Thank heaven for David Cross. The 2007 PLUG Independent Music Awards at Irving Plaza Saturday night were an appropriately “indie” mess. Would-be attendees stood for hours in the cold before being informed that the “day-of” tickets allegedly available at the sold-out show were a myth, the sound system was plagued with technical problems all night long, and, during the long wait for sets by scene favorites Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, El-P, and Silversun Pickups, attendees sat through a succession of odd, intermittently successful acts, very few of which went off without a significant delay. A much-hyped “iPod Battle” found the participants standing awkwardly onstage for ten minutes before they were able to kick off the “battle,” which culminated with a pair of oddballs in gladiator masks sprinkling glitter on each other to the tune of “Oh Yeah” by Yello. Jason Trachtenburg (of the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players) led a hoarse, out-of-tune sing-along of “World’s Best Friend” (his wife and daughter were absent) that had most audience members heading for the bar for depressingly tiny $8 drinks. A barbershop quartet sang a cappella between bits. And so it fell to poor emcee David Cross to make light of things.
"Seriously you guys should see what’s going on backstage,” he reported. “It’s pant-shitting time back there! Things are going about as smooth as soy milk up here. Let’s just say that I don’t think you’re going to be seeing any more iPod battles tonight.” The producers’ biggest surprise was a massive David Cross puppet that found its way onstage after much fanfare and participated in some witty repartee with Cross himself, all the while flailing its massive arms like some balding spectral apparition. Cross summed it up best after an earlier, equally ill-advised act: “It just takes more to entertain me, I suppose.” Us too. —Sara Cardace
The winners, from freeindie.com.
Metal Album of the Year: The Melvins, (A) Senile Animal
Hip Hop Album: Spank Rock, Yoyoyoyoyo
American Album: Band of Horses, Everything All the Time
Punk Album of the Year: CSS, Cansei De Ser Sexy
Electronica/Dance Album of the Year: Thom Yorke, The Eraser
DJ Album: Girl Talk, Night Ripper
Avant Album of the Year: Xiu Xiu, The Air Force
Artist of the Year: J Dilla
Live Act of the Year: Broken Social Scene
Song of the Year: Band of Horses, "The Funeral"
Record Producer of the Year: J Dilla
Music Video of the Year: Wolf Parade, "I'll Believe in Anything"
Album Art: Hot Chip, The Warning
Record Label of the Year: Sub Pop
Live Music Venue of the Year: Bowery Ballroom
Music Festival of the Year: South by Southwest
Music Website of the Year: Pitchfork Media
Music Blog of the Year: Brooklyn Vegan
College/Non-Commercial Radio Station of the Year: KEXP, Seattle, Washington
Record Store of the Year: Amoeba Music
Best Music DVD of the Year: The Pixies, loudQUIETloud
Best Magazine of the Year: Paste
Zine of the Year: Wax Poetics
Speciality Show of the Year: Sirius Left of Center, Blog Radio
Podcast of the Year: WOXY.com Lounge Acts
Internet Radio Station of the Year: Woxy.com
Online Radio Station of the Year: KEXP
Online Record Store of the Year: Amazon.com