Recently brought to my attention by a Brainwashed colleague, the online-based "PLUG Independent Music Awards" touts itself as representing a "community coming together to recognize its own." Yet, judging by the choices on the ballot, the "plug" of its namesake apparently serves instead as a tool to keep both the organizers' and participants' heads securely buried within their own assholes.
Anyone reading this could probably recognize most, if not all of the
artists deemed worthy enough for nomination by the self-described
"music lovers." From safe-for-whitey rappers like Atmosphere to
quirky weirdos like Devendra Banhart, the list of nominees reads like a
Williamsburg iPod Mini. How can representatives of the so-called
"PLUG Cartel" claim with a
straight face to be above "the scans or the scrilla" when so many of
the nominated artists have arguably sold the most "indie" records this
year and received the most positive press coverage from "indie"
outlets? Perhaps because they also represent the 'zines, shops, and, most insidiously, the labels
that peddle these artists?
Taking that into context, "PLUG is about the music" sounds equally as
shallow and obnoxious as anything out of P. Diddy's misguided 2004
"Vote or Die" campaign. Such sloganeering is about as
revolutionary as Hot Topic or MTV2, and equally as self-serving.
Clearly, appearing cool to hipster fuckheads and wannabe snobs defines
PLUG better than any provided statement of purpose.
While I can respect the idea of anti-major label music awards, it's
hardly a new concept. Brainwashed already has an end-of-year
poll, with a huge variety of choices based overwhelmingly on reader
input as opposed to hipster street cred. Here, Nurse With Wound
and Vex'd get just as much of a chance to be voted on as Bloc Party and
Death Cab for Cutie. Typical of the unimaginative award programs
it aspires to be the antithesis of, the repetitious and cannibalizing
options in PLUG's standardized categories fail to take into account
anything beyond the pre-selected artists and albums. And even if
our own superior survey yields similar end results, all that will prove
is that trend whore publications will have done their jobs well,
providing their readership with pre-packaged lists of artists to pay
So, to the people behind PLUG... Way to go, guys. Way to inspire
"indie" conformity while still declaring freedom from corporate
influence. You're no different than what you abhor, except you
don't dress as nice or smell as good. Honestly, I'd rather see an
awards system give people a chance to make decisions on their own, as
opposed to serving exclusively as self-congratulatory promotional tools
for the record labels and publications that leech off one
another. Your whole system is a sham, and you should be fucking
disgusted with yourselves.