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VIDEO: 2009 Boston Music Awards Recap

Last night's BOSTON MUSIC AWARDS was a stripped-down affair at the LIBERTY HOTEL -- yes, the joint formerly known as the Charles Street Jail. An appropriate setting, perhaps, for a long-running local-music event that feels like it's on probation. The awards presentation zoomed by in a mere half-hour with only a handful of presenters and fewer categories than in previous years -- they've done away with the traditional distinction between "local" and "national" acts, which is an easy thing to do in a year with no new albums by Aerosmith, the Dresden Dolls, or DROPKICK MURPHYS (who still managed to win Best Punk Act). The big winners, no surprise, were PASSION PIT, who took Act of the Year and Song of the Year. The surprise about Album of the Year was not that it went to a band from Rhode Island -- we're used to this kind of thing; Rob Zombie once got a BMA, even though he hadn't lived in Haverhill since he left his momma's house -- but that THE LOW ANTHEM were able to pry a category away from the Pit at all. But mostly, when the winners veered from the predictable they leaned toward the disappointing. An awards ceremony that cannot find a better rock act in Boston than the UPPER CRUST -- who, by the way, were fantastic 12 years ago and are still fun now -- just isn't trying hard enough. One notable exception to aforementioned disappointment: CONVERGE winning Metal Act of the Year, which has been a long time coming. 

The only rowdy moment? A jean-jacket kid who tried to pull a KANYE WEST and bum-rush the mic while Newbury Comics honcho MIKE DREESE attempted to present BMA bankroller ERNIE BOCH JR. with the "Humanitarian of the Year" award. Dreese pushed the young punk in the chest, spouted a few choice profanities, and warned that he was "about to get an assault charge" before order was quickly and quietly restored.

We sent our own CHRIS FARAONE to chat up the partygoers while they stood in line and waited (and waited, and waited) for an elevator to shuttle them between the Liberty's second-floor ballroom and the conference-rooms-turned-rock-clubs on the upper decks, where more than a dozen acts, from MEAN CREEK to Boston's #1 R&B family, the BELLOs (Louie and Lisa) to hip-hop heavy BIG SHUG, threw down til midnight. 

Click above to get a glimpse of how it went down. The complete list of winners is as follows. (As usual, chances are you heard about them first in the Phoenix.)

Act of the Year | Passion Pit
Album of the Year | Oh My God, Charlie Darwin | the Low Anthem
Song of the Year | "The Reeling" | Passion Pit
Americana Act | Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles
Blues Act | David Maxwell
DJ/Electronic Act | Bodega Girls
Folk Act | Ellis Paul
Gospel/Choir Act | Berklee Reverence Gospel Choir
Hip-Hop Act | Esoteric
International Music Act: Debo
Jazz Act | Esperanza Spalding
Metal Act | Converge
New Act | Mean Creek
Male Vocalist | Eli "Paperboy" Reed
Female Vocalist | Sarah Cronin (Drug Rug)
Producer of the Year, Hip-Hop | D-Tension
Producer of the Year, Pop/R&B | Malik Williams
Producer of the Year, Rock | Paul Kolderie/Adam Taylor
Punk Act | Dropkick Murphys
R&B Act | Lisa Bello
Rock Act | The Upper Crust
Singer/Songwriter | Will Dailey
Live Act | Rubblebucket
Pop Act | Everyday Visuals
Unsung Hero Award | Dennis Brennan
Humanitarian of the Year | Ernie Boch Jr.

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