Entries tagged with: Polaris Music Prize

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 33):

Buffy 2015 Polaris

UPDATE: And the winner is... Buffy Sainte-Marie's Power in the Blood.

Canada's Polaris Music Prize, which is celebrating it's 10th anniversary, and is being given out tonight at the Carlu in Toronto right now (September 21). Nominees Alvvays, Braids, Jennifer Castle, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and the soon-not-to-be-called Viet Cong will perform live (some of which with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra) while the jury try and decide which album will win. The gala is hosted by Fred Penner, who hosted a very popular kids show in the 1980s. You can watch it live, below.

Speaking of Viet Cong, even though they have announced they're changing their name, some protesters are not satisfied and are giving out the t-shirts seen below to people (who will take them) going into the gala. Expect the prize (worth $50,000 to the artist) to be given out around 10 PM.

Continue reading "Buffy Sainte-Marie's 'Power in the Blood' won the 2015 Polaris Music Prize"

photo: FKA Viet Cong in London in June (more by Rachel Jaurez-Carr)
FKA Viet Cong

The rumors are true. Viet Cong will be changing their name. The band posted a statement, which reads:

Our band lives to play music. We don't particularly like doing press, most of us are fairly private people and we have social media for the band only reluctantly. Most of us generally don't follow online criticism. Over the last year we have essentially lived our lives in a tour van and in music venues, playing over 130 shows. In that time we've met many amazing people and had many great conversations with people in person.

Over this time we've been listening, talking and having lots of valuable conversations with the members of the Vietnamese community about the name. Through this dialogue and hearing about what the name means to so many people, we have decided we will be changing the name of our band.

Art and music are about creative expression. However, our band name is not our cause, and we are not going to fight for it. This is not what our band is about.

There are many individuals more eloquent than us who have recently had a lot to say about the topic of the name and our appropriation of the name Viet Cong. For more insights into the arguments we encourage you to read some of these. We are a band who want to make music and play our music for our fans. We are not here to cause pain or remind people of atrocities of the past.

The truth is, we've been planning to change the band name for the next record for months; it has not been an easy decision by any means. We are a band of four people with four individual voices; this debate has been long and difficult for us and it took time for everyone to settle on a plan of action.

We don't know what the new name of our band will be, and we owe it to our fans to honour the concerts we have booked. We rushed into our last band name decision, we don't plan to rush into this one, but know that will be rolling out a new name as soon as we agree upon one.

We realize this won't satisfy everyone, but that's certainly not the goal of this band. We never expected this kind of attention in the first place and just want to return to playing music, which is the only thing we (kinda) know how to do.

We've had an incredible amount of support from fans, and we have to thank everyone who has said supportive words to us as we struggle with this. As always, we welcome people talking to us in person.

- Matt, Mike, Monty & Danny.

Part of the initial rumor was that they would be changing it at the Polaris Prize gala this Monday (9/21), though maybe that's just when they were going to make this announcement because the statement says they "don't know what the new name of our band will be" yet. Stay tuned to find out what they change it to.

The band played Pop Montreal last night (9/18). We missed their set, but we did catch the one-off 17-piece version of The Besnard Lakes and more. Check out our Pop Montreal day 3 review.

Polaris Music Prize Shortlist

Canada's Polaris Prize has just announced it's 2015 Shortlist and these are the 10 records vying for it this year:

Viet Cong - S/T
Buffy Sainte-Marie - Power in the Blood
The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers
Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon
Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Jennifer Castle - Pink City
Caribou - Our Love
Braids - Deep in the Iris
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah - Sour Soul
Alvvays - S/T
The winner will be announced on September 21 at a gala in Toronto. Who do you think will take home the $50,000 Prize?


The long list for the 2015 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been announced. It includes Drake, The New Pornographers, Death From Above 1979, Caribou, Alvvays, White Lung, Viet Cong, METZ, Cold Specks, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld, Patrick Watson, Absolutely Free, Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah, Braids, Tobias Jesso Jr and more.

The shortlist will be announced July 16, and the winner will be announced September 21. Check out the full longlist below.

Last year's singer was throat singer Tanya Tagaq. You can catch longlisters Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld at Bowery Ballroom tonight (6/16).

Continue reading "Polaris 2015 Long List revealed (Drake, New Pornographers, DFA1979, Caribou, Alvvays, White Lung, Viet Cong, more)"


Last night (9/22), the winner of Canada's Polaris Music Prize was announced during the 4-hour gala (full video below), and the prize went to throat singer Tanya Tagaq for her album Animism. She beat out Arcade Fire, Drake, Mac DeMarco, Chromeo, Tim Hecker, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Timber Timbre, Shad, Jessy Lanza, and Basia Bulat.

Watch the gala video below...

Continue reading "throat singer Tanya Tagaq won the 2014 Polaris Music Prize"


The short list for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been announced. It includes Arcade Fire, Drake, Mac DeMarco, Chromeo, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Timber Timbre, Tanya Tagaq, Shad, Jessy Lanza and Basia Bulat.

The winner will be announced at a gala on September 22. Who do you think it will be? Who should win? Last year it was Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Full list below...

Continue reading "2014 Polaris Music Prize Short List revealed (Arcade Fire, Mac DeMarco, Drake, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker, more)"


Godspeed You! Black Emperor won the 2013 Polaris Prize for their album Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! last night (9/23). And while they weren't there to accept the award (Ian Ilavsky of their label Constellation Records accepted it and said they'd be donating the $30,000 to benefit music education in Quebec prisons), they've now issued a statement on the win. Read it below...

Continue reading "Godspeed You! Black Emperor give statement on Polaris Prize"


The gala for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, took place tonight and the winner is post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor for their comeback album, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!. Godspeed were up against Metric, METZ, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, Tegan & Sara, and more.

Ian Ilavsky of their label Constellation Records, who accepted the prize, said the band will use their $30,000 prize to benefit music education in Quebec prisons.

Godspeed will be in NYC when their tour with Nine Inch Nails hits Barclays Center on October 14. Tickets for that show are still available.

Stream their award winning album below...

Continue reading "Godspeed You! Black Emperor win the 2013 Polaris Prize"

Metric @ Radio City Music Hall 2012 (more by Jonathan McPhail)

The 2013 winner of Canada's Polaris Music Prize will be named tonight (9/23) at a gala ceremony in Toronto that will include live performances from Metric, METZ, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, A Tribe Called Red, Whitehorse, Zaki Ibrahim, and Young Galaxy. (The other nominees, Godspeed and Tegan & Sara, won't be playing.) Weren't invited? You can stream the whole thing live. The pre-show begins at 7 PM with the ceremony starting at 8 PM Eastern. One neat thing about the stream, the embedded player in this post allows you to toggle between the actual gala and backstage where you can "interact with performers, past nominees, presenters, and Polaris jury members" via Facebook and Twitter.

You can also check out mini-documentaries on eight of this year's nominees, along with the live stream, below.

Continue reading "stream the Polaris Prize Gala here (Metric, Metz, Purity Ring & more)"

Polaris Prize

The short list for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been announced. It includes Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Metric, METZ, Purity Ring, Colin Stetson, Tegan & Sara, and more. The winner will be announced at a gala in Toronto on September 23. Who do you think it will be? Check out the full short list below.

Continue reading "2013 Polaris Music Prize Short List revealed (Godspeed, Metz, Purity Ring, Metric, Colin Stetson & more)"

by Dominick Mastrangelo

Grimes / Feist and check / Fucked Up at 2012 Polaris Gala
2012 Polaris Prize
2012 Polaris Prize
2012 Polaris Prize

As you may have heard, Feist took home the 2012 Polaris Music Prize on Monday at Toronto's Masonic Temple. The Calgary native won the $30,000 prize for last year's Arts & Crafts release, Metals, beating out an incredibly strong shortlist which included Grimes, Drake (who was in Toronto but did not attend the gala), Handsome Furs, and 2009 winners, Fucked Up.

The three-hour gala featured performances by seven of the 10 shortlist nominees as the jury deliberated elsewhere in the building trying to decide on a winner.

Upon hearing her name announced by Jeremy Gara and Tim Kingsbury of last year's winners, Arcade Fire, the camera-shy Feist initially crawled under her table. "This is my worst nightmare," she told gala host Graham Lawrence, referencing her dislike of public speaking. "You'd think from a lifetime of terrible speeches I would remember at one point to write something down, but I never do because it seems presumptuous to prepare."

The performances were all top notch, with Grimes the most head-turning, opting for a male pole dancer instead of her usual two female dancers. Kathleen Edwards brought in a children's choir for her performance and then delivered a very heartfelt speech afterward where she thanked Polaris founder Steve Jordan for "creating a vehicle for those of us who don't want to march in the shit parade."

The last performance of the evening went to Feist and she was joined by Snowblink, Aurora as well as Broken Social Scene alum Andrew Whiteman and Charles Spearin, who's been handling mutli-instrumentalist duties on her current tour. Cold Specks (who will be here in November), Cadence Weapon and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan also performed. More pictures from the Gala are below.

Continue reading "Grimes, Fucked Up, Cadence Weapon and more played the Polaris Music Prize 2012 Gala along with winner Feist (pics)"

Feist accepts Polaris Prize money (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)

BV photographer Dominick Mastrangelo headed straight from Pop Montreal to Toronto today to witness the 2012 Polaris Prize gala where Feist was just announced as this year's big Canadian winner (for her album "Metals"). She beat Cadence Weapon, Cold Specks, Drake, Kathleen Edwards, Fucked Up, Grimes, Handsome Furs, Japandroids, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, many of whom performed at the awards show tonight. Stay tuned for more pictures from that (and for the rest of our Pop Montreal coverage coming soon too).

Update: a much closer-up picture of the above scene, members of Arcade Fire included, below...

Continue reading "Feist wins the 2012 Polaris Music Prize"


Last month the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, which awards a Canadian album of recorded music each year, revealed their long list and this week the short list was revealed. Cadence Weapon, Cold Specks, Drake, Kathleen Edwards, Feist, Fucked Up, Grimes, Handsome Furs, Japandroids, and Yamantaka // Sonic Titan are the 10 artists vying for this year's Prize, which will be announced at a gala on September 24. Who's gonna win?

Polaris Prize

The long list for the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, Canada's annual award for a great album, has been revealed. It includes Leonard Cohen, Cold Specks, Drake, Feist, Fucked Up, Grimes, Japandroids, The Weeknd, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, and more. Check out the full list below. Who's your money on?

Continue reading "2012 Polaris Music Prize Long List revealed"

Arcade Fire @ ACL Live on Saturday (more by Tim Griffin)
Arcade Fire

"There's only going to be one outcome of the Polaris Music Prize gala on Monday night: either the Arcade Fire wins or the Arcade Fire loses.

If the acclaimed Montreal ensemble wins, it will be the first time in the award's six-year history that the Polaris grand jury's choice of victor lines up with mainstream tastes. The album for which the Arcade Fire is nominated this year, The Suburbs, hit No. 1 in a number of countries on both sides of the Atlantic when it was released in August of last year, including Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and it's already got Album of the Year honours at the Grammy Awards and the Juno Awards to its credit. It represents one of those rare moments when critical acclaim, massive popularity and the approval of music-industry insiders are not mutually exclusive but have united in a perfect storm of near-universal acceptance.

If the Arcade Fire loses, expect Polaris foes to get their knives out again and accuse the award of being an exclusive, anti-populist, indier-than-thou club for arty obscurantists with little commercial appeal."
[Toronto Sun]

And Arcade Fire it is...

Other nominees this year were Austra, Destroyer, Timber Timbre, The Weeknd, and Braids who are co-headlining the BrooklynVegan official CMJ showcase at MHOW this year (tickets are on sale).

DOWNLOAD: Austra - "Spellwork" (MNDR Nighttime Remix) (MP3)

Austra at Santos (more by Vincent Cornelli)

2011's short list of nominees for Canada's Polaris Music Prize were announced. They include a mix of indie veterans, grammy-winners, a sax player who has played with those grammy winners, and some new kids on the block like the super buzzy The Weeknd whose resume includes working with Drake. Full nominee list is below.

One of the artists, Austra, will release a remix EP to follow-up their latest release Feel it Break. The remix collection, entitled SPARKLE will be released digitally on July 26th and on wax on August 23rd. The release features remix contributions from MNDR, Mark Pistel, and Planningtorock with the digital collection having an additional four bonus remixes. Preorder it at Domino, and download/stream one track, "Spellwork (MNDR Nighttime Remix)" above/below.

Reminder, look for Austra to play a FREE show on July 14th supporting tUnE-yArDs at Pier 54 in NYC. They'll also be on hand to support Cold Cave at Bowery Ballroom on August 6th (tickets). Cold Cave also plays NYC next week, at Knitting Factory with Cult of Youth on July 12th (tickets).

Braids, also nominated, recently announced a ton of tour dates.

Austra song stream and dates and the Polaris Music Prize nominees are below.

Continue reading "Polaris nominees announced, Austra releasing remix EP"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: Sloan - Follow the Leader (MP3)


Sloan are on tour and in town this week, playing Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday (6/29) and Knitting Factory on Thursday (6/30). It's a big year for the veteran Canadian group, their 20th Anniversary and their new album The Double Cross is their 10th studio album. Despite the nostalgia that goes along with an anniversary like this, Sloan have delivered another solid bunch of powerpop with The Double Cross, garnering a Polaris Music Prize nomination (their first) and an 8.1 from Pitchfork.

It's business as usual for Sloan, though, who have a remarkably consistent catalog despite having all four members write and sing their own material. (Though it is perhaps a key to their success.) One of them, guitarist Jay Ferguson, took time out before the first of two hometown Toronto shows for Sloan to talk about the new record, the Polaris nomination, the difference between American and Canadian audiences and record shopping while on tour.


BrooklynVegan: So it's a hometown shows tonight and tomorrow.

Jay Ferguson: It's a little nerve-wrecking because you have family, friends, stuff like that have to be corralled and attended to. Then you're also like, "Do I really know how to play that song that I played a week ago?" There's a lot of that.

BV: But it must be nice to be able just to go back to your home instead of some hotel room.

JF: That's true. I live literally around the corner from the venue so it's easygoing for me. I mean it's always nice to play in Toronto for family and friends. Sometimes it's just stressful for some of the folks in the band who have large families coming down. You want to make sure everybody's comfortable and having a good time. But sometimes on tour it's a little easier, you can just space out and concentrate on the show. We've played The Mod Club many times before so it should be easy and fun -- fingers crossed.

BV: How long have you been touring the new record?

continued below...

Continue reading "an interview with Sloan (who are on tour now)"

photos by Kam Tambini

"floor at webster hall about to collapse for caribou" - t m


Though Caribou was shortlisted for the 2010 Polaris Prize, the highest honor went to another:

Montreal indie rock act Karkwa took home the Polaris Music Prize for its fourth album, "Les Chemins de Verre" or "The Glass Paths" (Audiogram)...The band received $20,000 Canadian ($19,415).

"Les Chemins de Verre" was recorded in part at La Frette studios in Paris during breaks on their French tour. "It's an unbelievable thing to win this prize," said the band in a statement. "We have a lot of respect for this contest and we think they do it for the right reason (music)."
Oh well. Daniel Snaith probably didn't have a chance anyway, since Caribou already won it in 2008.

Caribou is currently on the road and will stay there until the middle of December. Daniel and and his live band played Webster Hall in NYC on Wednesday (9/22) with help from Emeralds and Arp. No Emeralds/Arp pictures, but a few more Caribou ones, with a video, and the band's exhausting-looking tour schedule, below...

Continue reading "Caribou played Webster Hall (pics), didn't win the Polaris, and is now on tour (dates) "

The Besnard Lakes @ Bowery Ballroom in March (more by Andrew St Clair)
Besnard Lakes

The short list for the 2010 Polaris Prize has been announced. The ten nominees are below...

Continue reading "2010 Polaris Music Prize short list announced (includes Caribou who will DJ Glasslands after the Governors Island show) "

by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: Young Galaxy - Queen Drum (MP3)


We already touched on Young Galaxy in our day 1 roundup of NXNE. Here's another set of pictures from that show, with news that band be coming to the US for a tour in August. Their shows on that include an August 2nd show at Brooklyn's Littlefield. They'll also be touring Canada with Stars (a band that counts Young Galaxy frontman Stephen Ramsay as an ex-member) in October.

Young Galaxy's second album, Invisible Republic, has been out since last year in Canada - it'll get a US release on July 27th on Paper Bag Records. The record is one of 40 on nominee list for this year's Polaris Prize. Co-singer and keyboardist Catherine McCandles sings on the sweltering, moody track above.

More pictures from their June 17th set at Toronto's Mod Club and all tour dates are below...

Continue reading "Young Galaxy tour dates, NXNE pics, MP3 & album details"

"Wow, Pop-Core takes the Polaris prize! Surprise!" - Metric

Metric @ Terminal 5 in June (more by Bao Nguyen)

Metric announced a November-December tour today. They probably hoped the announcement would be delivered with the news of their Polaris win. Those dates below...

Continue reading "Metric didn't win the Polaris prize, announced Tour Dates "

Fucked Up

"Until this year, we in Fucked Up have never felt part of the Canadian "music community"; we've never really toured Canada, never received any sort of grant money, and I wasn't even a part of SOCAN until last week. It wasn't because we felt we were too good for Canada or anything moronic like that, it was simply because the scene we came out of has forever been ignored by the Canadian music industry and, as a result, has had to find a home outside of the "Cancon" world...

...So, for us, the prospect that one day we would be nominated for something like Polaris would have been completely laughable. And somehow that is where we find ourselves. This shift is thanks in large part to the changing face of the Canadian music media. More and more, people in places like Exclaim!, MTV News, Eye, and NOW have been covering hardcore music. Fucked Up, being the media whores that we are, have been the band that has benefited the most from this, and hopefully it's a trend that continues and isn't a mere case of tokenism. Being nominated for the Polaris Prize is one of the most exciting things to have happened to our band, not only because of the prestige of the award but because it was something that until this year would have felt so far out of the realm of possibility." [Damian "Pink Eyes" Abraham to Torontoist]

Not only were they nominated, it was announced tonight that Fucked Up beat fellow Canadians Elliott BROOD, Great Lake Swimmers, Hey Rosetta!, K'NAAN, Malajube, Metric, Joel Plaskett, Chad VanGaalen, and Patrick Watson for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize. The above art is a Polaris-created poster for the winning album, The Chemistry Of Common Life. It's the same album that the band will be performing live in Brooklyn in November.

Patrick Watson is coming to NYC for CMJ. Great Lake Swimmers are touring and will be here even sooner.


Steve Jordan, Founder and Executive Director of the Polaris Music Prize, today revealed the Short List of 10 Canadian albums eligible for the fourth annual $20,000 award.
The 10 nominees are, in alphabetical order:

Continue reading "2009 Polaris Prize nominees "


A few tracks into Shad's Polaris Music Prize-nominated album The Old Prince makes it clear Common is a massive influence. From the soul samples and jazz interludes to introspective spoken-word intros and lyrics that tackle everyday issues with perspective and humour, the disc recalls early Common albums such as Resurrection.

"Common is my biggest influence -- he was the one guy that I liked best, because he's the best," said Shad. "He's always at the next level --with the lyrics, the way he says things -- on all levels. From his level of depth of insight and honesty to his straight lyrical skill." [Metro]

@ Pianos in NYC, full club, Thursday, October 23, 2008, FREE. The lineup is:
time (PM), band, stage
12:00 Pretty & Nice (downstairs)
12:15 Twi the Humble Feather (upstairs)
12:45 Eagle Seagull (downstairs)
01:00 James Jackson Toth (upstairs)
01:30 The Muslims (downstairs)
01:45 Shad (upstairs)
02:15 Japanese Motors (downstairs)
02:30 Peasant (upstairs)
03:00 Friendly Fires (downstairs)
03:15 Sharon Van Etten (upstairs)
03:45 Crystal Antlers (downstairs)
04:00 Pwrfl POWER (upstairs)
04:30 Sebastien Grainger (downstairs)
04:45 Wye Oak (upstairs)
05:30 Phosphorescent (upstairs)
Shad played his official CMJ showcase at Arlene's Grocery on Wednesday night. Thursday is the Canadian's only other NYC show. Check out a video below...

Continue reading "Shad (2008 Polaris nominee) added to Thursday BV show "

by BrooklynVegan Mike

Born Ruffians @ Central Park Summerstage (more by Ryan Muir)
Born Ruffians @ Summerstage

Coming off the heels of their nomination for the Polaris Music Prize (they lost to Caribou), Plants and Animals (my pick to win) are teaming up with Born Ruffians (a band I felt should have been nominated) and are embarking on a co-headlining tour this fall. The pair of Canadian trios, who both had turns at Central Park Summerstage this year, begin the month long trek Wednesday in Pontiac, Michigan and will travel as far south as Austin, Texas and will conclude in Champlain Quebec not long after hitting NYC to play both Mercury Lounge (tix) and Union Hall The Bell House (tix).

In other Ruffians news, it seems the UK is really taking a shine to them. At their show in London last week, fans rushed the stage, knocking over lead singer, Luke Lalonde in the process. The look on his face upon getting to his feet is priceless. See the UK incident video, and all tour dates, below....

Continue reading "Plants & Animals and Born Ruffians - 2008 Tour Dates"