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BEST DUALITIES: OutKast, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (Arista); Mr. Airplane Man, Shakin’ Around (Sympathy for the Record Industry); the White Stripes, Elephant (V2)


BEST RIDE-CYMBAL/DEATH-CHAIN RATTLING AND EXISTENTIALIST, BARE-CHESTED HOWLING: The Stooges at the Queen Mary


DEEPEST SOUL-TOLLING: Neko Case at the Derby


MOST SUGAR & SPICE: The Detroit Cobras, Seven Easy Pieces (Rough Trade)


BEST MARY SHELLEY HOMAGE: “Modified Frankenstein” by Cobra Verde, from Easy Listening (MuscleTone)


BEST FEVER DREAM: The Dagons, Teeth for Pearls (Dead Sea Captain)


CUTEST ART-PUNK BONSAI CONDENSATIONS: Urinals, What Is Real and What Is Not (Warning Label)


BEST AEROSMITH SONG: Cheap Trick, “Best Friend,” from Special One (Big 3)


MOST TEARS INDUCED BY A HARD-ROCK DOC: Betty Blowtorch & Her Amazing True Life Adventures



BEST CHOCOLATE-CHIP COOKIES: Stay at Home Bomb at the Bigfoot Lodge


BEST ALL-STAR COMEBACK, BEST ROCKABILLY/COUNTRY LIVE ALBUM AND BEST PARTY: Wanda Jackson, Heart Trouble (CMH); Live and Still Kickin’ (DCN); and at the Derby, respectively and respectfully


MOST IMPROVED CATERWAULING: Lipstick Pickups


MOST PROMISING SIGNS OF LIFE: Viva K, Anny Celsi


BEST LIVE MOMENTS: Love With Arthur Lee at House of Blues; the Sex Pistols at the Greek Theater; Le Tigre and the Clean at the Fonda; Neil Innes at 1650; Dead Moon at Spaceland; Buzzcocks at El Rey; Mission of Burma, Carla Bozulich, Cat Power, Jackie O. Motherfucker et al. at the Queen Mary; W.A.C.O. at the Echo; the Paybacks at Spaceland; the Preacher’s Kids at the Garage; Television & Eleni Mandell at the Fonda; the Essex Green at Spaceland; the Briefs at Juvee; Backbiter at Rumors; Gore Gore Girls at the Thunderbird; the Hangmen, pretty much everywhere they played; Kingsize Maybe at Taix; Sally Timms & the Sadies at Spaceland; the Kills at Amoeba; Les Baton Rouge at the Silverlake Lounge; Slobberbone at Spaceland; Tex & the Horseheads at DiPiazza’s; Turbonegro at the Troubadour; the Orphans & the Fuse at Juvee; Flyboys at Goldfingers; the Rolling Stones at Staples.