By Lauren Wise
By New Times
By Amanda Savage
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Troy Farah
By New Times
By Derek Askey
As expected, Sistah Blue (the New York Yankees of the music showcase) triumphed, winning its fourth consecutive Blues title. Eclectic gypsy-jazzers the Hammertoes were victorious among the World/Heritage acts, while sentiment and a sufficient number of votes were on the side of Sugar High, who emerged with the win over a tough field of Pop category competitors. The Sonic Thrills capped their wildly successful showcase appearance by becoming the top vote getter and winning as best Garage/Trash band. And finally, Victims in Ecstasy unseated last year's Hard/Modern Rock champs Tolerance in a tight race, while also laying claim to the award for Most Likely to Make It Big.
Yours truly handed out awards to the winners during the ceremony; thankfully, this year's trophy was far more aesthetically pleasing than '99's overtly phallic figure and last year's disturbing Reservoir Dogs sliced ear design.
Truckers on Speed and Sonic Thrills took the Hollywood Alley stage following the presentations for a pair of inspired sets, before the night ended with the inevitable all-star jam. Remember, it's not too late to start thinking about next year's showcase, as we'll start accepting entries again in just a couple of months.
Immortality: One of those newly crowned music showcase winners, the Drunken Immortals, will be performing this weekend as part of a benefit concert for Food Not Bombs, a charity that helps feed the Valley's homeless. The Immortals are heading a diverse bill that includes Bullyrag, Stereotyperider and Carol Ann, among others. The concert is set for this Saturday, May 5, at Boston's in Tempe. Showtime is 9 p.m.
Shine On: This week's mail bag brought a pleasant surprise from Lovelight Shine. The group, which emerged from the ashes of San Diego emo faves Jejune, is a decidedly harder-rocking outfit as evidenced by the band's debut EP, Makes Out (Big Wheel Recreation). Lovelight Shine chucks Jejune's indie muse in favor of a sound that recalls Me Decade icons like Queen and glam figureheads Bowie and T-Rex.
As the small print on the disc claims, Makes Out is "5 Songs to Get Your Rocks Off." From the ferocious pick slides that kick off the opening rave-up "Freedom Fighter" to the blues riffage of "X-Ray Vision" to the anthemic squall and Brian May soloing of "The March Is On," the disc is an unabashedly big arena-rock lighter-waving workout.