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M B V's Kevin Shields To The Mercury Prize Winners: 'God Help Whoever Wins. There are Sinister Forces At Work'

Poor sports At Mercury Prizes

My Bloody Valentine were one of the highlights (or the highlight) of this past FYF fest, they were loud as hell, they destroyed the sound system several times, they were some apotheosis of rock music! Their last album, and first in 22 years, is fuzzingly amazing, however they haven’t been nominated for the Mercury Prize, a prestigious music prize rewarding the best album from the UK and Ireland! And Kevin Shields is furious! He is accusing the organizers of banning My Bloody Valentine from consideration because the group isn’t on iTunes, Amazon (they aren’t even on Spotify) but you can stream them on YouTube! This is what Shields declared to the Guardian:

‘Isn’t Mercury a phone company or something, anyway? What’s that got to do with music? We’re banned by them, and do you know why? Because we’re not on Amazon or iTunes. That’s one of the qualifying criteria. You have to have major distribution or be on iTunes or Amazon.’

M b v self-released their record, and sold it on their website as he explained later:

‘We released our record, mbv, independently. It’s interesting to learn that to be as independent as we are is … virtually illegal. It’s not a real record. Our album’s not a real album because it’s independent. The corporate-ness has got to such a point where we’ve essentially been told that we don’t exist. So, technically, that album doesn’t exist. OK? It’s not allowed to exist according to the Mercury prize.’

He has such a good point, this is bullshit! Why an independent release couldn’t be nominated? Why bands have to play the game of corporate greed to get a reward? He is also complaining about UK paper Music Week, which has ‘never mentioned’ them since their recent release declaring that ‘to them we don’t exist’.

However, my Bloody Valentine isn’t exactly mainstream, their airy and dissonant soundscapes aren’t that accessible at first, their music doesn’t really have that Mercury Prize winner potential. Plus, I was looking at the Mercury Prize past winners and it is not as if we were still hearing about Gomez (1998), Talvin Singh (1999), Badly Drawn Boy (2000), Ms. Dynamite (2002), Dizee Rascal (2003), Antony and the Johnsons (2005), Speech Debelle (2009)!! Alt-J won last year, but who knows where they’ll be in a few years? This is what Shields was eluding at when he says ‘’God help’ whoever wins. Every act who has ever won the Mercury ‘suffered’ in the aftermath. Even Primal Scream and even M People. Seriously, there are sinister forces at work.’

This year, Bowie or Arctic Monkeys may win, right? But who cares about prizes, musicians and artists shouldn’t care about these kinds of rewards.

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