Tuesday, July 31, 2007

BUZZ BANDS: Klaxons, Amy Winehouse, Jamie T, Arctic Monkeys Nominated for 2007 Mercury Prize

Looking for some aurally sexy new bands to turn your eardrums on? Sick of trying to cut
through the glut on MySpace and want a short cut to the best of the newcomers of the
last year? Allow me to introduce you to the Mercury Prize.

An award aimed at embracing the best albums to come out of Britain and Ireland each
year, it would be the UK equivalent of winning the Grammy for Best New Artist & Best
Album, if only the Grammys actually meant anything to anybody anymore. The fact
thatAntony & the Johnsons is a past winner (2005) goes a long way in underscoring the
Prize's integrity and willingness to venture far, far outside the box in their thinking about music.

Their press peeps put it thusly, "The Nationwide Mercury Prize is open to albums from all
music genres. The Prize focuses on the music on the album – it does not take into account
album sales, media exposure or live performances. Each year the shortlist celebrates a
range of styles and genres of music from the UK and Ireland."

Hence, the shortlist announced on 7/17/07 is just the cheat sheet any self-respecting
music fan without a lot of time on their hands to go digging for gold could desire. While
the announcement of the winner in September is certainly an exciting event, most folks
who follow the Mercury Prize are far more interested in the nominee shortlist, than the
actual winner. However, winning the Mercury Prize certainly does wonders for raising the
profile of its recipient. Again, I use Antony and the Johnsons as an illustration.

So without any further ado, I present to you the 2007 Shortlist for the Nationwide
Mercury Prize.

The 2007 Albums of the Year are:
Bat for Lashes:  Fur and Gold
Maps:  We Can Create
Fionn Regan:  The End of History
The View:  Hats Off to the Buskers
New Young Pony Club:  Fantastic Playroom
Dizzee Rascal:  Maths + English
Klaxons:  Myths of the Near Future
Amy Winehouse:  Back to Black
The Young Knives:  Voices of Animals and Men
Jamie T:  Panic Prevention
Arctic Monkeys:  Favourite Worst Nightmare
Basquiat Strings:  Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford

I was lucky enough to catch three of this year's nominees under the same roof, so to
speak, at this year's Coachella Festival in Palm Springs, CA. Check out some photo
highlights from their shows:

Coachella 2007 - Klaxons Coachella 2007 - Amy Winehouse Coachella 2007 - Arctic Monkeys
>>L to R: Klaxons, Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Coachella 2007
See Galleries | See Videos

No comments: