Shortlist Cut Short?

Published: 2005-11-15
The Shortlist prize is given every year to an American band that shows a lot of merit and creativity but has yet to be commercially successful. Modelled after the UK's Mercury Prize, the Shortlist has been awarded annually since 2001, but it may not be this year.

Shortlist founders Tom Sarig and Greg Spotts decided amicably earlier this year not to give out the prize.

Seeing a gap in need of filling, Sarig decided to start a new prize. The New Pantheon will be similar to the Shortlist in that it will be decided by a panel that includes musicians, performers, and journalists, including Dave Matthews, Elton John, Shirley Manson, and for some reason Elijah Wood, to name a few. "The idea is very similar," Sarig told Billboard. "It's shining a light on and honoring the most creative and most artistic records of the new year."

But this is all news to co-founder Gregg Spotts. Though he's admitted that he's no longer as involved in music as Sarig, who is a manager and label consultant to MCA (Spotts released a documentary, American Jobs, in 2003), he wasn't aware of Sarig's plans for a new prize and says he would take legal action if the new prize went through.

Past winners of the prize include Sigur RŰs, Damien Rice, N*E*R*D, and TV on the Radio.

The fate of the Shortlist will remain in limbo until its two creators work things out.

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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