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As the number of nationally prominent artists who are no longer embarrassed to call D.C. home keeps growing, the Washington Area Music Association has a right to be pretty pleased with itself. So, in the interest of keeping WAMA humble, a few unofficial accolades from its eighth annual Wammie awards bash, held Monday night at the Hinckley Hilton’s International Ballroom:
WORST DRESS, MALE: Pete Kennedy, decked out in a maroon military/doorman ensemble. Those in the back of the hall might have mistakenly assumed that Wammie organizers had invited Paul Revere & the Raiders.
WORST DRESS, FEMALE: Diana Stagnato—walking proof of why “tasteful” and “cleavage-friendly gold lamé mini” rarely show up in the same sentence.
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BEST DRESS, FEMALE: Stagnato. See above. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll.
MOST OFTEN MISIDENTIFIED: Mike Ivey, vocalist for Basehead. The group took home two Rap/Hiphop Wammies, and for each, a member of Basehead’s management team came to the podium to accept the award. Both times, he was introduced as Ivey, and both acceptance speeches consisted mainly of repudiations of those introductions. “Once again, I’m not Mike Ivey,” the still-anonymous individual announced, a little perturbed in his second attempt to set the record straight. Then, as Not Mike left the stage, members of the Orioles, serving as award-presenters but apparently not paying much attention to the proceedings, offered a perfunctory and unintentionally hilarious “how ’bout it for Mike Ivey!” In the wings, Not Mike could be seen shaking his head.
BEST ROADIE: Bill Kirchen. When a bad stomp box rendered his Telecaster dysfunctional in the middle of “Secrets of Love,” Kirchen didn’t stop—he smoothly handed off a solo break to his rhythm guitarist, rewired the onstage electronics, and brought it all home with nary an extra bar.
BEST UNACCEPTANCE SPEECH: The New St. George, for its Best Duo/Group award in the Irish category. “We really don’t deserve this,” New St. George accordionist Jennifer Cutting told the semistunned crowd. “We’re an English band.”
MOST IRONIC ACCEPTANCE SPEECH: Joan Jett. “This is very humbling,” said Jett upon being inducted into the WAMA Hall of Fame. It was unclear whether the source of the former (?) arena rocker’s humility was the induction itself or that she was giving her speech to a virtually vacant ballroom as the four-hour show was winding down.
BIGGEST (AND MAYBE ONLY) FUGAZI FAN: Jett. She seemed to be the only person clapping when Fugazi’s first two Wammies were announced. While Jett was backstage preparing to receive her own award, Fugazi (which was not present) was conferred with its third. That announcement was greeted by silence.