Special Distinction

The Robert Downey Jr. Award for Career Advancement

To O.D.B, the Wu-Tang’s fugitive from justice who, while making a risky public appearance at one of his crew’s shows, declared he’d kick it hunter-and-gatherer style, “living off berries.” Alas, Big Baby Jesus could only rough it for so long, and the police nabbed him while cruising through a McDonald’s drive-thru. If only he’d made a run for the Taco Bell border. — Jeff Brown

The Wanna-Be-Startin’-Something Award

To Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst, who lampooned Creed’s Scott Stapp, the only male frontman to inspire more critical hatred, by likening him to Michael Jackson. — Jeff Brown

The Oops! … I Haven’t Done It Yet Award

To Britney Spears, who repeatedly pronounced that she’s a virgin. Poor, poor frustrated Justin from ‘N Sync. Honorary mention goes to devout Christian Jessica Simpson, who just isn’t as crazy-hot as her competition. — Robert Bishop

The You Don’t Even Know Who You’re Fooling With Award

This dubious honor goes to whoever ripped off Boot Hill’s gear at Flamingo Casino. To come out of hiding to collect this award would be suicide. Pray you never get busted, because if there ever were a band you don’t want to get angry, it’s Boot Hill. — Robert Bishop

The Puts-the-CD-in-Chads-Beens Award

Kudos to the quick-thinking lads who dubbed their band The Miami Relatives to capitalize on last summer’s Elian Gonzalez standoff. Now brace yourself for an onslaught of groups destined never to be compiled on boxed sets who take for themselves some form of chad. The Hanging Chads; The Swinging Chads; The Dimpled Chads; The Pregnant Chads; My Life with the Chad Punch Kult. — Scott Wilson

Most Likely to Never Be a Campaign Jingle

To Eels, whose excellent disc Daisies of the Galaxy was passed out in a goody bag at an Al Gore fundraiser, much to the ire of George W. Bush, who noted that it includes a song titled “It’s a Motherfucker.” — Robert Bishop

The Relative Output Award

Congrats, Slash. You’ve now released two albums with Slash’s Snakepit while former buddy Axl Rose has spent almost a decade working on the new Guns N’ Roses disc. It means a lot to your relative legions of fans. — Robert Bishop

The Alarming Economic Trend Award

To kids’ allowances. ‘N Sync broke a sales record in March by selling 2.4 million copies of No Strings Attached in its first week, but evidence suggests an economic slump among teenagers, as the Backstreet Boys managed to unload only 1.6 million copies of Black and Blue three weeks ago. — Robert Bishop

The Burning Bridges Award

When Electrophonic Foundation played Blayney’s on Friday, May 19, it was told to quiet down or get off the stage. The band chose the latter, but not before playing a 10-minute, full-volume epic. — Robert Bishop

The How-Do-You-Sleep? Award

Mark David Chapman, who killed John Lennon 20 years ago this month, petitioned for parole with a letter that justified his release by conjecturing that Lennon would have forgiven him. Chapman is clearly insane, because a public that still hasn’t stopped blaming Yoko Ono for the breakup of The Beatles would certainly lynch him immediately. — Scott Wilson

The Repetitive Stress Award

To Joe Jackson and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, for stumbling over the words to their most famous songs, “Stepping Out” and “Jeremy,” during otherwise excellent performances. — Andrew Miller

The Publicist Enemy No. 1 Award

To Sony, which sabotaged its Radiohead knockoffs Palo Alto by sending a press release to music critics in which Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath claimed the group’s debut album was “the record Radiohead should have made.” It’s equivalent to a movie studio promoting an artsy film by having Adam Sandler compare it favorably to Citizen Kane. — Andrew Miller

Public Eminememy No. 1 Award

To Kansas City’s prodigal son Eminem, who, after lambasting an endless parade of estranged family members, imbecilic clowns, benign pop stars, disabled actors, and deceased homosexual icons, finally picked on someone who can fight back by spitting venom at Everlast. Still, it’s pretty sad that Slim Shady has taken this long to move up to white rappers on the mockery chart, as most music critics consider them entry-level targets. Em’s “edgy” attacks are reminiscent of Krusty the Klown’s hopelessly lame jabs at TV dinners. In the sarcastic words of Janeane Garofalo, “Ooh, take that, Swanson’s!” — Andrew Miller

Categories: Music