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The Whalies. Goodness I sort of feel like a celebrity! But more importantly, I feel, for the first time ever, welcomed and accepted into my very own hometown. Eric and I basically started Pocket Vinyl on the road; he’d just gotten back from Korea, I was living in New York after living in Canada after being in college… We didn’t have a hometown music scene. But New London has not only allowed us to be a part of their wonderful and diverse scene, but they’ve embraced us and lifted us up and call us their own. It feels like “home” for the first time ever. Eric and I couldn’t be more grateful to the people here. So thanks, New London.

The 2012 Whalie Awards took place this past Saturday night. It was the first Whalies we’d ever gone to, much less been a part of, and we decided to go all out. Sean Murray had told us earlier about how people dress up pretty crazy for the red carpet,m and we definitely didn’t want to be under-dressed! We slicked our hair down, I put on the first pair of heels I’ve worn since my 8th grade graduation, we even matched detailed accents with Eric’s pink striped tie and my pink lace earrings.

(Thanks to my awesome little brother for coming to see us and bringing me those gorgeous orange roses!)

Once we showed up to the Hygienic Art Park though, there was lots of waiting and running between covers as a rain storm threatened the event. But things cleared up by 6:30 and we were on our way!

The place became packed, with barely even enough room to squeeze through between and around people. But it wasn’t the huge crowd that was making me incredibly nervous while we waited backstage, but it was knowing that I had to complete an entire oil painting in only 8 minutes!! (I had actually prepped the canvas with a background in yellows before the show.) And Eric was nervous about his scratchy and soar voice and trying to hit some of those high notes during the performance. We’d stopped to pick up some whiskey that he took swiggs of beforehand to clear up any phlegm buildup in his throat.

After some announcing my Sean Murray we walked out on stage and Eric started playing Pocket Vinyl’s I Am Not Japan. Then without stopping Daphne joined us and they went right into the Raise the Rent song, Pull My Daisy. 

I was so nervous about the 8 minute time-frame that my hands were shaking, of course making it even more difficult to paint! Of course, I look at my painting and feel so annoyed at myself for not doing well, but everyone reminds me that I did really well for 8 minutes and I need to stop beating myself up about it.

Here’s a video of the entire 8 minute performance:

I was so glad that we opened the night because once the chaos of all that was over I could finally begin to relax and enjoy the rest of the acts and awards.

Pocket Vinyl was nominated for six different awards, including the two People’s Choice Awards, where fans and friends would have to vote for us in order for us to win. The other four awards were judged by outside music critics who weren’t connected with the nominated New London bands. We were nominated for:

Breakthrough Artist of the Year

Indie Album of the Year

Best Alternative (People’s Choice)

Pop/Rock Album of the Year

Best Music Video (People’s Choice)

Song of the Year

After Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Indie Album of the Year were announced and we hadn’t won either, I admit that I did wonder if we’d win anything. And when Pocket Vinyl finally was called for Best Alternative Eric and I almost didn’t believe it until people began pushing us towards the stage! And of course, after all the thinking about who we’d thank and what we’d say in our acceptance speeches, all I could think to get out was a simple “thank you”.

The incredibly amazing part of this award was that it was the People’s Choice Award! Winning this meant that we had friends, family, and fans who were willing to stand up for us and work for us! I was amazed and humbled. (Eric had trouble believing it even was a People’s Choice Award at first!)

As the night went on people were getting a lot more drunk and lax with the entire show. Eric and I decided to take advantage of one of the 5 minute intermissions as the hosts got things organized to pack up the piano and our gear into our car in the back parking lot. Last minute I decided to change from my painful heels into if less glamours at least a lot more comfortable flip flops. Then as we locked the car and began slowly walking through the parking lot we heard distantly over the loudspeakers in the art park, “Pop/Rock Album of the Year goes to… Pocket Vinyl! Where’s Pocket Vinyl?” Of course all the stage and back doors to the park were locked so we both sprinted all the way around the block and pushed our way though the center of the crowds into the park, up the red carpet, and finally out of breath onto the stage. We barely had enough breath to say our thank-yous, and I am so glad I’d decided to change my shoes!

We were amazed enough by our two awards, a People’s Choice and a Top Critics Award, but the love we were feeling from our fans grew by leaps and bounds when we also won the Best Music Video Awards!! Two People’s Choice Awards!! A strong reaffirmation that people want us to succeed! I mentioned before that over 10,000 votes were cast this year for the Whalies, right? After hearing that I was certain we wouldn’t even come close. But we have got some really amazing friends, and these awards prove it. Thank you so much guys, you are all so amazing.

Finally, with the night getting late and the crowd growing much smaller, Eric and I had found a couple plastic chairs to sit in by the front to rest our exhausted legs and feet. The last two awards were being announced by New London’s very popular new mayor, Daryl Justin Finizio. The second to last award was Song of the Year and 10 groups were nominated for this award. As we watched the nominations we saw a lot of really great and talented groups flash across the screen, groups that had already won some major awards of the night, and we cheered and hoped that some of these talented people would get the award. Pocket Vinyl was announced last, and at first we were surprised, both forgetting we were up for this award, and then we both shrugged it off, so certain that we weren’t going to win, being up against such other great songs.

Needless to say, we were both floored when Pocket Vinyl’s Quiet Epiphany was announced as the 2012 Whalie Awards’ Song of the Year. We felt humbled, surprised, welcomed, even a little guilty. Four awards out of the 6 we were nominated for… Two People’s Choice, Pop/Rock Album of the Year and Song of the Year. Sean Murray told us that no group has gone home with that many awards in one night before. Goodness…

Like I said, we could not feel more welcomed into our new hometown music scene.

At the end of everything Corrine, our good friend who first interviewed us in New London, won the bidding on my little 8 minute painting:

Exhausted but so incredibly happy, we were a couple of the last people to leave the Hygienic Art Park. Thank you New London. Thank you friends, family, & fans. It’s been a ton of really hard work, but after this night, it feels so worth it. At one point during the evening after stepping off the stage with another award in our hands, Eric turned to me and said, in relation to Pocket Vinyl, “I think we can actually do this.” You guys are showing us that we can.

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