The Shortlist Music Project, which debuted last year, will return for its second annual awards ceremony and concert Oct. 29 at Los Angeles' Knitting Factory, Billboard reports in its July 27 issue. Th

The Shortlist Music Project, which debuted last year, will return for its second annual awards ceremony and concert Oct. 29 at Los Angeles' Knitting Factory, Billboard reports in its July 27 issue. The project -- which, like the U.K.'s Technics Mercury Music Prize, honors albums solely on their creative merit -- will highlight dozens of albums as selected by more than 15 "listmakers," including Beck, Mos Def, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, film/video directors Baz Lurhmann and Spike Jonze, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, India.Arie, the Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi, the Neptunes, and producer Gustavo Santaolalla.

Each listmaker will nominate five albums in August. The albums must have been released in the U.S. between July 2001 and August this year and must not have sold more than 500,000 copies at the time of their nomination. From a long list that includes each listmaker's five selections, the listmakers then select their top 10 albums. The top vote-getters become the Shortlist finalists, and the winner is then selected by the listmakers on the night of the awards ceremony.

The winner's prize is still being determined. Last year's winner, Sigur Ros (for the Fat Cat album "Agaetis Byrjun"), received $10,000 and a $10,000 donation to the Sept. 11 relief fund of its choice. Sponsors are still being lined up for the Shortlist Music Prize, including music and lifestyle retailers who would distribute a CD sampler featuring music from the finalists. Last year's major sponsor, Virgin Megastores, is not involved this year.

"This award is for the most creative and accomplished record by an emerging artist," says MCA VP of A&R Tom Sarig, who founded the Shortlist Music Project with marketing consultant Greg Spotts. "Artists who are gold and platinum are already being honored by the Grammys. We're trying to shine a light on new artists."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print