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mtvU Woodie awards honor indie cred

mtvU held the sixth annual Woodie Awards on Nov. 18 in New York City's Roseland Ballroom. mtvU – the obviously cooler television station for college students that actually plays music – opened their red carpet access to college newspapers and invited hundreds of college students to come to the show for free. The standing room floor audience had access to three bars and two different stages to watch the five amazing performances up close and personal, with celebrities and VIP's mingling within the crowd all evening for a real rock n' roll award show.

MTV puts the college students' opinions in music and culture at the front of their MTV U awards, which is so important because college-age kids are the ones setting the standard for what is relevant in today's pop culture and music world today. Actress and singer Zooey Deschanel said that college is such an important time in anyone's life because it is "when people really find their taste in music." As the lead singer in her indie duo She & Him, Deschanel said that she always felt compelled to do music, ever since she was a little girl.

The Woodies opened with indie newcomers Matt and Kim cruising through the venue with an energetic crew on bicycles before jumping on stage to perform "Lessons Learned," while their backup singers stripped down to their undies - much like Matt and Kim in their music video.

The quirky duo won Best Video Woodie award.

Other performers included the underground phenomenon Passion Pit, Death Cab for Cutie, hip-hop veterans Clipse and Cam'ron, and Dead Weather.

All the acts were met by screaming enthusiasm from the crowd, who were drinking from red, plastic solo cups.

Another wild moment from the show was when Colorado singers 3OH!3 took the stage dressed as Lady Gaga in red lace and a birds nest to present, appropriately, the Left Field Woodie to southern rapper Tech N9ne. Singer Janelle Monae said beforehand that she was rooting for him to come away with the Woodie because he has been in the game so long without recognition.

Cyndi Lauper also made an appearance with Leighton Meester to present Woodie of the Year to no-shows Kings of Leon. Mary Louise Parker from HBO's Weeds introduced The Dead Weather and then Jack White and Alison Mosshart took the stage looking like vampires.

The Woodie Awards felt more like a college concert than an award show, with a casual rock atmosphere that made it much cooler than that fake celebrity-press-parade the VMA's, any day.

Tune-in on Dec. 4 at 10 p.m. on mtvU to see it for yourself.

Hailey Brooks can be reached at

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