The wait is over as TV On The Radio was announced as the winner of this years Shortlist Music Prize with their album Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes. Easily compared to Britian’s Mercury Prize, the Shortlist honors cutting edge artists whose latest albums may not be nominated for the American Music Awards since Dick Clark has not deemed them worthy with sales. The nominees and winner are selected by a panel of list makers that this year included the likes of Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, Chris Carrabba, The Dixie Chicks, Jim Jarmusch, John Mayer, Norah Jones, and Serj Tankian. The fourth annual Shortlist Music Prize was held last night in Los Angeles at the Avalon Theater and featured performances by three of the ten finalists.
"We are not the next Damien Rice," TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone told Billboard.com, referring to the singer/songwriter who won the award in 2003. "Seriously, this was a great honor. We didn't even expect to be nominated, let alone win. None of us expected this to happen, and we're really happy to be here."
To close the ceremony, TV On The Radio played a 30-minute set including a number of cuts from the album, such as "Dreams" and "Staring at the Sun." According to Billboard, the latter best exemplified the act's tuneful experimentation, with gospel-worthy call and response vocals and a wall of guitars that reached rave-like hysterics. Other performing Shortlist finalists included Josh Homme's Eagles Of Death Metal, hip-hopper Dizzee Rascal and lighthearted pianist Nelly McKay.
Billboard.com reported that this year's affair featured half as many performers as the 2003 event, which producers said was directly related to the fact that last year's show ran almost five hours. In contrast, the 2004 edition was professional and sterile, with even the tension-filled songs of U.K. rapper Dizzee Rascal failing to energize the rather sparse crowd. There were also a number of notable no-shows, including several finalists for this year’s award such as Wilco, Franz Ferdinand, Loretta Lynn and Air.
XM Satellite Radio presented TV On The Radio with a $10,000 cash prize, and the show was broadcast live on XM. If you want to see it, or you were a no show, be sure and check out the televised broadcast on November 20 on MTV2.