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Metallica's Ulrich, Beck, Strokes Among Shortlist Judges

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Blur’s Damon Albarn, Beck, the Neptunes, and the Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi are among the judges for the 2002 Shortlist Music Prize, which spotlights lesser-known acts for their artistic merit.

Others musicians accepting the role as so-called “listmakers” for the second annual Shortlist are Mos Def, Paul Oakenfold, Iggy Pop, Jill Scott, the Roots’ Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. They are joined by directors Baz Lurhman and Spike Jonze, producers Dan “The Automator” Nakamura (Gorillaz) and Gustavo Santaolalla (Cafe Tacuba), as well as journalists and radio personalities.

Through the summer and fall, the panelists will submit lists of five noteworthy albums for a “long list” and then vote on 10 for a list of 12 finalists. The winner will be named at the Shortlist Awards Concert at the Knitting Factory Los Angeles on October 29.

Says returning listmaker Beck, “The idea is for everybody to check out all of the [nominated] records and explore a little bit.”

Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi said that the finding noteworthy music is always a challenge, even within the fertile scene of his home base, New York City. “I don’t know, there’s, like, so many bands…so many bad bands, really. It’s like anywhere else, really,” he says. “Like 97 percent of the bands, like, are terrible, and then there’s, like, a few, like, maybe, like four or five that just, like, stand out and sort of do their own thing, I guess.”

Among Valensi’s recent favorites coming out of New York are the Moldy Peaches, the Realistics, the French Kicks, and Longwave.

Icelandic art rockers Sigur Ros were awarded the first winner of the Shortlist Music Prize last year, besting a field that included the Dandy Warhols, P.J. Harvey, Ryan Adams, Gorillaz, Air, Bilal, Jay Dee, Nikka Costa, and Kweli.

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