By Amrit Singh & Brandon Stosuy
Yesterday we learned the winners of the 2008 Gummy Awards. Last night we partied. Thanks everyone for braving the cold and long lines to get in. The show was a full and festive — host Max Silvestri presented a stunning array of the best greeting cards you’ve never seen, Videogum debuted a montage of the year’s finest viral videos (we’ll have that for you soon), and post-show chatter suggested each band — Bell, Violens, Deerhunter, and DJs High Places — walked out with new fans in tow. We’ll let this spread of pics by ace photog Ryan Muir do most of the talking because they’re just that good, but here’s a bit on how it all happened:
Onetime BTW Bell started the night, bringing a double-percussion trio lineup with cohorts Jason Nazary and Gunnar Olsen. She gave the crowd her Obama track “New Bridge,” the songs that initially made our ears perk up to her sound (“Echinacea” and “Brown Bear”), among others.
Jorge Elbrecht, one of the masterminds behind Lansing-Dreiden, piloted Violens through a set of loud, clean, melodic pop. Afterward he said he’d had some problems with his pedals, but this wasn’t noticeable during takes on “Violent Sensation Descends,” “Doomed,” etc. Elbrecht’s interest in metal shouldn’t be overlooked — there’s an underlying darkness and some of the chord structures (especially on the marches on their “Patrik Ervell SS09″ EP) point at something quite different than the shimmery pop coatings. Speaking of which, Violens drummer Kris King gave Mary Pearson a high-five after she played Krallice’s “Wretched Wisdom” during her and High Places partner Rob Barber’s DJ set. The two opened the show early and kept things going between bands when Max and Gabe weren’t making folks laugh. The HP set had a serious Michigan bent (Mary’s Awesome Color into Rob’s Ready To Fight, etc). Rob also played Louisville punks the Endtables “awesome mega rare 7″,” which he taped off the radio when he was in 6th grade.
Somewhere between the one-stage blowjobs, album leaks, and controversial blog posts (shit diaries, etc), Deerhunter have developed into a solid band — one that can show up and perform without bloody wedding dresses and still command your attention. The set was mostly via Microcastle (“Never Stops,” “Agoraphobia,” “Nothing Ever Happened”), but we also got a little “Jane Says” and a lot of handstands. The band sounded absolutely huge. We’d like to think it was our night. But really it was Deerhunter’s.
Thanks to everyone for voting in this year’s Gummys, and for helping make last night the best Monday night we’ve had in awhile. There’s a lot of Ryan Muir’s photos below — and they’re worth the scroll.