Entries tagged with: Polaris Music Prize

25 result(s) displayed (1 - 25 of 29):


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"


BV Mike was hoping for Plants & Animals, though he agrees
that Caribou equally deserves it. To quote him:

The former Manitoba a.k.a Daniel Snaith makes the shortlist with his beautiful album Andorra. So much can be said about this album. An amalgam of dream pop, shoegazer, experimental electronica, and even late 60s mod leanings, it never ceases to be surprising and engrossing. I strongly think I am going to regret placing this record third in my predictions but I feel that his strong track record actually hurts his chances somewhat. I just have this feeling that this record is going to be overlooked by the judges.
Not overlooked after all. Who would you have voted for?

by BrooklynVegan Mike

Polaris Music Prize

The time has arrived to crown another Polaris Music Prize winner. Last year's Canadian award was met with mixed response as relative unknowns (outside of Canada) Patrick Watson beat Arcade Fire, Feist (my pick to win), and seven others for the top spot.

This is the most open field in the brief history of the award. There are no big acts, though Stars certainly has a large following. Most of the artists on the shortlist have been playing since the beginning of the decade or longer. Coincidently or otherwise, the two youngest artists on the shortlist, Shad (27) and Basia Bulat (24), are two of the favorites this year. With that said, there will be no real "upsets." I can see any of the nominees walking away with the prize. It seems the award has positioned itself more to elevate someone then legitimize a popular artist's success (past losers include the aforementioned Arcade Fire along with Broken Social Scene, and Wolf Parade).

Like last year, I will go over the ten nominees in order of who I think has the best chance of picking up the prize on the 29th. We start with who I think has the least chance...

Continue reading "The 2008 Polaris Music Prize is about to be awarded"

words by BrooklynVegan Mike, photos by Ryan Muir

Basia Bulat

The shortlist for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize was announced last week.

a not-for-profit organization that annually honours, celebrates and rewards creativity and diversity in Canadian recorded music by recognizing, then marketing the albums of the highest artistic integrity, without regard to musical genre, professional affiliation, or sales history, as judged by a panel of selected critics and experts.
Unlike previous years, there are no "heavyweights" among the nominees. Stars is the biggest name on the list that also includes The Weakerthans and Black Mountain, but by no means do Stars tower over the other nominees like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and Feist did in years past. Except for maybe Stars, this year's shortlist is a collection of artists who haven't crossed over yet, but who have a good following and heavy rotation on college and CBC radio.

Crystal Castles, Born Ruffians, Destroyer, and Sandro Perri are conspicuously absent from this year's shortlist, although they did make the original 40-album long list. I think they should have also made the final cut. As we approach the awards, I will once again give my two cents on who I think will win, looking to avenge picking Feist over Patrick Watson, last year's eventual winner.

Basia Bulat also made the shorlist this year. Basia Bulat opened for Devotchka at Terminal 5 in May. Ryan took some pics that we haven't posted yet, so here they are. More of them and the entire 2008 shortlist, below...

Continue reading "the 2008 Polaris Prize shortlist, pics of Basia Bulat"