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Overheard at the Radio Music Awards

I may not be down with the cutting edge of music these days, but I do know a shabby awards show when I see one. And I’m pretty sure that one of these things is not like the other:

Country-rock goatee says, rather unconvinced: The following songs challenge us every day…

Voiceover says: The nominees for adult contemporary radio song are…

Adult contemporary radio … challenging? To what? That was all I could take. I admit that it’s quite disheartening to be challenged right out of the room by adult contemporary radio. I had the misfortune of channel-flipping back right in time for some godawful butchering of Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Look: that song is brilliant, but only if you really feel it. Otherwise it’s just “unplugged” cliche, shorthand for all the emotion that it might otherwise convey, the trappings of rock legitimacy without the commitment (loose coupling in music, you might say?). Warren Zevon covers this song on The Wind, and you know that he’s feeling it.

Heck, Guns and Roses did a pretty good version back in the day. They were feeling it, cocaine and all.

But Avril Lavigne? Sorry, no.