Posts Tagged ‘x factor’

THE MERCURY PRIZE – A TRUE MUSICAL REFLECTION?

July 21, 2010

Paul Weller has received a Mercury Prize nomination. Wake Up The Nation is the first of his releases to receive such recognition in sixteen years, and only the second time it has happened for him personally at all. His own opinion on this latter day elevation is that he wont win the prize, owing to the fact he isn’t an ‘outsider’. And looking back at his last appointment, this hypothesis seems to have something about it.

In 1994, M People managed to win the category, beating off the likes of Oasis, Pulp and Weller himself. The former were to say the least, particularly up and coming at the time of going to press, dominating the UK music charts by trading off hit singles, blockbuster albums and embittered hyperbole. Add to this the fact that it’s been eight years since a classical album has even been selected, and the concept of the award itself does start to rankle. Is the Mercury Prize about musical integrity? Or dictated, as we suspect, by voting trends popularized on one level by reality TV shows such as the X Factor?

Is there really any inherent difference with the judging panels for awards such as these?

Radio 6 wont do what you tell them

July 8, 2010

So Radio 6 has been saved. The powers that be, namely Tim Davie, are as we speak defending their radio strategy to the assembled media. The stations inner sanctum was said to be a place of “celebration”, with an amazing belief in people power and relief emanating from within. And isn’t this just the way?

We love an underdog, almost unanimously. The world of popular music is no exception to this as countless other incidences prove. Rage Against the Machine toppled X Factor winner Joe McElderry to take Christmas number one, exclusively because of people power. The single, “Killing in the Name”, was already 18 years old; seemingly bearing no contemporary relevance to today’s pop charts.

Nevertheless, for many it stood as a symbol; propelled by its rebellious hook line and the band itself; whose pseudonym leaves nothing to the imagination. As was pointed out thereafter; the campaign wasn’t without its contradictions. Rage themselves are rather tastily backed by Epic; a subsidiary of Sony. Regardless, the fundamental symbolism remains, which is what first and foremost garnered public interest. The salvation of Radio 6 is no different; with a snowball of media hyperbole and calls for Davie’s resignation echoed many thousands of times over already. It’s doubtful this smorgasbord will have even bothered listening to Radio 6 at all.

But that isn’t the point is it?