Your time has come . . .
Was ticking, The xx marked the top spot, Little Green Cars sped ahead and a Scottish neuroscientist opened your minds – the Ticket Awards were (mostly) a triumph of good judgment, writes Jim Carroll
IIt’s all Cleisthenes’ fault. Bloody Cleisthenes, why couldn’t that aul’ Greek bollox keep his oar out of things all those years ago? Everything was tickety-boo in ancient Athens – well, some people were fuming, but you’ll always get that in Greece – until that dude came aloud spouting off about democracy and giving power to the people. You can blame everything from the current Government to The X Factor on Cleisthenes and his flaming democracy.
Therefore, QED, you can blame Cleisthenes for the results you’ll see on these pages. We, the motley crew of critics and reviewers who sing for our supper with The Ticket, are also casting aspersions on that ancient Athenian at this time of year as we see what you, the readers, have to say about the year in pop.
It’s a bit of a salutary lesson. Week in and week out, we run the rule over the new releases and acts which come our way. We supply 150 or so pithy words for a review, award a couple of stars and move on to the next batch of fresh pop albums. We’re the ones who set the boundaries for 51 weeks of the year so this once-a-year excercise in democracy and choice is something we sniffily put up with.
In some ways, it’s clear that our week-inweek-out education of the masses (known in some quarters as brainwashing) has worked wonders. It’s great to see the readers giving the love to The xx (Best Band), Electric Picnic (Best Festival) and Bruce Springsteen (Best Roots Act – yeah, I know, Bruce is about as roots as Donald Clarke). Psy’s Gangnam Style gets the Best Video nod because there’s probably no one in the country who has not seen it at this stage. And he looks a bit like Pat Rabbitte in a certain light.
It’s also quite reassuring to see a hell of a lot of votes for Little Green Cars, who comfortably took the Best Irish Act category. The band are also on that BBC Sound of 2013 poll longlist that is going to be getting a lot of attention in the coming weeks, but actually winning a Ticket Award is a much more prestigious shizzle. Patti Smith’s star turn at the Electric Picnic is your choice for Gig of the Year, kicking Jack White and Watch the Throne’s asses in the process. It’s another victory for feminism.
Then, we come to the more, er, interesting decisions. It appears that it’s not just the TV editors responsible for picking the music to use over sports’ highlights who have that Emeli Sandé album on the brain. The Scottish neuroscientist was ubiquitous in 2012 and that probably explains why she trumped Grimes, Cat Power, Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar for the Best Solo Act accolade. Let’s hope she doesn’t turn out to be another Tasmin Archer.
Julie Feeney’s third album, Clocks, is your choice as Best Album for 2012 beating off a whole host of much more fancied releases from Delorentos, Django Django, Jessie Ware and Frank Ocean (no love in Ticket readerland for ol’ Frank). Is Clocks really the best album released in 2012? Well, The Ticket’s readership say so. That’s democracy for you, as Enda Kenny and his men in the pin-striped suits know all too well.
Speaking of democracy, here’s another result which will have you going WTF? and ensure another slew of letters to the editor querying the paper of record’s continued use of “WTF?”. The winner of the gong for Track of the Year is Carly Rae Jepsen for Call Me Maybe. WTF? indeed. Yes, readers of The Ticket take their cues from Justin Bieber. Who knew? The word from the editor’s office is that we’re to suck it up so we shall suck it up and say no more. Except WTF?