There seems to be an award show every weekend of the year now. I even got a flyer in my junk e-mail box this week about an award show for SHOELACES coming up in December. Not joking. Maybe it’s because of one too many elbows to the head in crowded places on my vertically challenged frame, but I’m not big for real crowded places. I deal with them. And there is a crowd at the New Music Awards. It’s just a different crowd. This show is unique in the aspect that it gives you the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, a red carpet entrance, and one of the most historic and popular venues in music history at the Avalon Theater, but you also feel as if you’re surrounded by friends once inside. That’s because you are. From the musicians, to the magazine staff, to the promoters, to the radio folks that can attend, it’s a show that is anticipatory every year. It marks the end of a long, hard year of work for all involved and all in attendance. It’s a time to celebrate, a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor, even if it’s just for one night. (The only other “awards” show I enjoyed more was being the MC for our local Miss America qualifying Pageant. Any single guy would love to be backstage for two long rehearsals and the pageant with 18-24 beautiful, single, awe-inspiring women. But, I digress). Paul Loggins works the room like Barack Obama on election night. Smooth as butter, always a pleasantry for you, and will help you find your seat, find a cold beverage, make you feel as if you’re the only one he’s been waiting for to arrive. If Paul ever looks for another line of work, I would suggest Welcome Wagon, but, I’m not sure they could pay him enough. Seriously, find Paul after the show at the Tropicana Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel. He’ll be a little more relaxed then. And, like years past, I’ll be able to find all of the single women in one spot by just finding Paul. I hear he’s somewhat attached now ladies, so a different path for us “run of the mill” fellas will have to be implemented this year. Larry Weir will look similar to the man that stayed up for 5 days in a row during the Apollo 13 mission as depicted in the movie. Very little actually goes wrong during the show, but that’s because Larry’s covered his bases times ten. However, don’t be surprised if you ask Larry directions to the restrooms and he answers you with, “Hey, buddy, how you doin’?” The show itself gives folks an opportunity to hear some great new musicians, see a few surprises, and recognize those in the industry that deserve it so much for their hard work this year. If we could, we’d give a “co-editor of the Year’ award to Paul and Larry. It is even more incredible that they now have offices in LA and Nashville and still do what they do week after week. Nobody really knows what will happen with radio, and records, and music in the not too distant future. Some say at least 7 percent of radio’s workforce has been laid off this year, and more cuts could be on the way. So the general idea this year is to “party like it’s 1999” and hope that 2009 will be good enough for all of us so we can do it all again next year. We all have a common denominator in this industry, and it’s brought even more to light by association with New Music Weekly and the New Music Awards. Welcome to Hollywood. Enjoy your stay, stick around a bit to sight-see, and I’ve been told that the Big 7 records table (country) is the best place to go for wayward PD’s, MD’s, and general radio folks to get a cold beverage. That’s insider information, or so I’m told. That doesn’t qualify as payola, it’s just “payback”….for those seemingly endless phone calls!