Polaris Short List Announcment

I’m a music writer, and every now and then I get invited to exclusive industry events. I generally will try to go, cause I’m still at that enthusiastic stage where I think everything is the coolest, and have yet to adorn an apathetic disguise, with an air of pretension like nothing could ever impress me. The Round Room at the Carlu had a fair number of industry types, mostly populating the area around the food layout.

The Polaris Prize is an award that falls under the music snobbery realm, where a panel of  judges select the Canadian album with the most artistic merit, regardless of genre. The winner receives a years worth of clout, along with a cheque for $30,000. Past winners have included Arcade Fire, Feist, and last year’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who famously turned the of hoity toity-ness of Polaris on its head when they issued a statement against the ceremony.

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Anyway, this year’s Long List had a lot of fantastic talent, and I was happy to see Toronto locals represented through DIANA, PUP, and Odonis Odonis. I was curious to see who’d make it through to the Short List.

photo 1I waited behind the radius of television cameras as the founder (or whoever he was) of Polaris walked up to the podium. We gave a little applause to the sponsors blah blah, and then he awkwardly introduced Jay Baruchel, who I recognized as the co-host on Popular Mechanics for Kids… wow such celebrity! He was quite fumbly himself, and sped through the list faster than any of us journalists could type into our iPhone notes. The list of 10 nominees is pictured below.



My bet for the overall winner is Basia Bulat, so I was happy to see she made it to the top ten. I was somewhat surprised to see the inclusion of a few bands that have wide commercial success, like Drake, Arcade Fire, and Mac Demarco, but whatever.. it’s about artistic merit… the most subjective thing ever… so who knows! The Polaris Gala will be held September 22nd, where the overall winner will be announced. Hopefully I’ll get invited to that, too!

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beau on Southern Souls

I’ve been a big fan of Southern Souls for years. So much so, that I wrote an article about the series for BlogTO earlier this year. Creator Mitch Fillion films live performance videos of local bands in locations they choose themselves. The collection of videos really paints a picture of the indie music landscape happening in and around Southern Ontario. My lovely band beau set ourselves up to have two songs filmed by Mitch inside The Black Cat gallery here in Toronto. I am pretty thrilled with the finished product, these videos really capture our sense of giddiness and our love for playing together. Check out the feature video below, and go to this link to see both performances.