“What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on?"
July 29, 2007 10:13 AM   Subscribe

The 2007 Mercury Music Prize Shortlist: Amy Winehouse - Back to Black; Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare; Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford - Basquiat Strings; Bat For Lashes - Fur And Gold; Dizzee Rascal - Maths And English; Fionn Regan - The End of History; Jamie T - Panic Prevention; Klaxons - Myths Of The Near Future; The View - Hats Off To The Buskers; Maps - We Can Create; New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom; The Young Knives - Voices Of Animals And Men [warning: several links auto-play]. Although The View claim that the prize is irrelevant, most British musicians view the award as the highest honour a musican can receive. The Arctic Monkeys were victorious in 2006, winning with their album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. Dizzee Rascal took home the prize in 2003 for his album Boy in Da Corner. While both will be hoping to repeat their success, but no band/artist has ever won the Mercury Prize more than once.
posted by chuckdarwin (34 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
This Fionn Regan video I had seen and liked a lot. When I saw it I thought of music.metafilter.com immediately for some reason.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 10:24 AM on July 29, 2007

My favorite band sucks.
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:50 AM on July 29, 2007 [2 favorites]

If your favorite band is that The Streets-after-getting-stung-on-the-tongue-by-a-bee-sounding Jaime T., then yes, MarshallPoe, you are correct.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:13 AM on July 29, 2007

The only one on that list I've heard is Amy Winehouse. She's cool. Give the prize to her.
posted by jonmc at 11:44 AM on July 29, 2007

Amy Winehouse is amazing. When I heard her, I couldn't believe that she was a recent artist - I thought for sure she was 70's motown. Now *there* is a woman who has had her education in music.

Also, another previous winner of the Mercury Prize, and one of my favorite bands, The Bees. (also known as A Band of Bees here in the States.)
posted by Afroblanco at 11:45 AM on July 29, 2007

The Bees are my favorite. I only wish they could manage simultaneous UK/US album releases so I didn't have to buy 'em twice.
If you dig Winehouse you should definitely hear Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators.
posted by carsonb at 11:51 AM on July 29, 2007

Thanks for the recommendation of Nicole Willis, carsonb! I love that old-school soul sound. It makes me happy to know that the music I love is alive and well.

It's also good to know that someone else has heard of The Bees! Do you think they'll ever come to the US? Also, what do you think of Octopus?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:59 AM on July 29, 2007

I love the Klaxons.

I went to see a Soulwax show in Philadelphia where they were the opening act. I had no idea who they were, I'd never heard of them before.

I was kind of only half paying attention their set when they started playing a punk-rock version of Grace- Not Over Yet.

Holy shit. was that awesome. A rave anthem I'd heard Paul Oakenfold play a million times, kind of indelibly etched into that part of my brain were all my rave-fogged memories are kept, completely re-imagined. People moshing with glowsticks, it was nuts.

I love Golden Skans and Gravity's Rainbow, too, and the remixes are usually even better than the originals. Great stuff all around, and the only thing I heard last year that sounded really new.
posted by empath at 12:07 PM on July 29, 2007

The Bees first got me good with their Os Mutantes cover off Sunshine Hit Me. (BTW, here's the video I meant to link to for Chicken Payback. It's much better.) Free the Bees killed me, 'specially Chicken Payback. Octopus hasn't lived up to expectations so far, but it gets five stars from me just riding the wave.

Nicole Willis has yet to release anything in the US, much to my chagrin. I heard about her in a profile on non-American soul bands on NPR. Winehouse was the only other artist mentioned in the profile.

What it comes down to is I dig anything that makes you tuck your elbows in, swing your fists, and do the twist.
posted by carsonb at 12:07 PM on July 29, 2007

YoBananaBoy - Fionn Regan is my favourite to win this prize: his album is stunning.
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:18 PM on July 29, 2007

I dig Octopus. I mean, granted, it ain't Free the Bees, but then again, what is? Nearly every song on that album is A+ #1 Gold in my book.

Octopus is a bit different. Listening Man and Who Cares What The Question Is? are both good enough to have been on Free the Bees. The rest aren't quite on the same level, but highly enjoyable nonetheless.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:22 PM on July 29, 2007

Oh, and something I a forgot to mention: The lyrics from the Klaxons are remarkably literate-- they subtly and not-so-subtly reference Pynchon, Alaistair Crowely, William Burrough, Marcel Proust, etc.
posted by empath at 12:34 PM on July 29, 2007

(just pretend I spelled all those right)
posted by empath at 12:35 PM on July 29, 2007

Musically, Amy Winehouse is enjoyable to me, but I'm really getting tired of artists just mining the past. Where are the future sounds?
posted by drezdn at 12:38 PM on July 29, 2007

but I'm really getting tired of artists just mining the past. Where are the future sounds?

I'm gonna pretend you didn't just say that drezdn, and go ahead to mention Yesterday's New Quintet.
posted by carsonb at 12:50 PM on July 29, 2007

Just to say, if you like your Bjork/Kate Bush spooky lady type music, then you urgently need to be listening to Bat For Lashes. Saw her at Glastonbury - absolutely wonderful, haunting stuff.

(My money's on her or Klaxons to win the prize. They're great too, even if their fans are mostly 12 years old psychopaths.)
posted by flashboy at 12:50 PM on July 29, 2007

I'm really getting tired of artists just mining the past. Where are the future sounds?

Paradoxically, that's generally how new sounds happen. Or perhaps Ecclesiastes was right.
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on July 29, 2007

Also, Jamie T and The View are talentless cunts.
posted by flashboy at 12:58 PM on July 29, 2007

Drum and Bass, when it was invented, was one of the most shockingly 'new' sounds in the history of dance music. And it was almost entirely constructed from a few sped up samples from a few funk songs.

Anything new in music almost always comes from taking something old and playing it in a new context.

Dubstep is probably the most recent 'sound of the future', and it's just garage music played at half speed.
posted by empath at 1:43 PM on July 29, 2007

I'd spilt it -- half to the Klaxons for shaking things up, and half to Amy Winehouse for bringing the talent.
posted by Down10 at 1:55 PM on July 29, 2007

I understand the appeal of Amy Winehouse, but I feel like she sings the same five notes in every song she does (at least the ones I've heard). Am I way off base on this? Should I take this to AskMe? Yeah, I don't know either.

Thanks for the post, chuckdarwin. I'm always interested in who is up for this prize and always forget to check every year (being in the US, slightly lazy, and all the rest). And I think that Basquiat Strings is a great name and it looks like their song list is really interesting as well. I'll definitely have to check them out.
posted by sleepy pete at 2:12 PM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I can't believe Burial did not make it on to the list.
posted by yertledaturtle at 3:03 PM on July 29, 2007

Dubstep is probably the most recent 'sound of the future', and it's just garage music played at half speed.

this is not entirely accurate. Some dubstep sounds like it is half speed 2 step but it is still 140 bpm which is actually faster than most 2 step.

Alot of it is basically 2 step with some snares subtracted and heavy sub bass hence the term half step.
posted by yertledaturtle at 3:06 PM on July 29, 2007

Can someone explain why Dizzee Rascal is on the list? I've listened to Maths and English, and I haven't heard anything that seemed the least bit groundbreaking. His lyrics sound as if he's functionally illiterate and the backbeats are, well, just like every other rap artist I've heard.

Can someone clue a brotha' in?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 4:33 PM on July 29, 2007

Well, if the Mercury awards are meant to represent the best of the UK albums released in the last year, there's some appalling albums in there and numerous really good albums that have been toally ignored. It's a very, very a populist list (apart from the traditional jazz/folk/blues/whatever outside that never wins). This year it's more like s Brit Awards shortlist than something that truly represents the best that the UK has to offer. Incredibly weak.
posted by TheDonF at 4:42 PM on July 29, 2007

Dizzee Rascal is the best rapper in the UK, so he gets on the list by dint of his skin colour and his status.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:06 PM on July 29, 2007

really good albums that have been toally ignored:

Til the Sun Turns Black
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:07 PM on July 29, 2007

I like Amy Winehouse. I don't have the album but the songs are all over the radio and internets. Good stuff.
posted by caddis at 6:00 PM on July 29, 2007

Klaxons rock real fucking hard, and Bat for Lashes is breathtaking. I like Jamie T quite a bit, too.
posted by nonmerci at 6:21 PM on July 29, 2007

The video for Arctic Monkeys' song Leave Before The Lights Come On was so good I forgot to listen to the music, but I think it was good. I'm always looking for new music -- this is cool.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:03 PM on July 29, 2007

Drum and Bass, when it was invented, was one of the most shockingly 'new' sounds in the history of dance music. And it was almost entirely constructed from a few sped up samples from a few funk songs.

I think this was posted to the Blue a while ago, but nevertheless.
posted by davejay at 11:49 PM on July 29, 2007

Wow. My sister went to school with some of the Klaxons. Who knew they'd end up here...
posted by Helga-woo at 7:07 AM on July 30, 2007

new young pony club make my toes curl at the state of pop. klaxons made the best album, which itself is not that memorable. pop music sucks. the mercury awards showcase this sucking. i blame the nme.
posted by domdom at 4:15 PM on July 30, 2007

Can't stand Amy Winehouse. I saw her play the Academy in Manchester about 2 years ago. She was clearly drunk, stoned or a combination of the two. About halfway through the show she could no longer couldn't remember her own lyrics. She then launched into an incoherent rant about dope for about 10 minutes. The rest of the show consisted of short rants and a number of songs she sang completely off tune. Very unimpressive when you have a paying audience.
posted by bap98189 at 9:20 AM on July 31, 2007

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