Ohhh...we get it: In a world of senseless battle of the bands (wait, what's the plural of that? Battles of the bands? It's kind of like trying to pluralize "pig in a blanket."), stupid rock competitions and slapped-together music federations, perhaps one organization stands as the only bona fide group: The International World Champions of Rock Music Federation.
Based in Cornwall, England, the IWCoRM, has been "honoring and promoting rock excellence" since 1967, awarding its top honor to bands such as The Buttles (1967 winners), The Tribal Persons (1979) and N'Cognito (1991). This year's winner, we are proud to say, hails from Dallas. Local hardish, funkish rockers Honchie have taken home the 2007 IWCoRM trophy.
Great, huh? 'Cept the shit ain't real. The IWCoRM is made up, a hilarious and ingenious concept taken to Guffman-esque extremes, to promote Honchie's new album called, well, The International World Champions of Rock Music. Check the Web site (www.internationalworldchampionsofrockmusic.com, natch) for a realistic, subtle (sometimes), scathing parody—sort like if Andy Kaufman had developed a site—of rockitude and all it entails. We won't ruin the rest of it for you.
But is parody even necessary?: It's too appropriate that a real battle of the bands takes place this week, Friday, December 15, at the Gypsy Tea Room. The Bodog Battle of the Bands pits a bunch of groups we've never heard of against each other; the winner gets to be one of the featured bands on a reality show on Fuse Television (you know, that music station that no one watches—that's the one). Despite hours of intense poring over Lexis/Nexis searches, we can't quite figure out what the hell Bodog is. From what the massive research staff here at DO can glean, Bodog is one of those music entities whose raison d'être is so its sketchy owner can get his picture taken with Snoop Dogg. According to www.bodog.com, "Bodog Music is a co-venture agreement with Her Royal Majesty's Records (HRMR), distributed by Warner Music Canada." There's also something about Web marketing in there, but we got bored reading about it and decided to scroll over to Gawker instead. In any case, the big battle features bands such as Ashmore, Aslan, Evenmark and Lotus—basically lots of metal, rock and "alternative," if you're into that kind of thing.
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Classical gas: Gotta dig pretty deep to find any Dallas artists on the list of this year's Grammy nominees (well, except for the Dixie Chicks), all the way down, in fact to the category Best Classical Crossover Album. Big D violinist Gary Schnitzer's album Melodia made the nominee list for that category. Melodia's "Across the Ocean," was tapped for the Best Composition field and the disc's "Last Waltz" could win for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance. Schnitzer is a Dallas native who spent time in the Rochester Philharmonic and the Mantovani Orchestra. He came back to D-town in 1988. He also played at Troy Aikman's wedding. His skyrocketing career took a tumultuous fall after he made disparaging comments about President Bush at a classical music festival in Manchester, England, and upon his return to the States, hundreds of rabid, tuxedo-clad classical fans pelted him with oboe reeds and rosin bags. OK, we made that part up. But he did play at Troy Aikman's wedding. Really.
Jammin' on the one: In other geeky music news, another Dallas native, Nadia Washington, just scored the Bill Cosby Presidential Scholarship at the kick-ass, if wonky, Berklee College of Music. Washington graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and has already contributed vocals to commercial jingles and was featured in a documentary on the BET Jazz channel (you know, that other music channel no one watches). OK, OK, we're teasing, but big ups to Washington, who scored fours years of tuition, housing and fees.