Shortlist not long enough?
October 17, 2003 12:35 AM   Subscribe

Damien Rice wins 2003 Shortlist Music Prize. The Irishman beat out Conor Oberst, Chan Marshall, Interpol, The Black Keys and a bunch of other hip artists to take the prize. This year's judges included Cameron Crowe, Chemical Brothers, Spike Jonze, and Tom Waits. MTV2 to air live footage of some of the nominees on Oct 24. Should be interesting.
posted by dobbs (20 comments total)
I'm curious who MeFites think should have won from a) the list of nominees and b) anyone not nominated that is elligible (sold less than 500,000 copies of their album). For me, Bright Eyes shoulda won from the nominees and Bobby Birdman (scroll down for mp3s) shoulda been nominated (and won).
posted by dobbs at 12:39 AM on October 17, 2003

Best tittie video goes to Bob Log III

posted by dydecker at 1:15 AM on October 17, 2003

"O" (Damian Rice's album) is a nice piece of work. The long and short lists are pretty amusing though. It's a product of a bunch of musicistas sitting in the room and naming a bunch of bands that are indie popular but not main stream popular. Nothing wrong with a lot of the groups/performers but there are a lot better people out there that would never get put on the list because they haven't sold between 10-50k albums. It's kinda like that guy you know who "loves" indie rock but really never talks about anything other than Sonic Youth or They Might Be Giants.
posted by BackwardsHatClub at 1:34 AM on October 17, 2003

i like damien rice lots, so i'm glad to see he won.
posted by jimmy at 4:43 AM on October 17, 2003

damien rice is very good, but does anyone else find it strange to see critics so ready to lay upon him the mantle of the late (great) jeff buckley?
posted by grabbingsand at 5:09 AM on October 17, 2003

wow, so any good-looking half-wit who plagiarizes from the songbook of the almighty neutral milk hotel can be hailed by their peers? i never understood the umbrage most kate bush fans had towards tori amos until conor oberst shit all over "o comely" over three albums.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:34 AM on October 17, 2003

I hope Conor is gonna be totally bummed out over his loss.

also, booyah to pxe2000.
posted by mcsweetie at 6:46 AM on October 17, 2003

What pxe2000 said. I d/l'd a Bright Eyes album last summer, played one track, couldn't get over the psuedo poetic warbling that sounded a bit too much like Jeff Mangum, and deleted the folder. But then recently on a lark I d/l'd "The Story is in the Soil..." and didn't hate a few of the tracks, only lyrically it seemed more like he was ripping off Dylan. There's something a bit too "It-Boy" about Conor and Damien Rice that makes me reluctant.

That said, I feel silly to have not even heard Damien Rice's album. Anyone want to share a quick impression?
posted by dhoyt at 6:53 AM on October 17, 2003

For me: it should have been The Black Keys all the way. If you don't own any of their albums, buy them. NOW.
posted by eastlakestandard at 7:07 AM on October 17, 2003

dhoyt- that link is in the original post...
posted by atom128 at 7:11 AM on October 17, 2003

Ach--dobbs' last link is the only one I didn't click. Oops.
posted by dhoyt at 7:14 AM on October 17, 2003

Wasn't intending to start a pro/anti-Conor thread... I like NMH as much as the next music geek but I hardly think 2 albums (and nothing in almost 6 years--wait, are they broke up this week or not?) qualifies anyone as "almighty".

Conor's as good a songwriter as you're gonna get today, imo, at least for the genre he works in. dhoyt, I agree with your Dylan comparison, especially the track "waste of paint" from Lifted, which seems a very deliberate, and accurate reference to mid-60s Dylan--the similarities in the singers' phrasing/intonation is dead on, but I thought "homage," not ripoff.

In non-Bright Eyes opinion, I thought another glaring omission from the Shortlist was Liars.
posted by dobbs at 8:08 AM on October 17, 2003

I like NMH as much as the next music geek but I hardly think 2 albums (and nothing in almost 6 years--wait, are they broke up this week or not?) qualifies anyone as "almighty".
um, right. mary margaret o'hara, anyone? try two albums in over a decade, and she still writes songs that blow most of the shortlist out of the water.

vis-a-vis conor: the combination of ripping off one of my favourite albums of all time and his ego (which seems to have its own area code) really put me off my feed.

stuff that should have been on the shortlist: the green pajamas' last album, northern gothic, was incredible (and jeff kelly has been profoundly prolific since the pajamas regrouped a few years ago). unfortunately jeff and the pjs put out music on indies with bad distribution, and thus the shortlisters will sadly never hear them. the decemberists put out two albums, castaways and cutouts and her majesty, the decemberists, that blend the victorian charm of neutral milk hotel with jangly pop, sparkling arrangements, and some of the wittiest lyrics. and colin meloy has a refreshingly bemused attitude towards his songwriting and his success.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:27 AM on October 17, 2003

Rufus Wainwright is consistently playful and clever with both his music and lyrics. I can't stop listening to Poses or Want One.
posted by onlyconnect at 1:36 PM on October 17, 2003

Conor Oberst is a very talented guy, I just wish he'd move forward. His best work was Letting off the Happiness, which came out ages ago. Since then, he's been retreading the same schtick, without progressing artistically. The NMH references feel off to me, however - Bright Eyes is lofi, agonized, and yes, adolescent, whereas Aeroplane Over the Sea was a lush, painful, thick brew of wonderful.

Damien Rice's O is a magnificent record - it was my #2 pick for last year, behind Wilco. Though Pitchfork shot him down for being run-of-the-mill, I feel O is an exceptional singer-songwriter album, fresh and vital. (My full review is here.)

My other Short-List pick was bluegrassy folk lovely Jolie Holland. Like Tom Waits (who nominated her), I think she's something real special.
posted by Marquis at 2:12 PM on October 17, 2003

Marquis, I can understand the NMH comparisons (I believe some of the same players are on both albums), but "ripoff" is unfounded, imo.

I'm not surprised Pitchfork shot Rice down. I'm often stunned at some of their reviews. For instance, they gave the BB album I linked to above a 3.3, which seems unfathomable to me.

Thanks for the Jolie Holland link. I'd never heard of her. The mp3s are wonderful.

pxe2000, I wasn't trying to say there aren't artists with small catalogs who are fantastic (I agree with you about NMH and MMO). I just thought "almighty" was an extreme word to use. (I mean, what word would you use to describe Dylan, Lou Reed, or Miles Davis or anyone who you may think has made equally compelling music over a longer period of time--which isn't meant to demean NMH's efforts--if NMH are almighty?)

I agree with you about the Pajamas though. I don't understand why they keep putting out records on labels that don't support them. With all the favorable reviews they get, they must have offers from labels with more exposure. I remember reading a review a few years back (in Magnet I think) and trying to find their albums in Toronto but with no luck. It wasn't until emusic got Hidden Agenda Records that I heard more than a track or two. Unfortunately, those aren't their best albums so I'm still hoping to see Indian Winter some place in the future.
posted by dobbs at 3:32 PM on October 17, 2003

hey dobbs: okay, so jeff isn't as prolific as reed, dylan, davis, et al. however, all three of those guys have wildly uneven discographies (and i say this as someone who at worst respects them -- i am a huge lou reed fan, but there are times when the man seriously needs an editor, see also: sally can't dance, take no prisoners). which do you prefer: lots of albums with both dross and gold, or just one or two amazing artistic statements?

it's good we can agree on the green pajamas, though. you can order their albums online through the record labels -- get hip seems to sell them through their website, and camera obscura has a webstore as well. have you heard their most recent album, northern gothic? good stuff, that. really spooky, atmospheric, melodic and beautiful.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:32 PM on October 17, 2003

Please, someone mention Lisa Germano before it's too late. Take a pinch of Tori Amos (or Kate Bush, if you prefer), a pinch of Tom Waits, some PJ Harvey, a touch of pixie dust and you have an album like Lullaby for Liquid Pig or Geek the Girl.

As for NMH, so far nobody has mentioned the most obvious comparison, The Decemberists, headed by Colin Meloy, whose lightly literate lyrics are always wise, wistful and witty. You have to dig that undercurrent of romantic nostalgia, evoking better times when men were men who prancied about saying things like "have at you!", and women wore at least four layers of clothing to bed.

Anyway, I always thought the obvious influence on NMH must have been Roy Harper.
posted by gentle at 8:04 PM on October 17, 2003

Germano used to play fiddle on John Mellancamp albums before she went solo. She's quite good!
posted by onlyconnect at 6:05 PM on October 19, 2003

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