Is this the Year of the Return of the New Wave? Or will Keane win?
September 6, 2004 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday was the 13th Anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death, whilst [almost] coincidentally, tomorrow marks the occasion of the 13th Mercury Music Prize, which he had nothing to do with.
In that time, we've seen classical-punk piano recitals nominated, agit-prop rockers repeatedly snubbed and Radiohead routinely listed but falling short [though not this year.]. It's always a varied list, but are you really interested in the obscure, the fusion, the orchestral and the jazz?
Listen to 'em all here , and fill up the gaps here. A complete list of past nominees and winners can be found here , and the bookies seem to rate both The Streets and Franz Ferdinand worthy of the accolade, according to odds published here.
Will ascullion again pick the winner? Listen on the web to find out tomorrow, midnight GMT, or watch on digital TV in the UK . Previous years' threads here.
posted by dash_slot- (14 comments total)
No Razorlight? No Jamie Cullen ? No Mozzer?!!?

Although you can vote for your favourite in a number of places, the official site declares: "An independent panel of judges selects the 'Albums of the Year' and then meets on the night of the Nationwide Mercury Prize Awards in September, to choose the overall Winner of the Prize.".

While record sales in the UK are now dominated by American artistes, the live scene appears to be thriving under the new entertainment licensing laws, and that, to me, bodes well for future success - whether critical or in the charts, at home and abroad.

In general, I don't really follow these awards - except that live ceremomies can be an irresistible train wreck - this year is the exception, 'cos of several of my favourites are likely winners. I'll stick my neck out and say that Franz ace it over Keane - art rock never dies, it's soylent green 20 years later! - Remember Josef K?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:29 AM on September 6, 2004

Dear God,

Please, please, please can you make sure Amy Winehouse does not win the Mercury Music Prize. I really mean it. Please. Pretty Please.


I think she will win it. She fits the Mercury prize mould, and she appeals to pretentious musos from all walks. It's depressing, but I'm cheered by the fact that if she does win, like so many winners before her, it's likely that she'll fall off the music radar, and I'll never hear her nasal Mockney whine EVER again.
posted by seanyboy at 10:04 AM on September 6, 2004

I can't see Amy Whinehouse winning and why Keane are even nominated is beyond me. Personally I'd like to see Ty win it, his is the only of the albums listed that I've listened to repeatedly. It will probably go to The Streets IMO.
posted by chill at 10:51 AM on September 6, 2004

Actually, it was the anniversary of Freddie's birth. He died in November, I believe.

Best rock vocalist ever.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:53 AM on September 6, 2004

Thanks, Space Coyote. That was careless of me. Actually, considering his range - Keep Yourself Alive to Killer Queen to Barcelona and over to Tie Your Mother Down - Freddie is possibly the greatest rock vocalist, as you say. Never was a fan, and never saw them live, but I do appreciate their quality output.

Keane's melodies are superb and insistent, I can see that they could get somewhat boring after a while, if they don't progress. The Streets would be an OK result for me -Mike Skinner's a creative guy, with cred on the street and in the pages of Q magazine. Whinehouse i don't want to hear ever again, don't see her popularity at all. Seanyboy & me, cringing in the corner as chill dives to switch off the stereo.

PS: Richard Jobson - yes, he of the Skids - is guesting on BBC 6Music, and is about to have a MM Prize themed show. The station is listenable on the Net - if you can stand the Beeb version of the RealPlayer crapware. Now, back to pushing Razorlight...(",)
posted by dash_slot- at 11:17 AM on September 6, 2004

With Winehouse, I'm stuck in the situation where even though I hate her, my iPod thinks I want to listen to her all the time. "Make random list" I say, hoping that the 3,000 random songs will pull something good out. "Oh." says my iPod. "You obviously want to listen to Amy Winehouse."

Says I "Arghhhhh"

On topic, I hope that Skinner doesn't win. I'm a fan of his music, but I don't think he needs this sort of credibility.

p.s. Considering how drunk I am, I;'m amazefcd I even managed yto post this.
posted by seanyboy at 1:31 PM on September 6, 2004

Before I went to the V Festival this year, I'd have pegged Franz Ferdinand for the Mercury, but after seeing Snow Patrol live there's no question. They were fabulous, and the Final Straw album totally rocks.

Incidentally, dash_slot-, £20,000 is nearer to $37,000 these days!
posted by metaxa at 2:26 PM on September 6, 2004

I hope Robert Wyatt wins, even though I haven't heard Cuckooland.
posted by kenko at 3:41 PM on September 6, 2004

I know this post is more about the Mercury prize than about Freddie, but I'm surprised you didn't mention that Freddie's band Queen recently became the first first to have a western rock album legally allowed to be sold Iran.
posted by straight at 6:14 PM on September 6, 2004

Thanks for mentioning it (I think we've seen how weak my grasp of Queen info is...).

Tho other than the quality of the music & Freddie's ethnicity, I can't see why the Iraninas want to promote a bunch of clean-shaven longhairs like them ole hippies...
posted by dash_slot- at 8:11 PM on September 6, 2004

Actually, Freddie was from Zanzibar and his family was Zoroastrian rather than Muslim, so maybe his acceptance is a good thing. Wouldn't be the first time pop culture has helped break down barriers.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 PM on September 6, 2004

Well, jonmc - I always knew his religion was Zoroastrian, and for some reason that made me think he was of Iranian extract.
- Ok, having digested the info on the link: yeah, his family was from Iran (Persia), by way of Zanzibar, Bombay and London. I somehow guess they aren't making a big thing about his private life.

And Franz Ferdinand wins! I'm happy enough, but the rumour that the Zutons won went round 5 minutes before the announcement - how unsettling is that?

FF also won the GQ prize tonight - can't be bad.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:22 PM on September 7, 2004

Bah, I wanted it to go to Belle and Sebastian, though I must add my name to those glad ms Whinehouse didn't win.

And while musical appreciation is of course subjective, I'm sorry to inform you dash_slot that there is firm scientific proof that Keane's melodies are not superb and insistent.

In fact I believe there's an article in this months Nature proving that they suck.
posted by ciderwoman at 5:21 AM on September 8, 2004

Aah, cidey - may I call you that? - the AOR revival is underway.

Resistance is futile! Embrace Keane!
posted by dash_slot- at 9:33 AM on September 8, 2004

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