March 5 will find most of the world gearing up for the 78th Academy Awards, but here in Phoenix, everyone with more than one use for a safety pin will still be coming down from the AZ Ska Punk festivities the night before. These two gala events would appear to be at opposite ends of the entertainment food chain, but both will feature video feeds and interviews from the red carpet, both will go on seemingly for hours and hours, and both will have a Roller Derby Spanking Booth. Um, actually that last bit appears only to be happening at Alice Cooper'stown, along with some 20 bands of the loud and fast persuasion keeping the adrenaline up between award presentations. AZ Ska Punk winners are chosen much the way Oscar winners are -- peers vote for their friends but will consider strangers, so people they despise will lose. Hotly contested categories that encompass the widest margin of musical genres include Best Album (which pits the Stiletto Formal, North Side Kings, Haffo, the Meat Department, and Redfield against one another) and Best Song (which includes the work of Brodie Hubbard, Peachcake, All Too Much, Captain Squeegee, and Labor Party). The Lifetime Achievement Award high-fives everyone from Kimber Lanning to Stereotyperider, and fans of posthumous recognition can revel in Best Retired Group. Will Jimmy Eat World show up to see if they clinched Best Emo Band honors? Will the Best Female Band nominees ditch leather jackets for Bob Mackie gowns or get political about not being able to compete with male punks? Will my nanosecond-long cameo appearance decapitating a yuppie in one of the nominated videos increase or hurt its chances of winning? The tension is palpable, the excitement excruciating!Visit badstainrecords.com/skapunkawards.html for details.