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The Fourth Annual mtvU Woodie Awards

Cable network mtvU wrapped its fourth annual Woodie Awards lastnight at New York City’s Roseland Ballroom, honoring artists thatstudents “live their lives to,” i.e. while holding onto red plastic kegcups — or at least so it seemed after the ceremony, judging by theabyss of discarded vessels littering the venue’s floor.

Butbefore the festivities began (and the kegstands), caught upwith some talent on the red carpet to snag a few words of wisdom forthe 4.6 million university voters out there in dormitory land. Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis offered some sage advice: “Tune in. Drop out. Tune out. Drop in. Drop your pants. Tune your guitar.” MC Naledge of hip-hop duo Kidz in the Hall, advised students to “work your plan and plan your work” and “don’t be afraid to socialize.” But it was Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Wentzwho won us over with his astute priorities. “Schedule all your classesbased on how many freshmen girls are in it,” Wentz recommended.

Come awards time, there were scores of upsets. Spoon trumped Bright Eyes for the Alumni Woodie, an award that honors steadfast musical presence, and for Best Video, Justice‘s “D.A.N.C.E.” took a back seat to Say Anything‘s “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too.” And there were some obvious wins, too, as Boys Like Girls — whom readers selected as 2006 Artist of the Year — beat out Peter Bjorn and John and Tokyo Police Club,among other heavy hitters, to take the Breaking Woodie award. Andsurprise, surprise — Gym Class Heroes were crowned with the Woodie ofthe Year award, as the MySpace darlings of the Academy Is… emerged with the Viral Woodie award.

Betweenstatue handouts, the event raged on as an extravagantly decorated partywith free booze and kabob-like finger treats. Every once in a whileyou’d catch nominated bands dancing on tables or slamming back thosered cups, with honorable mention going to Best Music On Campus winners,Stella By Starlight in the back of the house. Later, Annie Lennoxtook the stage to honor music as a means of social change. Pointing tocollege campuses as the epicenter of protests, she presented thisyear’s Good Woodie award to Guster for their efforts behindmore than 600 “green” concerts planned via theirenvironmentally-conscious organization, Reverb. For this philanthropichonor the band offered two words — “Go Earth!”

As for performances, highlights include Spank Rock‘sneon mess of hip hop, which, though entertaining, rocked the finestcliches — bikini clad dancers, “hoochie mama” rhymes, and a tokenentourage stage assault during his ’80s synth ode to “Rick Rubin.” RiloKiley strummed an acoustic rendition of their single, “Money Maker,”complete with guitar-case drum fills, and The Academy Is… broughtback Alice In Chains-era angst with “We’ve Got a Big Mess On Our Hands.”

Andthen, in typical college fashion, the party abruptly came to a closeand waves of drunken revelers searched for an after party.

We asked: In honor of tonight’s ode to college, what song would you use to sum up your university days and why?