Mascot Pinch the Lobster with Music Video Portland founder Victoria Karol. Photo by Jessica Borelli and Ian Riley of Infinite Space Interiors

Back in the ’80s and into the early ’90s in the pre-internet days of MTV, music videos exposed viewers to both artistic brilliance and a bunch of cheesy fodder with bad lip-syncing and silly backup dancers. But do music videos still matter? Should artists still make them? Do fans still want to see them? Music Video Portland thinks so.

On Thursday night, Bayside Bowl is hosting the third annual Music Video Portland awards show, a celebration of both local music and the art of the video.

A well-made video can add another layer of artistic expression to a song that will hit you in an entirely new way, and Maine artists have proven that in recent years. See for yourself by watching the videos for “What Would It Be Like,” by Sara Hallie Richardson; “Salvation,” by Jacob Augustine; “Fade Out,” by John Hughes Radio; or “Blue Again,” by Weakened Friends.

Music Video Portland’s founder and driving force is Victoria Karol, the writer behind the Hot Trash Portland music blog. Karol told me that the true purpose of the awards show is to expose local artists’ videos to a larger audience, but it’s also a fantastic reason to throw a party in the middle of winter.

“Music Video Portland is not a serious awards show, we’re not out here trying to make it a true competition,” said Karol, adding that it is meant to celebrate diversity, the DIY work ethic, creativity, kindness, love and support. “The fact that there are winners doesn’t diminish the impact and importance of the nonwinning videos. As I talk to artists, I encourage them to come to the show and take inspiration home with them from watching what their community made in the past year.”

It’s Karol’s hope that young artists come and hang out with more seasoned ones and find ways to inspire, support and appreciate each other. “I hope dancers and set builders and directors come to mingle with the talent buyers and musicians and gear heads – one hot stew of locals doing their thing.” Karol also spoke about the amount of sheer talent spread across so many genres and how music videos are a window into understanding this. “You get to see so much emotion, you get to see what someone is proud of, creations that came from nothing but a desire to create, their entire heart and soul poured into this explosive moment in time captured on video. ”

This year, there are 46 nominated clips in the categories of rock, folk, hip-hop, punk, R&B, indie and metal, with awards also going to best director and best performance in a music video. Voting has been happening at and closes on the day of the show. During the event, 45- to 60-second clips of all the nominated videos will be shown within each category, and the fan prevoting will account for 70 percent of the final score, with the other 30 percent coming from the panel of anonymous judges.  A few of this year’s nominated clips include Anni Clark’s “I’m With You, Greta,” Myles Bullen’s “I’m Not For Everyone,” Bait Bag’s “Tear Me In Two,” Rustic Overtones’ “Black Shirt” and The Other Bones’ “One & One.”

There will be one live vote happening via mobile devices for audience favorite, the winner of which will receive a recording and production package at A Day in This Life studios in Falmouth.

Dave Gutter at last year’s awards show. He’ll be performing at this year’s event. Photo by Jessica Borelli and Ian Riley of Infinite Space Interiors

The event will also feature live performances, with a special twist.

“We’ve asked artists to team up with each other and create something new for this show, so each pairing will play together, playing one of each other’s songs together,” said Karol. The pairings are Jeff Beam with Kenya Hall, Dave Gutter with Shane Reis, Viva and SeepeopleS, and Angelikah Faray with A Lunar Landing. This element alone is reason enough to go.

Music Video Portland will be co-hosted by Kari Hodgens and Luna Colt, and Karol said she’s got a special performance of her own up her sleeve. You’ll also see the Hustle and Flow Dancers doing their thing, and the evening will end with a dance party hosted by DJ Mosart212.

Music Video Portland III
7 p.m. Thursday. Bayside Bowl, 58 Alder St., Portland, $10 in advance, $15 at the door, all ages.

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