Voting is underway online for the 2006 edition of the independent-focused Plug Awards. Spearheaded by the World’s Fair management and label group, the Plug Awards contain 18 categories, honoring eve

Voting is underway online for the 2006 edition of the independent-focused Plug Awards. Spearheaded by the World’s Fair management and label group, the Plug Awards contain 18 categories, honoring everything from the top independent artists to the top indie stores.

Nominees for artist of the year include the Animal Collective, Antony & the Johnsons, Bright Eyes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, MF Doom, the National and Spoon, among others. Most categories have about a dozen nominees. Those up for new artist of the year include the Arctic Monkeys, Dungen, Lady Sovereign and Wolf Parade.

Other categories include song of the year, female artist of the year, hip-hop album of the year, punk album of the year, avant album of the year and record label of the year. The full list can be seen online at http://www.plugawards.com, where fans can vote until Jan. 20. Winners will be announced Feb. 2 at a concert at New York’s Webster Hall.

The Plug Awards began in 2001 as the brainchild of Gerry Hart, head of sales for artist administration for World’s Fair, which represents such artists and labels as Devendra Banhart, the Flaming Lips, Definitive Jux and Bella Union. Last year was the first time the Plug Awards had been held since 2001.

Nominations were chosen by a board known as the "Plug Cartel," including Anti-/Epitaph president Andy Kaulkin, KCRW music director Nic Harcourt, comedian/actor David Cross, Fontana GM Steve Pritchett, Newbury Comics buyer Larry Mansdorf and Billboard’s Todd Martens, among others.