Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Jun 17th 2010 6:15PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
Hosted by CBC Radio 3's Grant Lawrence, the event drew media and music-industry types to Toronto's Drake Hotel to find out which artists had made it past the first round of voting by the 198-member jury -- made up of music writers, broadcasters and bloggers from across the country.
Jurors were asked to pick their top five albums of the year (released between June 2009 and May 2010) -- the 40 most commonly chosen records then become the long list.
To nobody's surprise, the long list includes several previous nominees -- including Basia Bulat, the Besnard Lakes, Broken Social Scene, Holy F---, New Pornographers, Plants and Animals and Shad -- as well as a pair of past winners in Caribou and Owen Pallett. But several under-the-radar selections were also included, such as albums from Quebecois artists Karkwa, Misteur Valaire, and Radio Radio.
Veterans certainly weren't overlooked, with Blue Rodeo, Jason Collett and the Sadies all receiving nods, while relative newcomers like Hannah Georgas, Dan Mangan and Meaghan Smith were also recognized.
A second round of voting by the full jury pool will determine a shortlist of 10, to be announced July 6, before a final panel of 11 jurors from across Canada chooses the $20,000 winner at a gala event in Toronto on Sept. 20.
Lawrence wasted no time in introducing previous Polaris nominees -- including countrified rockers Elliott Brood, cabaret crooner Jill Barber ("Long-listed last year for her 2008 album 'Chances' -- this year, she married me," Lawrence quipped about his new bride), quirky rapper D-Sisive, and punk-rock frontman Damien Abraham (pictured above) of last year's winners F---ed Up -- to call out this year's nominees 10 at a time.
"Jason Collett, he was my pick -- I'm happy to see him on there," Lawrence said, while his wife threw her weight behind Holy F---.
F---ed Up frontman Abraham couldn't choose just one favourite from the list -- that is, from the ones he was familiar with, "I'd love to see Shad win," he said. "The New Pornographers made a great record. The Sadies -- hard-working and long-suffering... and then a bunch of other bands I've never heard of. Which I'm sure many people said about us last year," he quipped.
Polaris founder Steve Jordan noted that even five years in, he continues to be surprised by the depth and diversity of the final ballots. Jurors, who discuss their picks on an invite-only online discussion list, often push for their favourites over the course of the eligibility period, but many left-field choices still manage to make it onto the long list, he points out.
"It happens every year -- many people don't even post to the board, so just because an album hasn't been talked about, it doesn't mean it isn't being considered," he said. "So there are always surprises -- I love that."
Jordan, who personally oversees the vote count, says even though it's an exhaustive process, he'd have it no other way.
"It's my favourite part," he enthused. "It's really exciting -- it's like watching a horse race with 200 horses and I'm the only one who gets to watch it!"
The complete long list for the 2010 Polaris Prize:
Apollo Ghosts - Mount Benson (Vancouver)
Bahamas - Pink Strat (Toronto)
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (Montreal)
Blue Rodeo - The Things We Left Behind (Toronto)
Brasstronaut - Mt. Chimaera (Vancouver)
Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record (Toronto)
Basia Bulat - Heart of My Own (London)
By Divine Right - Mutant Message (Toronto)
Caribou - Swim (Dundas)
Jason Collett - Rat a Tat Tat (Toronto)
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles (II) (Toronto)
Amelia Curran - Hunter Hunter (St. John's)
Fred Fortin - Plastrer La Lune (Montreal)
Frog Eyes - Paul's Tomb: A Triumph (Victoria)
Hannah Georgas - This Is Good (Vancouver)
Ghostkeeper - Ghostkeeper (Calgary)
Holy F--- - Latin (Toronto)
Karkwa - Les chemins de verre (Montreal)
Lee Harvey Osmond - A Quiet Evil (Hamilton)
Greg MacPherson - Mr. Invitation (Winnipeg)
Dan Mangan - Nice, Nice, Very Nice (Vancouver)
Misteur Valaire - Golden Bombay (Montreal)
The New Pornographers - Together (Vancouver)
Owen Pallett - Heartland (Toronto)
Plants and Animals - La La Land (Montreal)
Radio Radio - Belmundo Regal (Montreal)
Justin Rutledge - The Early Widows (Toronto)
The Sadies - Darker Circles (Toronto)
Shad - TSOL (London)
Elizabeth Shepherd - Heavy Falls the Night (Toronto)
The Slew - 100% (Montreal)
Meaghan Smith - The Cricket's Orchestra (Halifax)
South Rakkas Crew - The Stimulus Package (Toronto)
Tegan and Sara - Sainthood (Vancouver)
The Wooden Sky - If I Don't Come Home You'll Know I'm Gone (Toronto)
Hawksley Workman - Meat (Huntsville)
You Say Party! We Say Die! - XXXX (Vancouver)
Young Galaxy - Invisible Republic (Montreal)
Yukon Blonde - Yukon Blonde (Vancouver)
Zeus - Say Us (Toronto)