Thursday, February 26, 2009

NME Awards 2009: It's like a cultural pulse taking

If you really wanted to know how seriously to take the NME Awards - which were lobbed out last night - use this headline as a calibration tool:

Alexa Chung beats boyfriend Alex Turner to Best Dressed award

You might have thought that this year - which is 2009 - the event might have been webcast in some form. Some form more elaborate than three traffic news style webcam. Even the scoop of the evening - Coxon and Albarn doing This Is A Low - comes with a go elsewhere suggestion:
No video footage to bring you just yet (you'll have to watch Channel 4 on Friday night/Saturday morning)

So, the winners in full, then?

Best live band - Muse
Godlike genius - The Cure
Best dressed - Alexa Chung
Worst dressed - Amy Winehouse
Villain of the year - George Bush
Worst band - Jonas Brothers
Sexiest female - Hayley Williams (the online coverage manages to make this even more icky by calling her "rock's hottest lady")
Best album artwork - Muse - HAARP
Best website - YouTube
Sexiest male - Matt Bellamy
Best venue - London Astoria (sniff)
Best blog - Noel Gallagher (arf)
Hero of the year - Barack Obama
Best British band - Oasis (in 2009!)
Best video - Last Shadow Puppets
Best track - MGMT - Time To Pretend
Best International band - The Killers
Outstanding contribution - Elbow
Best solo artist - Pete Doherty (again: in 2009)
Best TV show - The Mighty Boosh
Best live event - Glastonbury
Best album - Kings Of Leon - Only By The Night
Best dancefloor filler, whatever that actually means - Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me
Best new band - MGMT

You'd have to say that, barring MGMT's prize for best track, it's hard to imagine a more conservative collection of prizes. Oasis, Pete Doherty. Muse again and again and again - although, to be fair, it's nice that there is still a forum where Muse's deep but less-than-visible fanbase can get acknowledged. Every year.

I'm also not sure about the magazine-gifted 'outstanding contribution' to Elbow. It's not that it's undeserved, but shouldn't the NME have been the first place to treat Elbow as something special, rather than waiting until everyone from the Brits to the Mercury via the TV Times Awards had endorsed the band and then falling into line?

The NME - if it wants to remain what it was - might want to think about how it can be the sort of place where Time To Pretend getting a prize doesn't seem to be the one that's out of step with the others.


Anonymous said...

Kings of Leon released the best album? The Killers are the best band outside the UK? Does anyone reading the magazine actually listen to any music?

I wonder how many of them have actually heard the Jonas Brothers or know that there are far far worse people on the planet than George Bush.

Are these those guys you see (or have the misfortune to work with) who can joylessly comment on a band or album or song as being really great with the same lack of excitement or imagination they greet every other part of their lives.

Anonymous said...

christ the fug of cynicism around these parts is thicker than usual

another year wihout an invite eh norock?

simon h b said...

Oh, yes. How terrible it was not to be sat in a little room watching Noel Gallagher be given a prize for choosing his trousers.

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