And the winner is… That phrase will be repeated a lot at the 2012 Local Music Awards ceremony this Saturday evening which is being hosted by the Internet radio station Keepin’ It Radio and the Akron Civic Theatre, a Knight Arts grantee.
It’s a great partnership for the two groups and an even better idea. Keepin’ It Radio aims to liven up the music scene by being the forum for local groups to be heard by a wider audience.
The station began, as Civic’s executive director, Howard Parr, noted, by playing area bands that would otherwise not be heard, but since has expanded the idea of any “local” band in a similar situation anywhere in the world. In short, a local Ukranian band is still local – and is welcome.
The Civic, for its part, wants, as Parr said, to bring in area people as audience to be sure, but also as performers. So the combination works perfectly for both parties in this case.
It’s the first Local Music Awards (LMAs) program. Nominees were to be from the northeast Ohio area and were made online at a site created by Keepin’ It Radio. So were the votes.
The LMAs are in 17 groups of the “Best of” variety: Up and Comer, Headliner, Clean Vocalist, Unclean Vocalist/Screamers, On-Stage Presence, Song, Lead/Riff Guitarist, Drummer, Keyboardist, Bassist, Rhythm Guitarist, Lyrics, Solo Artist, Hip Hop Group/Artist, Punk Band, Metal Band and Rock Band.
They are all cool categories, some of which will probably never be seen at national level shows.
According to Parr, the event will be much like other award shows that you might see on television. Between some of the announcements, the solo artist nominees will perform. “That’s easier,” Parr added, cause “they can take the mike and do their thing.” At the end of the evening, the group awarded tops in a “Best Band” category will get all their gear out during an intermission and treat the audience to a few of their numbers.
The atmosphere will be like that of a club, with tables set around on the stage unless the crowd of walk-ins shifts everything to a more theater-like arrangement, Parr noted.
“It’ll definitely be a walk-in crowd,” Parr added. People should feel free to join in on the fun. Nominees range from Cleveland to the north and Youngstown to the east as well as the metropolitan Akron area. That grouping should create a stronger sense of excitement – and perhaps of honor in being nominated and winning – I would imagine.
Local theaters have their individual annual awards. The Akron Area Arts Alliance has its Arts Alive! Awards each year. Now local musicians get their turn at the podium.
2012 Local Music Awards at the Akron Civic Theatre, 182 S. Main St., Akron; 330-535-3179; www.akroncivic.com. The Awards are on Saturday, July 28 at 6 p.m. Admission is $20.