Reasons why awards are totally irrelevant in 2011…

So we’ve had the Grammys, the Brits, and now the Oscars. One can only pray that this is the end of the major awards seasons.

1. Half the awards were clearly made up on the spot, and most importantly, nobody cares about them.
What’s the difference between sound editing and sound mixing anyway? I don’t care if Inception had great mixing, since the cinema I saw it in has a completely bullshit soundsystem that consists of BASS BASS BASS BASS BASS and occasionally TREBLE. Good mixing is always a plus, but unless you’re lucky to see it in a cinema that isn’t just built on a massive subwoofer burial ground, it’s totally pointless. It gets lost when the film goes to DVD, unless you’ve got a poncey home-cinema system, but even then it won’t sound as good as intended.
Best historical album? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
Best musical album for children? I grew up listening to what my parents and siblings listened to, why would children need a separate genre, that would invariably piss off their parents every hour of every day. If I have kids, that’s gonna be one of my little pleasures, forcing them to listen to the music I like (because I will always know better…)
My favourite at the Grammys is ‘Best Regional Mexican Album’. This year, nobody was awarded the prize since fewer than ten people were entered. If ever there was proof of a useless category, this be it.

2. The winners will always win.
As if anybody was in any kind of doubt over The King’s Speech taking a good haul at the Oscars. The trouble is, there’s very little surprise with these sorts of awards. I suppose music is a different format though – virtually anybody with a decent understanding of instruments and/or vocals who possesses a laptop and a microphone can record an album. There’s an entire genre devoted to shitty-sounding, lo-fi production values. Just listen to Times New Viking if you don’t know what I mean. (Alright, so that sounds awful, but Neutral Milk Hotel carved a career out of low-budget production and created ‘In The Aeroplane Over The Sea’ – which was arguably the finest album ever made.)
Low budget films generally aren’t going to have much success. The cost of making a film that is at least aesthetically pleasing, before you take into account screenplay or acting, is impossibly high for an indebted student to understand. So generally, the films with money get made, and the films without money don’t – this leads to a small number of enormous blockbusters and not a great deal else to choose from – not compared to the music industry anyway. So The King’s Speech, Inception, Black Swan, The Fighter – these were always likely to win awards, defeating the point of recognising quality work when everyone’s already aware of its existence.

3. Occasionally the winners don’t win and the stupid masses whine and complain about it.
“WHO IS ARCADE FIRE? Why have they beaten Lady Gaga to best album of the year at the Grammys? I hope they die!”
“WHO IS ARCADE FIRE? Mumford & Sons are so much better! Arcade Fire are just a rip off of them!”
I wrote about this briefly shortly after the Brits, and how fucking stupid most human beings are, apparently. If you award the underdogs a big prize like best album or best band, then be prepared to face the wrath of several million teenage Justin Bieber fans.

4. Also, they recognise popularity over talent.

I’m a big Arcade Fire fan. Most my friends are well aware of this, most have heard the stories of how singer Win Butler called me and wished me a happy birthday several years ago, or how I’ve got his halloween mask, or how I’ve seen them more times than you. So it may come as a shock to hear me say this: ‘The Suburbs’ wasn’t even a particularly good album. It had some brilliant tracks on, sure, but there was so much I could’ve lived without. Their debut ‘Funeral’, on the other hand is virtually flawless. Ask any fan which their favourite album is, and they’ll say the same. ‘Funeral’ is stunning, life-affirming, perfection, and a whole bunch of other fanboy clichés. It was nominated in the Grammys a few years ago for Best Alternative Album, and lost out to the White Fucking Stripes’ ‘Get Behind Me Satan’. Perhaps it was retrospective guilt that forced them to give ‘The Suburbs’ this one, but c’mon guys – just because this hit number one in a few places, doesn’t mean it’s a better album.

5. They have questionable rules of admittance.
Empire State Of Mind won Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. I’m certainly not knocking Empire State Of Mind – it was probably my favourite song of 2009, but herein lies the issue. 2009. The song was released almost a year and a half ago. How was it eligible for entry into the Grammys?

6. They just provide fuel for arseholes like me, and nobody really cares what I have to say.
True story.

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About merlinlondon

Cynical but loveable wannabe journalist with a keen interest in music and the arts in general. Ignorant yet highly opinionated about most things. Mostly liberal with occasional fascist tendencies, usually concerning Coldplay, Crocs or other crimes against the developed world. Amateur photographer and even more amateur singer/songwriter.
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One Response to Reasons why awards are totally irrelevant in 2011…

  1. “they recognise popularity over talent.” = problem with the music industry and everything in life.

    I hate when people say “Numbers don’t lie.”
    Of course they do, they lie all the fucking time. Jay-z’s last album sold shit loads yet it was probably the biggest piece of shit I’ve ever been forced to listen to. Empire State Of Mind included (sorry).

    People (especially journalists) get so caught up in the hype of absolute turd that they applaud anything and everything. Especially that which comes from major labels or film companies.

    Good post though.
    To be honest I don’t think any serious music and film buffs really look to these kind of award ceremonies for representation anymore.
    Imdb and Amazon are far better places to look for recommendations.

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