As Maureen McGovern once sang, there's got to be a morning after. And it's about as pleasant as you imagine it is. It's not even that Rocks Off is hung over (much), it's more that after Thursday night's Houston Press Music Awards ceremony, we literally left it all on the field. The tank is empty. Even Jackson Browne has no idea how spent we are. Even so, we'd be lying if we said we didn't have a good time at the awards. Or that we're not proud as a peacock that so many people came out - enough people to fill up Warehouse Live's ballroom, until the inevitable moment in the evening when people decided they'd better go ahead and get to the afterparty. We're equally proud of the winners, be they first-timers like Roky Moon & BOLT (Best New Act) or artists who are on their second trophy case, like the Zydeco Dots (guess what category they won), D.R.U.M. (Best World Music) and Los Skarnales, who, with Thursday's Latin Contemporary win, have now taken every category except Best Female Vocals - congrats, Kristine Mills - and will probably figure out a way to win that next year. So, until next year, we'd just like to thank all the winners, nominees, sponsors (even those who didn't have a clue who the people were they were giving awards to) and especially everyone behind the scenes at the Press and Warehouse Live who made it happen. As for Thursday's performers - Scarface duck-walking with the Flamin' Hellcats, Mechanical Boy's spastic alt-rock, Umbrella Man's roof-raising gospel, Born Liars' general ass-kickery, Benjamin Wesley's bizarrely beautiful one-man orchestra, Nosaprise's esoteric acoustic groove - you're the reason we're here writing this up and not holed up in some South Austin squat with a needle and a spoon. Not yet, anyway. There's a whole weekend yet to be conquered. In the words of Little Joe Washington, your 2009 Local Musician of the Year, "The only thing of mine that's not in the pawnshop is 'Mary Had a Little Lamb.'"
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