As 2010 starts a new decade, it's also time to start the next decade of ;presenting my annual awards. So without further delay, I present the 11th Annual Plez Awards
, celebrating from my perspective the best in music and partying in 2009.
Club Song of the Year:
The hands down winner of this category is "When Love Takes Over" by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland. Interestingly, upon my first listen I did not like this song that much, but it did grow on me, especially when I found the Laidback Luke Remix. The runners-up: the Warren Clarke Remix of No Halo's "Put Your Hands Up" and the Soul Seekerz Dirty Vocal Mix of "That's Not My Name" by The Ting Tings.
Best 2009 Dance Party Event:
IML's Black & Blue Ball at Excalibur Nightclub featuring DJ Ted Eiel just edges out the Market Days edition of Superstar Sundays @ Crobar w/ DJs David Knapp and Ron G. On that Monday night of Memorial Day weekend, Ted was truly special.
Best New Remix of a Classic Dance Track:
It seems like every week those of us in the dance music community are reminded that "what's old is new again" with the steady diet of remakes and new remixes of classic tracks. Of the many to choose from, there were two that deserve accolades. On the house music front, the Fred Everything & Olivier Desmet Sf Vocal and Dub mixes of "Follow Me" by Aly-Us are absolutely stupendous. And on the clubby progressive side of things, the DJ Boris Believes Mix of "Unspeakable Joy 2009" by Kim English has given new life to this classic anthem.
Best Vocal Dance Track:
There's a lot to choose from but my undisputed #1 is Whitney Houston's "Million Dollar Bill," in part because of all the fantastic remixes that were made. My absolute fave was by The Freemasons, but Frankie Knuckles and Peter Rauhofer delivered stellar efforts as well. Honorable mentions: "Make Me" (Moto Blanco Vocal Mix) by Janet Jackson and Patron Tequila (Dave Audé Club Remix) by Paradiso Girls.
Best Tribal/Progressive Track:
Peter Rauhofer's remix of "Whateva" by Ralph Falcon featuring Alex K & Alan T was a smoking hot tune that electrified dance floors. Second place goes to Dave Aude's remix of "Everybody Shake It" by Ralphi Rosario with Shawn Christopher.
Best Weekly Party Event:
Cocktail has always occupied a unique position in Chicago's nightlife scene and its weekly Thursday night original Spank party with DJ Michael Serafini and the Spank go-go is one of the main reasons why. The past year saw this night become a weekly must for party people in the know.
Best DJ Continuous Mixes:
In the House Music Division, the winner is Defected's 3-CD In The House - Miami 2009 mixed by Yass, David Penn and DJ Spen. The Gay Club/Circuit Division nod goes to Silver Label's MOVE: Atlantis Dance 2009, an impressive effort mixed by London DJ Wayne G.
Best Sing-Songy Song:
There seemed to be plenty of songs in this category this year with "I Got A Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas coming out on top. "Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus was a guilty pleasure for many.
Best House Music Tracks:
In previous years I've split this award into Chicago House and International House sub-categories, but this year there's only one award and it goes to "The Ones You Love" by Frankie Knuckles and The Shapeshifters. This song is damn near perfect in my book.
Artist of the Year:
For the past 18 months, one name has dominated pop and dance music not just in America, but around the globe: Lady Gaga. Everything she touched turned to gold (or platinum), including her albums The Fame and the recently released The Fame Monster and chart-topping singles "Just Dance," "Poker Face," "Paparazzi," "Love Game," and "Bad Romance." It has been a meteoric rise for Lady, but her talent is legit and fuels a popularity that has had very little negativity surrounding it. I love what she's done in her relatively short career and anxiously await what her future will bring.