2008 Polaris Music Prize Short List Announced

Is it just me, or are the 2008 Polaris Music Prize nominees not nearly as exciting as previous nominees and winners like Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy? Not to hate on other Canadian talent, but the only band that I’m really excited about from this list is Holy Fuck — their brand of mad, improvised, lo-fi, bit crunchy sonic madness is truly inspired. The rest of the short list acts seem like they could have been nominated any year in the past five or six years — surely there are other innovative, emerging Canadian bands worth promoting?

Indie rock from both emerging and established bands dominates the short list for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize, which organizers unveiled Monday morning in Toronto.

The indie rock wave is lead by Winnipeg veterans The Weakerthans, nominated for their latest album, Reunion Tour.

Other indie rock acts vying for the $20,000 prize include Montreal bands Plants and Animals (Parc Avenue) and Stars (In Our Bedroom After the War), Vancouver’s Black Mountain (In the Future) and Charlottetown’s Two Hours Traffic (Little Jabs).

Two experimental acts also made the cut: Toronto band Holy F—, for their album LP, and Dundas, Ont., artist Caribou, for his album Andorra.

Rounding out the list are hip-hop artist Shad (The Old Prince), Ottawa singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards (Asking for Flowers) and London, Ont., singer-songwriter Basia Bulat (Oh, My Darling)

Polaris founder and former music executive Steve Jordan established the fledgling Canadian prize to recognize the best full-length Canadian album of the past year, judged on artistic merit and without regard to either genre or sales figures. The award is inspired by Britain’s esteemed Mercury Prize.

Past winners are Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy.

A cross-Canada panel of 185 music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers determines a long list of semi-finalists, released in June, as well as Monday’s 10-entry short list. A smaller panel then ultimately selects the winner.

The third annual Polaris Music Prize will be awarded at a ceremony in Toronto on Sept. 29.

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