Stacy Lukasavitz - Writing Sample - Event Preview Article Detroit Music Awards prove that music still keeps Detroit on the map(Originally published at Detroit Unspun on April 13, 2010.)Motown. Detroit Rock City. Whether it’s Bob Seger or Aretha Franklin, Kid Rockor Eminem, the musical beat has always been the lifeblood ﬂowing through theveins of this city. Despite the layoffs, despite the bad press of “drive byjournalism,” despite the political scandals, there is one area where Detroit,Michigan is still seen as the epicenter of cool — its music scene.While some may be attempting to “partylike rockstars” elsewhere in the area thisFriday, the real rockstars of Detroit will begathering downtown in the Fox TheatreDistrict at The Fillmore (formerly StateTheatre) for the biggest night of their year –the 19th Annual Detroit Music Awards.Leading the pack with a dozen nominationsthis year is singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Carolyn Striho, best knownfor her past work with punk legend PattiSmith and fronting the Detroit EnergyAsylum. Her nominations includeOutstanding Vocalist, Best Instrumentalist,and for her latest CD, Honesty.Although her musical résumé includes collaborations with some of the mostlegendary names in music, that only seems like a sound check — Striho’srecognition is ﬁnally coming to center stage at this year’s DMAs. Her only prior
Stacy Lukasavitz - Writing Sample - Event Preview Article DMA was in the 1990s for Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist. Detroit Unspun was able to obtain an exclusive interview with Striho, where we discussed the importance of these awards. “The DMAs are important for the region,” said Striho , “With all the layoffs, all the bad press we get, we can do the DMAs and still show the world that Detroit is music.” Kathy Vargo, marketing manager for the Detroit Music Awards and partner at music publicity ﬁrm On the Rocks Detroit, agrees. “Detroit musicians work harder and generallyget paid less and recognized less than anyone else in Detroit, and they’re sotalented,” said Vargo, “we have an ongoing mission to show the awesome talenthere in this area, and that you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for greatentertainment, as you can go to any venue in the region and see a great bandfor as little as $10, or even free.”Despite the hard times, Striho, who regularly tours Europe, strongly feels thatDetroit is still on the map, especially musically.“In Europe they think the world of Detroit musicians,” Striho said, “They have agreat reverence for us, and we take it for granted. . . it’s cliché, but when thingsgo bad, people tend to think ‘Who needs art and music?’ We do. Detroit is stillthe barometer for a lot of things that go on in the world, the country, the musicscene, and it’s important that we show that.”Vargo says she thinks Detroit is ready for its next “big breakout” musician.
Stacy Lukasavitz - Writing Sample - Event Preview Article“I think it’ll be Ty Stone. He’s recording with Kid Rock and is his protégée,” saidVargo, “Ty [Stone] has the #10 song on WRIF right now, and it’s only a matter oftime before he gets huge.”Many locals may be tired of hearing about Kid Rock, but Vargo gives him a lotof credit.“Kid Rock has done a great job of keeping all eyes on Detroit, musically,” shesaid, “He’s an amazing example of Detroit rock and roll.”Vargo is insistent to point out that the DMAs are not just an “insiders only”event. “The only thing that is exclusive is the voting process, but the public ismore than welcome to attend. It’ll be the best $20 they’ll spend!”But even to give the public some say in a win, sponsor VitaminWater hascreated an interactive contest by choosing 10 songs by nominees for freedownload in a special widget on the Detroit Music Awards homepage. Users canpromote their favorite artist via Twitter or Facebook, and the artist that garnersthe most downloads by tomorrow, Wednesday, April 14, receives a specialaward at the ceremony.This year, distinguished achievement awards will be presented to Detroit rockfavorites The Rockets and to the Sun Messengers. The Sun Messengers willperform, while The Hell Drivers — featuring Rockets founders Jimmy McCartyand Johnny “Bee” Badanjek — will play a set of Rockets songs.National Artists receiving DMA nominations include Eminem, Bob Seger, UncleKracker, The Von Bondies, Mayer Hawthorne, K’jon and Ty Stone.What started as the Motor City Music Awards in 1988 and ﬁrst presented in1992, the Detroit Music Awards are the only music awards in the nation to becompletely organized and presented by a not-for-proﬁt organization. Its
Stacy Lukasavitz - Writing Sample - Event Preview Articlemission is to support and nurture the musical community in the Detroit metroarea and throughout Southeastern Michigan.The DMAs this year will present at total of 70 awards across 11 differentgenres, ranging from rap to rock, country to classical, folk to electronic, andeverything in between. Voting is done by Detroit area music professionals in amultiphase process beginning in January and culminating the end of March. Afull list of nominees and performers can be found atwww.detriotmusicawards.netThe Detroit Music Awards will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at theFillmore. Tickets are $20 for General Admission and still on sale at allTicketmaster outlets.