Awards shows are nothing without performances, and the Shortlist Music Prize ceremony is mostly an excuse to have a great concert. This year is no exception: Air, Dizzee Rascal, Nellie McKay and TV on the Radio are scheduled to perform at the Shortlist ceremony at the Avalon Theater in Hollywood on November 15. More performers — both Shortlist finalists and acts associated with them — are expected to be announced.
The event will be broadcast on MTV2 on November 20 at 9 p.m. ET.
Along with the four confirmed performers, the 10 Shortlist finalists include Franz Ferdinand for their self-titled debut, Ghostface for The Pretty Toney Album, the Killers for Hot Fuss, Loretta Lynn for Van Lear Rose, the Streets for A Grand Don't Come for Free and Wilco for A Ghost Is Born (for video and sound clips, photos and more, check out "Shortlist Prize Finalists: A Mixtape From The Stars").
Now in its fourth year, the goal of the Shortlist Prize is to "honor the most adventurous and creative albums of the year across all genres of music," according to its mission statement.
"The Shortlist is decided on the merit of the music rather than on industry criteria, so it's not based on marketing or sales or anything like that, which is pretty cool," Franz Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos told MTV earlier this month. "I really appreciate the eclectic nature of the nominations: We've got people like Loretta Lynn on one side, then Dizzee Rascal and the Streets on the other, and Wilco there as well."
The winner is determined by a panel of musicians, music journalists and music-business executives (the "Listmakers"), who each nominated their seven favorite albums and then winnowed down the initial "Long List" of 73 albums to a "Shortlist" of 10 finalists (for the Long List, see "Franz Ferdinand, Killers, Wilco, Ghostface Make First Round Of Shortlist Prize").
This year's 22 Listmakers include John Mayer, Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba, Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, Norah Jones, the Roots' Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, the Cure's Robert Smith, System of a Down's Serj Tankian and the Dixie Chicks (see "John Mayer, Chris Carrabba, ?uestlove, Norah Jones Sign On For Shortlist Prize").
"To get some acknowledgement from [the Listmakers], people that we look up to and respect, that's pretty important," Kapranos said. He and Franz guitarist Nick McCarthy mentioned fellow Glasgow band Sons and Daughters, British outfit the Bloc Party, L.A.'s Blood Arm and New York-based sibling duo the Fiery Furnaces as current personal favorites (the latter band's debut LP made the Long List).
The nominated albums must have sold less than 500,000 copies in the U.S. by the end of the prize's eligibility period (this year, between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004). Franz Ferdinand and the Killers' albums have both since exceeded that total.
A compilation album featuring songs from all 10 Shortlist finalists, as well as Long List nominees Ryan Adams, Café Tacuba, Jem, Muse and Secret Machines, is due November 2 from Razor & Tie Records.