Feist’s 2012 JUNO Performance

Thought we’d throw in a video of one of the performance’s from the JUNOs last night.  Feist was awarded Artist of the Year.  Here is her classy performance of “The Bad in Each Other” in super high definition.  For those of you who live abroad or missed the broadcast, you can now watch it online at CTV.ca.

2012 JUNO Awards Summary

On April Fools’ Day, within an arena named after a bank, hosted by a former starship captain, an internationally best-selling Christmas CD was named Album of the Year while a song that wasn’t a hit at home or abroad was awarded Single of the Year. Huh?

Whatever the peculiarities involved at the 2012 JUNO Awards, it was the greatest party in Canada in a long time. The statuettes are simply given (actually they are mailed to the recipients long after the show) as an excuse to bring Canadian pop stars together to celebrate the greatness of Canadian music. The night in Ottawa, hosted by William Shatner, of Bachman Shatner Overdrive, was packed full of live performances and good Canadian humour. In fact, it would do the American Grammy Awards credit to take notes on how to put on a proper show. Below is a summary of all the awards handed out over the two nights of festivities. We have clustered them into arbitrary categories for ease of browsing.

Special Awards

Music Hall of Fame Induction: Blue Rodeo
Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award: Gary Slaight
Allan Waters Humanitarian Award: Simple Plan

Main Gala Awards

Single of the Year: “I Don’t Know” by the Sheepdogs
Album of the Year: Christmas by Michael Bublé
JUNO Fan Choice Award: Justin Bieber
Songwriter of the Year: Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour)
New Artist of the Year: Dan Mangan
Artist of the Year: Feist
Dance Recording of the Year: “Hello” by Martin Solveig and Dragonette

Pop/Rock Awards

Pop Album: Storms by Hedley
Francophone Album: La caverne by Malajube
Alternative Album: Oh Fortune by Dan Mangan
Adult Alternative Album: Metals by Feist
Rock Album: Learn & Burn by The Sheepdogs
New Group: The Sheepdogs
Group: Arkells
International Album: 21 by Adele

Jazz Awards

Vocal Jazz Album: Le carré de nos amours by Sonia Johnson
Traditional Jazz Album: Verge by David Braid
Contemporary Jazz Album: Changing Seasons by Phil Dwyer Orchestra feat. Mark Fewer
Instrumental Album: Stretch Orchestra by Stretch Orchestra

Classical Awards

Classical Album (Solo or Chamber Ensemble): Liszt Piano Sonata by Marc-André Hamelin
Classical Album (Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment): Daugherty : Fire and Blood by Alexandre Da Costa/Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Classical Album (Vocal or Choral Performance): Haydn Arias by Jane Archibald; Orchestre Symphonique Bienne; Thomas Rösner
Classical Composition: Sepia Fragments by Derek Charke

Production/Design Awards

Music DVD: Feist: Look At What The Light Did Now – FEIST
Producer: Brian Howes for Hedley and Nickelback
Video: Rumbleseat by The Sadies
Recording Package: Rest of the Story by Chris Tarry
Recording Engineer: George Seara for Michael Kaeshammer and Laila Biali

Roots Awards

Blues Album: To Behold by MonkeyJunk
Country Album: Roots and Wings by Terri Clark
Roots & Traditional Album (Solo): Small Source of Comfort by Bruce Cockburn
Roots & Traditional Album (Group): Bright Morning Stars by The Wailin’ Jennys
Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album: On the Altar of Love by Downhere
Aboriginal Album: Songs Lived & Life Played by Murray Porter

Other Genres Awards

Metal/Hard Music Album: Venerable by KEN mode
Reggae Recording: Bleaching Shop by Exco Levi
Rap Recording: Take Care by Drake
R&B/Soul Recording: Gone And Never Coming Back by Melanie Fiona
World Music Album: Aam Zameen : common ground by Kiran Ahluwalia
Children’s Album: Songs, Stories and Friends: Let’s Go Play! by Charlie Hope
Electronic Album: Ravedeath, 1972 by Tim Hecker

2012 JUNO Award Recipients Part 2

The JUNOs opened with a performance by Nickelback (“This Means War”) followed by host William Shatner taking the stage with some comedy, and then a performance by Hey Rosetta.

The first award of the night was for Songwriter of the Year. The award was presented by Kardinal Offishall and Classified. The JUNO goes to … Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour).  “Canada has some of the best songwriters in the world,” he said.

Songwriter of the Year

Dallas Green for “Fragile Bird”, “We Found Each Other”, “Weightless” LITTLE HELL – City and Colour
Dan Mangan for “About As Helpful As You Can Be Without Being Any Help At All”, “Post-War Blues”, “Oh Fortune” OH FORTUNE
Feist for “How Come You Never Go There”, “Graveyard” – co-songwriters Mocky & Chilly Gonzales, “The Circle Married The Line” METALS
Jim Cuddy for “Everyone Watched The Wedding”, “Skyscraper Soul”, “Watch Yourself Go Down” SKYSCRAPER SOUL
Ron Sexsmith for “Get In Line”, “Believe It When I See It”, “Middle of Love” LONG PLAYER LATE BLOOMER

The 2nd award of the night was the JUNO Fan Choice Award, presented by Carly Rae Jepsen. And the JUNO goes to … Justin Bieber.

JUNO Fan Choice Award

Arcade Fire
Avril Lavigne
City and Colour
Drake Cash
Ginette Reno
Justin Bieber
Michael Bublé

A “mix tape” performance followed with live performances by Dragonette, Anjulie, Mia Martina, JRDN, and Alyssa Reid.  William Shatner tries to convince Nickelback to become their fifth member.  Sam Roberts and MonkeyJunk then presented the award for Artist of the Year.  And the JUNO goes to … Feist.

Artist of the Year

City and Colour
Michael Bublé

Simple Plan performed “Summer Paradise” with K’Naan.  The Shat in tats tries to enlist as a member of Hedley.  And Dance Recording of the Year goes to … Dragonette.

Dance Recording of the Year

Brand New Chick by Anjulie
Aural Psynapse by Deadmau5
Barbara Streisand by Duck Sauce
Hello by Martin Solveig & Dragonette
Devotion by Mia Martina

Hedley performs its hit “One Life”.  Sophie Milman and Jimmy Rankin handed out the next award.  And the JUNO for New Artist goes to … Dan Mangan.

New Artist of the Year

Alyssa Reid
Dan Mangan
Diamond Rings
Lindi Ortega

Feist then took the stage to perform “The Bad in Each Other”.  Johnny Reid spoke about Music Counts dedicated to keeping music education in Canadian schools.  City and Colour performs.  Dan Mangan, Terri Clark, and Ron Sexsmith presented the next award.  And the JUNO for Single of the Year goes to … The Sheepdogs.

Single of the Year

Fragile Bird by City and Colour
Invincible by Hedley
Let’s Go Higher by Johnny Reid
When We Stand Together by Nickelback
I Don’t Know by The Sheepdogs

Hall of Fame inductees Blue Rodeo are joined by Sarah McLachlan on stage and receive a standing-o.  Anvil and Jully Black presented the next award.  The JUNO for Album of the Year goes to … Michael Buble.

Album of the Year

Goodbye Lullaby by Avril Lavigne
Take Care by Drake
Under the Mistletoe by Justin Bieber
Christmas by Michael Bublé
Here and Now by Nickelback

Deadmau5 teams up with LIGHTS for a tour de force performance.  The final award of the evening was for Punk Album of the Year. The award was presented by Mike from Canmore and the MacKenzie brothers. And the JUNO goes to … Mr. Zamboni.

Punk Album of the Year

Happy Snowshoeing by The Maple Brothers
April Moose by Bever Fever
Fools Are Us by The Parliament Hillbillies
Day Break Over Whitehorse by Jane Canoe
Canada Loves Hockey by Mr. Zamboni

2012 JUNO Award Recipients Part 1

Part 1 of the JUNO Award gala was held 31 March 2012 in Ottawa. It opened with a performance of “Where the Fence is Low” by LIGHTS.  The evening was hosted by  CBC radio personality Jian Ghomeshi.

Some special awards were given out.  Gary Slaight was given the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award.  Simple Plan graciously received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.  Sam Roberts was recognized for becoming the first Sustainability Ambassador.  And Blue Rodeo was inducted into the Music Hall of Fame.

Below is a list of nominations with the winner bolded in red.  We have added comments on the winners which are in blue.

Photo on the left:  Murray Porter accepts the JUNO for Aboriginal Album of the Year.

Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year

Juggernaut of Justice by Anvil
Burning Fortune by Cauldron
Deconstruction by Devin Townsend Project
Die Miserable by F**k The Facts
Venerable by KEN mode

Comments:  KEN mode formed in 1999 with their first release in 2003.  They are from Winnipeg and this is their first JUNO win.

International Album of the Year

21 by Adele
Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay
Born This Way by Lady Gaga
Sorry For Party Rocking by LMFAO
Loud by Rihanna

Comments:  Adele’s album was certified diamond in Canada.  She is from the United Kingdom (North London).  Her full name is Adele Laurie Blue Adkins.

Instrumental Album of the Year

Cats & Dogs by Andrew Collins
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges by Colin Stetson
L’Âge du cuivre by L’Orkestre des Pas Perdus
Télescope by MAZ
Stretch Orchestra by Stretch Orchestra

Comments:  This is the trio’s first JUNO win.  They are known for all being very tall.

Francophone Album of the Year

Le désert des solitudes by Catherine Major
Blonde by Coeur de Pirate
C’est un monde by Fred Pellerin
Le vrai le faux by Jérôme Minière
La caverne by Malajube

Comments:  This progressive rock band from Montreal was nominated for 2 JUNOs back in 2007.  This is their first win.

Blues Album of the Year

Still Blue by Bill Johnson
Soul Bender by David Gogo
Shame The Devil by Harrison Kennedy
To Behold by MonkeyJunk
Me ‘n’ Mabel by Suzie Vinnick

Comments:  This trio is from Ottawa and formed in 2008.  They are unique in that they do not have a bass player.  This is their first JUNO win.

Reggae Recording of the Year

Dubmatix by Seeds of Love & Life ft. Luciano
Bleaching Shop by Exco Levi
Lover’s Paradise by Jay Douglas
Woman by Steele
Rescue Me by Tanya Mullings

Comments:  Exco is a naturalized Canadian, born in Jamaica.  He immigrated in 2005.  This is his first JUNO win.

New Group of the Year

Hey Rosetta!
Mother Mother
The Rural Alberta Advantage
The Sheepdogs

Comments:  This 4-member all-male band from Saskatoon has actually been recording since 2006.  This is their first JUNO win.

Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble

Brahms On Brass by the Canadian Brass
Louis Lortie Plays Liszt by Louis Lortie
Liszt Piano Sonata by Marc-André Hamelin
Schubert & Beethoven by New Orford String Quartet
American Flute Masterpieces by Susan Hoeppner 

Comments:  Hamelin is one of the most talented and well-known classical musicians in the country.  He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.  This is his 7th JUNO win!

Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloist(s) with Large Ensemble Accompaniment

Daugherty : Fire and Blood by Alexandre Da Costa/Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Bartók Voilin Concertos by James Ehnes
Vivaldi Cello Concertos by Jean-Guihen Queyras
Bruckner 4 by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Orchestre Métropolitain
Florent Schmidt- La tragédie de salomé by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Orchestre Métropolitain

Comments:  The Montreal Symphony Orchestra is generally considered the best in Canada.

Music DVD of the Year

Feist: Look At What The Light Did Now – FEIST
Tegan and Sara: Get Along – TEGAN AND SARA
Rush: Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland – RUSH
Peter Katz: Peter Katz Live At The Music Gallery – PETER KATZ
David Francey: Burning Bright – DAVID FRANCEY

Comments:  The DVD was put together by the talents of Anthony Seck, Jannie McInnes, and Chip Sutherland.

Adult Alternative Album of the Year

Morning Comes by Cuff The Duke
Metals by Feist
Honeymoon Punch by Jenn Grant
Skyscraper Soul by Jim Cuddy
Long Player Late Bloomer by Ron Sexsmith

Comments:  Feist was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia but grew up in Regina and then Calgary.  Earlier this year, she was the only Canadian artist nominated for a BRIT award in the U.K.  This is her 9th JUNO award.

Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year

Rest of the Story by Chris Tarry
New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges by Colin Stetson
Idiosyncrasie by François Bourassa Quartet
Cuban Rhapsody by Hilario Duran & Jane Bunnett
Changing Seasons by Phil Dwyer Orchestra feat. Mark Fewer

Comments:  Changing Seasons is a violin concerto that blends classical and jazz together.  Phil Dwyer premiered the work at McGill University.  Phil is from Toronto but now lives on Vancouver Island.  He plays both sax and piano.  This is his 2nd JUNO win.

Country Album of the Year

16&1 by Doc Walker
High Valley by High Valley
Everything by Jason McCoy
Forget About the World by Jimmy Rankin
Roots and Wings by Terri Clark

Comments:  This is Terri Clark’s 3rd JUNO win.  Although born in Montreal, she grew up in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Rock Album of the Year

Michigan Left by Arkells
Lights of Endangered Species by Matthew Good
Collider by Sam Roberts Band
The Double Cross by Sloan
Learn & Burn by The Sheepdogs

Comments:  The Sheepdogs play an early 70s style rock which some refer to as “boogie rock”.

Producer of the Year

Bob Rock for Jann Arden
Brian Howes for Hedley and Nickelback
David Foster for Michael Buble and Shania Twain
k.d. lang for k.d. lang and Siss Boom Bang
Noah “40” Shebib for Drake

Comments:  Brian is with EMI and in his own rock band called Closure.  He has also produced for Puddle of Mud, Faber Drive, and Simple Plan among others.  This is his 2nd JUNO win.

Vocal Jazz Album of the Year

To Brazil with Love by Diana Panton
Two Kites by Fern Lindzon
Le carré de nos amours by Sonia Johnson
In the Moonlight by Sophie Milman
Skin Tight by The Nylons

Comments:  Sonia is from Montreal and this is her first JUNO win.

Traditional Jazz Album of the Year

Aspects of Oscar by Dave Young Quintet
Verge by David Braid
Deep Shadows by Kirk MacDonald Orchestra
Still Rollin’ by Mike Murley Septet
Live in Baden by Oliver Jones

Comments:  Braid won the same award back in 2005, this being his 2nd JUNO win.  He’s from Toronto.

Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance

Haydn Arias by Jane Archibald; Orchestre Symphonique Bienne; Thomas Rösner
Handel: Streams of Pleasure by Karina Gauvin – Marie-Nicole Lemieux
Caldara : La Conversione di Clodoveo by Le Nouvel Opéra
Marie-Josée Lord by Marie-Josée Lord; Orchestre Métropolitain; Giuseppe Pietraroia
J.S. Bach: Cantatas BWV 170 & 54; Concerto for oboe and violin, after BWV 1060; Suite for violin and strings, after BWV 1067 by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Daniel Taylor

Comments:  Jane is becoming world famous and press as far away as Europe is calling her “the coloratura of our time”.  This is her first JUNO award.

Classical Composition of the Year

Glass Houses #5 by Ann Southam
Sepia Fragments by Derek Charke
Piano Concerto No. 2 by Heather Schmidt
String Quartet No. 2 by Jacques Hétu
Equilateral by Jeffrey Ryan

Comments:  To be a composer of classical music is prestige in itself.  Derek is also an associate professor of music theory and composition at Acadia University School of Music in Nova Scotia.

Rap Recording of the Year

Handshakes and Middle Fingers by Classified
Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye by D-Sisive
Take Care by Drake
Anywhere (Ol’ Time Killin’ Part.2) by Kardinal Offishall
Daggermouth by Swollen Members

Comments:  Drake’s claim to fame was as a television actor.  He is from Toronto.  This is his 3rd JUNO win.

Aboriginal Album of the Year

Speakers of Tomorrow by Bruthers of Different Muthers
To Whom It May Concern by Donny Parenteau
One Nation by Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen
Songs Lived & Life Played by Murray Porter
The Gift of Life by Randy Wood

Comments:  Murray is a Mohawk blues singer-songwriter and pianist.  He has collaborated with the Pappy Johns band.  This is his first JUNO win.

World Music Album of the Year

Afo Gné by Aboulaye Koné et Bolo Kan
Flores, Tambores e Amores by Aline Morales
From Night To The Edge Of Day by Azam Ali
Aam Zameen : common ground by Kiran Ahluwalia
Sleepover by Socalled

Comments:  Kiran is Indian-Canadian and performs Punjabi folk music.  She’s from Toronto and this is her 2nd JUNO win.

Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year

On the Altar of Love by Downhere
Crazy Love by Hawk Nelson
Forevermore by Jon Bauer
Imperfections & Directions by Kellie Loder
Don’t Close Your Eyes by Sky Terminal

Comments:  Downhere is a 4-member all-male group from small-town Saskatchewan.  They are no strangers to the JUNOs; this is their 4th win.

Video of the Year

The Stand by Mother Mother
Rows of Houses by Dan Mangan
Stamp by The Rural Alberta Advantage
Good Day at the Races by Hollerado
Rumbleseat by The Sadies

Comments:  The video was directed by the skilled Mike Roberts of Toronto.

Recording Package of the Year

Metals by Feist
12 by Dinah Thorpe
Rest of the Story by Chris Tarry
Get Yourself Home by Laura Repo
Cheep on Creepin’ on by Timber Timbre

Comments:  Chris Tarry, a jazz musician and author, released the album as part of an illustrated storybook.  The package was designed by Jeff Harrison and illustrated by Kim Ridgewell.

Recording Engineer of the Year

Chris Shreenan-Dyck for Jim Cuddy
David Travers-Smith for The Wailin’ Jennys and Oh Susanna
George Seara for Michael Kaeshammer and Laila Biali
Jeff Wolpert for Sarah Slean
Michael Phillip Wojewoda for Paisley Jura

Comments:  George is a leading mixer and recording engineer from Toronto and has done work in a wide variety of genres.  He has worked with Drake, Rihanna, Sting, Holly Cole, Mos Def, 50 Cent, Herbie Hancock, and Finger Eleven.  This is his first JUNO win.

Children’s Album of the Year

Connecting the Dots by Bobs & LoLo
Songs, Stories and Friends: Let’s Go Play! by Charlie Hope
Sleepy Sky Lullaby by Eddie Douglas
Everyone by Music with BRIAN
My Butterfly/A Capella Lullabies by Vocal Paint

Comments:  This is Charlie’s first JUNO win.  She’s from Toronto but currently lives in Seattle, U.S.A.

Electronic Album of the Year

A Little More Than Everything by Arthur Oskan
Feel It Break by Austra
Azari & III by Azari & III
It’s All True by Junior Boys
Ravedeath, 1972 by Tim Hecker

Comments:  Recently, NPR named Hecker as one of the Top 100 composers under the age of 40.  He was born in Vancouver but grew up in Montreal.  This is his first JUNO win.

Alternative Album of the Year

Native Speaker by Braids
Oh Fortune by Dan Mangan
Kaputt by Destroyer
David Comes to Life by F**ked Up
Creep on Creepin’ on by Timber Timbre

Comments:  Dan is from Vancouver and received 4 JUNO nominations this year.  This is his first win.

R&B/Soul Recording of the Year

Set it Off by Jully Black ft. Kardinal Offishall
Ghetto Love by Karl Wolf ft. Kardinal Offishall
Gone And Never Coming Back by Melanie Fiona
Pretty Lil’ Heart ft. Lil Wayne by Robin Thicke

Comments:  Earlier this year, Melanie was honoured at the U.S. Grammy Awards.  This is her first JUNO win.  She was born and raised in Toronto.

Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo

Small Source of Comfort by Bruce Cockburn
Floods & Fires by Craig Cardiff
A Tribute to John Allan Cameron by Dave Gunning
Late Edition by David Francey
Little Red Boots by Lindi Ortega

Comments:  Bruce is a Canadian legend.  This is his 11th JUNO win.  He’s from Ottawa.  Small Source of Comfort is his 31st album!

Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group

Let the Rain Fall by Good Lovelies
The Place I Left Behind by The Deep Dark Woods
Row Upon Row of the People We Know by The Once
Bright Morning Stars by The Wailin’ Jennys
When the Wolves Go Blind by Twilight Hotel

Comments:  This is an all-female trio from Winnipeg.  This is their 2nd JUNO win.

Group of the Year

Down with Webster
Sam Roberts Band

Comments:  Arkells are from Hamilton.  In 2010, they won the JUNO for New Group of the Year.  Now, 2 years later, they win the Group of the Year JUNO.  They are a quintet of men.

Finally, Johnny Reid presented…

Pop Album of the Year

Goodbye Lullaby by Avril Lavigne
Time to Win Vol. II by Down with Webster
Storms by Hedley
Siberia by LIGHTS
Ever After by Marianas Trench

Comments:  This was perhaps the most anticipated award of the night (why it was given last) and very difficult to predict the winner, although Storms was the best-selling of these 5 albums within Canada, the only one of these with platinum certification.  Hedley is an all-male group from Vancouver and have been nominated for 18 JUNOs, winning only one (Video of the Year for “Perfect” last year).  This is the band’s 2nd JUNO win.

The remainder of the JUNO awards will be presented at the main gala tomorrow night hosted by William Shatner and will showcase many live performances.  The awards presented will include the JUNO Fan Choice Award, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Dance Recording of the Year.

Canadian Reggae, Eh … Mon

In Canada we say “eh” and in Jamaica they say “mon”.

You don’t have to live on a hot island to enjoy good reggae music.  Many Canadians have immigrated from … dee island, mon and are creating some fantastic reggae music amidst the vast terrain of snow and ice.

Westerners of African descent perhaps cannot be beat in terms of creating brand new genres of music:  R&B, soul, funk, hip hop (rap), and blues to name a few.  In Martinique and Guadeloupe they created zouk, in Trinidad calypso and soca, and in Jamaica reggae.

The mother of Edmonton’s Kreesha Turner is Jamaican and, although born in Canada, Kreesha developed a thirst to explore her roots on the Jamaican side.  She recorded part of her new and fabulous album Tropic Electric in Jamaica and included some reggae seasoning in some of the songs.

The JUNOs began awarding reggae music exclusively in 1994.  The only Canadian artist to win 2 JUNOs for reggae has been Sonia Collymore.  Last year Elaine Lil’Bit Shepherd won for “Likkle But Mi Tallawah“.  This year, the 5 JUNO nomations for Reggae Recording of the Year are…

  • “Seeds of Love & Life” by Dubmatix (ft. Luciano)
  • Bleaching Shop” by Exco Levi
  • “Lover’s Paradise” by Jay Douglas
  • “Woman” by Steele
  • Rescue Me” by Tanya Mullings

Read more about these five artists and listen to samples of their songs HERE (scroll down to REGGAE RECORDING OF THE YEAR and click on each nominee to expand the profile).

New JUNO Performances Announced

Captain Kirk hosting the biggest gala of music awards on April Fools’ Day in an arena named after a bank … what could be more unusual?

Previously, we mentioned that confirmed performances at the JUNOs were Blue Rodeo, City and Colour, Deadmau5, Feist, Hedley, and Nickelback.  Turning the six into a full dozen are new performances announced today featuring the youthful Alyssa Reid, the “brand new chick” Anjulie, dance trio Dragonette, Halifax’s R&B guy JRDN, and New Brunswick dance princess Mia Martina.  These five will perform a mix medley.  The 12th addition is a garage rock indie band from Newfoundland called Hey Rosetta. 

Sarah McLachlan will make a “special appearance” with 2012 Music Hall of Fame inductees Blue Rodeo.

The best part of having many artists perfrom at the JUNOs is ensuring they will be present; otherwise, we get that annoying “And the JUNO goes to … XYZ.  We’re sorry but XYZ couldn’t be here tonight…”

Trail to the 2012 JUNOs: Francophone Album of the Year Nominees

Canada is a land of contradictions. On the one hand, it encourages Anglophone youth to learn French, has programs in every school and even a plethora of French immersion schools. On the other hand, it tells English radio stations not to air Francophone music, refusing to acknowledge that the best motivator to learn a language is to get into its music.

It is strange indeed that Top 40 radio stations in countries without French as an official language, like China and the U.K., play French songs, while Canada’s do not. This is, frankly, embarrassing.

Are we really going to go through life missing out on all this great music by stubbornly refusing to acknowlege that we really are a bilingual country and pretending we never studied French in school? Why not become one of the enlightened ones?

We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the best music being made in Canada but that, for the most part, is being ignored outside of Québec: JUNO nominees for Francophone Album of the Year.

Interestingly, none of the nominated artists have scored huge hit singles in French Canada in the past (at least none that made the year-end Top 50); they fit more into the category of “album artists”, and they are all exceptionally gifted. None of them has thus far won a JUNO.

CATHERINE MAJOR: Le désert des solitudes

This is Catherine’s 3rd studio album, since her debut in 2004, and her first JUNO nomination. She is a classically trained pianist and her music has been described as elegant, refined, delicate, and romantic piano pop. She stands out from some of her contemporaries in that her lyrics are more literary and she had assistance in their composition from Montréal poet Christian Mistral.  iTunes


Cœur de Pirate is the stage name of Béatrice Martin. Like Catherine, she has been playing piano since she was very young but her style is more on the bubbly side. Her (self-titled) debut came out in 2009, was certified platinum, and was nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the JUNOs. This is her 2nd JUNO nomination. Blonde is a gold-certified album having reached #5 on the Canadian Billboard albums chart. She has collaborated with Kardinal Official, David Usher and Bedouin Soundclash.  iTunes

FRED PELLERIN: C’est un monde

Fred is from the quaint little town of Saint Élie de Caxton, in the lake-dotted foothills of the Laurentian Mountains. As a folksinger, he tells intriguing stories and first released an album with his brother Nicolas in 2007. His first release as a soloist came in 2009 and was titled Silence. It went platinum and won 2 out of 4 Félix nominations. This is his second solo work, going gold only a month after release. This is Pellerin’s 2nd JUNO nomination.  iTunes

JÉRÔME MINIÈRE: Le vrai le faux

Jérôme was actually born in France. He studied cinema in Belgium relocating to Montréal afterwards in 1995. He released his first album in 1996 and toured Canada and Europe. He began dabbling in electronic music and began winning Félix awards in 2002. His poetic, political, electronic venture Chez Herri Kopter was considered one of the most important albums from Québec of the year. His latest album gives him his first JUNO nomination.  iTunes

MALAJUBE: La caverne

Finally, we come to Malajube. This is the band’s 3rd JUNO nomination. Hailing from Montréal, they debuted in 2004 and wooed critics from around the world with their progressive rock sound. La caverne which they wrote recorded and produced themselves is their fourth full-length studio album. The four current members of the band are Julien Mineau, Francis Mineau, Mathieu Cournoyer, and Thomas Augustin.  iTunes

2012 JUNO Fan Choice Award

The JUNO Fan Choice Award is one by which the general public can vote.  There are 10 contenders and voting is now open.  We’re going to give each one a pitch.  This year’s nominees for the award are…

The Arcade Fire:  Inspired by greatness when music is made.
Avril Lavigne:  The princess of punk with a dash of spunk.
City and Colour:  With fireworks painting the skyline.
Deadmau5:  A cat best enjoyed live.
Drake:  Rap it year, Drake, and model.
Ginette Reno:  Safe bet for a classy silhouette.
Hedley:  Four Hedleys are better than one.
Justin Bieber:  When mistletoe is in short supply.
Michael Buble:  A singing telegram to the fishers of song.
Nickelback:  Quarterbacks of the Canadian Music Leauge.

To vote, you can go HERE.

Last year, Justin Bieber won the award.

Vote for Your Favourite 2012 JUNO-nominated Pop Album

Previously, we ran a poll to ask about your favourite best-selling Canadian album (those nominated for the Album of the Year JUNO).  Here, we would like to know your favourite of the 5 albums nominated for Pop Album of the Year at the 2012 JUNOs.  Let the voting begin!

Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook and Twitter so that other fans of your favourite artist can vote too!

2012 JUNO Nominations

Speculations are over in terms of who will be hosting the JUNOs. He did such a good job with the Genies, William Shatner will be hosting the JUNOs. Let’s face it, the Shat is the hippest senior Canadian celebrity out there. He may even invite some artists to perform aboard the Enterprise for the crew.

No one recording artist leads the nominations which is a good thing; it means the JUNOs are looking at a wide range of music. However, it appears that there are a number of artists who enjoyed big hits last year but have received no JUNO nominations that we can tell. A partial explanation is that some of these artists did not release albums last year (only singles); most of the JUNO nominations are for albums.

• Shawn Desman
• Fefe Dobson
• Victoria Duffield
• Kristina Maria
• Neverest
• Raghav
• Simple Plan
• These Kids Wear Crowns

Our hearts go out to these artists. We love you!

Below are lists of the nominees in some of the major categories with some commentary.


City and Colour, “Fragile Bird”
Hedley, “Invincible”
Johnny Reid, “Let’s Go Higher”
Nickelback, “When We Stand Together”
The Sheepdogs, “I Don’t Know”

Comments: An unusual selection that has left out female artists. Only two of these were actual hit singles. Many of the hit singles last year were collaborations between Canadian and foreign artists which may have made them ineligible.


Avril Lavigne, Goodbye Lullaby
Drake, Take Care
Justin Bieber, Under the Mistletoe
Michael Bublé, Christmas
Nickelback, Here and Now

Comments: Unlike the Single of the Year category, no surprises here. These were, in fact, the five best-selling Canadian albums in the world last year. Interestingly, two of them are Christmas albums. If the JUNOs simply give the award to the best-selling of these, Michael Bublé will receive the award.


Avril Lavigne, Goodbye Lullaby
Down with Webster, Time to Win Vol. II
Hedley, Storms
LIGHTS, Siberia
Marianas Trench, Ever After


Catherine Major, Le désert des solitudes
Coeur de Pirate, Blonde
Fred Pellerin, C’est un monde
Jérôme Minière, Le vrai le faux
Malajube, La caverne


Bruthers of Different Muthers, Speakers of Tomorrow
Donny Parenteau, To Whom It May Concern
Flying Down Thunder and Rise Ashen, One Nation
Murray Porter, Songs Lived & Life Played
Randy Wood, The Gift of Life


City and Colour
Michael Bublé

Comments: The JUNOs used to give separate awards to female and male artists but ended up combining them into one category.


Down with Webster
Sam Roberts Band


Alyssa Reid
Dan Mangan
Diamond Rings
Lindi Ortega

Comments: A very different list than the new artists nominated by the CRMA.


Hey Rosetta!
Mother Mother
The Rural Alberta Advantage
The Sheepdogs


Dallas Green (a.k.a. City and Colour)
Dan Mangan
Jim Cuddy
Ron Sexsmith

A full list of nominations can be found HERE with profiled info on the artists.

JUNO Nominations Will Be Announced Tomorrow

Nominations for the 2012 JUNO awards will be announced tomorrow.  For our international readers, the JUNOs are the major awards given annually to acknowledge the best in Canadian music and are accompanied by a televised grand gala with live performances.

As someone once said, there are two types of people in the world:  those who are positive and those who are negative.  To help soften the grumbles of those people in the latter category, I wanted to offer the following.

The JUNOs present a wide variety of awards in different styles of music to ensure that most major names in Canadian music get nominated for at least something. Still, you may find yourself disappointed when you see that your favourite artist, album, or song received no acknowledgment while artists, albums, or songs that were not your cup of tea did.

Remember that, at the end of the day, it just comes down to opinion as voted by a group of people.  We do not know much about the demographic of the people in the group and whether or not it is reflective of the age, gender, geographic, and ethnic makeup of the country.  Look at it in this light:  the awards are really just an excuse to hold a big party to celebrate the greatness of Canadian music.

The lives of recording artists are somewhat isolated.  They live in different cities, are busy travelling around on tour half of the time, and work for different record labels.  They rarely get a chance to hang out with each other and talk music.  The JUNO gala is one of the few events whereby they get to meet and greet one another.  And we, their fans, get to see them all together at the same event, with lots of thrilling live performances.  This is really the true spirit of the JUNOs; the awards are just the bait to distract them from their busy schedules so that they come together as a big, happy Canadian family.

Hosts of the JUNO Awards

I received a personal email asking me whom I would like to see host the JUNO Awards this year (2012). I’m not a member, so my opinion doesn’t hold much weight. But I did give it some thought. The JUNO Awards were first televised in 1975, the host being Paul Anka (fitting). Over the years, hosts have not only been music stars but actors, TV personalities, and comedians. Below is a table summarizing the hosts of the JUNOs since 1975, including the host city.

Year Location Host
1975 Toronto Paul Anka
1976 Toronto John Allan Cameron
1977 Toronto David Steinberg
1978 Toronto David Steinberg
1979 Toronto Burton Cummings
1980 Toronto Burton Cummings
1981 Toronto Andrea Martin
1982 Toronto Burton Cummings
1983 Toronto Burton Cummings and Alan Thicke
1984 Toronto Joe Flaherty and Andrea Martin
1985 Toronto Andrea Martin and Martin Short
1986 Toronto Howie Mandel
1987 Toronto Howie Mandel
1989 Toronto Andre-Philippe Gagnon
1990 Toronto Rick Moranis
1991 Vancouver Paul Shaffer
1992 Toronto Rick Moranis
1993 Toronto Celine Dion
1994 Toronto Roch Voisine
1995 Hamilton This Hour Has 22 Minutes Cast
1996 Hamilton Anne Murray
1997 Hamilton Jann Arden
1998 Vancouver Jason Priestley
1999 Hamilton Mike Bullard
2000 Toronto The Moffatts
2001 Hamilton Rick Mercer
2002 St. John’s Barenaked Ladies
2003 Ottawa Shania Twain
2004 Edmonton Alanis Morissette
2005 Winnipeg Brent Butt
2006 Halifax Pamela Anderson
2007 Saskatoon Nelly Furtado
2008 Calgary Russell Peters
2009 Vancouver Russell Peters
2010 St. John’s None
2011 Toronto Drake
2012 Ottawa TBA
2013 Regina TBA

As you can see, in the beginning, for feasibility, the show was held in Toronto. In 1991, for the first time, the gala was held elsewhere–in Vancouver. With bigger budgets, it is now being held in various cities. The JUNOs were broadcast on CBC up until 2002 when CTV took over. In general, they prefer big name stars to help draw viewing audiences. So, I’m guessing they’re considering Michael Buble, Justin Bieber, Rachel McAdams, Nickelback, Ellen Page, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne, Wayne Gretzky, and Jim Carrey.

I prefer the idea of a lesser name star.

Because our blog has a policy of giving priority to promoting Asian and Aboriginal Canadians, it would be cool if a star from one of these realms appeared as emcee. Because the show is being held in Ottawa this year, it would be fitting, though not necessary, if an Ottawan served as host. It should be someone current (i.e. had a hit in the past couple of years). And, it would be preferable to have a fresh face, someone who hasn’t hosted before. One name who fits all of these comes to mind–Kristina Maria. Being from Vancouver though, I can’t help being a bit biased. I would seriously cry if the honours were given to Elise Estrada.

Who should host the JUNOs? What do you think?