When I saw the list of Grammy nominees this year, I wasn't surprised. Safe choices, predictable choices -- with some exceptions, of course, just to keep things interesting. But the Grammy's play to the mainstream industry, where production and auto-tuning can buy you a damn catchy (and profitable) album.
So let me introduce you to the PLUG Independent Music Awards.
PLUG started up in 2001. The awards recognize, honor and embrace the independent music community, as well as the artists, fans, and media outlets that keep that music alive and thriving. I like that they say in their FAQ, "PLUG is the experience of trading mix tapes with friends."
(Beirut, Neko Case, CSS pictured)
Paste was honored as "Magazine of the Year" at the 2006 awards, and we're nominated again this year. If you'd like to cast a vote for this or any other category, head over to the nominees site. You'll also find out which artists, radio stations, websites, blogs, etc, impacted the independent music community this year.
There are "General" and "Obsessive" ballots... vote as you see fit, and you don't have to vote for every category. Paste and the "Magazine of the Year" category can be found under "Media (General)."
My favorite category for music is (surprisingly) Electronic/Dance Albums of the Year. All of these are awesome albums I wouldn't normally have thought to buy or download... get into the spirit of the PLUG Awards and check them out, even if you're not that into electronic stuff... it'll be fun.
Basement Jaxx - Crazy Itch Radio (XL)
Booka Shade - Movements (Get Physical)
Coldcut - Sound Mirrors (Ninja Tune)
Girl Talk - Night Ripper (Illegal Art)
Goldfrapp - We Are Glitter (Mute)
Herbert - Scale (!K7)
Hot Chip - The Warning (Astralwerks)
Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye (Domino)
MSTRKRFT - Looks (Last Gang)
Ratatat - Classics (XL)
The Knife - Silent Shout (Mute)
Thom Yorke - The Eraser (XL)
[Especially recommend Basement Jaxx, Goldfrapp, Junior Boys, Hot Chip, Ratatat and The Knife]