 tracks in June 1937. While going through a stack of Columbia Records memorabilia, Jacobson found a letter from producer Don Law -- the only person ever to record Johnson -- confirming the rare recordings were made at 508 Park Avenue, a three-story art-deco building housing Brunswick Records at the time. Now owned by a Dallas drink distributor, the currently abandoned building may become eligible as a historic site, which could save it from demolition. The letter says Johnson was paid $25 per song. It also mentions a night in San Antonio when Johnson asked Law for money to pay a prostitute, reportedly complaining, "She wants fifty cents and I lacks a nickel."
BEST CLASSIC ALBUM RE-CREATION -- LOS LOBOS, JANUARY 6, HOUSE OF BLUES
For only the sixth time in their concert career, Los Lobos performed all 16 songs from their classic Kiko album (named number three in Rolling Stone's "Best Albums of 1992") to an enthusiastic HOB crowd. San Diego was the last city to see the Kiko re-creation before the band reverted to their regular career-spanning set list. Highlighted by lush, rootsy/psychedelic numbers like "Wake Up, Delores," "Saint Behind the Glass," and "Kiko and the Lavender Moon," the LP is also planned as a theatrical production, currently slated for a 2008 premier.