The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Dave Lefkowitz Wins SL6GS Music Award!!!!!!!!!!

Dave Lefkowitz wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for a lifetime of achievement in music. Dave, a mogul in training, is the Bay Area go to man for music. If you need to know anything about music find Dave. He manages Les Claypool and Primus along with heading up the new Golden Voice venues. What it comes down to is I've never met anyone more knowledgeable about music than Dave.

Yes, these awards are somewhat biased…….Dave and I go way back to Hanes House days. We were next-door neighbors our freshman year at Duke…….those were the days hanging out, partying with computer science majors Mike Abert and Melinda Gates. Well, the Melinda part is a stretch but Mike knew her and the word is she is also a distinguished Hanes House alum. No, it's not true we didn't date. No, she didn't invite me to a Kappa formal. However, I'm pretty sure we used to say hi to one another in the hall.

From the day I met him, Dave was into MUSIC. There are people who are into music and then there’s Dave. I mean Dave is into MUSIC. Other than professional musicians, There's no one more into music. I just pop in a CD and listen but Dave collects them, memorizes the backs, produces them, knows all the songs, studies the history, manages bands, the works………his almost photographic memory for the stuff makes it almost other worldly.

I was at his wedding and his mom recounted a story from when he was a baby, “When we were driving, songs would come on the radio and Dave would point and say, ‘mu, mu, mu. He was only one." He couldn’t even pronounce music yet but he was already listening. Incredible, I love the story.

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