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Damien Rice Wins Shortlist

Bright Eyes' Oberst takes aim at Clear Channel

October 6, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice's debut album, O, won the third annual Shortlist Music Prize at a ceremony last night at the Wiltern Theater in in Los Angeles.

O was selected from a list of ten albums that also included Bright Eyes' Lifted or the Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground, Cody Chesnutt's The Headphone Masterpiece, Cat Power's You Are Free and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Fever to Tell.

Rice was on hand to receive the award and also performed. The evening's performers also included most of the nominees: Interpol, the Streets, Bright Eyes, Floetry, the Black Keys and Cat Power. Bright Eyes' frontman Conor Oberst took an on-stage moment to attack media conglomerate Clear Channel Entertainment. "There will be no more real music anymore if we keep letting people shove it down our fucking throats," he said.

The Shortlist contenders were albums with sales of fewer than 500,000 copies and selected by a panel of musicians, filmmakers and critics.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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