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    Having listened to most of this year's Mercury contenders (mostly uninspiring) and watched it live last night, I had to wonder if Wire would be eligible for 2009? I would have thought the positive reception to the latest cd would put them at least in the running for the shortlist. How do they select? Or is like electing the pope?
    I'm a little surprised that it didn't go to Burial...but then, I'm not sure that he really needs or wants the attention that'd come with it. My assumption is that everything's eligible, but that the shortlist is picked by judges in a pub somewhere....
    I daresay there is plenty of music biz skullduggery behind it all and not sure Wire have the influential voices behind them to get a nomination.
    Mercury prize is a bit of a wasted opportunity. Its usually a pretty obvious selection of the Guardian/Radio 2 friendly end of Indie (plus token Folkie, token Urban act and token World Music act).
    The winner is usually something that was expected to sell more and needs an extra commercial push, whereas really it should be about innovation and originality above all and a chance to showcase a newer or unsung artist (how many more gongs and awards do we really need to bestow upon Radiohead?).
    Fair play to Elbow they've worked hard to get there and I dare say the cash and publicity would actually mean something to them unlike say the Arctic Monkeys.

    As for Wire i'd rather see them get more airplay, more TV, and written about more in the music press than win awards really.
    I would have thought that the Mercury would generate a lot of interest. I suspect a lot of people are totally unaware they are still about. The Mercury is very generates a lot of interest and column inches. Winning is usually a curse but being shortlisted wont do Wire any harm.
    As Tim says, I doubt Wire have the clout, but you never know.

    As for this years...

    Congrats to Elbow, I say. Good album!