For the second year in a row, the CBC will broadcast an edited version of this Wednesdays Brit Awards ceremony Thursday night (the 21st) at 8 pm. A must-see for any fan of the British beat boom currently sweeping the toppermost of the charts, the annual bun-toss — hosted this year by Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne — celebrates the best of the UK record biz (ie who shifts the most units) and is more Golden Globes than Grammys. Drinking is encouraged.
Here’s a who’s who score-card for the nominees, many of whom — The Hoosiers? — are unfamiliar to North American ears. And where’s Amy Winehouse? Since her Mark Ronson-produced Back In Black was released back in 2006, the troubled pop star swept the Brits last year.
British Male Solo Artist:
Jamie T (Myspace folk rapper a la Beck, no hits), Mark Ronson (Winehouse powerhouse releases CD of cover versions of indie hits called Version), Mika (the Freddy Mercury clone hyped as last year’s Next Big Thing), Newton Faulkner (folkie surfer dude a la Jack Johnson), and Richard Hawley (ex-Pulp guitarist and 40-ish Roy Orbison sound-a-like).
Winner: Mark Ronson
British Female Solo Artist:
Bat For Lashes (goth Kate Bush, zero sales), Kate Nash (19-year old Kate Bush-inspired internet sensation), KT Tunstall (country Kate Bush known for writing American Idol hit Black Horses & The Cherry Tree), Leona Lewis (Kelly Clarkson-esque winner of Pop Idol, the Simon Cowell-produced UK progenitor of American Idol), PJ Harvey (40-ish Kate Bush of the 90s goes acoustic).
Winner: Leona Lewis
Arctic Monkeys (internet rebels circumvent industry to move product), Editors (Joy Division tribute act), Girls Aloud (more number ones than the Spice Girls!), Kaiser Chiefs (annoying new wave revivalists), and Take That (reformed boy band minus Robbie Williams).
Winner: Girls Aloud (pictured)
Arctic Monkeys (Favourite Worst Nightmare — not a chance, they despise the Brits), Leona Lewis (Spirit), Mark Ronson (Version), Mika (Life In Cartoon Motion), and Take That (Beautiful World)
Winner: Take That (take that, Robbie Williams)
British Breakthrough Act (voted by BBC Radio 1 listeners):
Bat For Lashes, Kate Nash, Klaxons, Leona Lewis, and?Mika
Winner: weird teen heart-throbs Klaxons
British Live Act (chosen by a “panel of experts”):
Arctic Monkeys (lasers), Kaiser Chiefs (jumping, lasers), Klaxons (jumping, lasers, dry ice), and Take That (jumping, lasers, dry ice, synchronized dancing), and Muse (jumping, lasers, dry ice, synchronized dancing, robots, jet-packs, fireworks)
Leona Lewis (Bleeding Love), Mika (Grace Kelly), Take That (Shine), Mark Ronson with Amy Winehouse (Valerie), The Hoosiers (Worried About Ray).
Winner: Amy Winehouse
International Male Solo Artist:
Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, Michael Bublé, Rufus Wainwright, and Timbaland
Winner: Timbaland (he’s a producer, too!)
International Female Solo Artist:
Alicia Keys, Bjork, Feist, Kylie Minogue, and Rihanna
Winner: Rhianna (Umbrella was number one for 10 weeks 'over 'ome)
Arcade Fire, the Eagles, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, and the White Stripes
Winner: the Brits loooove the Foos, it’s the Bryan Adams thing.
Arcade Fire (Neon Bible), the Eagles (Long Road Out of Eden), Foo Fighters (Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace), Kings of Leon (Because of the Times), and Kylie Minogue (X)
Winner: though Kylie’s the sentimental favourite, that nice Dave Grohl should get the nod
Critics’ Choice Award (already announced):
Winner: Adele — she’s the new Amy Winehouse!
Outstanding Contribution Award (already announced):
Winner: Sir Paul McCartney. Where to start? Sacharine Michelle? Bloody O Bla Di O Bla Da? The entire Wings catalogue? Forget Heather Mills — will Yoko show? Is a duet with Winehouse on Ebony And Ivory on the cards? Let’s hope he blows up real good during the explosions that will inevitably accompany Live And Let Die during the ceremony’s closing salute to the former Mop Top.