The Fourth Annual mtvU Woodie Awards

November 9th, 2007: As seen on Archive (PDF)

Cable network mtvU wrapped its fourth annual Woodie Awards last night at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, honoring artists that students “live their lives to,” i.e. while holding onto red plastic keg cups — or at least so it seemed after the ceremony, judging by the abyss of discarded vessels littering the venue’s floor.

But before the festivities began (and the kegstands), caught upwith some talent on the red carpet to snag a few words of wisdom forthe 4.6 million university voters out there in dormitory land. Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis offered some sage advice: “Tune in. Drop out. Tune out. Drop in. Drop your pants. Tune your guitar.” MC Naledge of hip-hop duo Kidz in the Hall, advised students to “work your plan and plan your work” and “don’t be afraid to socialize.” But it was Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Went who won us over with his astute priorities. “Schedule all your classes based on how many freshmen girls are in it,” Wentz recommended.

Come awards time, there were scores of upsets. Spoon trumped Bright Eyes for the Alumni Woodie, an award that honors steadfast musical presence, and for Best Video, Justice‘s “D.A.N.C.E.” took a back seat to Say Anything‘s “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too.” And there were some obvious wins, too, as Boys Like Girls – whom readers selected as 2006 Artist of the Year –  beat out Peter Bjorn and John and Tokyo Police Club, among other heavy hitters, to take the Breaking Woodie award. And surprise, surprise – Gym Class Heroes were crowned with the Woodie ofthe Year award, as the MySpace darlings of the Academy Is… emerged with the Viral Woodie award.

Between statue handouts, the event raged on as an extravagantly decorated party with free booze and kabob-like finger treats. Every once in a while you’d catch nominated bands dancing on tables or slamming back those red cups, with honorable mention going to Best Music On Campus winners, Stella By Starlight in the back of the house. Later, Annie Lennox took the stage to honor music as a means of social change. Pointing to college campuses as the epicenter of protests, she presented this year’s Good Woodie award to Guster for their efforts behindmore than 600 “green” concerts planned via their environmentally-conscious organization, Reverb. For this philanthropic honor the band offered two words – “Go Earth!”

As for performances, highlights include Spank Rock‘s neon mess of hip hop, which, though entertaining, rocked the finest cliches – bikini clad dancers, “hoochie mama” rhymes, and a token entourage stage assault during his ’80s synth ode to “Rick Rubin.” Rilo Kiley strummed an acoustic rendition of their single, “Money Maker,”complete with guitar-case drum fills, and The Academy Is… broughtback Alice In Chains-era angst with “We’ve Got a Big Mess On Our Hands.”

And then, in typical college fashion, the party abruptly came to a close and waves of drunken revelers searched for an after party.

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