"It's good to be part of the in crowd," said X's John Doe as the group accepted lifetime achievement honors during the LA Weekly Music Awards show at the Henry Fonda Theatre on Tuesday. "But if you're not part of the in crowd, it's OK, because in Los Angeles there are plenty of people who will be your crowd."
But when X capped the evening with a performance as dynamic and compelling as ever, it only underscored a question looming all night: Why did it take this long for the Weekly, supposedly ahead of the curve, to include X -- the icon of L.A. punk for about 25 years now -- in this particular in crowd?
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday June 22, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
"Rebel" writer -- A review of the LA Weekly Music Awards in Thursday's Calendar Weekend section said that John Barry was the writer of "He's a Rebel." The song was written by Gene Pitney.
And why did it take so long for the same recognition finally to be given to radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, a central figure in the L.A. music scene since the early '70s? Not to mention the very belated lifetime award given earlier in the evening to Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson. At least the fourth lifetime honoree, Jeff Barry, can be considered somewhat under-recognized, since his mark was made in songwriting ("He's a Rebel," "Leader of the Pack") and not in the spotlight.
It's harder to say whether the Weekly is ahead, behind or even on the same road as the curve with the 19 contemporary categories. Some winners represent an innovation and creativity that have gotten some national attention (such as Petra Haden, whose a cappella rendition of "The Who Sell Out" album won for best home recording, and best new artist Gram Rabbit), but overall it made for a pretty fuzzy snapshot of the current L.A. crowd.
The performances were certainly hit and miss. 8-Bit, purporting to be robots in silver hazmat suits, were silly and profane. Haden, though, dazzled as she led a chorus of nine other women in excerpts from the Who project. Quinto Sol has an interesting concept mixing East L.A. soul with reggae, but overplayed throughout its short set.
Other winners, voted by Weekly writers and editors, included Quinto Sol (best Latin artist), the Sugarplastic and the Movies (tied for pop/rock), the Rolling Blackouts (rock), Carlos Guitarlos (blues/R&B), the Mae Shi (punk/hardcore), Los Abandoned (Latin rock), 8-Bit and Saul Williams (tied for hip-hop/rap), Isis (hard rock), and Dntel and the Haters (tied for electronic/experimental).