Friday, January 27, 2006

The Third Annual Mikey Awards

The Third Annual Mikey Awards
Another year, another step closer to my inevitable hearing aid. One again I am proud to present my own award-style look back at Mikey-tour 2005.

Best Inverted Adolescence: Brothers Past-This Feeling's Called Goodbye
Finally free from the Disco Biscuit's shadow, Brothers Past has matured into the jamband of tomorrow: a well-layered indie/hippie hybrid, whose evolution sounds both synthesized and natural. Other nominees: Hallucinogen at Camp Bisco, NY, 8/27; the Disco Biscuits at Starland Ballroom, NJ, 3/24-26; and Lake Trout-Not Them, You

Best Becky: The Duo-Best Reason to Buy the Sun
Its impossible to describe 2005 in a single word. But its easy to boil its essence down to a duo: Benevento and Russo. Between gigs with Mike Gordon, underwear sets as Come on Falcon and Metzger-approved Zeppelin covers, The Duo might very well be remembered be the world's most portable supergroup. But its this disc, and its drinking game worthy signature-track "Becky," which solidified the Duo as an entity unto itself. Other nominees: G.R.A.B at TwiRoPa, LA, 4/30; Come on Falcon at Scenic, NY, 9/8; and Joe Russo and Friends at Tribeca Rock Club, NY, 12/7

Best Phish Supplement: Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon-Sixty Six Steps
Mike Gordon's other duo contains everything an aging Phish head can ask for in life: sweet harmonies, non-social lyrics disguised as verbal math equations and a kick-ass version of "Ya Mar." Other nominees: Phish: The Island Tour; G.R.A.B at Bonnaroo, 6/10; and Dumpstaphunk at BB King Blues Club, NY-8/5

Best Hickster Hoedown: My Morning Jacket-Z
Before it wins the Overplayed Masterpiece award at next year's Mikey's, Z is, simply put, a great rock-album packed with a kick-ass Hawaii 5-O sample.
Other nominees: Iron and Wine/Calexico/ Sufjan Stevens at Webster Hall, NY, 12/5; Wilco/MMJ at Agganis Arena, MA, 6/24; and Interpol at Radio City Music Hall, NY, 3/2

Best Jamband Retaliation: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals-Cold Roses
If the indie-elite who ruled my college radio station knew that Ryan Adams made 2005's best jamband album, they'd likely brand the former Whiskeytown frontman a 21st century Benedict Arnold. But the joke's on them: Cold Roses is the true heir to American Beauty, pedal steel and all. Indie-rock may have pinched Lake Trout, the Slip and about all of Brooklyn but at least we can call this Heartbreaker our own. Other nominees: Ryan Adams, Jesse Malin and Debbie Harry at Irving Plaza, NY, 9/20, Wilco-Kicking Television and The Slip at Southpaw, NY, 10/8

Best Use of the Jamband Blueprint: ALO-Fly Between Falls
If Fly Between Falls doesn't rightfully turn ALO into the biggest band in the world it will help a generation of college-kids get laid along the way.
Other nominees: Hot Buttered Rum at Half Moon, NY, 8/9, Umphrey's McGee at Jam Cruise, 1/9 and Ominous Seapods at Gathering of the Vibes, NY, 8/13

Best Phantasy Flashback: Phish-New Year's Eve 1995
Its as good as the Pharmer's Almanac remembers it.

Best Natural Disaster Relief Benefit Concert: moe. w/Trey Anastasio, John Medeski, Sam Bush and friends at Roseland, NY, 2/10
I'm not sure what it says about our time when this category could just as easily find a home at next year's Grammy. But nights like this prove that music is still about more than beer and veggie burritos. Plus, I finally heard Trey play "Peaches." Other Nominees: From the Big Apple to the Big Easy at Radio City, 9/20, Disco Biscuits at Spirit, 9/13 and Russell Baptiste at Lion's Den, 12/14

Best Wayne's World Moment: Flaming Lips at The All Good Festival, 7/16
At the ripe old age of 24, life doesn't get much better than dancing on stage with the Flaming Lips, on your birthday, to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," while dressed as a cartoon character who personifies your own disheveled dance step (Tigger).
Other nominees: Dark Star Orchestra on Cold Turkey at Gathering of the Vibes, 8/13, BIG Summer Classic, 7/21 & 7/24 and New Deal at BB King Blues Club, NY,

Best Organ Donor Rap: Phil Lesh and Friends at Vegoose, 10/29-30
If Phil played this well any night of the week, I'd gladly give him whatever organ he wanted. Other nominees: The Shins at Vegoose, 10/29 ("I don't know what the meaning of life is, but I am pretty sure the Shins scored its soundtrack"), Bob Weir/Bruce Hornsby at Central Park Summerstage, NY, 9/1 and Phil Lesh/Ryan Adams at the Jammys, 4/26.

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