Arcade Fire Wins 2011 Polaris Music Prize!

Last night the winner of a $30,000 award was decided upon and announced at the 2011 Polaris Music Prize Gala. Held at Toronto's Masonic Temple, the gala opened with an awesome mashup of nominees (seen above) and went on to include live performances by 6 of the 10 shortlisted nominees: Ron Sexsmith, Austra, Timber Timbre, Galaxie, BRAIDS, and Hey, Rosetta!
The interesting thing about this gala was that the winner of the prize was actually being decided upon as the event unfolded. Very exciting stuff. Personally I had my money on BRAIDS, a group based out of Montreal by way of Calgary. Their performance was by far the stand-out of the night. While every band was amazing, during this set you could literally hear a pin drop. Everyone's faces were glued to the stage, a few literally gaping in awe of the music (mine included).
But of course, Arcade Fire was the front-runner and it was no big surprise that they took the award home at the end of the night. As one of the MC's jested while announcing the nominees, the nine bands standing against Arcade Fire were the "nine other dark horses". But this wasn't based on sales or previous awards won, though obvious biases were unavoidable (aahem, Grammy winners..). The Polaris Prize prides itself on being based on a consideration of artistic merit of an entire album. And really, if you've ever listened to The Suburbs from start to finish you can see why it needed to win.
Win and Will Butler Accept 2011 Polaris Music Prize on behalf of Arcade Fire
Though Arcade Fire did not perform, brothers Win and Will Butler graciously accepted the $30,000 check on behalf of the band. When asked what they might do with the money, casually (and half-jokingly) invited every musician in the room to come record in their Montreal studio! Now that's the kind of down-to-earth camaraderie that makes Canadian music great. Congrats Arcade Fire.


CHLOE Fall 2011 Ad Campaign

For their F/W 2011 campaign, Chloe has enlisted a quartet of young beauties including Zuzanna Bijoch, Sigrid Agren, Arizona Muse, and Malgosia Bela, photographed by David Sims.
I first fell in love with Chloe ads with the 2007 S/S campaign featuring my fave Anja Rubik and shot by the genius team Inez & Vinoodh. Since then I've loved keeping track of their campaigns, and how the label seems to constantly make the right choices when it comes to reflecting their brand through the art of advertising.

This season Chloe has chosen a much more whimsical visual, with a vintage vibe that flows nicely from the S/S 2011 campaign (also shot by David Sims). Where the spring campaign featured more structure, with a muted eggshell-like quality to the images, the latest photos have adopted a more free-spirited and wild vibe. It's like a liberation... more colour, more movement... I love the story being told here, what girl wouldn't want to be part of it?


Kate Moss: The Wedding

Kate MossJamie Hince tied the knot this summer, and it is only appropriate that the nuptials should grace the pages of this year's September issue of Vogue. 
The bride wore white, an intricate 30s-style Galliano dress, and named The Great Gatsby as a major wedding inspiration. Here are some of Mario Testino's shots of the big day, which will be featured exclusively in the magazine. Suffice it to say the wedding looks magical, and we would expect nothing less. 


On the Cover of Rolling Stone...THE SHEEPDOGS

THEY DID IT! The Sheepdogs are officially the first unsigned band to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. Congrats boys.
Excellent. I'm so excited. They've made Canada proud and give us all hope that rock n' roll lives on. Now I must go out and buy a copy or five.


THE CULTS "Go Outside"

Lisa introduced me to this song (can't get it out of my head now... "IIIIII really wanna go out, I really wanna go outside... lalallala") by The Cults... Reminds me a bit of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero's Home (also got stuck in our heads). Lisa also showed me the band's official music video featuring real footage from the Jonestown massacre of 1978 with the band members edited into scenes quite craftily... see for yourself:

Pretty creepy, right? And pretty controversial but after reading a statement from director Isaiah Seret the meaning behind the project is much easier to understand.

Now there is a new MTV-worthy version of the music video featuring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco... much more mainstream and shiny... doesn't quite have the same message or sentiment of the original official video (aka I don't like it as much). Check it out here.


SUNDAY with SIA & Oh Land

Sooo I spent the majority of last weekend at the Phoenix concert theatre here in T.O. Saturday night we went to be part of the mob scene that was Pretty Lights and Nero - awesome glowstick-lit night (though due to an unfortunate toe injury I did not stay till 5am with the rest of the crowd)... Then came Sunday...8pm and back to the Phoenix for a much different kind of concert. Standing in line amongst bleeding glowstick remnants from the night before, I was so excited to see one of my longtime musical loves Sia for the first time live in concert.

The opening act Oh Land was amaaaaazing, my friend and I standing in awe of the blonde nymph-like girl standing on stage with an equally adorable male drummer wearing a wolf mask. We frantically took to my friend's iPhone to google the crap out of this wondrous thing called Oh Land that we had never heard of before. 
Nanna ├śland Fabricius AKA Oh Land

The Danish electro-pop act was certainly one of the most entertaining and different things I've seen in a long time. She's like the second coming of Nico, but even more curious... at one point she's cooing into the mic, the next she's flailing to dubstep-like beats and playing the drums alongside her drummer... nice. Check out Oh Land here - just bought her album and am very pleased :) 

After the awesome opening act came Australian native Sia whom I've loved and admired and cried myself to sleep listening to since I was 15 and emotional and listening to her sing "Destiny" with Zero7... She put on such a great show and was hilarious with the crowd, accepting flowers and heckling her own audience (lovingly of course).
Sia Furler @ The Phoenix July 24th 2011

My favourite quip of the night was after a fan brought flowers to Sia on the stage and she gave him a kiss... and then he passed a paper up with a request and she laughed and said "We're not doing that one!! Sometimes Santa doesn't always bring what you want for Christmas!" Then later when someone requested a song they were doing...she says "And sometimes Santa does bring the right present!" So odd and wonderful. 


SHEEPDOGS @ edgefest '11

Please Mr. Soundman, move out of my way...
Was working at Edgefest '11 this weekend and got to watch the Sheepdogs perform from backstage! They were awesome live and brought a real Woodstock vibe to the crowd. This is real rock n' roll, if only more musicians had the spirit...

Legit Backstage View...

 Oh ya...and I got to meet them after which was great :)

Me & The Sheepdogs!
(Please excuse the manly red t-shirt, I was working after all and really had no choice in the matter)


I'm Going to the 2011 Juno Awards on Sunday!!

First a big thank you to my big sis for taking me as her date to the Juno's on Sunday night:) I'm excited to say the least.

Never was a big fan of the Juno Awards until the past few years... always saw them as a kind of sub-par Grammy's... but Canadian music has stepped up its game in a huge way these past couple of years: Broken Social Scene, City and Colour, Alexisonfire, Metric, Shad, Down With Webster (from my hometown of The Beaches in Toronto I'm proud to say), The Sheepdogs, Hollerado, Feist, Drake, Arcade Fire, and of course The Biebs... that's just off the top of my head. And might I add that more than one of the above were represented and celebrated at the Grammy's this year? Sweet.
Arcade Fire

Broken Social Scene
Ok so I'm sounding super gung-ho about Canadian music, but I like that we've actually got a cool scene going on again - Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and The Band style - and after that sad, sad exhibition at the end of the closing ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics....I mean come on.
Neil Young - My Love
So I'm actually super excited to be a part of it on Sunday -  I know City and Colour, Arcade Fire, Chromeo, DWW, and Broken Social Scene are playing... and Neil Young is accepting the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award but not performing? I really hope he does a surprise number... would pretty much make my life complete. Oh and Drake is hosting - wonder how that'll go down.



Elizabeth Taylor, February 27, 1932-March 23, 2011

This morning, just before 10:00 am, Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor passed away from congestive heart failure at the age of 79. What an incredibly beautiful, glamourous woman the world has lost.

Sir Elton John: "We have just lost a Hollywood giant; more importantly, we have lost an incredible human being"

Nathan Followill (Kings of Leon): "RIP Elizabeth Taylor. My grandpa just received heaven's 1st ever restraining order."
Rest in peace Liz.


Natalie Portman for Miss Dior Cherie

Here's a look at the 2011 Miss Dior Cherie advert, directed by the wonderfully talented Sofia Coppola and featuring this year's it-girl and mama-to-be Natalie Portman.

Thought you might enjoy it, that is if you didn't already catch it when it aired during the Oscars. Also check out Coppola's upcoming film Somewhere, it's a pseudo-autobiographical account of her upbringing with a famous papa...

Btw that's Elle Fanning (Dakota's little sister) making her debut as a leading lady...


The Sheepdogs: On the cover of the Rolling Stone?

My sister gave me a CD this summer by some Canadian band from Saskatchewan called The Sheepdogs, and being eternally up for anything new by my nation's people I plopped it right on into the car stereo and we listened to it all the way up north to the cottage. They've got this throwback Beatles/Eric Clapton/CSNY thing going on with a contemporary indie twist... they're doing a similar thing as The Black Keys style-wise but more rock n' roll driven where The Black Keys are more bluesy. It's all very good listening. I've come to love them.

That's why I was so excited to go onto the Rolling Stone site last week and see that they're top runners for a contest the mag is running where people vote for the band who gets to be on the next cover! Not only am I thrilled because they're great, I'm also happy there's some can-con in the mix there (Canadians have been representing this year, thank you Arcade Fire).

If you get a chance definitely go check them out and rate their music (that's how the voting works-pretty solid system I think).
And their album is a solid investment if your into paying money for music:)

I'm picturing these scruffy-haired dudes reliving that moment from Almost Famous when Stillwater finds out they've made the cover and break into song "...the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone"

Good luck to you Sheepdogs.