Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dissecting the Doves: A Behind the Veil look at the GMA Process.

As the anticipation continues to build toward the Awarding of the First Ever Platinum Vinyl Awards and what is certain to be a much treasured honor, I have decided to check out how the competition does things. It's only fair, since I spared little in my criticism of this years picks in a previous post.

Let me start by recounting the advantages that the GMA/Dove Awards has over the PVAs. First there is the matter of an actual trophy (Details, Details). Suffice it to say for the time being the PVAs will remain a Virtual Award, unless some enterprising band, record company, or reader wants to design something. Secondly, there is the matter of the 80 Member Dove Awards Screening Committee, hereafter referred to as DASC. When you've got 80 helpers things go a lot smoother, though considering the placement of some of the nominees in the various genres this year, you have to wonder if too many cooks spoil the broth. Perhaps we could get some guest bloggers involved which I would moderate and that would be our ad-hoc committee. DASC meet PVASC (I've got no idea how to pronounce this- maybe Puh-Vahsc. Sounds Russian).

The biggest advantage that they have is that they have the Record Labels sending them CD's for reviewing purposes (Hint, Hint). But then again, maybe I should be careful what I ask for. During my final semester at college I served as Program Director at WENC. I took it upon myself to send letters to the Major Record Labels of the Time telling them about the potential audience of the station. Though I left before I could see the fruits of my labors, on a later visit to the campus I was escorted into Studio and shown a pile of several hundred CD's. I believe the words I was asked was "What did you say to them?" I guess there would be giveaways galore if that happened.

Apart from the access to tunes, the biggest advantage may be pay to vote. Voters who vote in all categories fork over $95 a year fee. Average fans could vote in 4 categories with an iMembership for $25. I don't know how many voters there are, but it could amount to serious money. No I'll take the high road and say "I could never charge people to vote, that would compromise the integrity of the process." (Actually, it only means I probably couldn't get enough people signed up to make it worthwhile, but hey, a line of bull like that Works for Consumer Reports.)

I know it looks like I should throw up my hands and say why bother, but then I always say I would never give out awards simply to be popular. (ex. Dove Group of the Year 2001-2003 Third Day, 2004 Mercy Me, 2005-2009 Casting Crowns). I'd have to check the albums for Third Day, but 5 years running for Casting Crowns, that's just Lazy Voting). Also the facts of no women New Artist since 2002 or Artist of the Year since 1992. I'm no feminist, but I think I could have found at least one worthy woman winner, and probably more, in all that time. Trend voting like that is reason enough to stir things up a little. Monopolies make one lethargic. You can check out the official story by clicking the link below.
Behind the Ballot: How Artists Make the Cut and Other Doves Facts You May Not Know

In the meantime, I would like to invite all my loyal readers to register here  to watch the Live Stream of WinterJam 2011. You will get to watch groups like RED, Kutless, Francesca Battistelli, Newsboys and more. And best of all, it's free. It all kicks off at 6PM Eastern Time. "See You" at the show.