Pack AD Facebook Vancouver's hard-touring garage rock duo the Pack A.D. --…
- Posted on Feb 1st 2011 1:30PM by Joshua Ostroff
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But as the Junos prepare to stage their 40th award show, the 2011 nominees list proves how much times have changed. In fact, when the Juno Awards are doled out in Toronto on March 27 they'll find themselves with a similar line-up as their Grammy cousins: indie icons Arcade Fire, mop-topped pop phenom Justin Bieber and hip-hop golden boy Drake, who earned six nominations ranging from Album, Artist and Songwriter of the Year to best rap recording and best single. The former 'Degrassi' star has also been upgraded to Juno MC, following in the shoes of former nominated hosts Shania Twain and Alanis Morissette.
For the past decade Canada's indie invasion guaranteed an enviably amazing roster on the best alternative categories -- and this year is no different, with frontrunner Arcade Fire facing off against fellow multiple-nominee Broken Social Scene (group, alternative, video and DVD), Polaris winners Karkwa and Owen Pallett and previous nominee Tokyo Police Club.
But nowadays Canadians are at the forefront of nearly every genre, and selling enough to land nods in the major categories which have sales requirements. So, unlike their last round of craft category nominations for 'Neon Bible,' this time Arcade Fire also earned nods for Album of the Year (as well as best group, songwriter, producer and packaging).
And as a reminder that this isn't a new phenomenon, Neil Young will be given the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award, as well as being up for Artist of the Year and Adult Alternative Album of the Year.
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the Junos have added a 40th category -- Electronic Album of the Year. Long overdue given the international reach of Canada's electronic scene, the inaugural line-up had a surprisingly indie-tronic bent in nominating Caribou, Crystal Castles, Holy F---, Poirier and Chilly Gonzales, whose album 'Ivory Tower' was produced by Boys Noize. The dance category nominated Deadmau5 (who won the last two years) and Chromeo, among others.
While there were the usual head-scratchers -- Caribou getting a best new artist nod for his fourth album and any number of seemingly sales-based nominations (cough*Hedley*cough) -- overall, the diverse and deserving roster essentially set fire to the Junos' tattered reputation and, depending on who wins next month, could give Canadians a Juno Awards to be proud of.