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Any event that attempts to legitimize a category of music whose nature is to be on the margins bears a serious burden. The Plug Independent Music Awards (“Plugies,” as they might be called), which presented awards last Thursday, 2 February in NYC, managed to be an industry showcase without being too much industry. Sure, the third edition of this alternative event featured its share of celebrity presenters and pre-packaged video clips, not to mention swag (thank you), but it had its anti-Grammy moments too. No awkward scripted banter, a refreshingly blatant lack of professionalism, and ceremony participants more likely seen in the pages of A.P. than on MTV made for more of an awards ceremony with poor posture than high-gloss show.

Lest they lose their street cred for even attempting to institutionalize something so independent, most involved probably saw it as an opportunity to recognize and promote good music ignored by an indifferent music biz. So their heart was in the right place. Plus the right people were involved; a loose conglomeration of Indie record labels, stores, journos, and supporters.

With 12 nominees per category, the awards celebrated efforts like best metal album, best magazine, and best radio station, and the eclectic array of categories included a range of nominees like the Animal Collective, Coachella, and pitchforkmedia.com.

Check out the winners here

by Patrick Speckman

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