Sept. 2006

Exclaim! - - SHOTS - JAMES KEAST


For a three- or four-year pe­riod in the early 2000s, a sense of pride over­came the mu­sic scene in Canada’s big­gest city. Frus­trated by its rep­u­ta­tion as the land of soul­less money-grub­bing, com­mu­ni­ties around events like Wave­length, la­bels like Three Gut Records and Blocks Record­ing Club, and mu­sic col­lec­tives like Hid­den Cam­eras and Bro­ken So­cial Scene ral­lied around a more pos­i­tive view of the city’s cre­atives. Iron­i­cally, the global suc­cess of key mem­bers like Feist and Owen Pal­lett took them from us and de­flated the move­ment’s cen­tral mo­men­tum, al­though its spirit re­mains.


Af­ter the inau­gu­ral short­list for the first Po­laris Mu­sic Prize was an­nounced, I noted, in an ed­i­tor’s col­umn, how many nom­i­nees had re­cently been on the cover of Ex­claim! Reader Chives2 took of­fense, writ­ing: “We’re great, see, we had a bunch of the no-tal­ent losers nom­i­nated for Po­laris ‘awards’ on the cover. How about for a change your mag­a­zine talks about bands other than Bro­ken So­cial Scene, Stars, Met­ric, Ar­cade Fire, Wolf Eyes, AIDS Wolf, Fi­nal Fan­tasy or the New Pornog­ra­phers? The fact that you’re proud that a bunch of light­weight artists ‘graced’ the cover of your pub­li­ca­tion reeks of des­per­a­tion and in­se­cu­rity.”

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