Northwest Music Awards

Ah, summertime! The Gnome is exhausted from running the Belltown gauntlet, dodging chatty crackheads and SUVs full of drunk yuppies. Still, when I've got downtime, it's all about giving back to the community.

At least, that's what I kept telling myself last Thursday, waiting—and waiting and waiting—for the start of the second annual Northwest Music Awards. Presented by KUBE personality Tony B, the ceremony was scheduled to begin at 8:30, didn't get off the ground till 9:30, and then had more than its share of technical snafus. The Gnome's shriveled little heart went out to cohost Vivian Phillips, who got stuck on stage while Kenny G. wannabe Darren Motamedy and his band set up for what seemed like hours. Considering they were the second Kenny G. wannabes of the evening (the first was sharp dresser Marion Meadows), Phillips handled the delay like a pro.

If only the Gnome had that much savoir faire. Instead, I tried imitating the moves of the high-class record producer next to me as he ogled the teenage girls in Sony's latest Seattle signing, D-Cru. Half Britney Spears, half Backstreet Boys, 100 percent cheese, D-Cru did their little song and dance while my seatmate tried to keep his tongue from lolling out of the side of his mouth. What a cheeky devil!

When it came time to accept his Lifetime Achievement Award, Sub Pop cofounder Jonathan Poneman took the stage with a baggy Spencer Moody standing in for Bruce "AWOL" Pavitt. Boozy cheering ensued from the punk-rock ghetto in the back of the Showbox (winner of an NWMA for "Best Nightclub"—a complete coincidence, I'm sure). Possibly these revelers were just happy to be inside: Having confused the invitation's phrase "black-tie" with "wear whatever the hell you want," several of them had to work really hard for a crack at the buffet.

Geez . . . if ever a dress code was needed, it was at WOMAD, where tie-dyes and Guatemala-ware reigned on the first day of the weekend-long fest. Fortunately, the Drummers of Burundi danced, pranced, and pounded their way through the aesthetic and olfactory morass, and Natacha Atlas and her eight-piece band ignored the horrible hippie dancing to supply entrancing Middle Eastern music. The world's eyes were on Redmond and for once it wasn't because the Feds were sniffin' around Microsoft; if they had been, they would've smelled a whole lotta patchouli! You betcha!

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