As we always ask rhetorically when the NME Shockwaves Awards nominations roll round, did the Brits committee change to suit their wares or did the NME fall into line with more commercial thinking? Whatever, here's this year's categories, with the added bonus of an interactive game of trying to spot the moments when we really stopped being arsed:
Best British Band: Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Kasabian, Muse, Oasis
Oasis, there, in their glorious year of a greatest hits album. Their fans will always, always have enough sway to get them a nomination in this sort of thing. In fact you could say the same for all five bands, pretty much.
Best International Band: CSS, The Killers, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, We Are Scientists
Whereas over here things are much more confused. We Are Scientists' popularity in Britain seems to be alien with all logic, and indeed we'd suggest their profile outside a microsection of NME target market is still somewhere akin to negligible. CSS? Clerical error, surely. The Strokes are the only international band most seem to have heard of. This one's MCR's, because it's where their fans will be at their most vociferous.
Best Solo Artist: Lily Allen, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Jarvis Cocker, Jamie T, Thom Yorke
See, they don't need the token rapper this year with Jamie T about. This could go anywhere, really, although Sam's surely in because a combination of hype, goodwill and being Thom Yorke split 95% of the vote.
Best New Band: The Fratellis, The Horrors, Klaxons, The Kooks, The View
Doesn't the future look promising? Even the most, for which read only, exciting band there are taking a different bit of early 80s inspiration from everyone else while pretending it's early 90s inspiration. Sponsored by Radio 1, which explains that.
Best Live Band: Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Kasabian, Muse, My Chemical Romance
Note to steering committee: you might actually need to turn up to gigs occasionally to claim to be a great live band. Surely this is Muse's to lose. They have lasers.
Best Album: Black Holes And Revelations, Empire, Sam's Town, The Black Parade, Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not
Or Whatever You Say I Am..., as the NME's own website lists it, which certainly demonstrates something. They'll have to get that one right on the night, as it's the only thing here that really set pulses racing nationwide. We mean, Muse are alright but we fear the brow of the hill is approaching fast.
Best Track: Atlantis To Interzone, Bang Bang You're Dead, Supermassive Black Hole, Wasted Little DJs, When You Were Young
Dirty Pretty Things' impact seems to have evaporated - the album didn't pull up end of year review trees, Carl's gone to ground (presumably writing the next album, but y'know) and it's basically Can't Stand Me Now without the right to reply. Wasted Little DJs's presence should remind him of happier times, at least. Essentially, how will they like their sounds - Killers wide or Muse wider?
Best Video: Bones, Empire, Here It Goes Again, I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Sheena Is A Parasite
It's worth wondering how much of those few weeks of Horrors hype before the NME cottoned on to how nobody was actually arsed about them was driven by the Sheena Is A Parasite video which came a month or two earlier and was very much of a piece at the time. Obviously this is the first and last UK award OK Go will ever pick up.
Best Music DVD: Arctic Monkeys - Scummy Man, Dirty Pretty Things - Puffing On A Coffin Nail, Foo Fighters - Skin And Bones, Maximo Park - Found On Film, My Chemical Romance - Life On The Murder Scene
Bloody hell, look at those titles. Do you care?
Best Live Event: Carling Weekend, Download, Oxegen, T In The Park, V2006
So much for Glastoless sharing the love around the place a bit.
Best Film: Borat, Casino Royale, The Departed, Little Miss Sunshine, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
We were amused by the BBC website's concept that current US number one film Epic Movie "lampoons movies including The Da Vinci Code and Borat". Yeah, that Borat comes across so seriously, he needs taking down a peg or two by some people who co-wrote Police Academy of the Noughties Scary Movie. We don't do films, so you pick one.
Best TV Show: Extras, Gonzo, Lost, The Mighty Boosh, Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Bad luck, Simon Schama. Buzzcocks has become immeasurably better since Lamarr decided to stop pretending he was arsed, but let's get a sense of perspective here. Gonzo won last year, which surely was a fix given nobody outside this sphere of reference has heard of it.
Best Radio Show: Lauren Laverne, Zane Lowe, Chris Moyles, Colin Murray, Jo Whiley
Same as last year (bar the uncoupling of Colin from Edith) but with Whiley replacing Lamacq. Progress, it says here. Lauren for us, if only because XFM breakfast is the first piece of media she's done that hasn't almost immediately collapsed in on itself.
Hero Of The Year: Carl Barat, Pete Doherty, Faris Rotter, Alex Turner, Gerard Way
Not quite sure how any of these entirely qualify as heroes, or indeed who they're supposed to be heroes to. At least you could make a case for Geldof last year.
Villain Of The Year: Tony Blair, Johnny Borrell, George Bush, Pete Doherty, Gerard Way
Not that it was ever not going to be Blair, Bush and Doherty plus two, but why is Borrell singled out among his many loathsome contemporaries? Are there that many Luke Pritchard admirers?
Sexiest Man: Carl Barat, Matt Bellamy, Pete Doherty, Brandon Flowers, Gerard Way
They dropped these last year, and being completely unworkable and never quite managing to make sense of its own existence, even for irony purposes, when held under our sort of microscope we were all the better for it. Now they're back and trying to convince us that Doherty, an exact cross between Jack Wild and Baron Greenback, is quantifiably sexy. Carl, surely, given the rest of the contenders are a hard scaring sci-fi loon, the year's most ill advised moustache wearer and the emo Alan Smith, when he was at Leeds. When Alan Smith was at Leeds, not Gerard Way. Although who really knows?
Sexiest Woman: Lily Allen, Beth Ditto, Kate Jackson, Kate Moss, Karen O
So Kate Moss now qualifies, which would only make sense were Scarlett Johanssen also nominated, and surely that's a brazen attempt to get back in Lily and Beth's good books. Of course, being a) male and b) catastrophically indie, most of our own favourites, as well as being more suitable for 'Cutest Fringe On A Woman' than 'Sexiest Woman', never stood a chance of being within a metric mile of nomination by dint of being mad (Chan Marshall), deliberately obtuse and possibly made of fragile porcelain for all we know (Joanna Newsom), liable to rip your head off at two hundred paces, and probably might when stagediving (Emily Haines), next to unheard of outside North America despite being in a million projects (Neko Case) or pretending they don't have a name more suited to a veteran actress in an ITV Sunday 9pm light comedy drama (Rose Pipette - look it up).
Best Dressed: Carl Barat, Russell Brand, Pete Doherty, Brandon Flowers, Faris Rotter
Worst Dressed: Lily Allen, Johnny Borrell, Russell Brand, Pete Doherty, Faris Rotter
We're sure this says something profound about the pudding end of the awards, besides proving again that nobody has the first clue how to approach this one on the voting form. Someone taking fashion advice from both Brand and Rotter, who appears to have given up rights to the surname Badwan that he's, well, used right up until the NME Cool List, would fear for their lives every time they crossed at a pelican crossing after dark, however good they'd be as a Stars In Their Eyes Robert Smith. Brandon best, because we like a man in a well cut waistcoat, Borrell for worst, because the album cover proves he's the fourth best dressed man in his own band. Are we wrong to feel better about Andy Burrows since we noticed he's wearing a Stiff Records T-shirt on the cover? Please don't tell us they sell them in Top Shop, we may not be able to take the heartbreak.
Worst Album: Alright Still, Razorlight, Rudebox, The Black Parade, Twelve Stops And Home
Actually, what's with the turning against Razorlight? Sure, they're popular now and that, but they were doing Parkinson two years ago and nobody minded then.
Worst Band: The Feeling, The Horrors, The Kooks, Panic! At The Disco, Razorlight
Now that Girls Aloud and Sugababes are cool this one's seemingly constructed from a lucky dip. Babyshambles got nominated last year, and it's not as if Pete's 2006 was that much of a PR improvement.
Best Venue: Brixton Academy, Glasgow Barrowlands, London KOKO, London Astoria, Manchester Apollo
Best Website Not Including nme.com: DrownedinSound, Last.FM, Myspace, Pitchfork, YouTube
Zonino! NME take the subtle advice after winning this one year after year after year to heart, and as a result it'd be something akin to an open field were it not clear how far Myspace is going to piss it. Note the American interloper in there, which again tells you something about the way we're all heading in this thing called sarcastic music news.