The Esky And The )Gummy(

We all know the real problem with the music industry these days: not enough awards. Thankfully Esquire’s attempting to fix it with another unnecessary installment of their Esky Awards For Outstanding Musical Achievement. The best part is each musician’s awkward attempt to pretend to care about the dubious honor. Responses range from confusion to bemusement to indifference.

MOST LOVABLE ODDBALL … MATISYAHU
Matisyahu accepts the Esky: “Thanks. It is an honor and a privilege to be recognized. Lovable oddball? Hmmm. I guess that’s about right.”

BEST GUITARIST … THE EDGE
[No response]

BEST BAND … GREEN DAY
[No response]

BEST MC … MF DOOM
[No response]

BEST DRUMMER … TAYLOR HAWKINS (FOO FIGHTERS)
[No response]

BEST ENTERTAINER … DAVE GROHL (FOO FIGHTERS)
Dave Grohl accepts the Esky: “This is quite a moment for me. I’d like to think that I’ve finally graduated to the great heights of Charlie Chaplin, Billy Crystal, and Dave Chappelle. I don’t fucking know about entertaining. I get drunk and play rock ‘n’ roll. It’s what I do. I have the greatest job in the world. You might as well have given this to a porn star.”

BEST SONGBIRD … Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple accepts the Esky: “Thanks for picking me!”

FAVORITE ROOKIE … James Blunt
James Blunt accepts the Esky: “Best rookie! Thank you to all. This came as a complete surprise. I was hoping to get the award for best female, but best rookie will do. Thank you very much. James Blunt, Esq.”

BEST IMPORT … The Frames
The Frames accept the Esky: “We, the Frames, would like to thank Esquire magazine for this award. We look forward to living up to our billing in the year ahead! While we’re here, we’d also like to thank our American audience for their continued support. Thanks!”

BEST LIVE ACT … Pearl Jam
[No response]

BEST SONGWRITER … Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
Jim James accepts the Esky: “Thank you so much, peoples. I’d like to dedicate this awaard to my dear old kentucky home in honor of the new Esquire-Kentucky pipeline introduced subliminally to the world by our fine award statue’s initials: ESKY, meaning ‘Esquire loves Kentucky!’ Representing this love is a true honor for me. Thank yins.”

BEST HEARTBREAKER … Rhett Miller
Rhett Miller accepts the Esky: “I’d like to thank Esquire. I had no idea you felt so strongly. Who can blame you after our passionate rendezvous? But that was years ago, and I’m a family man now. I’m sure you’ll find someone who appreciate you. Until then, please stop hanging up when my wife answers the phone.”

BEST SOUNDTRACKVeronica Mars
Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas accepts the Esky: “I played in a band for nine years hoping to make it in the music biz. Come to find out, all I had to do was quit playing music. Thank you.”

BEST VOICE … Ray LaMontagne
[No response]

BEST VISIONARY … Rick Rubin
Rick Rubin accepts the Esky: “I’m speechless.”

BEST TWANG: Keith Urban
[No response]

SURREST THING … Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett accepts the Esky: “I am honored to have been Esquired. Thank you.”

MOST PROMISING PHENOMS … Arctic Monkeys
[No response]

BEST TEMPERATURE RAISER … Jenny Lewis
[No response]

HALL OF FAME: WORTHY ICONS STILL KICKING ASS 1 … The Pretenders
Chrissie Hynde accept the Esky: “I’m accepting our Mr. Esky, I am reminded of something Henry David Thoreau said: ‘When I hear music, I fear no danger, I am invulnerable, I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times and to the latest.’ Thanks for remembering us.”

HALL OF FAME: WORTHY ICONS STILL KICKING ASS 2 … Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond accept the Esky: “I am pleased that Esquire has recognized my work. Many thanks.”

BEST FRONTMAN … Billie Joe Armstrong
[No response]

BEST SCRIBE … ?uestlove (The Roots)
?uestlove accepts the Esky: “Mr. Pibb + Red Vines = crazy delicious!!!

So who wants to tell ?uestlove that Lazy Sunday is played out? Didn’t think so.

I like the idea that most of the artists who acknowledged winning the mag’s award didn’t take it seriously. So I invented my own award! It’s called The )Gummy( — ridiculous parentheses intentional. (Exclamation points are 2005; indie rock parenthesis will be hot this year, trust me.)

This inagural )Gummy( For 2006 Breakthrough Blog Act goes to … Tapes ‘N Tapes! The #1 downloaded act at Elbo.ws, the #1 album at Insound, an 8.3 on Pitchfork, and by far the most ubiquitous band at SXSW (16 shows!).

We caught up with the Minneapolis trio and awarded the )Gummy( in Austin. Tapes ‘N Tapes’ acceptance speech: “Thank you — we’re going to have to go buy tighter jeans now.”

You can download three tracks from The Loon here. (As if you didn’t have them already.)

Here are some pics I took of the band opening for Spoon at the Guerrero Produce Warehouse on Wednesday. Spoon rocked too. We didn’t stay for Echo.




And a few of Britt. My first time front row at Spoon. They opened with “Small Stakes.”