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• His work with Artists for Peace and Justice
• UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Stroumboulopoulos. Reporting for Duty. Jury Duty.
Yes... the Much Music Video Awards. Hosted by the triumvirate of virginal musical pablum -- the Jonas Brothers. Featuring musical powerhouses like Lady Gaga and special guests from The Hills. God help us all... is this how far music has fallen?
Resisting the urge to Yakitori all over the sidewalk, we soldiered on... talking about our excitement for upcoming music festivals including this week's NXNE and reminiscing about who we may have camped out for when we were 15. Conversation progressing, we realized that at their ages, our musical tastes were also not fully formed... okay kids. Mama'll give you a pass. You're forgiven.
This time of year is an important one in the Canadian music industry. The nominees for the Polaris Prize -- the initial long list of 40 discs have been announced - the submissions from music journalists, bloggers, media types hand in their 5 picks for best Canadian album of this past year. After this, jurors will vote again to narrow down to the short list of 10. The short list will be revealed on July 7th and then it's on. The Grand Jury will debate the merits and announce the final pick -- the $20,000 prize winner at the Polaris gala on September 21st.
Not surprisingly, the list is not without omissions... but as always, covers a wide spectrum of genres and geographical regions. I'm happy to say that of the list of 40, I own 11. Yes, own. That aside, my favourite part of Polaris is that the contest is based on artistic merit - not sales- and provides music lovers a fabulous opportunity to really explore the musical landscape that the scenesters have laid out with their long list selections.
Some notable points on the list?
Former Polaris Grand Prize winner Patrick Watson makes a return appearance on the list -- this time for 'Wooden Arms'. Could they win again?
Profanity takes a backseat to no list -- last year it was Holy Fuck who made the top 10 -- will the equally controversially named Fucked Up be so lucky with their entry 'The Chemistry of Common Life'?
Many artists who receive play or have been live studio guests on The Strombo Show have made the cut. Jill Barber, Arkells, The Stills, Joel Plaskett, Metric and K-OS -- to name a few.
I really feel that a good bet for top 10 are Hey Rosetta -- who kicked ass at the East Coast Music Awards. Great Lake Swimmers, Jill Barber, Joel Plaskett and The Stills are among my top picks.
I will definitely check out some acts I've never even heard of... Think About Life, Lhasa and Bison B.C. to name a few.
Check out the long list HERE. There is also a featured contest for those who wish to guess who will comprise the top 10 finalists...
What would your top 10 be? Any glaring omissions this year? Who'd your ultimate winner be?
Take care... happy listening. Let's hear it for Canadian Music!!!!!