Guys, I had a great idea! Not a “hey, itâ€™s the Tuesday after a long weekend and we need something to post” idea, but truly a great idea. Of course all the cool kids know the Polaris Prize short list was released a while ago, yet the gala is still some 50 days away, so why not post a video from each of the nominated acts with a little accompanying blurb from yours truly (Shane “Naedoo” Nadeau), the non-Polaris half of the hill. After all, the Ack is a Polaris bigwig of sorts, being on the Grand Jury in â€™09 and featuring in Salons and such since then, so he canâ€™t come with the kind of “Real Talk” that the kids like where Polaris is concerned. But I can. INTRIGUED? No? Fine, just watch the videos then.
Of course this is such a good idea that it almost imploded before it started. My intention was to post the videos in the order they appear on the Polaris site. First up, highly-regarded, Montreal post-rock outfit Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I can find no videos from GYBEâ€™s nominated work Allelujah! Donâ€™t Bend! Ascend!, so I shall simply point you in the direction of the Ackâ€™s fine review for it and tell you that it is easily one of the short list entries he would prefer to take the crown. But now for the big question…
Will it win?
Iâ€™d say theyâ€™re a longshot. Thatâ€™s certainly not to say they arenâ€™t deserving. I know hardly anything about GYBE, but based on the Ackâ€™s opinion (he also mentions them in this Polaris blurb/update) and my limited exposure to their record, Iâ€™d say they fit the bill on artistic merit, but I donâ€™t know if the experimental sound and album structure (four songs total, two almost twenty minutes long) will lure enough mainstream-leaning voters to win. Yes, non-mainstream acts have won in the past, but when you consider that the last two winners are Feist and Arcade Fire, itâ€™s clear that those kind of ubiquitous acts are hard to overcome.
But best of luck to GYBE in the Grand Jury voting and kudos to them for allowing us to lead off our Polaris Video posting series in a typically contrarian fashion with a video-less post.