Kofi's hat

Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Friday, January 13, 2006

New Pantheon Music Award Finalists Announced

The ten finalists for the first New Pantheon Music Prize have been announced. A hand-picked group of "respected musical figures" nominated albums to determine the finalists. The winner will be named at a "concert event" in Los Angeles early next month.

The prize has been established "to honor the most artistic and creative records of the year." Also, the "expressed goal of the New Pantheon is accruing audiences for what's next and what's best in current music." To be eligible for the prize, an album must have been released in the U.S. between July 1, 2004 and October 30th, 2005 and not yet have been certified Gold for sales of over 500,000 copies. Less than that, and an album could use a little help. Let's face it: 450,000 copies impresses no one. Would you put "Our album is only 50,000 copies away from being certified Gold" in a holiday newsletter? I think not! Me neither, and not only because I do not send holiday newsletters.

The New Pantheon Music Award Finalists:

Animal Collective - Feels

Animal Collective - Did You See The Words (from Feels)

Antony and the Johnsons - I am a Bird Now

Antony and the Johnsons - My Lady Story (from I am A Bird Now)

Arcade Fire - Funeral

The Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #2 (Laika) (from Funeral)

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm

Bloc Party - Pioneers (from Silent Alarm)

Death Cab For Cutie - Plans

Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into the Dark (from Plans)

Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

Fiona Apple - Get Him Back (from Extraordinary Machine)

Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak

Kings of Leon - Razz (from Aha Shake Heartbreak)

M.I.A. - Arular

M.I.A. - Ten Dollar (from Arular)

Sufjan Stevens - Illinois

Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day (from Illinois)

The Decemberists - Picaresque

The Decemberists - We Both Go Down Together (from Picaresque)

The "respected musical figures" who selected this first group of finalists are: Shirley Manson (of Garbage), ?uestlove (of the Roots), John McCrea (of Cake), Ric Ocasek (of the Cars, but not The New Cars), Tony Kanal (of No Doubt), Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park), Nic Harcourt (author/KCRW music director) Josh Schwartz (who created the OC), and Adam Brody (who acts on it), Margaret Cho (comic), Elijah Wood (actor), Suzanne Vega, Elton John, Beck, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, Keith Urban, John Legend, John Cameron Mitchell, "Benjamin" Gibbard (who apparently goes by Benjamin now. But we still noticed that your album was nominated, "Benjamin"!), Alex Patsavas (Music Supervisor at Chop Shop), Jennifer Maerz (Music Editor at The Stranger), Peter Margasak (of The Chicago Reader), Ryan Schreiber (Editor-in-Chief at Pitchfork), Steve Hochman (of the L.A. Times), and Will Hermes (an editor and writer).

Each person on the "Panel" could nominate up to seven albums. The nominations are public, so you can see each person's picks for best album.

For instance, Nic Harcourt nominated six albums (Brazilian Girls self-titled album, Inara George's All Rise, Mary Gauthier's Mercy Now, Sufjan Stevens' Illinois, The Decemberists' Picaresque, and The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema), while John Legend chose only two (Extraordinary Machine and Damian Marley's Welcome to Jamrock). Keith Urban nominated only one! (Kings of Leon's Aha Shake Heartbreak). Did he love it that much more than every other album he heard last year, or did he not hear much music last year? Adam Brody picked three: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and Explosion in the Sky's How Strange, Innocence.


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