Giving out Woodies

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By Corinne Love

By Corinne Love

MTV has come a long way in its 25-year span of showing music videos and music video programming.

It used to show music videos, the Real World, Beavis & Butthead, and the news with Kurt Loder.

Since those glory days, MTV now shows reality shows, more reality television and movie specials.

What happened to the music?

Nothing, really.

The music traveled from MTV to other neighboring networks; its rival Fuse, MTV2, MTV International and lastly, MTV University.

MTVU caters to college students, addressing campus issues, politics and activism.

The video jockeys on MTVU are mostly university graduates, which makes it easier to watch them interview musicians, politicians and actors.

For the most part, MTVU seems similar to MTV circa 1990, when it was all about changing the world and breaking barriers.

However, now that the focus from MTV has shifted, the divisions have to pick up where it left off.

In the wake of the dismal Video Music Awards, The Woodie Awards plans to differentiate itself.

The Woodie Awards airing Nov. 2 will showcase up and coming indie acts on (media keyword) the “buzz.”

Past winners of the Woodie include My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Common, Arcade Fire and the Gorillaz.

All acts, by the way, have earned mainstream media success.

The majority of nominees for the Woodies are generally low key, college radio friendly bands.

While most of the nominees on the list are relatively low on the radar, few have already had mainstream success worldwide and stateside.

The Alumni Woodie, the award for those who have received such critical mainstream success, include Fiona Apple, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ghostface Killah, Muse and AFI. Does anybody remember Apple’s famous speech at the 1995 Awards?

Good times.

It’s interesting to see that Muse are considered alumni when just this year, Muse finally had one of its biggest singles in the U.S. for “Knights of Cydonia.”

The Nominees for Woodie of the year include Angels and Airwaves, Gym Class Heroes, Panic! At the Disco, The Academy Is, and longtime underground hip hop act, Atmosphere.

One of the more interesting awards is for Road Woodie. The Road Woodie is for best live band. Taking Back Sunday, Cartel, Nightmare of You, The Fray and Hellogoodbye are all nominated.

For those looking to the left field of music, there’s an award for that too, the Left Field woodie. Gnarls Barkley, UK rapper Lady Sovereign and Imogen Heap have all received nominations for being different and creative minded.

A unique title to the show is the “Good Woodie” award.

This is awarded to artists who have committed themselves to causes other than selling records and making big budget music videos.

Honorees in this category include Ludacris, System of a Down, Pearl Jam, Juvenile and Rise Against.

The Woodie’s tagline is “the music that you lived your life to…this year,” a clever tagline that acutely portrays what MTV lost years ago, a sense of importance.

As of late, the Video Music Awards have been downright boring. This year’s award show hardly raised eyebrows or ratings.

Furthermore, the awards rarely reflect the demographic of its target audience.

Music awards should reflect the opinion of who buys the music, not some panel of critics who do not share the meaning of the lyrics behind an Atmosphere song, or the hidden meaning in AFI’s “Miss Murder.”

With music sales dropping percent by year, shows like the MTV Woodie are on a quest to restore giddy faith in the networks’ once heralded youth sentiment.

The feeling of seeing your favorite band win for best live performance, or for best animated video is exciting. If the list of nominees are indicative of anything, the Woodies appear promising.

Now if we only knew why they chose to call it the Woodies?

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