Friday, February 15th, 2013
Prism Prize refracts spotlight on Canadian videos
Claire BoucherWhereas the Polaris Music Prize already has a seven year track record of honouring the top Canadian album, the Prism Prize is new on the scene – unaffiliated but sharing a similar mandate, but focused on the art of the music video rather than the album.
And while some may have assumed the art form was on the decline due to the fact that their traditional medium – broadcast television – no longer plays them, the internet as well as the low cost of entry to powerful high-definition recording equipment and editing software has given creators unprecedented means to make some seriously impressive shorts. And the Prism Prize aims to reward them with both recognition and a $5000 prize to be split between the artist and the video production team.
A jury of Canadian music media types have been voting on any video created in the 2012 calendar year and as of yesterday, the short list of ten finalists was announced. It’s not an unfamiliar set of names for those who keep up with the Can-indie – congratulations to Rich Aucoin, Drake, Grimes (twice), METZ, Mother Mother, Maylee Todd, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, and Young Rival – but what’s nice about this sort of prize is a) even if you don’t care for the artist or the song, you can still find the video worthy, and b) it takes well under an hour to get through every candidate. Handy if you’re a juror. Which I am, I should mention, and I should probably get started on my ballot.
The winner will be announced on March 24.
Video: Arcade Fire – “Sprawl II” (Vincent Morriset)
Video: Rich Aucoin – “Brian Wilson Is A.L.I.V.E.” (Noah Pink)
Video: Drake – “HYFR” (X)
Video: Grimes – “Genesis” (Claire Boucher)
Video: Grimes – “Oblivion” (Emily Kai Bock)
Video: METZ – “Wet Blanket” (Scott Cudmore)
Video: Mother Mother – “The Sticks” (Chad VanGaalen)
Video: Maylee Todd – “Baby’s Got It” (Reynard Li)
Video: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko” (Emily Pelstring & Ruby Kato Attwood)
Video: Young Rival – “Two Reasons” (John Smith)
And this seems a good time to point out some recent domestic video released. Hayden just put out one to coincide with the release of Us Alone. There’s conversations with Mr. Desser at The National Post, NOW, Exclaim, and Spinner. He plays The Dakota, Cameron House, and Rivoli next week on February 20, 21, and 22 respectively.
Video: Hayden – “Rainy Saturday”
Two Hours Traffic have put out the first video from their new record Foolish Blood as well as making a stream of the whole thing available at Exclaim. It’s out next Tuesday, February 19, and they’re at Lee’s Palace on March 21 for Canadian Musicfest.
Video: Suuns – “2020”
Video: Brasstronaut – “Bounce”
It’s not an official video, but this live clip of Evening Hymns covering Big Star in France (I think) is well worth watching. They play The Great Hall on Saturday night as part of Wavelength’s thirteenth anniversary series, which is underway now and is the subject of features in NOW and BlogTO. And tangentially, Wavelength talks to The Magic – also featuring Evening Hymns’ Sylvie Smith and playing Wavelength’s Sunday night showcase at The Garrison.
Stream: Rachel Zeffira – “Wintertime”
Consequence Of Sound has premiered a new song from the forthcoming Chains Of Love album Misery Makers, due out this Summer. Surely I can’t be the only one to notice that singer/guitarist Rebecca Marie Law Gray is no longer in the promo photos, or audible on this recording…?
Stream: Chains Of Love – “Come And Play”