The reviews are in...including this scathing account from Rolling Stone about last night's Plug Independent Music Awards. Kevin O'Donnell writes: "...industry insiders and indie-rock fans engaged in a night of back-slapping at the fourth annual ceremony, which recognized the best of independent music as chosen by an insular board of a few hundred tastemakers, industry folk, music fans and more."
Joe Pompeo from The New York Observer was more kind and made me feel jealous that he got to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (who now include Dirty Three's Warren Ellis...wow!) and I didn't.
There's definitely an indie flavor to the awards, nominees and winners; although not everything fits my personal definition of independent. I was glad to see specific bands, record labels and radio stations nominated because I believe they are working hard with minimal resources. When it comes to radio, in January I wrote about the Plug Awards' college radio category and how all stations in it certainly aren't created equal in terms of indieness as the budgets and sources of funding for the nominated stations vary tremendously. With that...here are the radio-related winners for 2008:
Online Radio Station of the Year: KCRW
College/Non-Commercial Radio Station of the Year: KEXP (they've won every year since 2005...and there should be no end in sight to this run since on March 24th they will expand their reach into NYC when they begin airing some programming in on public radio station Radio New York 91.5FM.)
Specialty Show of the Year-Commercial Radio: Sirius-Left of Center-Blog Radio (By the way, Live 105's "Radio Soundcheck," which I wrote about last week, was also up for this.)
The complete winners' list provides some interesting examples of indie-minded artists, record labels, record stores, publications, websites, and programming on commercial radio worth further investigation.
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