Cutest Album Cover: Klaxons, ‘Surfing The Void’. But who is the adorable space-cat depicted on the sleeve? Why, he’s called Orphee, and he belongs to Klaxons singer/bassist Jamie Reynolds, who claims: “He’s really into our music.”
Funniest Outraged Person: Tommy Lee. While there’s been plenty of things to get angry about in 2010, from US politics to Middle East tensions and the continued recession, the Motley Crue man got most riled up about San Diego’s Sea World wanking off killer whales.
Flight Attendant Of The Year: Kanye West. Not content with dropping one of the albums of 2010 (with one of the worst covers) and keeping us entertained all year with his stream of conciousness tweet action, Kanye treated passengers on a Delta Airlines flight to an impromptu performance over the PA. What a guy.
Unlikeliest Presidential Candidate: Wyclef. When the Haiti-born rapper announced he was going to run for President of the earthquake-ravaged country, the news was meeted with a mix of smirks and horror. Fortunately, a stint in the Fugees wasn’t enough to to grant him eligibility, although he still released an EP entitled ‘If I Were President’ earlier this month.
Best Social Media Smackdown: Johnny Marr got so sick of David Cameron claiming to be a Smiths fan, he sent a Tweet that got reported by every media outlet this side of Nickolodeon: “David Cameron, stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t. I forbid you to like it.”
Cattiest Insult: Keith Richards claiming his Stones bandmate Mick Jagger had a “tiny todger” in his autobiography. Talk about below the belt. But it does beg the question: how would Keef know?
Worst New Band Name: Beady Eye. Liam defended it, saying ” You could be called Veiny Love Stick, as long as the tunes were good.” Actually, even Veiny Love Stick would be better than Beady Eye…
Most Ridiculous Hype: The Beatles on iTunes. “A day you will never forget”, thundered Apple’s advance publicity. Actually, we’ll be the judge of that, Steve Jobs. In fact, the album downloads are so expensive, it’s cheaper to buy the CDs and rip them to your iPod – which most people did years ago anyway. Brilliant.
Comeback Of The Year: The Libertines. OK, it was either this or Suede. But Pete and Carl sharing a stage at Reading is something we won’t forget in a long while.
Worst Cover Of The Year: Wagner. While The X Factor committed countless musical atrocities in the latter part of 2010, it was probably Brazilian PE teacher and erstwhile benefits cheat Wagner who perpetrated the worst crime, mauling Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ to death. As if his Meat Loaf rendition wasn’t bad enough.
Court Jesters Of The Year: Kings Of Leon. From swallowing pigeon shit to that ill-advised casting call for “deformed” people for a video – plus of course that horrendous promo for ‘Radioactive’ – these four Kings brought the most inadvertant comedy this year.
Best Brand Ambassador: Miley Cyrus. Of all the corporate tie-ins this year, it was squeaky clean Miley Cyrus who did the most for a brand. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Disney or a clothing brand raking in the dosh, rather the manufactures of legal high salvia, who saw sales shoot up after she was caught toking lungfuls of the stuff from a bong on YouTube.
Dodgiest Artwork Of The Year: Kanye West. His ‘Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ turned out to be whole lot more twisted when this grotesque image emerged. We’re not sure if the cover would have been better or worse if he’d stuck with the title ‘Good Ass Job’.
Lothario Of The Year 1: Mick Hucknall. The ginger-haired crooner might look like a tosser, but it was revealed last month that he’s bedded a not inconsiderable thousand women in his long and illustrious career.
Lothario Of The Year 2: Lemmy. Not to be outdone, the Motorhead frontman and Jack Daniels processing plant also revealed he’s had 1,000 partners over the course of his 40 years in the business, something he dismisses with a shrug in the recent biopic.
Whipping Boy: Justin Bieber. Simultaneously the internet’s most searched for, and most hated, person, in 2010 16-year-old pipsqueak Justin Bieber was subject to various internet pranks, including a rumour that he had syphilis, and that his mum was a porn star. And who could forget the online poll that was spammed in a bid to force Bieber to tour North Korea?
Weirdest Video: Devendra Banhart, ‘Foolin’. Out went the beard. In came leather, whips, chains, sweaty man-love and a rather NSFW shot of Devendra’s asscrack. Go on, watch it, you know you want to.
Oddest TV Show Booking: Manic Street Preachers. Rock died another little death earlier this month when the Manic Street Preachers took to the stage on ITV’s dance-off Strictly Come Dancing. Rumours that Anne Widdecombe is joining them on next year’s tour remain unconfirmed.
Daftest Outfit: Lady Gaga’s meat dress at the VMAs (spam purse not pictured). We’re hoping next year she’ll follow it up with a spag bol evening gown, or perhaps a cape made out of Pepperami.
Twitter Meltdown Of The Year: 50 Cent. It would take a bold man to knock Kanye off his Twitter perch, but 50 Cent outdid everyone, even if some of his dispatches were too grotesque for words. Highlights are here if you can bear it.
Most Reserved Award Winners: The XX. When Klaxons scooped the Mercury Music Prize, they swooped on the stage in a rage of drug-fuelled glee. The xx, bagging this year’s accolade, shuffled on looking almost embarrassed to be there.
Nuttiest Conspiracy Theory: M.I.A. Haven’t you heard? Google and Facebook were developed by the CIA. At least, according to M.I.A. they were. “All governments are connected to Google,” she claimed. “I want kids to be aware of this digital circumstance.” Righto.
Deal Of The Year: Weezer, who were offered $10 million to split up by website Thepoint.com. Sadly, they only managed to raise $12 dollars. Shame…
Most Inspired Collaboration: Crystal Castes Vs The Cure. ‘Not In Love’, from the Canadian band’s self-titled second album, was already pretty magical. But the addition of Robert Smith’s keening voice turned it into something truly special.
False Alarm: Guns’N’Roses “cancel” Reading and Leeds. We all got in a right tizzy when Axl Rose announced via Twitter that the band’s festival dates were off. It wasn’t true, though. Axl claimed his account had been hacked, though we suspect it was more a case of him shit-stirring.
Damp Squib: Cage Against the Machine. It would’ve been funny: John Cage’s silent composition at Number One instead of X Factor div Matt Cardle. But it wasn’t to be: the track only got to Number 21, beaten not just by Cardle but by another of the Facebook campaign songs, ‘Surfin’ Bird’.
Breakthrough: The National. How many bands get massively more popular on their fifth album? It’s incredibly rare for a band to have that kind of slow-burn career these days, but the Cincinnati-based mumblers seemed to win over pretty much everyone with ‘High Violet’. Good work, beardy bokes.
Commercial Suicide: MGMT. OK, so ‘Congratulations’ was actually a pretty interesting cult album, if you were willing to persevere with it. But who can honestly say they wouldn’t have enjoyed another track like ‘Time To Pretend’?
Best Festival Performance: Radiohead at Glastonbury. OK, it wasn’t the whole band, just Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. And there were quite a few Yorke solo songs in the set. But still, their surprise sunset performance on the Park Stage was unforgettable.
Most Dramatic Makeover: Kele Okereke. Before: grouchy indie aesthete. After: synth-tastic solo star with biceps the size of goldfish bowls. Few musicians have ever looked happier, or more relieved, to have left their old band behind.
Best Use Of A Dead Person To Boost Your Career: Akon. Of all the singers, rappers, producers, money men and all-round chancers cashing in on Michael Jackson’s legacy, it’s perhaps the man behind ‘Smack That’ that most flagrantly gets a leg up. He features on the opening track of ‘Michael’ and his name is the first thing you hear on the entire album.
RIP Of The Year: Leslie Nielson. Another year, another load of legends shuffled off to the great gig in the sky, and The Naked Gun man Leslie Nielson will be one of the most missed. Video tributes did the rounds en masse near the end of 2010.
Political Event Of The Year: The student protests. Sick of being told they were an apathetic generation who did nothing but play XBox and snort miaow miaow, this year Britain’s youth took to the streets to protest against sky-rocketing tuition fees. Inevitably, the government ignored them. But still: what a statement.
Perviest Online Craze: Chatroulette. It sounded so innocent – a website that enabled you to make random, quick-fire friends online. Except – oh no! – it instantly became full of creepy blokes waving their wangs at their camera. Next!
Brand Of The Year: The Apprentice‘s Stuart Baggs. The most objectionable bellend on a show not exactly short on objectionable bellends, Baggs scaled hitherto unimaginable heights of reality TV twattishness. Observe…
Time Waster Of The Year: Angry Birds. The ludicrously addictive iPhone/Android game had now been downloaded over 50 million times since it launched in December 2009. Someone you know is almost certainly playing it right now. Even Carl Barat’s a fan – he referenced the game (unintentionally?) in his song ‘Je Regrette’.
Impression Of The Year: Morgana as Fearne Cotton. The Morgana Show on Channel 4 was mostly about as funny as chemical warfare, but the comedian’s impression of hyperactive TV irritant Fearne Cotton was truly inspired.
Spat Of The Year: George Bush/Kanye West. 2010 was the year George Dubya fought back, branding the rapper’s comments about him not caring about black people the most “disgusting” moment of his presidency. Kanye was swift to defend himself on TV and Twitter and the ball is now in the Texan’s court.