Hipster Runoff On The 2009 Gummys
The Gummys are possibly the most important award on the web, right next to the Webbies, The Forkies, the Perezzies, and even the Espys. Winning a Gummy usually means that an artist has a strong following of people who are willing to vote for them on internet forms/ballots, or possibly the band has a naive fan base who believes they can ‘prove something’ by winning a web award that ultimately helps a successful site garner ‘mad hits.’ Musicians who win Gummys may or may not be able to sell mad albums. It is important to try to make sense of the voter selections so that we can learn more about Stereogum/GumReaders/the_mp3_blogosphere.
It seems reasonable to assume that 2k9 was the best year in the history of mankind (much like every year). It seems like we are truly in the golden age of the blogosphere, with an efficient supply chain which enables us to ‘buzz’ a new band only after hearing 2.5 mp3s (live show not required for 3 months). You could say this is a sign that ‘the internet is an awesome place’, or perhaps the internet is a terrible place where unwarranted bros who rip off a relevant aesthetic, then make a myspace profile with a ‘cool-looking’ user image can turn into a buzzband, being covered right next to a post about U2, Coldplay, or even Annie Clark Band (ACB).
Stereogum readers have congregated on the internet to vote on some of their fave humans/memes/bands/products of the past year + the past decade. Most of the selections ‘seem obvious/straight-forward,’ but if you take a closer look, you will notice that many of the top Albums of 2k9 are not represented in the Albums of the Decade List. Stereogum readers did not find 2k9 to be very meaningful in the context of the whole decade. They may or may not be holding on to the past, and the indie ideals from the pre-2k6 organic epic-meaningful-core era. This was back before the electro+remix+bloghouse economy sort of ‘changed the scene’ and it was acceptable to take ‘serious music’ seriously.
Trend #1: Stereogum Readers Don’t Respect 2k9
Can’t believe that Animal Collectives Merriweather Post Pavvy [sic] placed #1 in album of the year for 2k9, but got a lackluster 19th place in the album of the decade polls.
Can’t believe AnCo’s top album of the decade according to Stereogum readers was Feels at #15.
Can’t believe Fleet Foxes’ had the #1 album of 2k8, but ended up #21 in the album of the decade.
Explanation: Stereogum readers value the past more than the present. The distant past is a warm memory, back when you were working at a college radio station, influencing the scene, back before a few a-hole with blogs ‘got control’ of significant tastemaking avenues.
Trend #2: Stereogumbros have indie crushes on women who have done something significant within the past year, unless they are Zooey Deschanny.
For example, Feist was the #1 indie crush of 2k7, but in 2k9 she isn’t even on the list. It is reasonable to understand why bros no longer think about her now that they don’t see her on an iPod commercial every other day.
Can’t believe Zooey Deschanel was indie crush of 2k8, before she was even officially married 2 Ben Gibbard.
Can’t believe Zooey Deschanel was the indie crush of the year but didn’t really contribute a transcendental album to the alternative economy this year.
Explanation: Wonder if altbros find her attractive because of her talent, or like what she represents. Wonder if they want to have a wife like Zooey who has succeeded at all alternative ideals that a woman could achieve (singer/actress/model/cotton spokeswoman). Maybe cotton really is the fabric of our lives.’
Trend #3: Readers consider Panda Bear to be the ‘front man’/’genius’ of AnCo.
Noah Lennox is the male crush of the year. I am not sure if the predominantly male Stereogum readers voted for him because they saw him as a potentially good partner or if it was because of his physical traits. It seems like we could assume his chill, family-valued themes appeal to most humans. I feel like this might be to let him know that ‘we’ think he is ‘a really solid bro,’ and he deserves to know that even if Animal Collective broke up, we would be most interested in liking his products.
Trend #4: Indie Bro crushes from the past are easily forgettable
Can’t believe Kevin Barnes was the indie crush of the year for 2k8, but didn’t even chart this year. Maybe he is sorta like the ‘Adam Lambert’ of the indie scene, and the alternative population is more conservative than we would like to believe.
Can believe Jens Lekman didn’t chart this year in the Indie Crush this year after winning in 2k7. Sorta weird how ‘relevancy’ can be so fleeting. Not even sure what this bro looks like.
Explanation: I think bros still haven’t figured out how to vote for the indiebro crush. Do they vote for some1 who they wish they could look like, or do they just vote for ‘the most talented bro of the year’? This seems like a decision that is similar to deciding who should be a high school class president–do you vote for a popular person, or the person who will do the best job organizing a fundraiser+prom.
Random Stuff that Carles ‘can’t believe.’
Can’t believe Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” was the best music video of the year. I feel like maybe it was the easiest one to remember, since their heads were all blown up.
Can believe the XX won ‘best new artist.’ It seems like the only other new artists of the year are chillwave artists, and Stereogum’s readers probably don’t support bloggy fad bands. Also, seems like this music can appeal to both men and women, due to the multi-gendered setup. I am glad they chose an interesting name. It probably makes a band 30% more ‘worth checking out’ when you can say an interesting band name into a conversation.
Can’t believe Grizzly Bear had more representation (Ed Droste + Chris Bear) in the Indie Bro Crush Category than AnCo (just Panda).
Can’t believe The Gummys don’t have a ‘Best Alternative Celebrity Twitterer’ category, so that people could debate the pros+cons of following @Diplo, @EdwardDroste, & @_M_I_A_.
Can’t believe Radiohead taught their fans how to ‘get interactive’ on the internet to make sure they win as many voter-based awards as possible (unless Nine Inch Nails fans intervene).
Can’t believe The Hold Steady was the #1 album of 2k6, but ended up at #25 on the Decade List. Seems like that was possibly one that the readers would ‘like to have back.’
Can’t believe Joanna Newsom didn’t get a bigger ‘indie crush’ bounce because she is dating popular SNL video-meme maker, Andy Samberg. Guess we will have to wait til she releases a new album to ‘crush’ on her again.
Can’t/Can believe that there aren’t any lone women that fall into the top 10 albums of the decade.
Can/Can’t believe that the individuals on the Best of Decade list are probably 9_% male.
Can/Can’t believe the individuals on the Best of Decade list are 0_% black [Outkast, Kele from Blog Party, a few TVoTR bros).
Can’t believe Coldplay/TheFray/Nickelback/The Killers are missing from the Decade list.
Can’t believe Owl City didn’t sneak on to either list (Stereogum must not have a strong tween readership).
Can’t believe the Gummys discontinued the ‘Best Blog’ Category before HRO had the opportunity to win.
Another year, another Gummy.
One day, Stereogum will turn 100 years old, and young people will look back to the earliest recorded Gummys to find some ‘vintage oldies mp3s’ by artists from the blog era. I feel proud to be a part of the Gummys. The internet will last forever, and all we can do is generate as much content as possible so that 1 day, future civilizations will know that we were ‘worth something.’ Feel like our society is genuinely different/better than all past societies.
What can/can’t u believe abt the Gummys?
Are voters consistent/sensible, or random/meaningless?
Do u think 1 day u will write a hit album that earns u a Gummy?
Who ‘got the shaft’ in the Gummy voting process?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The mysterious Carles has written Hipster Runoff since sometime earlier this decade. It is “a blog worth blogging about” and “intended to be a ‘culturally relevant’ blog.” If you “liked” this post, buy a Carles t-shirt at HipsterRunoff.com.