19 August 2005

"World Music" Awards? - Whose "World"??


As one who has alternately defended and cursed the label "world music," I find myself a little baffled by something. The music industry essentially created "world music" as a marketing tool and bin label for the US/UK. So why now do the same music-industry weasels go and use the term for something totally unrelated? I'm ranting, of course about the upcoming awards that brag on their website that "These awards are unique in that the winners are selected purely on record sales...from each of the major record-buying countries." Sounds like they should call it the International Music Sales Awards but instead they have settled on the confusing World Music Awards.

If you're stuck on the awards model of judging music, for a more truly global approach, you might try Africa's KORA awards or the BBC World Music Awards or the International Songwriting Competition or the Just Plain Folks Music Awards or even the Grammys.

Me, I do make a list of my favorite CDs of each year (here's 2004's list), but they often don't get any of these awards. Listen to what you love; for highly commercial music, their sales should be reward enough. Try to ignore their misleading awards show.
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