A reliably diverse crop of local musicians got lucky at this year's Houston Press Music Awards ceremony last week, with artists ranging from ambitious prog-metal band Oceans of Slumber (Best New Act) to the late Texas Johnny Brown, who won for both Best Blues and Local Musician of the Year after passing away in June.
To celebrate the Awards' 25th year, the Houston Press inducted the first class of the brand-new Houston Music Hall of Fame: gospel star Yolanda Adams, jazz singer Jewel Brown, groundbreaking gangsta rappers the Geto Boys, Tejano supergroup La Mafia, beloved vatos rudos Los Skarnales, local punk/New Wave first ladies Mydolls, trail-ride top draws J. Paul Jr. & the Zydeco Nubreeds, jazz-funk keyboardist/TSU professor Joe Sample, country crooner Gene Watson and a lil' ol' band called ZZ Top.
The ceremony, held at Warehouse Live and hosted by 94.5 The Buzz afternoon DJ Theresa, also featured performances by HPMA winners such as the Suffers and Fat Tony. The elongated, impassioned Hall of Fame acceptance speech by the Geto Boys' Willie D, whose advice column Ask Willie D appears elsewhere in these pages, brought the crowd to its feet. Congratulations again to all the winners.
BEST LOCAL RECORDING
The Niceguys, James Kelley
BEST LOCAL SONG
Cindy Pruitt, "Epiphany"
BEST LOCAL MUSIC VIDEO
Junior Gordon Band, "Big"
LOCAL MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
Texas Johnny Brown
BEST NEW ACT
Oceans of Slumber
BEST MALE VOCALS
Josh Fuller (Josh Fuller and Dirt & Diesel)
BEST FEMALE VOCALS
Sam Austin (Libby Koch)
Adam Walker (Josh Fuller and Dirt & Diesel)
Gabe Bravo (The Trimms/Shotgun Funeral)
Ezra Charles (Ezra Charles Band)
BEST OTHER INSTRUMENT
David Weinzapfel (steel guitar, Junior Gordon Band)
BEST SOLO RAPPER
BEST RAP GROUP
BEST RAP DJ
DJ Mr. Rogers
BEST CLUB DJ/DJ NIGHT
BEST POP ACT
Chase Hamblin & the Roustabouts
BEST LATIN ACT
Texas Johnny Brown
Justin van Sant
BEST TRADITIONAL ROCK
BEST MODERN ROCK
The Dead Rabbits
Oceans of Slumber
BEST ELECTRONIC ACT
BEST COVER/TRIBUTE ACT
The Fab 5
We now press pause on the year 2013 to give you Beyoncé's shorter haircut.
On August 7 in the year of Beyoncé and Blue Ivy 2013, a photo was placed on the official Instagram of her Royal Bey-Hiveness.
The queen had gotten a haircut.
The public gasped, and women immediately called their beauticians at the stroke of midnight wanting the cut. Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Pink all scoffed before fans peppered them with schoolgirl-like "Girl, did you see what Beyoncé did?!" thoughts.
"You're a leader, not a follower!" some hapless fan wrote on Instagram. "She has her own emoji now!" another laughed on Twitter. "The poor, poor weave industry," someone else chimed in. Yes, that poor industry is going to suffer because Beyoncé has enough influence to make women all give themselves The Big Chop.
What do we do? We now live in a world where there are children who have never seen Beyoncé with her glorious mane or endless supply of great wigs and lace-front weaves. These children have to consider that Chris Brown is going to retire this month and that Jay Z ditched his hyphen much like he did Roc-A-Fella or every other business thing that bored him. Forget post-racial America; we're in post-weave Beyoncé times.
Here's how the next 12 months might wind up if Beyoncé keeps her hair like this. You know, because this is super-serious news right here.
August 25: Beyoncé upstages Lady Gaga's giving birth to another Lady Gaga at MTV's VMAs by publicly debuting her new do. Jay Z cackles and tweets #newrules while Rihanna plays with her iPhone, adding more half-naked pics to her Instagram account.
August 26: The fan who caught Beyoncé's hair during a concert a few months ago (while she was still performing!) has now simply been dubbed The Fan and added to the Royal BeyHive Proclamation.
September 15: Full-on patents for "Beyoncé Weave" roll in, replacing Indian Remy and Malaysian as the hottest things in the black-hair world. Beyoncé says her inspiration for cutting her hair was her fans.
September 16: Keri Hilson gets a similar bob cut, and Beyoncé fans viciously go after her.
October 2: Finally ready to unveil her new album, Beyoncé gives us the final images of her long hair in the "Bow Down" video, along with the Houston rappers who do whatever they can to make sure they're in the "I Been On" video. Fans weep, consider August 7 "RIP Baddie Bey Hair Day" and do the "Single Ladies" dance.
November 11: Beyoncé, fully embracing her new look, decides to do the same to her daughter, Blue Ivy. The world freaks out again and calls the cut an even bigger sign of the Illuminati rising up against us to take over.
December 31: Bucking all kinds of industry tradition, Beyoncé's new album hits stores just in time for the new year. Her hair is still short, yet the content of the LP is aggressive. Everybody is told to bow down and everything, even Oprah. It goes on to sell 450,000 copies its first week and land at No. 1.
Ask Willie D
Mo Money, Mo Problems
Simple advice for a guy dating above his pay grade.
Dear Willie D:
I've been with my girlfriend for a few months. Things are mostly really good in the relationship except for one thing: We argue about money occasionally. I'm divorced with kids, and have been struggling just to make mortgage payments since I no longer have a spouse's income to help with the bills. My girlfriend makes more than I do and doesn't have kids to support, and she's aware I have a lot more expenses than she does.
At first we took turns paying for dates, but lately I'm picking up the tab more often than not. It came to a head recently when she offered to pay half the hotel bill for a weekend trip that was my idea. I accepted her offer, but later she let me know she was pissed. I ended up paying for it and just about everything else on the trip, and she was happy.
She is an independent woman in a lot of ways, but she wants to be taken care of. I think it's comforting and makes her feel secure. I'm kind of old-fashioned myself and ideally I'd be reaching for the check every time. But I'm living check-to-check myself and there's no promotion in sight anytime soon. She's cool with staying in and us cooking at one of our places some nights, but other times she'll say she'd rather go out, and I usually pay even when it's her idea.
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I don't want to be a cheapskate, but I don't want to shortchange my kids because I had to pay for dinner, a movie or concert, drinks at the club, and brunch the next day. What do you think about my situation?
You're dating the wrong girl.
Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.