Mercury Prize 2009: A Preview

1 Sep

Ahhh, smells like corporate sponsorship!

Ahhh, smells like corporate sponsorship!

So you mave have heard me bringing this up a few times, but the vaunted Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize is scheduled to be awarded next Tuesday, September 8th.  Unlike the Grammys, the Mercury Prize is one award for a specific category, rather than running the gamut of genres and contributions. This award, based in Britain, is reserved for what the critics across the pond deem the best album of the year.

Why does this matter?  Because one of the bands that I so graciously allowed you  In the Know on may very well WIN this award–and well, by then it’s too late.  You should consider this post a last chance for you to save yourself some Yuppie street-cred and claim you knew about them before they struck it big, although in the case of the Mercury Prize Winners, taking home the number one spot has resulted in a cover-of-Madden type curse, dooming the act to further obscurity.

In fact, 2008’s winner, Elbow is just beginning to shake this stigma, with their songs getting play on shows like FX’s Rescue Me and Nip/Tuck, the movie Burn After Reading, and even the music soundtrack for thrilling zombie videogame Left 4 Dead.  This five man group, lead by Gus Garvey, has been plugging along since 1990.  Their breakthrough achievement didn’t come until their fourth album, The Seldom Seen Kid.  Now, their single Grounds for Divorce is gaining traction.  Expect another post on me Friday after the winner is announced, as well as a celebration of what may well be a death knell of their musical career.

But who will be this year’s lucky winner?  Tune in next week to hear YDP’s take on this year’s proceedings.

Now here’s some music!

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(Follow the jump for the full list of Nominees as well as highlights of past winners…and those who didn’t make the cut)



2008 Elbow The Seldom Seen Kid

(Other Albums Nominated: Radiohead’s In Rainbows, Adele’s 19)

2007 Klaxons Myths of the Near Future

(Other Albums Nominated: Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black)

2006 Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not

(Other Albums Nominated: Hot Chip’s The Warning and Muse’s Black Holes & Revelations)

2004 Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand

(Other Albums Nominated: Joss Stone’s The Soul Sessions, and Snow Patrol’s Final Straw)

2003 Dizzee Rascal Boy in da Corner

(Other Albums Nominated: Floetry’s Floetic and Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief)

2001 PJ Harvey Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea

(Other Albums Nominated: Zero 7’s Simple Things, the Gorillaz had their nomination for Gorillaz withdrawn)

2000 Badly Drawn Boy The Hour of Bewilderbeast

(Other Albums Nominated: Coldplay’s Parachutes)


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