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NME Awards USA

Not even the long-awaited -- and reportedly one-time-only -- reunion of the original lineup of Jane’s Addiction could justify the start-up of yet another awards show in Hollywood, but it was definitely the highlight of an otherwise largely lackluster affair at the El Rey for the inaugural NME Awards USA.

Not even the long-awaited — and reportedly one-time-only — reunion of the original lineup of Jane’s Addiction could justify the start-up of yet another awards show in Hollywood, but it was definitely the highlight of an otherwise largely lackluster affair at the El Rey for the inaugural NME Awards USA, determined by the U.K. music weekly’s editors and online fan voting.

With attendees — featuring the largest gathering of British accents in L.A. outside of Ye Olde King’s Head in Santa Monica — queuing up to the open bar before the presentations, the kudofest’s organizers were presumably hoping for a loose, rock ‘n’ roll version of the Golden Globes. But what transpired at best wavered between a foul-mouthed C-list Friars’ roast and a high school prom/talent show (albeit one with killer music).

Whether it was host/Aussie comedian Jim Jeffries trading expletive-filled putdowns with presenter Kelly Osbourne or the terse “thanks” offered up by Lemonheads’ Evan Dando upon receiving his arbitrarily chosen Classic LP award for 1992’s “It’s A Shame About Ray,” the stage patter left a lot to be desired. Other invitees to the shindig included Alice Cooper, Pamela Des Barres, “Hostel” helmer Eli Roth, Danny Masterson, Sienna Miller and Perez Hilton.

Amid all the nonsense, however, some sincerity did occasionally poke through: Mick Jones, formerly of the Clash and B.A.D., seemed genuinely honored to be given the Inspiration award and rocked out on two songs with his current outfit, Carbon/Silicon; and Dando delivered two fine acoustic perfs from “Shame About Ray,” the title track and “My Drug Buddy.”

But clearly most in attendance, if they were paying any attention at all, eagerly anticipated the finale, when Jane’s Addiction was bestowed the Godlike Genius Award for Services to Music. the band proved they were deserving of such hyperbole with a four-song blast (“Stop,” “Mountain Song,” “Ocean Size” and “Jane Says”).

A particularly buff Eric Avery, who has resisted overtures of reuniting for years, locked his bass in step with the tribal drumming of Stephen Perkins, while guitarist Dave Navarro, in all his metal-glam glory, wailed away and spastic singer Perry Farrell strutted the stage in all black (and a full horse’s tail) — a muscular and sinewy musical unit once again. Too bad only a few hundred people witnessed it in person; it was streamed live on MySpace.

Show mercifully finished under two hours.

And the winners are:

The Killers

Solo Artist
Albert Hammond, Jr.

Live Band
My Chemical Romance

Album of the Year
Foo Fighters’ “Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace”

New Band
Vampire Weekend

New Solo Artist
Mark Ronson

New Live Act
Vampire Weekend

International Band
Arcade Fire

International Solo Artist
Kate Nash

International Live Act
Arcade Fire

International Album
Arctic Monkeys’ “Favourite Worst Nightmare”

International Track
Klaxons’ “Golden Skans”

New International Band

New International Solo Artist
Kate Nash

New International Live Act

The Killers’ “Tranquilize”

Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”

TV Show


Breakthrough Artist

Breakthrough Track
MGMT’s “Time to Pretend”

Classic LP
Lemonheads’ “It’s a Shame About Ray”

Inspiration Award
Mick Jones (The Clash, B.A.D. and Carbon/Silicon)

NME Awards USA

El Rey Theater; 500 capacity; Invitation only

Production: Presented by Goldenvoice. Reviewed April 23, 2008.

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