The San Diego Music Awards are always a good time. There's some cattiness and a little shit-talking, and one thing's for certain: At least 80 percent of the nominees will go home mad. Last year, I made predictions in five of the major categories. The fact that I went just two for five might prove a couple things: Either I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about or the awards really are full of surprises. I'd like to think it's more of the latter.
Best Hip-Hop Album
The nominees: Not One for Words by afterschoolspecial, Vintage Raw by Bloodstone and the Princess, D.E.E.P. R.O.O.T.E.D. by Deep Rooted, Think and Grow Rich by M-Double-A-L, Teen Idol by Microphone Mike, Confidence of a King by R.C.K., Restocked by The Breaux, Best of Daygo City by Young Mass
Who should win: A lot of the hip-hop community got upset when MC Flow won both the “Best Hip-Hop” artist and “Best Hip-Hop Album” categories last year. But she didn't release an album this year so that leaves Deep Rooted to reclaim this prize (they've got two already from '05 and '06) for what is probably their best record yet.
Who will win: Hard to say. Since the album categories are voted on by the members of the San Diego Music Foundation, they'll probably vote for the one they're most familiar with, which is likely either Young Mass, Deep Rooted or Microphone Mike. Microphone Mike knows a lot of people, but his stage persona is kind of a joke. And Best of Daygo City is great, but it's a compilation disc of local hip-hop. Even M-Double-A-L, a master at marketing himself (I wouldn't be surprised if he tracked down each foundation member's e-mail address and sent a nice little note), could play the dark horse. But I believe the voters are going to acknowledge the truly best and pick Deep Rooted.
Best New Artist
The nominees: Bad Science Fiction, Beaters, Black Mamba, Maren Parusel, Sunday Times, The Bloodflowers, The New Archaic, The Styletones
Who should win: Either of the three Bs. Black Mamba and The Bloodflowers are both awesome for opposite reasons (one I want to gently hold my lady to, the other I want to fuck her brains out to). But Beaters are the band that's gonna generate the most buzz in the coming year.
Who will win: Who the hell nominated Bad Science Fiction? Their bar-band music doesn't even work as bad non-fiction. The Styletones are entertaining, but they're kitschy. The New Archaic's lovely alternative pop will likely win them future awards. I love Parusel and Sunday Times, but they're a little too new. But all of this conjecture is moot, since this category is voted on by the public. So expect the band with the most MySpace friends (and friends in general) to win. Verdict: The Bloodflowers.
Album of the Year
The nominees: Slow & Steady Seduction Phase II by Anya Marina, Summer of Hate by Crocodiles, Only Mirrors by Drew Andrews, We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things by Jason Mraz, Foundation by Scarlet Symphony, Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid by Slightly Stoopid, Living on the Other Side by The Donkeys, Wavvves by Wavves
Who should win: With exception of Slightly Stoopid, all of these albums deserve to be nominated. And since I don't run in the same Wal-Mart-shopping, KFC-eating social circles as the millions of people who bought Jason Mraz's record, I'm gonna go with the album that stirred the most buzz and controversy this year: Summer of Hate.
Who will win: I think the foundation will get it right. Summer of Hate is good from top to bottom.
Artist of the Year
The nominees: Anya Marina, Crocodiles, Delta Spirit, Jason Mraz, Scarlet Symphony, Slightly Stoopid, Switchfoot, Wavves
Who should win: Wavves made waves, Scarlet Symphony made a great album, Anya made sexy and Jason Mraz made history by spending more time on the iTunes charts than anyone ever before. But Crocodiles made me proud (well, mostly), and that's why they should win.
Who will win: Since it's voted on by the public, expect the stoners that follow Slightly Stoopid to battle Mraz's fans for the win. And since Mraz had a bigger year and stoners are lazy, expect him to take it home.
Song of the Year
The nominees: “Move You” by Anya Marina, “I Wanna Kill” by Crocodiles, “People C'mon” by Delta Spirit, “It Could Have Been You or Me” by Jack Tempchin, “Lucky” by Jason Mraz (with Colbie Caillat), “Created Equal” by MC Flow, “Your Blood is Mine” by Scarlet Symphony, “Thinkin Bout Cops” by Slightly Stoopid
Who should win: MC Flow made a profound statement with “Created Equal,” a song she wrote after voters passed Prop. 8, but no one outside of her fans really heard it. Hate to be redundant, but the song that did the most for me (and for The Jesus and Mary Chain fans) has to be “I Wanna Kill.”
Who will win: Remember last year when Slightly Stoopid's “3 a.m.” beat out Mraz's “I'm Yours”? Then “I'm Yours” went on to sell a bajillion downloads and no one can remember anything about “3 a.m.” except that it had that annoying sax line? Don't expect history to repeat itself. Mraz will win. If the voters go Stoopid, I'm taking Microphone Mike and we're storming the stage together.
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