Amanda Edwards, Getty Images 20 years ago, way before he became a lion, Snoop…
- Posted on Jul 6th 2010 6:05PM by Laura Lanktree
The list was announced in order by the CBC's Grant Lawrence with the help of F---ed Up frontman Damian Abraham, whose band happens to wear the current Polaris crown.
Unlike awards programs riddled with categories, this prize takes nothing more than great music into account, as evidenced by the variety of genres and languages, as well as the amazing music represented.
Many of the short list nominees have been recognized in years past, including Broken Social Scene and the Sadies, who Lawrence joked were "the veterans" on the list. "I'm so old I don't even know who the other nominees are," Mike Belitsky, the Sadies' drummer, retorted when Spinner caught up with him later.
Regarding the variety of music represented in the albums named, Belitsky feels that it's all good and fair. "It should be the most complete, realized album from beginning to end," he says. "Which is what, I think, most bands set out to do -- to create a complete work of art instead of just a collection of songs." Regardless of being the arguable veterans, he also realizes that it's not very Canadian to hand out honourary awards. If they win -- and he hopes they do -- it will be on merit.
Belitsky thinks Shad and his highly acclaimed album, 'TSOL,' are the band's toughest competition. The London-raised rapper was named back in 2008 for 'The Old Prince,' but the prize went to Caribou that year. Although Caribou is back in the mix, Shad is also back stronger than ever, not that he'd ever admit it.
Besides, picking the best album of the year is an impossible task, Shad says. "It's not fair, because it's not supposed to be fair. It's just about bringing [these albums] to people's attention and geeking out as music lovers. Once I had a debate in my living room for an hour about Kanye [West]'s 'College Dropout,. The fun is debating it."
"These kinds of awards exist because people care," Shad adds, "and it's meaningful to care".
Toronto-native Owen Pallett was also on hand to take in his second Polaris nom, after winning the inaugural prize under his old moniker Final Fantasy. He sees the Polaris Prize -- and music awards in general -- as a reflection of today's need to quantify.
"There is a vast amount of music available now, and people really want to put it into boxes and say that this record is better than that record, or this one is worth an eight and that one is a seven. I don't think that's a particularly good or bad thing, but I do think that this reward -- or any reward -- is a positive reflection of that.
"It's great to see so many records honoured that otherwise people may not see."
THE BESNARD LAKES, 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night'
OWEN PALLETT, 'Heartland'
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE, 'Forgiveness Rock Record'
RADIO RADIO, 'Belmundo Regal'
(Grosse Coque, NS, Moncton, NB, Pointe-à-l'église, NS)
THE SADIES, 'Darker Circles'
KARKWA, 'Les Chemins De Verre'
DAN MANGAN, 'Nice, Nice, Very Nice'
TEGAN AND SARA, 'Sainthood'
(Vancouver, BC & Montréal, QC)