well damn!

2009 Juno Nominations

For those of you south of the 49th parallel or an ocean away, the Junos are Canada’s semi-equivalent to the Grammys. I say semi-equivalent, because quite frankly, our country isn’t behind or involved in our music industry in the same way Americans are involved with their music industry. To be honest, after the reviewing the Grammy nominations I found myself thinking Who are these people? I am out of the loop! There isn’t one album on this list I’ve listened. Thankfully I found I actually had listened to quite a few albums and artists nominated for the Junos, although I did find myself thinking Celine Dion released a single this year? That Nickelback song is new? The Stills are a new band? Is my 10 year old sister an infant?

When did Celine Dion release new material? I’ll admit I don’t often find myself listening to mainstream pop, but surely somebody would have complained about her new stuff! Or at the very least you’d think I would have noticed in one of my many weekly (sometimes daily) visits to the record store. REALLY?

I have a hate/hate relationship with Nickelback. I quite dislike them, but I also quite dislike that sometimes I actually like their songs. Then I realize that all of their songs sound exactly the same. The Junos recognize new music! Not recycled arrangements! I think five nominations might be pushing it.

The Junos frequently nominate an established band in their Best New Group category. Last year it was the 6 year old Wintersleep (who deservedly took the award), and this year it is a 9 year old The Stills. Should I expect to be seeing Sloan in this category next year?

The Junos did make some hits though. Sam Roberts walked away with 4 nods, while Creature, Tokyo Police Club, Protest the Hero and City and Color each managed at least one nomination. The rest of the New Group of the Year, Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo and Group, Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Alternative Album of the Year categories are looking promising. Coeur de Pirate and Karkwa each received a Francophone nomination. Constantines‘ bassist Dallas Wherle received a nod for the artwork on Kensington Heights. Even Moneen were nominated for their DVD, It All Started With A Red Stripe.

I do think they missed out on nominating Hey Rosetta!, Mother Mother and Land of Talk, each of whom put out fantastic albums in the past year.

Unfortunately, if I were to bring this list to a group of my friends or to my coworkers, they’d have no idea who I was talking about. Have the Junos lost their relevance or as Canadians do we need to expose ourselves to the music being produced in our backyards?

Juno Categories or PDF summary


Acoustic Moneen Show @ CTO
December 20, 2008, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Live Show | Tags: , , , ,

Erik and KennyOnce again, Devyn and I ventured over to Call the Office with our friend Evan for one last musical hoo hah of 2008. Moneen are easily of one my favourite acts to see live, they have such a great stage presence, are very entertaining and put on a tight show. Last time I saw them was Cutting Edge in August of 2007, and if you account for the fact that Call The Office is one of their favourite venues, I was pumped to see them again!

Windsor, Ontario band Michou opened the show with acoustic anthems and folk ballads, setting the tone for Moneen’s acoustic set. I was impressed with how comfortable these guys seemed on stage for an opening band. Michou reminds me of Backseat Goodbye meets Death Cab with more clever instrumentation. The drummer played a wooden box, I’m sure the wooden box has a real name, but it was pretty awesome. Needless to say enough of an impact was made that the lead singer and his former roommate managed to sell me their LP Myshkin. Don’t tell them I’m a sucker for merch tables.

Next up were Songs From A Room hailing from Toronto, who quickly reminded us all that Moneen are a rock band at heart and we should never forget that. These guys were amazing, they had a great energy and their set was fairly tight. If I go on about them all I’m going to say is how awesome they were and that would be redundant. So, all I’m going to say is they need an NMC page, and if you love heavy rock, check these fellows out.

In between sets I discovered Devyn (who wore a Moneen sweater to the show by accident) is a closet stalker (she tried to push me into Hippy not once, but twice) and we went to the merch table (that Kenny and Erik were running) many many times. But we did find out quite a few interesting things.

  1. They are recording the new album in Toronto, though they’re taking a bit of a break for the holidays
  2. The short film Kenny made that appears in It All Started With A Red Stripe was made when he was in grade 11. He also told us when he was converting the film from analog to digital the machine started to eat some of the tape a few minutes in so he had to try to convert from the beginning again. When he gave it to the guy to put on the dvd he asked him to remove that first bit and only use the version that goes all of the way though. Obviously the guy didn’t because if you watch it, you end up watching the first 5 minutes twice haha.

During these Merch visits we (and by we I mean me via Devyn) requested “Panthers and Polar Bears” which received as I expected, a big laugh. It’s a song from a children’s compilation Somebody Needs a Timeout. On a side note, who asks Moneen and Propaghandi to do children’s music? Christine Fellows and Hayden I can understand, but Moneen? Moving on…

HippyEventually Moneen hit the stage. Kenny and Hippy on acoustic guitars, and Erik played an acoustic bass. They whipped out old classics, fan favourites and new stuff. They even played the first 10 seconds of “Panthers and Polar Bears” after a tiny bit of heckling. Kenny went on to explain that the only reason they wrote the song was because he wanted to say Banana Bah-nahnah in a song ahahahaha.

The new stuff sounds amazing. It’s lyrically thought-provoking and the music sounds very fresh. Their album will be well worth the wait. Kenny tried to calm the rowdy crowd down when he pulled out really quiet songs and I think eventually it worked, somewhat. Haris (their techie, honourary 5th member) had cut his hand in Brampton so he was in the hospital and couldn’t make it to the show, alas Kenny dedicated “There Are A Million Reasons…” to Haris and Hippy’s failed relationship? It was comical to say the least haha. They brought out Lucas (the guy who played the box in Michou) to accompany them, and it turned out really great! They also managed to get the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to Erik who turned 30, he looked rather embarrassed but I think he secretly enjoyed it.

Once Moneen finished their set, the crowd waited for Kenny to come back on stage to get his bag before demanding an encore, it was actually really random and strange, but they pulled out “Passing of America”, and it was craaazy. Hippy brought a drum into the middle of the crowd and got a random to play it while they finished the song. I can’t imagine how awesome it must have felt for the band as performers to be leading this moment.

All in all, I’m going to remember this show as the Moneen Hootenanny haha.

And I’m really sorry if that was incoherent, I’m on painkillers.

Looking Forward: to 2009
November 25, 2008, 12:42 am
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , ,

There are many things I’m looking forward to in 2009: potentially quitting my job, completing another year of my degree and a whole whack of new music.

Here is a snippet of music I’m looking forward to

I was openly hoping we could expect a new Cursive release by the end of the year. While 2006’s Happy Hollow was an unexpected change of direction from Domestica and The Ugly Organ, it left me wanting to hear more of this political not-so-emo Cursive. It does sound like the band is writing and recording new material and well on their way for a release in 2009.

I’m not the best of the fans, but do I ever enjoy listening to Moneen’s infinitely long titled songs and intricate music. Damn you Wikipedia for giving me false hope! But their blog suggests a real new record is on the way. Hurrah!

Attack in Black
This is a busy quartet! Attack in Black just finished up a 3 week tour of half of Canada and are already back on stage, touring across the pond. In 2007 they released an EP and not one but two full lengths. Based on pure speculation, they are bound to release something new 2009, and my bets are it won’t be anything like Marriage.

And with new material, comes a supporting tour, so here’s to hoping I’ll be able catch both Moneen and Cursive on the road in 2009. Not that I don’t want to catch Attack in Black for a 3rd time, because I do! Maybe I’ll luck out and they’ll all tour together. hint hint! One can dream.

TOTW: Week of May 19
May 19, 2008, 4:03 pm
Filed under: Track of the Week | Tags: , , , ,

1. Arkells – Oh The Boss Is Coming
The opening is very reminiscent of the Constantines, or even Alexisonfire, but they make this song their own, and it’s awesome.

2. Moneen – If Tragedy’s Appealing Disaster’s an Addiction
I picked up It All Started With a Red Stripe and even as a casual Moneen listener, I fully appreciated it. The documentary is very insightful and funny (these guys have a lot of antics), and the DVD comes with a ton of other stuff.

3. The Weakerthans – Reconstruction Site
I’m a little slow when it comes to jumping on the bandwagon and I just picked up Reconstruction Site last week.

4. Islands – The Arm
I’ve been enjoying this song for quite some time now, I hate saying this but, it reminds me of pirates. Their new album comes out on Tuesday.

5. Cursive – Shallow Means Deep Ends
I’ve recently rediscovered my original obsession with Cursive and specifically Domestica. This song is an awesome representation of said album.