Search Results - "2006 Polaris Music Prize Gala Phoenix Toronto September 18, 2006"
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Review of Malajube’s La caverne and giveaway
Joseph YarmushIt’s almost certainly too much to read an excess of meaning into the title of Malajube’s last albums, but when you’ve only got a (very) rudimentary working knowledge of the French language, you do what you can do. That said, there’s something to the fact that 2009′s Labyrinthes was as dark and dense as the title implied – at least relative to the almost giddily carefree nature of 2006′s Trompe L’Oeil (“deceive the eye” in English, if you were wondering) – and a far less immediate listen. Still, it rated highly enough to score the band its second Polaris Prize shortlist placement in as many records and basically confirm the band as the ambassadors of Francophone rock to the rest of Canada, even if it would be Karkwa who would score the first win for French Canada last year.
Those seeking to find similar meaning in the name of their new record, the just-released La caverne, may be disappointed to learn that it comes not from the dark, subterranean underworld of their collective psyches mined for inspiration but more likely the fact that the album was recorded in a house shaped like a geodesic dome. But listening to the new record you wouldn’t have to go very far to imagine that they decked the studio out with lasers and mirror balls, given it’s surprisingly sleek and dance-friendly vibe. Lead track and single “Synesthésie” gives immediate notice that things are different for the band this time out, applying a fresh shimmer to both guitars and synths and mating them with an irresistible rhythm.
While signature elements like Julien Mineau’s smooth/raspy vocals keep things familiar, La caverne is leaner and more focused than either Trompe-l’oeil or Labyrinthes and also possibly their most immediate. So what happens when a band that’s already twice been acclaimed as having made one of the ten best Canadian records in a year makes their big pop move? Three guesses.
Malajube are currently on tour in Quebec and southern Ontario, with a few US dates thrown in, and will be at The Horseshoe Tavern on May 30. JAM, The Montreal Gazette, aux.tv, Montreal Mirror and The National Post have interviews with the band.
And courtesy of the label, I’ve also got three copies of La caverne on vinyl to give away – to enter, email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “Je veux la caverne” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. Contest is open to residents of Canada and closes at midnight, April 28.
MP3: Malajube – “Synesthésie”
Video: Malajube – “Synesthésie”
With the April 26 release – in Canada, anyways – of sophomore album Was I The Wave? nigh, check out one the new Miracle Fortress songs. Americans
MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Raw Spectacle”
Sometime Miracle Fortress-er Adam Waito’s own project Adam & The Amethysts have put out a video from their still-forthcoming second album Flickering Flashlight, due out sometime.
Video: Adam & The Amethysts – “Prophecy”
Pitchfork reports that Arcade Fire are going to let their Suburbs sprawl a little more this Summer, by way of a deluxe CD/DVD package due out on June 27. The DVD component will be the Spike Jonze-helmed mini-feature Scenes From The Suburbs and the CD will be their super-hit album with a couple of new songs added on for extra value.
Fucked Up have released the second of four MP3s leading up to the release of David Comes To Life on June 7 via Matablog, who also have details of a “Buy Early Get Now” presale promotion for the record in which you buy early…
MP3: Fucked Up – “A Little Death”
Caribou has elected to give away the complete recordings of the live Vibration Ensemble set from All Tomorrow’s Parties in upstate New York circa September 2009 – just hit their Soundcloud and make with the downloading. And while you wait, maybe refresh your memory as to what the Vibration Ensemble was with the writeup of their performance in Toronto the week prior.
MP3: Caribou Vibration Ensemble – “Every Time She Turns Round It’s Her Birthday”
Planet Notion interviews Stephen Ramsay of Young Galaxy.
Crawdaddy has got a nice live performance video of The Rural Alberta Advantage in a Toronto church. I don’t think it’s an official video, but it’s nice; it could be. They’re playing the Phoenix on April 29.
Spinner, The Vancouver Sun, dose.ca and The Leader-Post, See check in with Tokyo Police Club as they tour across Canada. Their next local gig is Edgefest at Downsview Park on July 9.
And though it’s their eighth birthday, Toronto label Paper Bag Records are the ones offering the gifts – in the form of True Blue, a free compilation of Madonna covers by their artists, including the aforementioned Young Galaxy and Rural Alberta Advantage, PS I Love You and more, but my favourite would be the title track by Montreal’s Winter Gloves and guest vocalist Hannah Georgas. And as a sidenote, I apparently don’t know nearly as much of Madonna’s oeuvre as I thought I did. And am okay with that.
MP3: Winter Gloves w Hannah Georgas – “True Blue”
Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
Well I certainly wasn’t expecting THAT outcome at the Polaris Music Prize gala last night.
A year after reaching into left field to declare Final Fantasy’s He Poos Clouds the winner of the inaugural prize, the grand jury reached even farther into left field to name Montreal’s Patrick Watson and his album Close To Paradise as Polaris champion for 2007. I’m actually not in a position to comment on whether Watson is a deserving winner or not because he was one of just two finalists whose work I am completely unfamiliar with – his two-song performance to open up the night’s ceremony was the first I’d heard of him and from that, I have to say I wasn’t especially overwhelmed.
Actually none of the performances had the same eye-opening effect that Final Fantasy’s did last year when you couldn’t help but wish that the grand jury could have seen him play as that would have settled all discussion right then and there. Which isn’t to say they weren’t good – they were all decent and made a case for why their albums had been nominated – but weren’t revelatory. The Besnard Lakes were certainly the loudest act and Julie Doiron the most jubilant – she seemed absolutely thrilled to be playing with her Eric’s Trip bandmates again. The Joel Plaskett Emergency delivered a raucous set and Chad VanGaalen opted not to play a selection from his nominated Skelliconnection but instead to unveil new material, including one song that sounded like he was channeling Neil Young & Crazy Horse. Miracle Fortress, who I was rooting for, closed the show out with a set that was in some ways better than the last time I saw them back in June but in other ways, still not nearly as tight or polished as the other performers. They did, however, have the best songs. Hands down. My hands, anyway.
The host for this year was Grant Lawrence from CBC Radio 3 and he was a huge improvement from Jian Ghomeshi last year. Simultaneously more succinct and still funnier, he kept things moving well though Ghomeshi still turned up to introduce The Besnard Lakes in monumentally long-winded fashion. Dave Bookman from CFNY was also a return presenter from 2006 and again proved he has no shame by singing an introduction for Julie Doiron to the tune of “California Girls” (he did the same thing for The New Pornographers last year, also cringe-worthy). But on the whole the evening went quickly and smoothly and was entertaining, even from the cheap seats (read: balcony) where I was again relegated. The production values of the event were far superior as well, with a much nicer and fancier stage setup at The Phoenix and – I think – better hors d’oeurves. Though we only got one drink ticket instead of two this time. Boo.
But back to Patrick Watson. After getting back from the ceremony, I’ve listened to the album (conveniently streaming at Spinner.com this week – link below – though as far as I can tell it’s already been released in the US) and am still at a loss as to how it was decided that this record was better than the other ten. Not to say that it’s bad at all, especially if you like the idea of hearing Jeff Buckley fronting a jazzier Coldplay, but I sincerely believe the Feist record or Five Roses from Watson’s labelmates in Miracle Fortress are far superior. But hey, I wasn’t in the grand jury room, I was in the balcony gnarfing down cheese and this is how it played out so congratulations to Watson, who was excited about the win because a) it allowed him to trash talk the Besnard Lakes (affectionately, I assume) and b) pay off a $16,000 bill they’d apparently just gotten for wrecking a rental van. So very rock. What was interesting was that the jury reached a decision far sooner than I expected – some predicted a hung jury, if possible, since no one could read any of the jurors’ particular biases. I guess they were all digging on Patrick Watson.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s Polaris as the 2007-2008 nomination period looks to have a lot of stellar releases that it’s going to be a challenge to have to sort out for my five picks, and not in the “I only own three qualifying albums” way that it’s been in the past. But that’s not till next May – let’s round up some other reactions to the win from Canadian Press (in which Pallett tackles the “they don’t need the money” elephant head on), Pitchfork, The Toronto Star and Drowned In Sound and I’ll add more response and reaction as the day creeps on and people shake off their after-party hangovers. Update: More from Stereogum, Radio Free Canuckistan (a fun, insider-y look at the event. Part two forthcoming), Zoilus, Chart, Macleans and Radio Free Canuckistan Pt 2. One of the grand jurors reports in to The Montreal Gazette.
Photos: 2007 Polaris Music Prize Gala @ The Phoenix – September 24, 2007
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Luscious Life”
MP3: Patrick Watson – “Giver”
MP3: The Besnard Lakes – “And You Lied To Me”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Flower Garden”
MP3: Chad Van Gaalen – “Graveyard”
MP3: Julie Doiron – “No More”
MP3: Miracle Fortress – “Have You Seen In Your Dreams”
Video: Patrick Watson – “Close To Paradise” (YouTube)
Video: The Besnard Lakes – “For Agent 13″ (YouTube)
Video: The Joel Plaskett Emergency – “Fashionable People” (YouTube)
Video: Chad Van Gaalen – “Flower Gardens” (YouTube)
Video: Julie Doiron – “Me And My Friend” (MOV)
Video: Julie Doiron – “No More” (youTube)
Video: Julie Doiron – “Swan Pond” (MOV)
Stream: Patrick Watson / Close To Paradise
MySpace: Patrick Watson
MySpace: The Besnard Lakes
MySpace: The Joel Plaskett Emergency
MySpace: Chad VavGaalen
MySpace: Julie Doiron
Some Polaris-related odds and ends – Bootlog is sharing a Miracle Fortress performance in Kingston a couple weeks ago and Joel Plaskett will play a series of shows at the Horseshoe from December 10 through 13 to celebrate the venerable venue’s 60th anniversary. Each night he’ll be playing one of his albums in its entirety, except not Ashtray Rock as that will henceforth be known as the LOSING record and never be spoken of again.
And completely un-Polaris related, check out one of the songs from British Sea Power’s forthcoming Krackenhaus? EP, out digitally October 9 and in plastic November 20. It’s terrific.
MP3: British Sea Power – “Atom”
Tuesday, September 19th, 2006
Since it’s pretty obvious from the photo who won, I’ll start by congratulating Owen Pallett – aka Final Fantasy – on winning the first annual Polaris Music Prize for his album He Poos Clouds. The award was given out last night at the Phoenix at a mildly fancy awards gala featuring performances from half of the 10 finalists for the prize – K’Naan, Sarah Harmer, Cadence Weapon, Malajube and the eventual winner, Final Fantasy. The other nominees got a little video montage comprised of clips from their promo videos and MuchMusic interviews.
All of the performers were terrific, making compelling arguments for why they are some of the top talent in the country but really, Final Fantasy’s two-song set of looped violin-driven classical pop stood head and shoulders above the rest. The finalist judges could have saved themselves a lot of trouble if they had just watched him play instead of being sequestered away deliberating – they could have handed him the giant cheque right there and gone to enjoy some nachos. I’ve not been a huge fan of Final Fantasy but after seeing him perform last night, I will have to reevaluate.
Also impressive were Montreal’s Malajube, who though they didn’t win, have probably gained the most out of being nominated than all the others in terms of exposure and profile. Because the singer was sick they only played one song of high-energy guitar pop but they definitely made the most of the opportunity. BrooklynVegan, who has probably been following the awards far closer than any Canadian outlet, has an interview with the band.
Though I don’t think there was any real concensus favourite coming into the night, it was evident from the response from the audience, made up of media and industry folk, that no one really wanted any of the high-profile bands (BSS, New Pornographers, Metric) to win – after all, Canadians do love an underdog. But I’m sure that as thrilled as Pallett is to be taking home $20K (maybe he can buy himself back a website), it was Wolf Parade who did the most celebrating when the award organizers announced that the sponsors would indeed be picking up their bar tab from the night before.
It was kind of an interesting experience for me because even though I was a judge and was invited to the event, I don’t actually work within the industry in any meaningful way and thus, didn’t know anyone there. So when I say “interesting”, I probably mean “kinda dull”. But even though I was up in the balcony with the hoi polloi, I was able to shoot a few decent photos of the performances. In hindsight, I probably could have walked down to where the media photogs were and shot from there, but eh. Lazy. The awards themselves were farily low-key with some minor technical difficulties, a not-terribly funny host and no shortage of digs at Broken Social Scene. But still, it was nice to be a part of what should be a worthwhile annual event and though it sounds like such a cliche, after last night I have a few CDs to pick up.
Canada.com and The Toronto Star reports on the awards outcome while Zoilus offers no info about how the final judging process went. Rock? Scissors? Paper? Come on!
Update: Just got a link to the video for the title track of the winning album.
Update 2: Pop (All Love) liveblogged the event… in his head. ESSENTIAL READING.
Photos: Polaris Music Prize Gala @ The Phoenix – September 18, 2006
MP3: Final Fantasy – “If I Were A Carp”
MP3: Final Fantasy – “Many Lives 49 MP”
MP3: Malajube – “Montreal -40°C”
MP3: Malajube – “Le Metronome”
Video: Final Fantasy – “He Poos Clouds” (YouTube)
Keeping it Canuck – is Ottawa the next big scene? Simultaneous lists on the best bands in the nation’s capital from Cokemachineglow and I Heart Music tip the magic eight ball towards “possibly”.
I Heart Music also has an interview with Andrew Scott of Sloan, while The Canadian Press talks to Chris Murphy. Their new one Never Hear The End Of It is out today and apparently it’s something more than business as usual from the band? They’ve also announced a Toronto date at the Kool Haus for October
11 6 – thanks to For The Records for the tip.
Victoria News chats with Amy Millan and The London Free Press talks to Metric. The AV Club shuffles Emily Haines’ iPod, Pitchfork reviews her solo record and there’s a new MP3 and video to check out:
MP3: Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – “Dr Blind”
Video: Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton – “Dr Blind” (MOV)
Pitchfork interviews John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and Carl Wilson also has an expansive review of Get Lonely at The Globe & Mail. The Goats are in town tonight at Lee’s Palace.
My segment on The New Music is now available to view online at MuchMusic but only within Canada – something to do with broadcast rights to the music used in the piece, etc. And it’s too bad, because the CGI is really impressive. It really looks like I’m breathing fire and crushing Neo-Tokyo under my giant lizard feet. But my thoughts? They say some people have a face for radio – I apparently have a voice for the internet (and I’m not talkin’ podcasts).
np – Sarah Harmer / I’m A Mountain