Posts Tagged ‘Yamantaka//Sonic Titan’

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Do You Want To Die Together?

Stars want to sex you up on Spring tour. And also kill you.

Photo By Norman WongNorman WongConsidering their fanbases intersect pretty heavily, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable to think that Stars’ Autumn jaunt supporting Metric across Canada’s finest arenas would constitute the bulk of their touring in support of their latest effort The North. Not unreasonable, but also incorrect.

Following forays to Europe and Australasia this Winter, Stars will embark on another transcontinental tour in the Spring with certain cities hosting a two-night stand that the band promise will be more than just repeated sets. They’ve dubbed these shows “Evenings Of Sex & Death” and will be plumbing their discographies for songs relating to each topic – not difficult, certainly – to create themed evenings. And if that means super-fans will want to attend both nights rather than just choose one or another, then all the better. Though let’s be honest, they would have anyways. Toronto plays host to one of the two-parters on March 20 and 21 at the Danforth Music Hall, with tickets for individual nights going for $29.50 a piece or $50 for both evenings. These go on sale this Saturday at 10AM.

Canada.com has an interview with Amy Millan.

MP3: Stars – “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It”
MP3: Stars – “The Theory Of Relativity”

The Drake Hotel has released details of this year’s What’s In The Box Boxing Week concert series, which they’ve been doing since 2006 and sees five bands and/or DJs playing the Underground each night from December 26 to 30 with a modest $5 cover for all. There’s still some TBAs in the itinerary, but with names like July Talk, Born Ruffians frontman Luke Lalonde, Dusted, and Zeus in the mix, you know they’re going to be sold out regardless of who else gets added.

MP3: Zeus – “Anything You Want Dear”
MP3: Dusted – “(Into The) Atmosphere”
Stream: Luke Lalonde – “(Grand) Rhythmnals”
Video: July Talk – “Paper Girl”

Looking ahead to the new year, Basia Bulat – who will have a new record out in 2013 – will be performing at the January installment of the Art Gallery Of Ontario’s 1st Thursday monthly programme on January 3. If you’re not familiar with it – and I wasn’t until I went to this month’s – $10 gets you not only the show, but run of the AGO’s exhibits with the addition of impromptu dance clubs, taco bars, and drop-in life-drawing classes. It’s good fun, but know that it will sell out so advance tickets are recommended and people get quite dressed up for it. Except for the ones who are naked.

MP3: Basia Bulat – “Gold Rush”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – who incidentally played this month’s 1st Thursday – will be at The Garrison on January 18, part of a compact Ontario tour. Dazed & Confused has an interview with band principals Alaska and Ruby.

Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”

Fucked Up have squeezed another video out of David Comes To Life. They headline their Long Winter show at The Great Hall on Friday and will also open up the Alexisonfire farewell show at The Sound Academy on December 27.

Video: Fucked Up – “Inside A Frame”

DIY has details on the European release of Woodpigeon’s new album Thumbtacks & Glue, which is perhaps fitting since Mark Hamilton is now an Austria-residing ex-pat. It’s out February 25 over there, and should be released around then in Canada via Boompa. You can stream one of the new songs right now. Update: Under The Radar confirms February 26 as the North American release and has another new track to download.

MP3: Woodpigeon – “Red Rover, Red Rover”
Stream: Woodpigeon – “Sufferin’ Suckatash”

PEI power-poppers Two Hours Traffic have announced details of their next album, entitled Foolish Blood and due out February 19. Head over to Exclaim for details and stream the first single below.

Stream: Two Hours Traffic – “Last Star”

Chains Of Love have made a single from their forthcoming second album – now revealed to be called Misery Makers and due out in the Spring – available to download.

MP3: Chains Of Love – “Pretend”

Beatroute and The Chicago Tribune talk to Japandroids.

The Line Of Best Fit has released this year’s holiday edition of their Oh! Canada compilation – or Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada – for free download, featuring holiday-themed original songs from the likes of The Wilderness Of Manitoba, The Acorn, and Del Bel amongst many others. One of those others being Kathryn Calder, who has upped the ante with a video for her contribution, which is intended as a fundraiser for Plan Canada’s Because I Am A Girl charity – read Calder’s message for the video at The Line Of Best Fit.

Video: Kathryn Calder – “Little Ones”

And whilst talking about charitable Christmas compilations, Zunior has assembled a tribute album to surf rock heroes The Ventures’ 1965 release The Ventures Christmas Album, featuring names like Sister and Super Friendz. All proceeds from the comp will go to The Daily Bread Food Bank.

And if you hadn’t taken a boo yet, the first batch of names who will be in town from March 19 to 24 for Canadian Musicfest were rolled out last week. Putting aside the big names like Nick Cave and Rihanna who clearly are not in town for Canadian Musicfest but will be admitting approximately one lucky wristband holder for marketing purposes, I look forward to seeing acts like… ok I’ll get back to you.

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Negative Space

This is a bunch of stuff of a Canadian nature. And this is METZ.

Photo By Colin MedleyColin MedleyThis here is another of those posts that, were it a category on Jeopardy, would be called “Potpourri” on account of it being a whole lot of this and that with only the passports of the artists mentioned in common.

And I’ll start with Toronto’s METZ because, well, I haven’t used one of their photos yet and my posting process is really that random. The trio has been making a lot of noise – literally and figuratively – on the back of their self-titled debut, and while it wouldn’t normally be my particular sack of hammers, there’s a clarity to their attack and just enough underlying melody for me to get behind. I’d like to experience one of their legendarily… energetic live shows, but we’ll probably have to wait until at least the Spring as they’re taking their show through Europe for pretty all of the first quarter of 2013. In the meantime, there’s a recording of their show at the Knitting Factory in New York last month over at NYC Taper, NPR has just posted video of a KEXP radio session, and the a-side of their new, non-album single is available to stream.

Stream: METZ – “Dirty Shirt”

Exclaim gets a look inside Yamataka//Sonic Titan’s home studio/headquarters and also asks them what they’ve got in mind for their second album. They play 1st Thursday at the Art Gallery Of Ontario this Thursday night, December 6.

The Line Of Best Fit, The Lantern, and The Marquette Tribune interview Patrick Watson, headlining Massey Hall on December 6.

The Line Of Best Fit and The 405 have interviews with Do Make Say Think, who’ve made a track from their live soundtrack to the 1924 film´╗┐ Greed available to download via CBC Music. They’re at The Opera House on December 7.

MP3: Do Make Say Think – “Greed Waltz”

Fucked Up have announced the lineup for the second installment of their Long Winter series, taking place December 14 at The Great Hall. They will again headline the event, and be joined by Dusted, Laura Barrett, and many more. Admission is pay what you can.

MP3: Fucked Up – “I Hate Summer”
MP3: Dusted – “(Into The) Atmosphere”

The Wooden Sky have announced details of their third annual Holiday Revue charity show, scheduled for December 17 at The Music Gallery. Tickets for the show are $20 and all proceeds from the event will go to the Daily Bread Food Bank. Support will be announced later this week. Metro talks to frontman Gavin Gardiner.

MP3: The Wooden Sky – “Child Of The Valley”

If you were wondering why it’s not been possible to get tickets for the Evening Hymns show at the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15 announced in October, it’s because that show is no longer happening. It has been replaced by one at The Music Gallery on December 20, tickets $17 and available right now via Kelp Records. So the room is still appropriately church-y but it’s also smaller, so if you wanted to go, best get on that. Neil Haverty of Bruce Peninsula will open up.

MP3: Evening Hymns – “Arrows”

Julie Doiron has scheduled a show at The Horseshoe for January 25 in support of her new album So Many Days. Tickets are $15 in advance. The Vancouver Sun and The Province have profiles.

MP3: Julie Doiron – “By The Lake”

The lead single from Suuns’ new album Images Du Futur is now available to download. It’s out March 5.

MP3: Suuns – “Edie’s Dream”

AC Newman has a new video from his latest solo record Shut Down The Streets.

Video: AC Newman – “I’m Not Talking”

The Toronto Star, Montreal Gazette, and MTV have feature pieces on Diamond Rings, who’s released a live route for an alternate version video from Free Dimensional.

Video: Diamond Rings – “I’m Just Me”

Martin Tielli has taken to Facebook to explain his withdrawal from the Rheostatics reunion shows which were to have taken place this week; Radio Free Canuckistan has reposted the message for those who are just fans but maybe not friends of Tielli.

The National Post has an interview with The Dears.

CBC Music gets to know Shad. Again. Some more.

Exclaim has some videos from Bry Webb’s recent Toronto Public Library performance available to watch.

Hooded Fang stops in at DIY for a video session.

Spin interviews Alice Glass of Crystal Castles.

Exclaim asks Chains Of Love about their plans for album number two.

BlogTO chats with Gentleman Reg.

Spinner talks to Neil Young about last night’s Hurricane Sandy benefit in New York.

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Tangled

Spinoffs, videos, and other Can-Con miscellany, featuring L Con

Photo By Andréa de KeijzerAndréa de KeijzerShaking out the “Made in Canada” box to kick off the week.

L Con is the sort-of but not-really pseudonym for Lisa Conway, perhaps better known as the voice of Toronto’s moody, art-orch ensemble Del Bel, who’ve been wholly endorsed in these parts. Conway just released her solo debut as L Con in The Ballad Project and while it doesn’t necessarily put a lot of sonic distance between itself and Del Bel’s Oneiric, as the name implies it’s less atmospheric and more song-centric, specifically with string- and horn-laden, torchy ballads that are perfectly suited to Conway’s smoky, forlorn, and strategically soaring vocals.

CBC Music talks to Conway about the new record, which is available to stream in whole, and aux.tv premiered the first video from the release a little while ago. A set of tour dates was just announced and includes a November 24 date at Cinecycle in Toronto.

Video: L Con – “Oh How Love”
Stream: L CON / The Ballad Project

BlogTO talks to emergent disco-pop outfit Diana, whose impressive collective resume includes Army Girls, Destroyer, The Hidden Cameras, and Bonjay. They play the first installment of Fucked Up’s Long Winter series at The Great Hall on November 9.

The Magic, who count Evening Hymns’ Sylvie Smith amongst their members, have released a new video from their debut Ragged Gold. OTM has an interview with the bandleading Gordon brothers.

Video: The Magic – “Call Me Up”

Little bit of trivia – once upon a time, Smith played in a band with John O’Regan of The D’Urbervilles called Habitat; I saw them back in in 2007. That project didn’t last too long but O’Regan has found a little more success with a new non-D’Urbs project he calls Diamond Rings. NOW talks to him about being voted “Toronto’s best male vocalist” in this year’s reader’s poll. He shows off those pipes at The Mod Club on November 29. The Horn also has an interview previewing this past weekend’s appearance at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin.

The Quietus talks to Dan Snaith about what separates his Daphni project from his Caribou project.

Evening Hymns have a new video from Spectral Dusk, directed by Bruce Peninsula’s Neil Haverty. Evening Hymns play the Church Of The Redeemer on December 15.

Video: Evening Hymns – “Spirit In The Sky”

Consequence Of Sound has premiered the latest video from Shad’s ’90s-saluting Melancholy & The Infinite Shadness mixtape.

Video: Shad – “It Ain’t Over”

CBC Music has premiered the new video from Cold Specks’ I Predict A Graceful Expulsion, and the b-side from the single release of the song is also available to stream. And if that’s not enough, DIY has a video session with Al Spx and The Coast a short interview. Cold Specks support Conor Oberst at Massey Hall on December 8.

Video: Cold Specks – “Hector”
Stream: Cold Specks – “Post-Operative #8”

Feist has squeezed another video out of Metals.

Video: Feist – “Graveyard”

The Wilderness Of Manitoba have put out a second video from their new record Island Of Echoes.

Video: The Wilderness Of Manitoba – “Echoes”

The 1st Thursday monthly series at The Art Gallery of Ontario will have Yamantaka//Sonic Titan as their musical performer at next month’s edition, happening December 6. The Coast also has an interview.

Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”

Stereogum interviews Damian Abraham of Fucked Up. They’re also playing the aforementioned Long Winter at The Great Hall on Friday night.

Crystal Castles weren’t able to get their new album III ready for release this Tuesday as originally intended, but they have made another song from it available to stream before its officially out next Tuesday, November 13.

Stream: Crystal Castles – “Affection”

Woodpigeon has announced a February 25 release date for his new record Thumbtacks & Glue, and to hold you over until then, this Fall’s Diamonds tour-only album is now available to mail order.

DIY interviews Grimes.

A.C. Newman chats with DIY.

DIY has written up their visit to the Polaris Music Prize gala in September and in a bit of fun, have rated the respective winners of the Polaris and Mercury Prizes over the last seven years head-to-head.

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Their Helicopters' Sing

Review of Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

Photo By Yannick GrandmontYannick GrandmontUntil recently, Montréal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor has been inexorably associated with a very certain moment in time, specifically the end of the last century and the dawn of this one. In addition to emerging at a time when post-rock was still an amorphous musical concept which was better felt than explained and Canada was only beginning to take steps towards becoming an international presence as home to exciting new music, Godspeed’s trilogy of albums – F# A#, Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven, and Yanqui U.X.O. rather perfectly captured the millennial tension of the time. By turns anxious, angstful, and angry, sounding simultaneously beautiful and terrifying, their mysteriousness gave Godspeed a sense of universality that spoke to people without the use of words. So while many were disappointed when the band went on hiatus in 2003, it also felt like a logical thing to do; their moment was ending.

One couldn’t help but wonder how they would have soundtracked the 21st century, though, what with society arguably declining further in disarray and injustice on so many fronts – if they were angry about the state of the world then, surely they’d be furious now. When they unexpectedly returned to action with live performances in 2010, it was mostly with old material that gave a generation of fans who’d only grown up with the legend a taste of what the reality was like. And though unfamiliar compositions did appear in their live sets, the band’s steadfast refusal to do interviews or offer any sort of public comment gave no hint if or when they would do anything further with them. Which, of course, was precisely how they liked it – else they wouldn’t have had the satisfaction of watching a portion of the internet blow up when they announced just last week that their fourth album, ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!, not only existed but was already available for sale at their live shows and would be out worldwide in a fortnight.

As ever, describing Godspeed remains a largely futile task. At least with the live shows, one could attempt to articulate the visceral experience of being assaulted with sound for night on three hours. Discussing the album, and what its intentions are, is much more difficult. Comprised of two 20-minute compositions and two six-minute drones – provided on vinyl via a 12″ and 7″ intended to be played in alternating sides – it’s unquestionably a Godspeed record from the first moment: a sample of what sounds to be a preacher leading into an electric guitar drone with violin lines dancing overtop, all evocative of a gathering storm.

It’s probably only really relevant to discuss Godspeed in terms relative to Godspeed. From that perspective, ‘Allelujah is surprisingly concise and impressively powerful, condensing the sprawl and swirl of Skinny Fists and eschewing the hazy ambiguity of Yanqui into two focused movements that build steadily and determinedly, but also surprisingly melodically. There’s still plenty of their signature unease, but as the main compositions build, they become more anthemic and, one might almost say, optimistic. Only almost, mind you. To Ascend may be the destination, but ‘Allelujah makes it no easy trip – the two drone pieces might seem superfluous, but really do serve a purpose – “Their Helicopters’ Sing” as base camps of a sort, to regroup and recover, and “Strung Like Lights At Thee Printemps Erable” as the view from the summit. Unexpected but wholly welcome, with ‘Allelujah, Godspeed You! Black Emperor prove they not only continue to have their fingers on the pulse of our present, but actually offer some hope for the future.

‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! is out next Tuesday, October 16, but available to stream in its entirety right now at Exclaim. And, against all expectation, the band have given an insightful interview to The Guardian about the band, their music, their politics, and their return. The full transcript of the email exchange is damn near poetry. Even the part about being “stoked”.

Stream: Godspeed You! Black Emperor / ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

The impressive demand to see The Weeknd live continues – they’ve added a fourth night at The Sound Academy for November 5, tickets $34.50. The physical release of his three mixtapes – Trilogy – is out November 12, and a new video was recently released.

MP3: The Weeknd – “Life Of The Party”
Video: The Weeknd – “Rolling Stone”

Army Girls have announced a November 14 date at The Garrison, tickets $8. Still no sign of those multiple full-lengths we were promised in the Summer, though.

MP3: Army Girls – “Cold & Alcohol”

Quiet for most of this year, Ohbijou will be at Lee’s Palace on December 1, tickets $15. This is a benefit show; specifics are still forthcoming. And tangentially, Ohbijou spin-off Warm Myth has released a new video.

MP3: Ohbijou – “Anser”
Video: Warm Myth – “Working”

Purity Ring have spent most of this year blowing up on the back of their debut Shrines, but really haven’t played a proper Toronto show to capitalize – their last appearances were opening for Dirty Projectors and an undersized NXNE showcase. They’re rectifying that if not soon, but on a large scale, wrapping up a North American tour at The Phoenix on February 1 of next year, tickets $15. The Creator’s Project talks to them about the lightshow that will surely accompany their performance, and they’ve also just released a collaboration of sorts with hip-hop artist Danny Brown.

MP3: Purity Ring – “Belispeak”
Stream: Purity Ring – “Belispeak” (with Danny Brown)

The Dumbing Of America, The Grid, The Line Of Best Fit, NOW, The Globe & Mail, and Pitchfork all talk to Toronto’s METZ about their self-titled debut, which has spawned a new video and gets a hometown release show at The Horseshoe on Friday night, October 12.

Video: METZ – “Wet Blanket”

Spin and The Winnipeg Free Press talk to Caribou’s Dan Snaith about his Daphni alter-ego and its debut album Jiaolong, out October 16.

Exclaim talk to A.C. Newman, who kicks off the tour for his new record Shut Down The Streets at Lee’s Palace on October 21.

The Guardian has an interview with Neil Young, who has released an epic-length video from Psychedelic Pill, out October 30. He and Crazy Horse play The Air Canada Centre on November 19.

Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Ramada Inn”

Jenn Grant lists of five of her favourite songs of the last 20 years for CBC Music and also talks to The Edmonton Journal. She’s at The Winter Garden Theatre on November 24.

The Wooden Sky goes over Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun track by track with The Line Of Best Fit. They’re at The Phoenix on December 1.

Snowblink have put out a new video from Inner Classics. Daniela Gesundheit lists off her five favourite albums for The 405 and also chats with The Cornell Daily Sun.

Video: Snowblink – “Goodbye Eyes”

Maisonneuve talks to Alaska B of Yamantaka/Sonic Titan.

The Austin Chronicle profiles Grimes.

Exclaim has details on a new compilation of rarities and being released as a soundtrack of sorts for Have Not Been The Same, the definitive tome of Can-rock in the ’90s. It’s out November 13 and features tracks from Sloan, Doughboys, Skydiggers, and other bands of that vintage, and all proceeds will go to Kids Help Phone.

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Metals

Feist wins 2012 Polaris Music Prize to almost universal, “yeah, okay”

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangA day later than I would have liked – but some things like after parties, gin and tonics, and going to bed way too late can’t be helped – here’s my official writeup of Monday night’s Polaris Music Prize gala, in convenient short and long versions.

The short: Feist won the $30,000 prize for Metals. This pleased some people, displeased others. Eventually, everyone got on with their lives. Some got drunk first. Not naming names.

The long: Despite telling anyone who asked – or who’d listen – that I could see perfectly reasonable scenarios wherein six or seven of this year’s shortlist could walk off with the prize, I was more than a little surprised that in the end, it was Feist. This despite the fact that I become more convinced as time goes by that history will hold her as one of the most creative Canadian artists of this decade. I just thought that for all its artfulness, subtle merits, and general grower-ness, it hadn’t seemed to generate the sort of passion amongst listeners that would allow it to come out on top of such a strong pack of albums through what was surely a rough-and-tumble critical throw-down. Shows what I know.

That announcement came at the end of another largely entertaining Polaris gala, dedicated this year to the memory of Canadian music icon Sam ‘The Record Man’ Sniderman who’d passed away the day before.. Now that it’s in its seventh year, folks pretty much know what to expect: CBC’s Grant Lawrence hosting – this year with MuchMusic’s Lauren Toyota as co-host – cracking a few jokes but mainly passing things off to the journalists/jurors who would introduce each of the nominees and, if they were present, said artist would make an appearance or perform. This year’s live slate included seven of the ten shortlisters, with Japandroids bowing out on account of touring in Europe, Handsome Furs not performing on account of no longer existing, and Drake not showing up on account of being Drake.

The perennial question of, “who plays when?” had an extra angle this year in, “who plays after Fucked Up?” And since it would be unfair to make any one act follow their maniacal live show, the organizers probably did the smart thing in making everyone follow them while also kicking the show off with a bang. With the band laying down David Comes To Life, frontman Damian Abraham wandered onstage in a sweatshirt and backpack, looking like he just ducked out of class at Ryerson to attend to this, and got down to it. Having seen Fucked Up many times, this performance seemed a little more perfunctory than usual – not surprising given the setting, and unlike in 2009, they were here as former champions, not outsiders with something to prove. Still, they sounded good, Abraham still stripped down to his shorts and it was nice hearing Jennifer Castle on hand to reprise her vocals on “The Other Shoe”.

Handsome Furs had their moment next, with Alexei Perry offering an emotional and heartfelt thank you to all – Polaris and public – for their support over the band’s career. CBC has the full text of her acceptance speech, which no matter what came next would be the most moving part of the evening.

While some artists in the past have used the Polaris gala as an opportunity to do something different or fancy, Cold Specks opted to eschew performance frills and played to her strengths, letting her huge, emotive voice carry the songs from I Predict A Graceful Expulsion to the roof of the concert hall while her band played it spare and tasteful. Sticking with the “let the music do the talking” modus, Al Spx offered few words after performance, offering just, “cool” and “thanks”.

Cadence Weapon had the stage next, and playing with just his DJ as he always did, there was a lot of stage for him to work with. Taking advantage of the spotlight and working with efficiency, he got through three songs in his allotted time, rapping, dancing, and as on the nominated Hope In Dirt City, even trying a little actual singing. The beats were turned up loud but still sounded pretty tinny, though that’s less a flaw than a deliberate fidelity choice as on the record. One would hope.

Conversely, Kathleen Edwards only offered up one song, but decked it out with youth choir in addition to her full band. But rather than flirt with excess, “Soft Place To Land” from Voyageur was as vulnerable and bare a performance as the evening would offer. Edwards’ detractors – myself sometimes amongst them – often take issue with the traditionalness of her songwriting, but moments like this were a potent reminder that sometimes words, a voice, and a guitar are all you need. And a youth choir, if you’ve got access to one. Her acceptance speech was also solid and worth transcribing, or at least CBC Music thought so.

It’s possible that Grimes was conscious of how visually static her performance might seem, given that she wouldn’t have the time to deck the stage out in the way she would for her usual shows, so she did the only logical thing to spice it up: she hired a male pole dancer. And so as she went to work assembling the selections from the heavily-favoured Visions live, layering keyboards, triggering samples, and providing vocals, dancer Gary – whom she said she’d only met 10 minutes earlier – wowed the crowd with his moves up and down the stripper pole. It was all very tasteful and artistic, but not entirely PG – after messing up at one point an effected and very amplified, “fuck” rang out. Yup.

While acknowledging that Yamantaka//Sonic Titan might have a tough time recreating the dense and dynamic visual atmosphere of their typical live shows, I had still hoped that they’d be as much of a wild card on the evening’s performances as they were on the shortlist itself. That wasn’t to be, as they played without full costumes or stage props – the kabuki make-up was there, though – and chose the most prog and pop ends of YT//ST – “Reverse Crystal” and “Hoshi Neko” – to introduce themselves. It wasn’t as out there as some might have hoped for, but compared to Cold Specks, it still may as well have been from the furthest reaches of outer space.

Finally, there was Feist. She’d already begun slowly disassembling her Metals touring band when I saw her at FME earlier this month, so it wasn’t surprising that she had assembled a new band for the occasion. And while I didn’t recognize them at first, they were actually all familiar faces – Dan and Daniela from Snowblink on one side of her, AroarA (aka Andrew Whiteman from Broken Social Scene and Ariel Engle) on the other, forming a pretty formidable guitarmy with the added firepower of four-part harmonies. And this goes to what I’d said earlier about her creativity. No one would have said boo if Feist had just performed a couple songs from Metals solo – Feist solo is far from a simple, strummy affair – she instead went out and enlisted a new batch of players and rearranged the songs yet again for maybe a one-off performance. And while the other Metals shows were hardly polite, polished affairs, this was a raw, forceful performance that had the record had this kind of energy, even fewer people would be taking issue with its Polaris win.

And the win. Feist may genuinely not have expected to win – she’d later say she, like so many others, expected Grimes to take it – she reacted pretty quickly to the announcement of her name by Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire, repping last year’s winners, and immediately ducked under her table.

Recovering gracefully, she accepted the giant novelty cheque and opened her acceptance speech with the pullquote-ready soundbite, “This was my worst fear”. It’s unclear if she meant public speaking – you’d think she’d be used to having an audience by now – or actually winning the Polaris. The latter would be understandable for as much as Feist is generally universally respected in Canadian music, she’s committed the cardinal-to-some sin of being successful and as soon as her name was announced, you know the “she doesn’t need the money” comments began to swirl. Which, of course, is absolutely no one’s business but hers, but in the post-gala press conference she mentioned that at least some of the winnings would go to support the fight against the Melanchthon mega-quarry north of Toronto. See, there’s an upside when someone who doesn’t necessarily need to pay off van repair bills and bar tabs comes into the prize money.

In any case, the Polaris win is a very nice punctuation point on Feist’s year of Metals, and I’ve no doubt she’ll wear the title of reigning Polaris champ well. And if you don’t like it, just wait twelve months – there’ll be a new musical injustice for you to rage about.

Canada.com, Exclaim, Torontoist, Rolling Stone, Spinner, and The Globe & Mail were all on hand to cover the proceedings, and The Grid has documented the evening in animated .gif form.

Photos from the evening are below, and if you needed a refresher as to the what of the shortlist, I’ve got that too.

Photos: The Polaris Music Prize 2012 Gala @ The Masonic Temple – September 24, 2012

Cadence Weapon / Hope In Dirt City (Upper Class Recordings)
MP3: Cadence Weapon – “Conditioning

Cold Specks / I Predict A Graceful Expulsion (Arts & Crafts)
Video: Cold Specks – “Blank Maps”

Drake / Take Care (Universal Republic)
Video: Drake – “Marvin’s Room”

Kathleen Edwards / Voyageur (Maple Music)
MP3: Kathleen Edwards – “Change The Sheets”

Feist / Metals (Arts & Crafts)
Video: Feist – “The Bad In Each Other”

Fucked Up / David Comes To Life (Matador)
MP3: Fucked Up – “The Other Shoe”

Grimes / Visions (Artbus)
MP3: Grimes – “Oblivion”

Handsome Furs / Sound Kapital (Sub Pop)
MP3: Handsome Furs – “Repatriated”

Japandroids / Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
MP3: Japandroids – “Younger Us”

Yamantaka//Sonic Titan / YT//ST (Psychic Handshake)
Video: Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – “Hoshi Neko”

BlogTO grabbed a pre-gala interview with Fucked Up.

DIY has a chat with Grimes.

Spinner talked to Yamantaka//Sonic Titan about the whirlwind of acclaim that brought them from obscurity to the Polaris shortlist, and Pitchfork points to a stream of the band covering David Bowie as a bonus track attached to a new compilation from Paper Bag Records. As part of their 10th anniversary celebrations (which kick off Thursday night at The Great Hall for three evenings and at which new signees Yamantaka//Sonic Titan play Friday), they’ve assembled a tribute album to David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders of Mars – itself turning 40 this year – and it’s available for free download. And while this comp would be noteworthy fun simply for existing, it’s actually really good. Like REALLY good. Listen to it while you read this piece at The National Post about the decade of Paper Bag.

Stream: Yamantaka//Sonic Titan – “John, I’m Only Dancing”

Crystal Castles have released a new video from their still-untitled third album, due out sometime in November. And speaking of November, their November 3 4 show at The Kool Haus is now happening on November 4 3; all tickets are still valid for the new date. And I’ve probably not helped the confusion at all. Sorries. Update 2: Pitchfork reports the album will be called (III) and will be out November 5.

Video: Crystal Castles – “Plague”

Spin has premiered a new video from Caribou extra-electronic side-project Daphni whose debut album Jialong arrives October 16.

Video: Daphni – “Pairs”

Rolling Stone has premiered the first video from Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s new album Psychedelic Pill, and no – they’re still clearly not allotting much budget to their videos in Neil’s camp. We won’t be seeing anything of the calibre of “Wonderin'” anytime soon. The album is out October 30 and they’re at the Air Canada Centre on 19.

Video: Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Walk Like A Giant”