Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 Scene Awards - Man of the Year




Why, yes... there were dudes making music in 2014. You might think otherwise considering the ladies dominated the year like no other before it, but there were man music people around, doing their thing. Many of the big names danced around the spotlight without really jumping in (Kanye, Jay-Z), some decided to go into politics instead of capitalising on the success of one of the biggest songs of ever (Gotye) and some just sucked. And I don't even know if J Biebs released music this year. But he still sucks and blows. But we've got the four finest fellas in music this year sorted out. You can read about them below.


MAN OF THE YEAR:


#4. Sam Smith




Some artists win the BBC's 'Sound of' poll and fade away without making much of an impact. Some take the crown and fully live up to all the expectations that come with such a title. Sam Smith certainly falls into the latter category. After being awards the 'Sound of 2014' prize, Smith would go on to have one of the biggest singles in the world throughout 2014, the massive and anthemic 'Stay With Me'. Bar staff on karaoke night will be hating it for years to come, but that's just because people will butcher it, not because it's not an awesome piece of music. His debut album, In The Lonely Hour would end the year as the only album to sell over a million copies in the US and the UK. It's also up for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist aka the big four. They might have marketed him as a male Adele at the start of the year, but Smith's voice and music have made it clear that he's his own, unique artist. (Matt Bond) 


#3. Dave Grohl




Daaaave. It's always going to be a good year when The Grohl shows up with the Foo Fighters and 2014 was no exception. He fully lived up to his status as music's Mr. Nice Guy when he made up with Courtney Love at Nirvana's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, putting to bed one of music's longest running feuds. Which is secretly a shame, because the insults those two would sling at each other were pretty great. But yay... friends. That wasn't even the most exciting thing Grohl was a part of this year. When it was announced the Foo Fighters would return with their eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, everyone was happy. Then we were told there would be an 8-episode HBO series to accompany the album. The internet got a little bit crazy with that news. And with good reason. The show, Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways would give us an insight into Grohl's music making process like never before on each of the eight stops in US cities where they would record a track. I didn't think I could like him anymore than I already did after last years Sound City documentary, but Dave Grohl is good at proving people wrong and he did that again in 2014. (Matt Bond)


Runner-Up: Harts




When Matt and I were discussing the Man of the Year nominees for these Scene Awards, I’m going to be honest and say there was a lot of this going on; “er….um….yep…so…you want some ice cream?” which says more about how many women are dominating our music world lately than it says about our mutual love of ice cream, even though that love is pretty intense. After much thought, I realised there was one artist who simply had to be included in this little list and that guy is also the only Australian contender. And for those of you who don’t know who he is yet, let me introduce you to Harts.


If you google Harts, you’ll probably come across some quotes from Prince, who has declared himself a fan, which is pretty impressive in itself, but there’s a lot more to Darren Hart than that. Hailing from Melbourne, he is one man music making machine, not in that old-man-creepy-circus-act kind of way, more in that-what-an-amazing-talent-how-can-one-human-play-so-many-instruments-and-hear-so-many-sounds-and-put-them-all-together-in-such-a-great-way, kind of way. While he’s been hanging about recording in his home studio for a few years now and garnering the interest of blogs and bluesy-rootsy-funk-rock music lovers across the internet, it was the release of his debut album Daydreamer this year that has proven that amazing music is amazing music; regardless of film clips, budgets, record labels and any of the politics of the music industry and all it brings. His vocal is perfect, his production world class and his skills with all of his instruments are something a lot of artists should be more than a little jealous of. Some regular play of his song ‘Red And Blue’ on JJJ toward the end of this year should ensure a few more people start hearing just how incredible he is and if all goes well, over a couple more discussions and ice creams with Matt, I’ll be saying he’s going to be appearing somewhere in our countdown and Scene Awards next year and both Harts and all the ice cream is something I look forward to. (Jo Michelmore)


WINNER: Jack White




A little memory from this year. One cold and windy day, in June, just before sunrise, my phone started ringing. I answered, slightly confused, but the sounds I heard made up my fave gig call, ever. My fellow blogger Matt’s voice, screaming at me all the way from Glastonbury, something along the lines of; “I hope you can hear this!” and the deliciously familiar chords of Jack White’s guitar, drifting halfway across the world to my little darkened bedroom at 4am.


“Oh Jack oh sigh” is what I said that early morning but there’s a lot more to him than that. The Wikipedia says he is an American musician, producer and occasional actor. I just say he’s amazing. He may own his own record label, he may be a member of a bazillion (possible exaggeration) bands, he may be a sought after producer, he may be seen as a little too opinionated in the mainstream media but all of those things matter very little when you hit play (or drop the needle) on his second solo album, Lazaretto, released in June this year. The riffs starts, the organ kicks in and suddenly you’re in the deep south of the USA singing “lordy lord” with an accent you never knew you possessed. It’s a Jack White love fest that continues through the whole album and it’s one you’ll gladly be involved in time and time again. It’s an album that set record sales into a frenzy this year and when I say ‘record’ sales, that’s literally what I mean, Lazaretto was the biggest selling vinyl since 1994 (beating another of my faves Pearl Jam!) and that made vinyl-loving hipsters of the world rejoice and raise their mason jars in collective cheers to the new, possibly unexpected godfather of vinyl.


Despite everything the world and the world’s hipsters do and don’t love about Jack White, his talent with those guitars of his is undeniable, making them sing and evoke emotions in ways a lot of singers wish they could with voice, making his listeners feel all the feels with just a simple bunch of strings. And I could be a little crackers, but there’s something a little elusive about Mr White that makes him all that more desirable. I can’t get enough of those sounds of his and he’s also part of one of my favourite memories from 2014. All of that, he's been crowned our Man of the Year once before AND he has inspired one of the only sayings that seems to have stayed with this blog from the first time I wrote about him and it's likely to stay for a little while yet. Probably because it actually does say all I’ll ever need to say about him. Oh Jack. Oh sigh.. (Jo Michelmore)


2013 Winner:
Eminem
Runner-Up: Pharrell Williams


2012 Winner:
Jack White
Runner-Up: Frank Ocean


2011 Winner:
Gotye
Runner-Up: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)


2010 Winner:
Kanye West 

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