Simone Cecchetti, Getty, AP, Metric Carly Rae Jepsen may be leading the Juno…
- Posted on Sep 21st 2010 12:00AM by Jason MacNeil
Prior to the 2010 Polaris Music Prize ceremony, drummer Stephane Bergeron and keyboardist Francois Lafontaine of Montreal group Karkwa were hoping being on the Polaris Short List would get them a bit more attention in terms of touring.
"Maybe the person who booked the show tried something last year in Manitoba or tried something in Vancouver and we didn't have [the nomination]," Bergeron told Spinner. "Maybe now when they try again maybe [the venues and bookers] will accept the show. 'Oh we heard about your band and the short list.'"
Well, now Karkwa can add 2010 Polaris Music Prize winner to that sales pitch for their album 'Les Chemins de Verre.' The dual-drumming quintet won the fifth annual award for best Canadian full-length album last night at Toronto's Masonic Temple along with a cool $20,000.
"It's not about the industry or an internet vote, it's about the music," an excited Bergeron said alongside his band mates after last year's winner F---ed Up announced the winner. "There are a lot of award shows with a lot of prizes and a lot of thanks -- 'I'd like to thank my mother, my dog.' Here it's just one prize and it's the music, man!"
The ceremony, which closed in on the four-hour mark and featured performances from all 10 nominees, showed an eclectic mix of styles, influences and genres, opening with Broken Social Scene performing 'Meet Me In The Basement' and 'Texico Bitches' from their nominated album, 'Forgiveness Rock Record.'
"We've been doing this for 10 years, it means a lot to us that we're still here and I think we're going to be here til the end of time," lead singer Kevin Drew said. "I think it's great that we're all being recognized. I love the long list and I love the short list. We own all your records and we've all been listening to you for a lot of years."
2010 Polaris Music Prize Awards
Despite the fact Montreal band the Besnard Lakes were the evening's aberration with just one song (albeit lengthy) performed, the band nailed both parts of its 'Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent' psychedelic-meets-stoner rock nugget off 'The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night. Elsewhere, the Sadies – with Dallas Good supposedly sporting a suit once worn by Canadian country icon Tommy Hunter -- displayed the genre-hopping prowess heard on 'Dark 'Circles early in the evening while Vancouver singer-songwriter Dan Mangan, nominated for 'Nice, Nice, Very Nice,' stood on one of the tables in the audience to encourage onlookers to help him sing 'Robots.'
"I was thinking about the short list and I was thinking there were about 25 albums from the long list that could have or should have been on the short list," Mangan told Spinner before the ceremony. "I didn't think it was going to come this far and get on the short list. It's very exciting and certainly one of the coolest honors that I've had the privilege of having in my musical parameters."
But the eventual stars of the evening -- Karkwa -- were not to be outdone. Mixing sweet harmonies alongside rather tight musicianship, the group earned one of the louder responses of the evening for their two-song set. "This is the prize that we follow all year and we like the process of voting, it's all about the music," Bergeron said prior to the ceremony. "Musically, when we check the short list it's always bands that we like. It's going to be an honor to play in front of all those guys."
The $20,000 Polaris Music Prize, now in its fifth year, is awarded to the best full-length Canadian album regardless of genre, sales or label affiliation. Nearly 200 music journalists, critics and bloggers from across Canada created a long list of 40 nominated albums earlier this year, with the final short list of 10 albums announced in July, which also included Owen Pallett's 'Heartland,' Caribou's 'Swim' and Radio Radio's 'Belmundo Regal.' An 11-member panel of jurors decided on the winner during the ceremony, which will be rebroadcast on MuchMusic on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 9PM.
Previous Polaris winners include Final Fantasy's 'He Poos Clouds' in 2006, Patrick Watson's 'Close To Paradise' in 2007, Caribou for 'Andorra' in 2008 and F--ed Up for 'The Chemistry Of Common Life' in 2009