The 2016 Mercury Prize

2016 Mercury Prize - further evidence the tent for Contemporary Popular Music is huge and all-encompassing.

The 2016 Mercury Prize
2016 Mercury Prize – further evidence the tent for Contemporary Popular Music is huge and all-encompassing.

BBC 6 Music – 2016 Mercury Prize Nominations and finalists – September 15, 2016 – BBC 6 Music –

As a general rule, awards shows leave much to be desired. Rather than focus on the amount of work and sheer persistence most artists need to be heard above the din, they tend to be empty affairs focusing on show, presentation and spectacle – not much nuts and bolts. The Mercury Prize has been around for a while and is possibly not that familiar to American audiences as it is overseas. But the Mercury Prize process and certainly the scope by which artists are nominated gives a more accurate picture of what Popular/Contemporary music is all about – how all-encompassing it is, and how you as a listener have more access than the mainstream (definitely in the U.S.) would have you believe.

The Mercury Prize, formerly called the Mercury Music Prize, is an annual music prize awarded for the best album released in the United Kingdom by a British or Irish act. It was created by Jon Webster and Robert Chandler in association with the British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers in 1992 as an alternative to the Brit Awards.

Any album released by a British or Irish artist, or by a band where over 50% of the members are British or Irish, may be submitted for consideration by their record label. Twelve submitted albums are shortlisted for the prize, chosen based solely on their musical merit and irrespective of how popular or successful an album or act that has been submitted may have been in the previous calendar year. The shortlist is chosen by an independent panel of musicians, music presenters, music producers, music journalists, festival organisers, and other figures in the music industry in the UK and Ireland. The prize is open to all types of music, including pop, rock, folk, urban, grime, dance, jazz, blues, electronica and classical. Presentation of the awards usually takes place at an Awards Show in October, after the shortlist is announced at the Album of the Year Launch in September.

BBC 6 Music have been broadcasting the Awards show live for a few years (and prior to that as BBC Radio 1).

I ran across this Mercury Prize concert from 2016 and thought I would share it with you to give you some idea that, contrary to what you might think, there’s a lot going on in music and that it is, contrary to some popular belief, just as vital and necessary as its always been. Plus it’s nice to see a bunch of people who actually love music get together and celebrate it.

Almost 3 hours – so pace yourself. Lots of music, lots of interviews and lots of insight.

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