No, that's not a typo. Recently declassified documents reveal part of what outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney has been up to behind the scenes in his secure, undisclosed hiding place: Judging the 2007 Coil Awards for music featured in Dancing Mattress Productions podcasts.
(Ye Olde Podcaster had wondered what was taking the veep so long, but he was afraid to ask because he has an aversion to getting shot in the face. The one time Ye Olde Podcaster asked after the first missed deadline, the veep told him to do something anatomically impossible and usually reserved for Sen. Patrick Leahy.)
I'm going to issue awards for songs played in 2008, which will include the earliest episodes of Pod Across America as well as the Mental Nomad Podcast, and have decided to play it safer and let the Minnesota Board of Elections count the ballots. But first, I wanted to also honor the songs played in the first eight months of this podcast -- from March through November of 2007.
(At the start of December 2007, I opened the Highway 70 series that ran through the end of January 2008. It seemed odd to break that run of shows in half.)
2007 Coil Awards
Frequent Flyer Awards
Male: Gustav Bertha and Rhett Redelings of R-Three (8 songs played for each each individually, plus one collaboration between them)
Female: Helen Sventitsky (9)
Bands: Cheaters Club, Nashville Session Players, Solstice Coil and Tribal Machine (4 each)
Mike Robinson of King God and Holland Boys, who made the list 6 times between the two projects; Micah Barnes of 27B-6 and Colossal Head, whose bands had 5 songs played in 2007; Steve Kilbey, who racked up 5 appearances recording either solo or as part of Jack Frost; and Kurt Kreikenbom, who racked up 5 appearances as a solo artist or member of The Furthurs. So all four of these men's projects outpace the winning bands if viewed at the proper angle.
What's a Nice Woman Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Award (featured performer):
Gloria Loring, whose song "Tonight I Celebrate My Love for You" was featured in Mental Nomad Podcast 35.
What's a Nice Woman Like You Doing in a Place Like This? Award (guest musician):
Norah Jones, featured on the Noam Weinstein track "I Could Lie to You," which first appeared in Mental Nomad Podcast 30.
Excuse Me, Sir, Are You Sure You're Not Lost? Award (featured performer):
Robert Guillaume, whose performance of "Memory" from Cats first appeared in Mental Nomad Podcast 34.
Excuse Me, Sir, Are You Sure You're Not Lost? Award (guest musician):
Peter Gabriel, featured on the Angelique Kidjo song "Salala," which first appeared in Mental Nomad Podcast 64.
Cold Shower Award for Accomplishments in the Art of Sexiness:
Rachel Griffin's song "I'm Up to No Good," which debuted in Mental Nomad Podcast 23.
Where Have You Been All My Life? Award for a Not Exactly New Song I Should've Heard Long Before:
The Nails' "88 Lines About 44 Women," which debuted in Mental Nomad Podcast 64.
Postcard from Guantanamo Award for Best Protest Song, Loud:
(tie) Greydon Square's "Molotov," from Mental Nomad Podcast 12 and Op-Critical's "This Is Not My America," from Mental Nomad Podcast 37.
Rendition Award for Best Protest Song, Soft:
Bright Eyes' "When the President Talks to God," from Mental Nomad Podcast 54.
The Khan Noonien Singh Award for Stickiest Earworm, Male:
Gustav Bertha's "Credit Cards and Aeroplanes," from Mental Nomad Podcast 42.
The Khan Noonien Singh Award for Stickiest Earworm, Female:
Helen Sventitsky's cover of Gustav Bertha's "The King's Horses," from Mental Nomad Podcast 42.
The Khan Noonien Singh Award for Stickiest Earworm, Band:
(tie) Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," from Mental Nomad Podcast 55 and Jack Frost's "Thought That I Was Over You," from Mental Nomad Podcast 11. (If you don't believe me on the latter, turn off the lights and listen to it as you're falling asleep. It will stick with you for days.)
Best Band Name:
(tie) Love Spirals Downwards, Quaker Gun.
A Brokeheart Pro.
Best Song Title, Female:
"I Am a Race Car" by Cassandra Kubinski, from Mental Nomad Podcast (Square Root of -1).
Best Song Title, Male:
"Desolate Angel's Blues" by Justin Townes Earle, from Mental Nomad Podcast 30.
Best Song Title, Band:
(tie) "Everyone Here Wants to Fuck You" by Jinx Titanic, from Mental Nomad Podcast 69; and "These Blues Are Kicking My Ass" by Mean Gene Kelton and the Die Hards, from Mental Nomad Podcast 52.
Pass Me a Tissue Award, for Most Wistful Song by a Female Artist:
Robin Stine, "I Could Have Loved You," from Mental Nomad Podcast 55.
I've Got Dust in My Eye Award, for Most Wistful Song by a Male Artist:
Tom Waits, "You Can Never Hold Back Spring," from Mental Nomad Podcast 56.
Group Hug Award, for Most Wistful Song by a Band or Duo:
(tie) Two If By Sea, "All the Reasons to Leave," from Mental Nomad Podcast 25; Daren Sirbough and Joshua Kyle's cover of Jimmy Scott's "Those Who Were," from Mental Nomad Podcast 58.
Hans and Franz Memorial "Pump You Up" Award for Original Tunes (in chronological order):
Manic Street Preachers' "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough" (featuring Nina Persson of The Cardigans), from the remastered version of Mental Nomad Podcast 3; R-Three's "Something to Believe In," from Mental Nomad Podcast 19; Mike Doughty's "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well," from Mental Nomad Podcast 37; King God's "Came Here For," from Mental Nomad Podcast 39; and Jonathan Coulton's "Re: Your Brains," from Mental Nomad Podcast 65.
Technotronic "Pump Up the Jam" Memorial Award for Cover Songs (in chronological order):
The Perfects' remixed cover of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," from Mental Nomad Podcast 29; Angelique Kidjo and Joss Stone's cover of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," from Mental Nomad Podcast 62; Ann Wilson's take on Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song," from Mental Nomad Podcast 64.
Debbie Downer Tribute Awards for Extraordinary Achievements in Ennui (in chronological order):
R-Three's "Little Bitter Love," from the Mental Nomad Podcast 3 remaster; Holland Boys' "We Become Dust," from Mental Nomad Podcast 26; This Bright Apocalypse's cover of Sinead O'Connor's "Black Boys on Mopeds," from Mental Nomad Podcast 51; The Furthurs' cover of Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," from Mental Nomad Podcast 54; Sean Ryder Williams' "Love Is Fading," from Mental Nomad Podcast 64.
The Brian Ibbott Tribute Award for Best Cover Song, Female:
Kristin Mainhart, for her cover of "Tainted Love," from Mental Nomad Podcast 59. (The song was originally recorded by Gloria Jones but made famous by Soft Cell.)
The Brian Ibbott Tribute Award for Best Cover Song, Male:
Richard Hefner, for his cover of the bluegrass standard "Man of Constant Sorrow," from Mental Nomad Podcast 26.
The Brian Ibbott Tribute Award for Best Cover Song, Band or Duo:
Mind Veneration's cover of the Monkees' "Shades of Gray," from Mental Nomad Podcast 46.
The Brian Ibbott Tribute Award for Best Cover Song, Instrumental:
Kevin Kern, for the Sting cover "Fields of Gold," from Mental Nomad Podcast 46.
R-Three with Gustav Bertha, "It's Not" (Aimee Mann cover); Gustav Bertha, "Next," a cover of Jacques Brel's "Au Savait" by way of Alex Harvey); and Helen Sventitsky, the Gustav Bertha covers "The King's Men" and "Que Sera." Since I solicited these tracks, they'd have had an unfair advantage in my judging.
I also excluded Steve Kilbey's acoustic performance of "Under the Milky Way," since it's a tune he originally recorded with his band The Church. In a similar vein, Lesley Gore covered her own material -- a woman's take on "You Don't Own Me," a song she wrote when she was little more than a girl.
And Jonathan Coulton's cover of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" sat this one out because this perennial top-tier player on Brian Ibbott's show Coverville is competing in a different weight class.
Congratulations to the winners! And keep watching for the 2008 awards, coming soon.