Top 4 Indie Friendly Winners of the Academy Award For Best Original Song

We all like the Oscars, right?  Basing our winter theater outings off of what gets nominated or not, gossiping about that endearing underachieving film that could maybe beat the odds (despite 95% critical approval and earning over $300 million in the box office), watching the exciting, fun filled events of the awards ceremony…

…Okay maybe not that last part…

But, let’s get real here.  It’s not really the most “Indie” scene.  (I know, many of you are adjusting your ironically placed neck bandannas to say “What’s Indie, huh?  That’s not a valid descriptive term, it could imply so much.”  And to that I say, “Fuck you, Indie is what I say it is.”)  Even the “surprise” best picture winners still cost over 10 million dollars to make, and are picked up by major studios to distribute.  And as far as best music goes, where Indie artists could throw down (I’ve never seen Benjamin Button, but I’m pretty sure the best part of it was when they used The Arcade Fire  in the trailer) we don’t see them do shit, really.

And even when we get cool things unexpectedly nominated, we have things like South Park losing to Phil Collins.  Somehow, it’s probably Robin Williams’ fault.

But every once and a while, the Oscars decide to give an award to someone that’s both cool, deserving, and enjoyed by all the clusterfuck clever kids.

No, not you, Indie Cher.  You fucking suck.  Give me back my PBR.

Below are the four best “Indie” winners of an Oscar.

4.  Bruce Springsteen- Philadelphia (1994)

Yeah, I know, this one is kind of a stretch.  Springsteen isn’t really Indie by any definition of the word (and if you don’t like this one, you won’t like number 3 on this list either).  It’s hard to find anything particularly Indie Rock about some white dude from New Jersey who we can see above wearing a cross, and who we all know from, like, car commercials.  And junk.


But, let’s put that aside for a second.  He’s influential, that’s for sure, and he’s influenced enough Indie bands to make him worth nothing.  The Hold Steady?  Boom, Springsteen.  The Killers shitty attempt to be as good as The Hold Steady in their second album?  Boom, Springsteen.


Boom, Springsteen

So, the fact that he won an Oscar during the age of Disney Musical Oscar dominance, writing a song about being a gay man with AIDS who played ping-pong against the Vietnamese while stranded on an island (okay, I might not have actually seen the movie) is pretty cool, nonethless.  And yes, at the very least.  Indie friendly.  Even if his name is recognized by spell check.

“Yeah, that’s right, spell check knows Bruce Springsteen, but you are always plagued with a squiggly red line under ‘GoodSmith’.  Learn to spell your name with one capital letter like the rest of us non-Irish, you son of a bitch.  LOOK!  CROTCH!”

3.  Bob Dylan- Wonder Boys (2001)

Yeah, I warned you, this one might also lead to some “RAWR POPULAR ARTIST NOT INDIE RAWR” cries from you hipster dinosaurs out there.  (No, not old hipsters.  Hipster dinosaurs.  Pay attention, dammit.)

See?  What did I tell you?  And I swear to God, give me back my beer, don’t make me say it again.

But Dylan is at least more Indie than Springsteen.  He gets reviewed on pitchfork (“RAWRRRRRRRRRR  BOOO PITCHFORK YOU’RE SO NOT SCENE RAWRRRRRR”, shut up Hipster Dinosaur), and the list of Indie bands influenced by him is longer than my… well, it’s long.


“I hear ya, son.  It’s longer than MY neck, too!”

And it’s not like Bob Dylan was going all Randy Newman by writing dozens of songs trying to win an Oscar for various Disney and Pixar films.  Here we had a musical icon who decided, fuck it, why not win an Oscar?  Plus, he beat out Sting for The Emporer’s New Groove, AND a Randy Newman song for…Meet the Parents?  Wait, is that right?  There was an actual original song in that fucking movie?  Really?  There was?  How the hell would that even go!?

“Time to meet the parents/ You’re name is Gaylord/ Hey Robert De Niro!/ I have mild Aspberger’s”

So yeah, kudos to the Academy for hooking Dylan up.  Plus, he apparently tours with the Oscar.  Which is totally cool

2.  Three 6 Mafia- Hustle and Flow (2006)

Awwww yeah Oscars, this is what I’m talking about.  Fuck that Eminem bullshit.  (Oh, what’s that, you ask?  Eminem won an oscar?  You blocked that from your memory?  Yup.  Eminem is a fucking Oscar winner. Took Peter O’Toole 40 years to win an honorary oscar, and he’s 0-8 in actual awards he’s been nominated for.  Lawrence of fucking Arabia.  This is the world we live in.)  But the Three 6 Mafia winning this award was shocking, as well as badass, awesome, and a whole slew of adjectives that the kids use now adays.

“Was it in the heezy?  For sheezy?  I bet it was!  I heard my grandson say that once in 1997!”

Hell, it was such a surprise that pitchfork did an interview of the hip hoppers largely discussing what it was like for them to win that oscar.

To quote Juicy J about the awesomeness of this win for this Indie Friendly hip hop group (in this case, “Indie Friendly” does not mean “White guy rapping over a Mountains Goat remix”- ed.), “we won that Oscar. That night, I went to sleep, woke up the next morning, everybody in America and all over the world knew who we were.”  Wu-Tang!  Or something.  They’re a hip hop something or another, right?

ODB, Respect

1.  Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova- Once (2008)

Awwwwwwwww.  No seriously, let’s just take a moment.  Shhh, shhh, shut up, I know they broke up, just… I want to take this in…  Awwwwwwwwwww.

*cough*  Okay I’m done.  But seriously, I’m pretty sure this movie was made for hipsters of both gender to pleasure themselves over.  You have the hard luck, rugged, artistic singer with a voice of gold and a broken heart making beautiful music with the younger, pretty yet approachable Indie looking chick who looks like she’d settle for you because she has an accent.  Plus, anyone who knew The Frames before hand (oh, there were those of us who were familiar with them.  High five, hipster dinosaur!) get to act high and mighty and say “I knew them before Once even came out!”  It’s got everything you’d want for your Indie sense of self-satisfaction.  Boom.

This was probably one of the most adorable Oscar moments EVER, apart from the fact that this tiny Indie film that cost about thirteen dollars (and that’s Irish dollars, which, without doing research, is probably worth like, 12 cents in America).  Seriously, having a cute girl with broken English not able to finish her speech getting dragged back on stage to finish it?  Seriously?  How can you beat that without having Kermit the Frog winning a Best Documentary award for his portrayal of the difficulties of being green.

“Hi Ho, it’s easier to be green when you’re packing heat.”

Let’s be real, you’re not gonna have a better Indie Friendly moment in the Academy Awards for at least 10 years, when Pixar starts getting The Decemberists and Sufjan Stevens to write all the songs for their films.  And even then, they’ll still pull a South Park and lose to Phil fucking Collins.

Fuck you, Phil Collins, I’ll kick your ass.  I don’t CARE if they’re two of you!  Let me go, let me at him!  Let me at this fucker!  You got my back, right Dinosaur Hipster?  Come on!  Let’s go!

This shit is on

About Jeff GoodSmith

I write on occasion. Sometimes it ends up here.
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