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Inaugural Music Awards Event Celebrates Area's Talent 

The inaugural Charlotte Music Awards ceremony was held on Sept. 6 at Ovens Auditorium and, judging by the turnout, many of you weren't there. Maybe you didn't know about it or maybe you just didn't know what it was.

The event honored a variety of musicians from Charlotte and surrounding areas. While I can't say it went off without a hitch, it was well put together and did its job. Congratulations to those nominated and honored.

Here are a few comments I'd make about it:

• Why the Charlotte Music Awards as a title? The event not only presented awards from artists who don't live here, but some of them performed, as well. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're honoring people from around the Carolinas, maybe "Carolina Music Awards" would be a more appropriate title.

• There were some sound glitches during the performances -- some were too loud, some microphones weren't working, some went on too long. However, to put it simply, shit happens. No big deal to the audience, but maybe performers weren't happy ... I'm also not sure why each band performed three or four songs, instead of maybe one or two.

• Stage fright probably wasn't the case with musicians, but most hesitated to say anything when they picked up their awards. I guess when you're the first one and don't say much, the rest of the sheep will follow. A few more thanks would have been warranted.

• Hopefully, next year and for years to come, there will be more participation from the music community and music fans. More nominations can be submitted and a bigger event will be held. Also, a little more information on how artists are chosen, how finalists are picked and who chooses the winner can be discussed.

• I was honored to be a presenter at the event. It was a unique experience and I was happy to be a part of the inaugural ceremony.

Lastly, let me say -- the above criticisms are only that, criticisms. Overall, it's fantastic to have an awards show in town that celebrates what local indie artists are doing and giving them credit for their accomplishments. Sure, every performance or event can use a little tightening around the edges, but it's the thought that counts.

Hopefully, founders Michael Evans and Jeff Cheen will keep their program going. The locals need as much support as they can get. You can find out more information at www.charlottemusicawards.org

I JUST WANNA CELEBRATE: I headed to Asheville last week to see Perry Farrell's latest project, Satellite Party. It was pretty much what I expected. While the excitement of hearing songs like "Mountain Song" and "Stop" live was pretty high, the fact it wasn't Jane's Addiction was obvious. That's not to take anything away from one of my all-time favorite artists who still has an amazing stage presence. There's a review online at theclogblog.com.

MORE BIG SHOWS: While a lot of people are preparing for the first big reunion show of the fall -- Van Halen -- it was recently announced that another big show will be stopping by Charlotte Bobcats Arena -- The Police. (Tickets went on sale on Sat. 15.) The Foo Fighters and Chris Cornell will also be stopping by.

BONAROO II?: If you weren't already aware, Atlanta is stirring up its own music festival this fall called The Echo Project. Held on land outside the city on Oct. 12-14, bands scheduled to perform include The Killers, The Flaming Lips, Phil Lesh, The Roots, Cypress Hill, Spoon and a whole bunch of others. The best part -- unlike Bonaroo, you won't be stuck in 95-degree heat all day! (I hope.) More info can be found at www.the-echoproject.com.

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