July 6th, 2011
With today’s announcement of the shortlist, the prestigious Polaris Music Prize has officially entered the exciting home stretch today. For those of you who don’t know what the Polaris Music Prize is, it’s an award given away annually to a Canadian record based solely on artistic merit.
I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about the whole thing because in a few years ago my band somehow won the award (see above). I can remember the day they announced the shortlist the year we won. We had just crossed the border into Croatia and were feeling a little uneasy (due to our friend Jay Reatard [RIP] getting into an altercation and having his guitar smashed a few months earlier at the same club for, what he told us was, no real reason… The truth of course was very different. We later found out from some kids at the show and later from Jay’s band). At the club, I did some interviews over Skype with some journalists that were at the Shortlist ceremony and when they asked us if we were going to win I laughed because I thought there is no way in hell that that is going to happen… but it did!
That is the amazing thing about Polaris: unlike nearly every other award show you cannot guess who is going to win. Even a 300-pound bald man, who screams in a pretentious hardcore band that was playing a half empty club on the other side of the world can win. How could you not be interested in an award like that?
Tonight’s episode, we’re celebrating the Polaris by airing videos by each of the shortlist nominees. Well, eight of the ten, since The Weeknd and Colin Stetson don’t technically have official videos to air. But you can see an unofficial Weeknd video and a Colin Stetson performance below, if you’re curious.
P.S. I am also co-hosting the show this year.
The Weeknd “The Morning”
Colin Stetson “Awake On Foreign Shores / Judges”