The Austin Music Awards are tonight, Wed., March 13, 7:09pm, at the Music Hall, promising to start SXSW Music with a bang. I called my sister Margaret, who pulls the whole circus together every year, trying to sniff out the details. Though typically closed-mouthed about who will be appearing, Margaret referred to this as her "Obama year" for the AMAs, because of the large number (largest ever for the AMAs) of African-American performers who will be receiving awards tonight, including Gary Clark Jr., Ruthie Foster, Ephraim Owens, and the Peterson Brothers. Margaret told me that she first met the Peterson Brothers when they were 9 and 11 years old. She recommended them to Susan Antone who booked them for Antone's anniversary show with Pinetop Perkins. Pinetop's management put the boys on the road, and tonight the boys are award-winners, as chosen by Chronicle readers, and are among the dazzling talent we will be seeing. I always keep an eye out for the dreamy-voiced Raul Malo (of the Mavericks), and he will be appearing tonight, sitting in with the Trishas. My personal favorite tonight? Well, that would be Morgan Sorne (who performs under the name Sorne, pronounced SOR-en) who won the Avant-Garde category. This powerfully multitalented artist will be making his first appearance at the awards this year; the first of many to come, I predict. Congratulations, Morgan, I'm very proud of you. One of the most exciting aspects of the AMAs is the element of surprise as Margaret always manages to have an appearance by some major star. Though it may not always be possible to pull a Bruce Springsteen out of her hat like she did last year, suffice to say that the surprise guest tonight is a major star across the globe and counts music among his many accomplishments.
Among the SXSW satellite parties, I thoroughly recommend the Party That Fell to Earth, brought to us by Charm School Vintage, Coco Coquette, Salon d'Etoile, Small Room Collective, and Riot Act Media (Saturday, March 16, 11:30am-8pm, 2109 E. Cesar Chavez). With the allure of free PBR, Dulce Vida Tequila, and Topo Chico; along with tacos from Fork in the Road; photos from the delightful Devaki Knowles of Fun Loving Photos; and musical performances by Brass Bed, Dana Falconberry, Social Studies, Matt Bauer, Mirror Travel, and so many others, this event is also the launch of Small Room Collective, a pop-up shop.
Need a pharmacy during SXSW? I highly recommend MedSavers (www.medsaversrx.com, 1800 W. 35th, 465-9292). Since 2005, this locally owned and operated pharmacy has one simple principle: "We don't deal with insurance companies." Their ability to work with the uninsured is unparalleled, and founder Chris Johnson has worked very hard to bring the best prices on the same generic medications you already get. Relying only on word-of-mouth advertising, the service at MedSavers is extraordinary, and exemplifies exactly how locally owned businesses should treat their customers. I give them an A+.
Their Facebook page says, "A yearly celebration full of queer music. Spend the day camped in a field surrounded by hundreds of queers, have drinks and food and dance into the night." Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore! Sunday, March 17, noon-12mid, at Springdale and Rogge, is GayBiGayGay, an all-day, all-inclusive event that seems to serve as a post-SXSW digestif. See our sister column, Gay Place, p.74, for a full description of the event and lineup of talent. Keep an eye on the Gay Place blog for updates. austinchronicle.com/gay.
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