The Williamsburg iPod Awards

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 attention to. 

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.