It’s that time of the season when awards flow like shandy at a moderate drinking convention, and while you’re probably all sick of bloody end of year accolades by now that isn’t going to stop us chucking a few more your way. So here are our Alternative Xmas Awards 2013, like an extra dose of gastroenteritis to make your season sag a little further before you’ve even donned a hat from a cracker or delivered a tedious joke as Johnny Mathis’ ‘When A Child Is Born’ plays on repeat until your ears fall off. So, let us begin:
The shortest run by a Kim in any Pixies line-up award goes to...Kim Shattuck
Like a Britney Spears marriage, it was an arrangement we all expected to last a little longer than it did. Following the mysterious departure of founding bass player Kim Deal, the discovery of another Kim - Shattuck of the Muffs - looked like a monkey marriage made in heaven. The new Kim, ebullient with the fact that, you know, ‘I’m in the fucking Pixies ma!’ maybe deviated off script slightly and displeased Charles and the boys: “There was a show at the Mayan in Los Angeles where I got overly enthusiastic and jumped into the crowd, and I know they weren't thrilled about that,” she explained. Unceremoniously dumped by the manager rather than by the band to her face, Kim has now been replaced by a non-Kim, Paz Lenchatin, which at least means her stint as a Kim in the Pixies is likely to remain record breaking in its brevity. All power to her for such dignity in dismissal too.
The Kelly Osbourne “where did you say you come from again?” best mid-Atlantic burr of the year award...Alex Turner
"Yo, wassup?! Wass happenin’ Britain? I been hangin wit ma crew in L.A but you know me, I’m Sheffield through and through. Waddyamean I sound like a motherfockin’ septic? I’m a motherfockin’ limey, limey! I’m all steamed up just thinkin’ bout what yo sayin’ a’ me, it really burns me up, capiche?!" Alex Turner appeared at Glastonbury with a midwestern drawl earlier in the year and everyone panicked that he’d become the next Joss Stone. The magnificently received 'AM' allayed everyone’s fears and proved that mixing things up a bit is actually downright healthy!
The Paul Gascoigne stick yer tongue out and ride to infamy award...Miley Cyrus
This year was the biggest yet for Miley. She had mega pop hits, she helped usher ‘twerk’ into the Oxford English Dictionary and she narrowly missed out to the Pope as Time magazine’s Person of the Year. It was also a big year for her tongue, which spent more time out of her head than it did in it. Miley slipped it out of the side of her face at any opportunity, to lick a hammer seductively, to make that bratty Popeye-eating-some-spinach face, to get off with a plastic Barbie in a swimming pool. Such protruding of a celebrity muscular hydrostat hasn’t been in evidence so overtly since pigskin kicker Paul Gascoigne - award founder - had the world at his feet in the early 90s. Congratulations Miley Cyrus, tongue sticker outer of the year.
The unwittingly drawn into a political controversy award...Drenge
One of the more surreal moments in a strange year came when Tom Watson MP - in his resignation speech to Ed Miliband - suggested the Labour leader should get out more and start so by going to see Drenge. He said what?! Pop music and politics are the most incompatible of bedfellows, and while this wasn’t anything like as desperate as Gordon Brown claiming to like the Arctic Monkeys, Watson - who knows his onions - should have had better manners than to drag a fledgling band he likes into his own shitstorm. Haim were complicit in their own love in with the Prime Minister on the other hand.
The unable to differentiate between two people with the same forename award…Lauren Laverne
Runner up: Pixies
We’ve all done it, we’ve all dropped a clanger and got our famous people mixed up. Just last week I asked Robbie Williams if he’d ever consider going back to Mork and Mindy (thankfully he doesn’t man his own Twitter). The same couldn’t be said of Lauren Laverne who accidently introduced James Blake as James Blunt at the Mercury Prize and on the live telly too. Then Blake had the audacity to go on and win the award, compounding the grievous error further. Both called James, both with a ‘B’ sounding surname, both doyens of the soporific… hopefully this award will make Lauren feel better about herself.
The thank fuck being a septuagenarian isn’t all about stairlifts and mumbling to yourself in a rest home award...
The Rolling Stones
Special mention: Macca
Even in the 80’s people used to go on about how the Stones were too old for rock ‘n’ roll, and yet they still keep showing bands a third of their collective age how it should be done. They tore Glastonbury a new arsehole this year and who says there won’t be fresh arseholes in the future to tear open (we’ll dispense with this arsehole metaphor from here on in, it was possibly ill-advised). Runner-up Macca has weathered his fareshare of brickbats and been the victim of some fairly unpleasant ageism when there were technical problems at the Olympics last year (you’ll count yourself lucky if you look as great as he does when you’re 70), but the ex-Beatle shrugged it off in 2013, working with some of the industry’s hottest producers on album New. And that purple rinse look is well hipster these days.
The Axl Rose award for outstanding procrastination…
Oh Azealia, has history taught us nothing? Hilarious Twitter beefs will only sustain interest for so long and we all know pop music is a fickle business; Ms Banks may miss her window of opportunity if she holds out with her debut album much longer. The rapper - coolest person on the planet in 2011 lest you forget - is fast approaching becoming a byword for procrastination, and while she says Broke With Expensive Taste will finally land in January ‘14 we’ve heard it all before. Let’s hope she’s not crying wolf this time because when you snooze you lose. Ooowwwwwwwzzzzzzzzzz.
The ‘I like art a heck of a lot’ sponsored by Antiques Roadshow award goes to... Lady Gaga
Crikey blinkin’ flip, Lady Gaga likes a bit of art doesn’t she? It’s as if all the other art bands that came before just weren’t trying hard enough, and getting Jeff Koons to design the cover is like the most radical thing ever to happen in art or music or anything cultural ever! Quick, she’s coming, hide the Velvet Underground album with the banana on it for fuck’s sake.
The best navigation out of a one hit wonder situation award…Psy
The surprise superstar package of 2012, Psy clocked up more YouTube impressions than any artist in the history of artists thus far, and all done in a language the majority of listeners will probably never understand. A welcome aberration, but then comes the headache. If ‘Gangnam Style’ wrought devastation like some freak comet from out of nowhere, then how do you follow that up? ‘Gentleman’ was no accident. Again it’s funny, naughty, maybe a little safe, but run with a formula that works and voila! It musters a third of the hits of its predecessor. Only a third? Yup, just shy of 6,000,000 hits so far this year, a figure not to be sniffed at. Quit sniffing, I don’t care if you’ve “dot a told”.
Mostly sorely missed curmudgeon who wouldn’t appreciate your sorrow award…
Deification in death reached hyperbolic new heights in 2013, and while Lou Reed certainly deserves credit as one of the architects of alternative rock, the craggy faced old sod probably would have recoiled at all the veneration. He’d have much prefered to talk about guitar pedals and anything else is just muckraking. Lou influenced all your good records and spat in the face of critics, and so we wipe the sputum away with more reluctance than had it been pretty much anyone else. Thank you Lou for discharging drool onto our miserable faces. You rock.
The Helmets of 2013 Awards…
Runners-up: The ‘Blurred Lines’ crew
Daft Punk returned with 'Random Access Memories' and the world took note, and all the while they covered their identities with perhaps the only crash helmets you’ve ever felt inclined to cuddle in your life. For that they win best helmets of 2013. Runners up are Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.
Happy Xmas y’all…