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    mtvU Woodie Awards Redux

    Like any great college party, the mtvU Woodie Awards, held on Nov. 12, came and went, fading into the night like stereo feedback.

    Winners, revelers, and a sweet (if sick) sense of satisfaction as the flickering lights blinked “Time. To. Go.” were left in its wake. Our ears were ringing. Our legs ached. The floor was wet and sticky from stale drinks. But, by night’s end, Roseland Ballroom was still singing, alive with the sound of music.

    The Woodie Awards, now in its fifth year, is one big celebration for the music and efforts of new and underground artists from all over the world, as well as for their many fans. It is a night of lights and sounds that MTV announced as “the only college award ever!”

    “I think the Woodies is a crystal ball for what’s about to break big,” said Ross Martin, mtvU executive producer, in a previous interview. “College students are prophesying the future of new music everyday on campuses across the country.”

    The doors opened at 7 p.m., and as students and young fans poured onto the ballroom floor, stars, newcomers and fan-favorites alike lined the glittering black carpet. First out in his Maryland Terps sweatshirt was up-and-comer Asher Roth, who is currently gracing the cover of the December issue of “XXL” as part of “Hip-Hop’s Class of ’09.”

    “I started when I was like 16 years old so it’s been like a hobby transforming into a job,” Roth said of his experience as a rising rapper. “That whole transition has been kinda crazy, but right now I’m just having fun with it. It’s a blast, man. We lead a blessed life.”

    Following him were models, actors, activists, MTV personalities, and of course, the musicians. Names like Sudanese child soldier-turned-rapper Emmanuel Jal, Motion City Soundtrack, Spank Rock, and The All-American Rejects followed. Each artist was excited to be there — be it for the atmosphere or for the waiting alcohol.

    “I expect to have a really good time,” said Boys Like Girls frontman Martin Johnson. “I think you should be scared. I’m really excited to present a Woodie to one of our best friends. You know, we got the Breaking Woodie last year and it was a really great moment for us, and we get to pass that on to one of our best boys. Whether it be All Time Low, Tyga, We the Kings, it doesn’t matter. We’re all family and we’re stoked to pass it on.”

    “This is my first time,” said former MTV news correspondent SuChin Pak, “and it’s so nice to actually sit and watch [an] award show without having to work, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

    Santi White, better known by her stage name Santogold and dressed in a flowing Marc Jacobs outfit, had only words of praise for her fellow artists. “I think that it’s a really good group of talent,” she said. “I think that it’s telling of how ‘on-the-money’ college bands are.”

    By 8 p.m., it was lights-camera-action as the show was ready to officially begin. On the main stage, Asher Roth, college-appropriate red cup in hand, opened the show with his track “College,” later meeting up with The Cool Kids and at least a dozen audience members to perform and kick things off right.

    After their performance, the theme of the night was revealed: “The Debate is Over.” Onscreen, students dressed in debate team colors discussed such collegiate issues as, “Does sex really sell?”

    Things went off without a hitch. As Paramore’s Hayley Williams and Jeremy Davis prepared to give the first award, Best Video, Hayley reminded the audience why they were there: “No one’s getting on this stage unless millions of college students put them here!”

    Lykke Li performed “I’m Good, I’m Gone,” among others from her album “Youth Novels.” Surprise guest Q-Tip then joined her onstage, to great audience applause, to perform a cover of the A Tribe Called Quest classic “Can I Kick It?” Their duet segued into Q-Tip’s own set that culminated with “Vivrant Thing” and his proclaiming, “The Renaissance is here!”

    The rest of the night followed the award-performance-award format, with a few surprises. Kid Sister and DJ A-Trak were called on stage to present the Left-Field Woodie, the award for the most genre-bending artist. The prize went to the crowd favorite, electrofunk band Chromeo.

    And of course, it had to happen. After WICB of Ithaca College took home the College Radio Woodie, everyone there that night got Rick Roll’d. Cut into Britney Spears’ new video “Womanizer,” was the all too familiar Rick Astley dancing badly to his 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” There was laughter. There were even a few tears. Nice one, mtvU.

    After most of us had recovered, Moby and Emmanuel Jal came onstage to present the Best Music on Campus Woodie, the award given to the most popular college band on the rise.

    “Music is the only thing that have power to move your soul without you even knowing it,” said Jal. Before presenting the award to its winner, Moby added, “This award really belongs to everyone nominated for it.” With that said, the Woodie went to a New York University band, the humbled The Bride Wore Black.

    As the night wore on, we saw Mark Hoppus of former blink-182 glory, All Time Low perform, and There for Tomorrow take home the Breaking Woodie. Debbie Harry of Blondie brought Santogold to the stage, where she performed “L.E.S. Artistes” and “Shove It” with Naaem Juwan of Spank Rock. She ended her set with thanks to her fans and these words: “Big up to Obama, our new president!”

    Comedian Jon LaJoie, kind of famous for his online videos “High as F#%k” and “Show Me Your Genitals,” came on to not-so-raucous applause to present the Good Woodie, the award given to the artists doing humanitarian work in the global community. Andrew McMahon, lead singer of Jack’s Mannequin, won for the “Dear Jack Foundation,” a group that raises money and awareness for cancer research. This year, according to McMahon, the group was able to raise over $100,000 in funding for research.

    Finally, a very rowdy All-American Rejects arrived to present the Woodie of the Year to Paramore, much to their own surprise. After a few words from Zoe Kravitz and Riley Keough, Vampire Weekend closed the show, playing “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” with Chromeo and their hit “A-Punk.”

    As the last note was played, the doors were swung open. The show was over. But like any college party worth going to, we were left with exhausted grins and marks from having maybe too much fun. In this party’s case, however, we also left with more than a few faces to look forward to seeing in the coming year.

    “It was a lot of fun,” said Michaela Hyams, a sophomore from Stony Brook. “I’m really looking forward to next year.”

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