Thursday, January 12

New Pantheon Shortlist Revealed.

If you remember this post, you'll know that the New Pantheon Award nominees (formerly the Shortlist Music Prize) were in the process of being chipped down from about 100 to 10.

Here now, the 10 finalists, stolen directly from Pitchfork:

Amy Phillips reports: Ten bands enter, one band leaves! The organization behind the prestigious New Pantheon Music Prize, which honors the best in under-the-radar music, has unveiled its list of finalists exclusively to Pitchfork, and man, is this going to be a close one. Check out the albums in the running:

Animal Collective - Feels (Fat Cat)
Antony and the Johnsons - I am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine (Sony)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (Merge)
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (Vice)
Death Cab for Cutie - Plans (Atlantic)
The Decemberists - Picaresque (Kill Rock Stars)
Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak (RCA)
M.I.A. - Arular (XL/Beggars)
Sufjan Stevens - Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)

Looks a lot like Pitchfork's year-end list, doesn't it? Picking just one must be like Sophie's Choice for the panel of 27 entertainers, journalists, and industry types charged with determining the winner, which will be announced at a celebratory concert in Los Angeles on February 6. Several finalists are scheduled to perform at the fĂȘte; which ones, we don't know yet.

As previously reported, the New Pantheon Music Prize honors an album released in the United States between July 1, 2004 and October 30, 2005 that has yet to sell 500,000 copies at the time of nomination. The star-studded list of nominators includes Ric Ocasek of the Cars, Elton John, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson of the Roots, Elijah Wood, Margaret Cho, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Beck, John Legend, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, country superstar Keith Urban, Adam Brody and Josh Schwartz from "The O.C.", and Pitchfork's own Ryan Schreiber.

Each panelist began the process by nominating up to seven albums, and then the longlist of nominated records was whittled down to those final 10. Check out the highly entertaining New Pantheon website to see which panelists nominated which records-- who knew ?uestlove dug Bright Eyes and Suzanne Vega is a Jamiroquai fan?!

CDP: So, there you go. That's a darn good list, right there. You all know who I'm rooting for (Arcade Fire; although Decemberists, Sufjan, Bloc Party and Death Cab are all amazing).

Who are YOU rooting for?

LOST FRIDAY is back for the attack tomorrow.

I gotta root for Sufjan, I think it's amazing he's gotten this much recognition for Illinoise.

I just bought Fiona Apple's new one a couple days ago and I'm enjoying that quite a bit.
Yeah, as much as you're going to hate me for saying this, the 'Sufjan phenomenon' is a lot like the 'Arcade Fire phenomenon.' They both are great albums that got popular through internet chatter, great reviews and word of mouth. Eventually, the press caught on and more and more people started to realize how amazing these indie albums were. I saw a Sufjan bio on MTV news a while back.

In the last few years, we've seen really good indie music slither and latch onto the mainstream without having to compromise. I think this is a good thing, as more people are exposed to good music that hasn't been destroyed by the corporate facet of the music industry.

I'm rooting for Sufjan to do a Wisconsin album next. That would be so cool.
Oooh! Better yet, Sufjan and Arcade Fire could tour together, and have 30 people on stage per night. The guy behind the mixing board would kill himself.

Reminds me of a Onion headline a while back; 'Ska Band Outnumbers Audience'. That's funny because I've seen it happen.
It sure does beat the old fashioned way of finding raw talent and youthfull idealism. Signing their souls to a record label and watch them dance like monkeys for a nickel.

Okay, that's the second time I've mentioned monkeys today. I told you those thin walls are problems!
I can't imagine it not being Sufjan or the Arcade Fire. Bloc Party's album is amazing, and the new Death Cab grows on me more and more. I recently heard the Kings of Leon and Fiona Apple albums through friends, and they were pleasant on the ears as well.
I was in a regular band that outnumbered the audience when I was in college. We were hired to play an after-prom party where there was tons of other fun stuff happening. We have it videotaped, it looks like a normal show till the camera pans 'round the room and it's just us and the soundman. And I think he stepped out for a bit.

One of the things I like about seeing Sufjan get all this success (besides that I love the music) is that he's just on his own record label that he started with his step-dad, and he sold over 100,000 records. And the album even got pulled for a few days the week of it's release because of the Superman thing.

The Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, and Polyphonic Spree Supertour...
Arcade, Sufjan and Bloc Party made the biggest waves this past year, so I'd also be pretty miffed if it wasn't one of those 3.

Shortlist has a history of picking sub-par winners (you hear me talkin', TV On The Radio?), so you never know.

Major labels are starting to give indie bands better contract agreements, allowing them to make more decisions and giving them more control over their creativity. I think they realize that what with the album sales dropping and piracy and whatnot, they need to step off their evil perch and start being nice to indie kids again.
Yeah, Sufjan is a total success story. Word-of-mouth can help or hurt you; in his case he cashed in big time, and established a major fan base that might have never knew he existed.

Another thing that people don't really talk about is his outright Christianity. Normally, indie snobs would sniff at the fact that he rocks for Jesus, but the power of his talent overshadows the cynics. How cool is that?

This guy has complete immunity to write and say whatever he wants; what an interesting position to be in.
I think he can do it because he's not waving a flag about it, it's just a natural part of who he is. As compared to, say, Stryper.

There's a funny interview with Sujfan from a long time ago where the last question was, if Stryper re-formed and wanted you to play banjo on the tour would you do it, and he said something like, "If they asked me to paint my banjo yellow and black stripes I would do it. If they asked me to where yellow and black striped spandex, I would do it. I would do anything for money." And that was the end of the interview. Cracked me up.
It's funny because it makes fun of Stryper, and it's cynical enough for people to think he's a real jerk.

Things get taken out of context in print all the time, because a lot of people find it hard to detect sarcasm when they don't talk to someone in person. Luckily, we're not like that, and we get to pick and choose who's being funny and who's a jerk. That's the benefit of being smart, I suppose.

By the way, I hate people who aren't white. See, people will probably jump all over that, because they didn't see me winking when I typed it. Idiots, all of them.

To Hell With The Devil!
Oh, and you're right about the 'Not waving a flag about it' comment.

So many times have I heard someone like a band, I mean really like a band, only to turn up their nose and remark, "They're Christian?" after finally reading an interview with them or something. Then they actually stop listening to them, because they're uncomfortable or worried or idiots or something. That's High School for you.
Yeah, the wink doesn't transfer well when you're typing. Or over the phone even, unless you say "wink" when you do it. But that kind of defeats the purpose.

Hey! You added a T-Maas link! Did you read his new article? I almost took part in that but somebody had a birthday or something. It's probably better that I didn't though. I drink enough as it is.
Yup, T-Maas makes his CDP debut in the 'Network' section, as it meets all the necessary criteria for entry.


I haven't read all of his articles yet (including the one in question), but I've read enough to know that he's right at home on the CDP.
Yeah. He's hilarious. We get into some crazy antics. Last weekend we were singing James Brown at 6 AM or something ridiculous like that. The week before that we got kicked out of a hotel pool. A few weeks before that he invented the "Samkon" at Dr. Jekyll's. You get the idea. Crazyness.
It's always good to add a "And in case you couldn't tell, I was being sarcastic!" ala Homer when you're in doubt if your message is being received properly.

I can't wait till tomorrow's Lost Friday post when we talk about exactly how much Mr Eko kicks ass.
Mr. Eko is coming dangerously close to surpassing John Locke as the coolest castaway on the island. It'll all come down to a sudden death overtime, where they will each have to field strip a 9 millimeter handgun whilst blindfolded.

You know you mean some serious business when you scare away the black fog monster.

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