Established Acts Take Big Awards

The 1991 NAMA Northwest Music Awards last night at the Moore Theater.

Next year, they should serve breakfast.

The 1991 NAMA Northwest Music Awards show last night at the Moore Theater dragged on so long that 90 percent of the audience was gone by the time the last award was presented around midnight.

When the show started, five hours earlier, the place was packed with music-industry people and fans eager to celebrate Northwest music. A third of the house had left by the time intermission rolled around nearly three hours later, and another third split immediately after Kenny G performed to open the second half. People kept drifting out until only a hard core remained for a short closing performance by Alice in Chains.

The show - this was the fourth annual - keeps getting longer every year. The Northwest Area Music Association, sponsor of the event, has got to find a way to streamline it. Not even the Academy Awards go on for five hours.

Several themes developed over the long night. One was the familiar notion, heard regularly over the last few years, that the Northwest is a hotbed of pop-music talent. Speaker after speaker noted that there's a buzz in the industry about Seattle, and that national record companies come here to find new bands. ``Jump on that wave and have a good ride,'' said Pat O'Day, the veteran disc jockey. ``It looks like a big one.''

Another theme was the conservative voting pattern. The big winners were bands that have long been established nationally - Heart and Queensryche, who each won four awards, including the two big ones. Queensryche was named group of the year, and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart took artist of the year.

Soundgarden, the grunge-rock kings, and Bochinche, the salsa band that has been delighting local audiences for eight years, each took three awards. Kenny G, Robert Cray, the Posies, Sir Mix-a-Lot, David Lanz, Sam Weis, and the Total Experience Gospel Choir won two awards apiece.

The big losers were Alice in Chains and Mother Love Bone, both of which had nine nominations, but only won one award each. Alice in Chains was also booted out of its original performance spot, immediately after intermission, in favor of Kenny G. ``The sax star threw a tantrum,'' Alice lead singer Layne Staley told the crowd when the band finally took the stage.

But the superstar saxophonist's performance was the hit of the show. His pure, solid tone filled the old hall with rich, impeccably played instrumental music. He clearly was the crowd's favorite.

Bochinche opened the show with several highly percussive, tight dance numbers. Seattle Women in Rhythm & Blues - all eight of 'em (one was missing) - also were impressive. Merrilee Rush created a lot of excitement with a nostalgic set that included her 1968 No. 1 song, ``Angel of the Morning.''

Sir Mix-a-Lot seemed to take a step back with the two new songs he and his posse performed. The once-promising rapper did a well-meaning but cliche-ridden, plodding tune about crack cocaine, and an empty, boastful song about expensive cars, his favorite subject. He and his group brandished weapons, another rap cliche that long ago lost its shock value.

One part of the show which took up a big block of time was the presentation of the Hall of Fame awards. The inductees were all deserving - they included the bands Jr. Cadillac, the Kingsmen and Don & the Goodtimes, deejays Dick Curtis and Bob Summerrise, singer Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & the Raiders, singer-songwriter Jimmie Rodgers and bandleader-turned-politician Vic Meyers - but the presentations could have been made elsewhere, at a formal dinner or some such event. Last night they were an excuse for a large part of the crowd to head for the bar.


Artist of the Year: Ann & Nancy Wilson.

Group of the Year: Queensryche.

New Artist: Kristen Barry and Kid Sensation (tie).

New Group: My Sister's Machine.

Song of the Year: ``Golden Blunders,'' the Posies.

Songwriter: Chris DeGarmo, Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton of Queensryche.

World/Ethnic Group: Bochinche

Rock Group: Soundgarden

Alternative Rock Group: Nirvana.

Rap Group: Sir Mix-a-Lot.

Rhythm & Blues Group: Duffy Bishop & the Rhythm Dogs.

New Age Artist: David Lanz.

Metal Group: Queensryche.

Jazz Group: Kenny G.

Country Group: Ranch Romance.

Blues Group: Robert Cray.

Religious Group: Total Experience Gospel Choir.

Adult Contemporary Group: Heart.

Acoustic Group: Capping Day.

Video: ``Golden Blunders,'' the Posies.

Single: ``All I Want to Do Is Make Love To You,'' Heart.

Metal Recording: ``Empire,'' Queensryche.

Rock Recording: ``Facelift,'' Alice in Chains.

Alternative Recording: ``Apple,'' Mother Love Bone.

Rap Recording: ``Seminar,'' Sir Mix-a-Lot.

R&B Recording: ``Live at the Mural,'' the Charles White Band.

New Age Recording: ``Skyline Firedance,'' David Lanz.

World/Ethnic Recording: ``Caracas,'' Bochinche.

Jazz Recording: ``Peace Thru Big Band Jazz,'' the Jazz Police.

Country Recording: ``The Other Side of Love,'' Gail Davies.

Blues Recording: ``Midnight Stroll,'' Robert Cray.

Religious Recording: ``Gospel Bits and Pieces,'' Total Experience Gospel Choir.

Adult Contemporary Recording: ``Brigade,'' Heart.

Acoustic Recording: ``So True,'' Sam Weis.

Miscellaneous Instrument: Artis the Spoon Man.

Male Vocalist: Chris Cornell.

Female Vocalist: Diane Schuur.

Vocal Group: the Main Attraction.

Musician-Reeds: Kenny G.

Musician-Keyboards: Marc Seales.

Musician-Horns: the Bochinche Horns.

Musician-Electric Guitar: Michael Powers.

Musician-Acoustic Guitar: Sam Weis.

Musician-Drums: Matt Cameron.

Musician-Bass: Chuck Deardorf.

Outstanding Achievement Awards: Tim Noah, Tickle Tune Typhoon.

President's Award: Chris Lunn of Victory Music.