A look at 2008’s Plug Music Awards tells us that, though it may not be groundbreaking indie-underdogs, this year’s ceremony may be one of the most interesting competitions between independent titans in recent history. Who wouldn’t take note of an Artist of the Year battle between El-P, Animal Collective, and Radiohead? Hmmm. Predictably, Justice, Of Montreal, and Arcade Fire are up for nearly every award. Exciting.

In addition to the big dogs, there are some diverse newcomers that may illicit interesting results. Best New Artists include Deerhunter, No Age, Dan Deacon, and Battles, to name a few. Wouldn’t it be rad to see Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox pull some sick Kid Rock moves on Dan Deacon? More than a few XLR8R staffers have their fingers crossed. Other categories include Best Male and Female Artists, Album of the Year, Best Metal Album of the Year (Go Om!), and, ahem, Magazine of the Year.

For those eager to take part in the democratic process of crowning your favorite artists, you can vote via the Plug website until February 8, 2008. The corresponding awards ceremony and concert goes down in New York City on March 6.

Full Nominee Listing

The Hyped Nominees

Album of the Year
Justice (Downtown/Vice/Ed Banger)
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone)
The National Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
Band Of Horses Cease To Begin (Sub Pop)
Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)
Of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? (Polyvinyl)
El-P I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead (Definitive Jux)
Radiohead In Rainbows (self-released)
Battles Mirrored (Warp)
Arcade Fire Neon Bible (Merge)
Panda Bear Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)
Beirut The Flying Club Cup (Ba Da Bing)

Artist of the Year
Animal Collective
Arcade Fire
Band Of Horses
Of Montreal
Okkervil River
Panda Bear
The National

New Artist of the Year
Bat For Lashes
Dan Deacon
Los Campesinos!
No Age
Sea Wolf
St. Vincent
Vampire Weekend
White Rabbits

Female Artist of the Year
Annie Clark (St. Vincent)
Bettye LaVette
Emily Haines
Emma Pollock
Katrina Ford (of Celebration)
Marissa Nadler
Marnie Stern
Natasha Khan (of Bat For Lashes)
Nina Nastasia
Sally Shapiro
Scout Niblett
Sharon Jones

Male Artist of the Year:
Andrew Bird
Dan Deacon
Devendra Banhart
Jens Lenkman
John Vanderslice
José González
Kevin Barnes (of Of Montreal)
Nick Cave
Noah Lennox (Panda Bear)
Sam Beam (Iron & Wine)
Zach Condon (Beirut)

Song of the Year
Battles “Atlas”
Gui Boratto “Beautiful Life”
Panda Bear “Bros”
Justice “D.A.N.C.E.”
The National “Fake Empire”
Bright Eyes “Four Winds”
Arcade Fire “Keep The Car Running”
Grinderman “No Pussy Blues”
Of Montreal “Suffer For Fashion”
Spoon “The Underdog”
Menomena “Wet And Rusting”
Sea Wolf “You’re A Wolf”