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2011 MAMA's

Who's making noise in and around Madison? What's new in the business of making music around town? Review shows and CDs here. Please keep all hype in Hype Exchange.

Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby Walter » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:06 pm

dave esmond wrote:If people want to make local musicians feel good about what they do go see 'em play. Buy their music. Buy 'em a drink. Walk right up and tell them you like what they're doing.Tell the bar you like what they're doing and you'd like to see them booked again.


That's what I do. And how I met Dave. Right on, sir.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby dave esmond » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:13 pm

Walter makes me feel this good.

Image

Thank you sir.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby Nate535 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:26 pm

I have to agree that arts competitions are fatally flawed from the start.

Personally, what's more valuable to me is the respect of my peers. Maybe the answer is to have some awards be based on popular vote (for the purposes of moneymaking) while others are based on peer votes. It has to start with a fair nomination process that puts the right bands in the right genres. Someone mentioned limiting bands to one genre and that makes a lot of sense to me.

As far as voting goes, would it be possible to have musicians sign up to be a part of a peer voting process? I guess you'd have to have some way of identifying local musicians vs fans and it would have to be on the honor system but it might make for more legitimate results. I'm not sure how they handle the actual voting but systems were you only vote for your favorite band certainly encourage the popularity contest mentality. Much better is a system where you would rank the nominated bands in order from most favorite to least favorite and the band with the lowest score would win. This method makes a lot more sense for a panel of judges...maybe that's how they are doing it...I don't know.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby stevethrewup » Fri Jun 10, 2011 6:00 pm

I like the panel of judges idea of being a mix of peers though imagine the outrage of the selection? Where do you draw the line of who is on the panel and who isn't? Should we have a public vote on who gets in? :shock:
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby Mr. Williams » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:27 pm

As an extreme supporter of the MAMA's I wanted to weigh in as well. I think the points being brought up here are spot on. I look at things a bit differently though.

The MAMA award show itself is a great party, the first time I went was last year and I was simply blown away at the talent and musical diversity Madison has, from young to old. It was a great show, period. I went again this year and the same thing- a great party with great musical acts. I was blown away by Lords of the Trident. A band I'd never think to see, but will be checking them out more in the future. I've been lucky enough to perform at the MAMA's and i'm still amazed at how many people it takes to make this show happen. It's a huge undertaking and I love hearing that people respect Rick so much for what he's done, he deserves it ten fold. There are a lot more people behind Rick that help him make this wonderful event happen that never get mentioned as well.

The biggest thing I commend him for is all the criticism and analyzing he takes from us musicians, but he always listens. As an artist I find it very hard to listen to some people when they go off on tangents of supposed knowledge, yet Rick listens year after year and makes changes based off of what people are saying.

The fact he was able to secure sponsorship to due away with all the nominations fees in our economic climate is worth all the praise in world. People complained of that issue for years, Rick listened and worked his magic to secure the money to make that happen. Kudos to all the sponsors.

It's been said many times here, it's simple, awards shows will always be about popularity but I still believe the winners are just as talented as the losers and i'm sure most of the winners would say the same thing. At a certain point- all bands are equal in talent. It's impossible to say one band is better then the next and the easiest thing to judge a band on is popularity because in music- that's what it takes to succeed.

I believe popularity is a great way to judge a band, it's all encompassing. It takes into account music ability, marketing power, crowd draw, stage presence, buzz, songwriting and the list goes on. Ultimately I believe as a musician that is what we are judged on- if we are popular we win awards, we get more money at shows, we sell more merch., we get more fans. It's simple the most popular bands can do all of those things very well.

Lucas and Frank are friends of mine and I know how hard they work at music and the music business. They play over 150 shows a year, driving to the far reaches of the country, living in a van, sleeping on strangers floors all to play the music they love for people that enjoy it. Their fan base is huge but that's because they work at it. They work hard to get their fans and I would find it insulting to ask these kinds of bands to "just give other bands a shot" just because.

I agree with the statement about genre specific problems. Me being part of a blues/rock band would never try and win a punk rock category and I do think the MAMA panel will take a look at this as opinions are voiced.

I also think the diversity in the artists that are winning is much greater now. The years of one artist taking home 10+ awards are over. There must have been over 50 awards awarded at the show and I believe the most won by one artist was 6.

I hope that people keep supporting the cause and if you aren't into awards- come to the actual show next year. It's a great time to see some stellar local bands and get a chance to talk with your fellow musicians. It's a great community out there.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby Nate535 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:40 pm

Mr. Williams wrote:It's been said many times here, it's simple, awards shows will always be about popularity but I still believe the winners are just as talented as the losers and i'm sure most of the winners would say the same thing. At a certain point- all bands are equal in talent. It's impossible to say one band is better then the next and the easiest thing to judge a band on is popularity because in music- that's what it takes to succeed.

I believe popularity is a great way to judge a band, it's all encompassing. It takes into account music ability, marketing power, crowd draw, stage presence, buzz, songwriting and the list goes on. Ultimately I believe as a musician that is what we are judged on- if we are popular we win awards, we get more money at shows, we sell more merch., we get more fans. It's simple the most popular bands can do all of those things very well.


I think you're way off base on some of these things man. Popularity is certainly what it takes to achieve commercial success, but that's not always a great indicator of good music. Popularity is definitely NOT all encompassing especially when it comes to voting for awards shows. Fans of your music aren't logging on, listening to all of the nominees, and choosing the band they feel best represents the genre. Bands pester their fans to log on and vote for them and the band that is the most successful at doing that...wins. How else do you think Lucas Cates wins best guitarist? I have no problem with Lucas, he really does have a great band, but he's not even the best guitarist in his own band.

I agree that the bands who won work very hard and deserve some credit for that, it's not easy being a full time musician. But lets not pretend that a MAMA award is some legit measure of musical prowess. I guess since you've won a few...I shouldn't be surprised you'd feel that way :)
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby Mr. Williams » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:45 am

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this Nate! Which is cool, that's why music is great. One man's best is another man's worst. One's man's right is another man's wrong. That's the way music should be.

As a guitarist I have no problem what so ever with Lucas winning best guitarist. I believe he deserves it. When did we associate "the best" guitarist with a guy that can technically shred on blues, jazz or rock, etc. and lay down an amazing solo. Why not include some of the singer/songwriter guitarists. I believe Mark Croft, Corey Hart to name a few as some of Madison best guitarists- just in a different way. Kudos to Lucas for taking it home.

I believe arguing about how the best way to award "the best" is a never ending discussion.

Kudos to Rick and all of the MAMA supporters!
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby ivotedforcarlweathers » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:24 am

As far as genre goes, listen to the songs before you judge whether you feel a particular band fits a genre.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby supaunknown » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:40 am

Mr. Williams wrote:When did we associate "the best" guitarist with a guy that can technically shred on blues, jazz or rock, etc. and lay down an amazing solo. Why not include some of the singer/songwriter guitarists.

They could be as gifted a rhythm guitarist as Paul Simon and I still think they'd be in the wrong category. "Best Guitarist" implies someone who can shred.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby NullDevice » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:03 pm

I always find myself pretty conflicted. The MAMAs on the one hand are a really great cause, and one I feel strongly about. But on the other hand the actual "awards" part of it is frustrating. I almost think they should ditch the awards entirely and just do a bunch of benefit shows and maybe do the lifetime achievement thing.

Plus it's hard for me to criticise it without sounding bitter.

But I really think if they're going to keep going with the awards thing, there needs to at least be some gatekeeping on the front end. When one band submits in 95 categories that they are only tenuously related to, it really undermines the credibility. Let the artist submit wherever they want, but somebody's then gotta come along and say "look, you can either be a jazz band or a country band with this album, but not both."

I don't have good solutions, but I agree that something needs to be done to keep the whole thing relevant.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby jjoyce » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:38 pm

The thing of it is, you have to have the awards to have the one big night. We've presented some nights of multiple local bands, all at the tops of their game. You can fill up the High Noon charging a light cover for such a show, but you can't make real money doing it. And that's sort of the point, right? It's the award aspect that brings in the extras.

This is a good discussion. The MAMAs guys are hopefully tuned in.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby supaunknown » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:20 pm

I don't know if they've done this already, but ...

I suggest they add an auction of sorts. Get fun stuff donated, lay it out on tables near where drinking is taking place, and people can peruse and write down their bids. Top bidder on an item gets it. Include a couple special items to be auctioned off from stage during the show.
hint: A good mc/auctioneer can get people to happily open their checkbooks.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby wallrock » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:25 pm

I like the cause and I'll keep donating and voting, but if there is one thing I'd change it would be to get rid of the requirement to vote in every single category. Maybe they could do something like with the Madison Favorites voting with a 60% or 75% threshold for the ballot to count. There are a lot of genres that just don't interest me and in some situations I just voted for the group with the best name. Same with the Sound Engineer category - how exactly would I know anything about that?

I'll also cop to voting for the same band across different categories even though I didn't exactly agree with the placement. Usually I listened to the four or five different candidates and picked my favorite regardless of what category it was supposed to be. I know I voted for MSB more than a few times this way.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby john_titor » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:09 pm

As an outsider, I ask what does the award represent? Is it the best as determined by the area musician's working peers, or the best according to the people? None of the above?

If it is the People's choice, I have a suggestion: for singles, stream the list of mp3s online for each genre. Strip the info and let people vote/donate online for a dollar. Post attributes after winners announced.
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Re: 2011 MAMA's

Postby Nate535 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:54 pm

Mr. Williams wrote:I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this Nate! Which is cool, that's why music is great. One man's best is another man's worst. One's man's right is another man's wrong. That's the way music should be.

As a guitarist I have no problem what so ever with Lucas winning best guitarist. I believe he deserves it. When did we associate "the best" guitarist with a guy that can technically shred on blues, jazz or rock, etc. and lay down an amazing solo. Why not include some of the singer/songwriter guitarists. I believe Mark Croft, Corey Hart to name a few as some of Madison best guitarists- just in a different way. Kudos to Lucas for taking it home.

I believe arguing about how the best way to award "the best" is a never ending discussion.


Really? Don't you think "best guitarist" should go to a guitarist that does something to distinguish themselves from their peers? I'm ok with a singer-songwriter winning best guitarist...as long as they aren't doing something that is totally average. It's not about being able to rip a solo, but most of the players who have developed the technical skill to do so...are also pretty good rhythm guitar players. But that's not even the point. Lucas won best guitarist because he has a very popular band not because he is the best guitarist. If you can't see that, then maybe you should lay off the MAMA koolaid.
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