Monthly Archives: April 2012

A few ECMA Predicitions

It’s a big weekend for East Coast Music, as the ECMAs get going in Moncton, bringing together the very best musical talent that the region has to offer. With a slew of east coast artists also on the receiving end of Juno nominations this year, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top at the ECMAs.

As with most awards shows, there a lot of categories. I would be an out-and-out liar if I said I had much of an opinion on the nominees for Children’s Recording of the Year (especially since Mamma Yamma featuring Joel Plaskett isn’t on the list), so I won’t bother you with my thoughts on every single category.

I'm guessing the reason Mamma Yamma wasn't nominated is because she's really a Toronto-based artist.

But for a lot of the big categories I’m prepared to throw out some predictions. In order to make these predictions I created some extremely complex algorithms based on album sales, location, age, total time performing, and facial symmetry. Or maybe I just went with my gut feeling.

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Nominees for Fan's Choice Entertainer of the Year

This one is a bit of a tough call. There are a lot of serious contenders in the mix. However, based largely on the strength of their Juno performance, I’m going to go with Hey Rosetta!

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Nominees for Album of the Year

Again, it’s not like we really have any weak links here. I can’t count out Catherine MacLellan or Hey Rosetta! but I’m going to bet on Jenn Grant for this one. Honeymoon Punch really is a wonderful album.

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Nominees for Group Recording of the Year

I hate for it to be one-sided, but I feel like there’s a good chance Hey Rosetta! might walk away with most of the awards for which they are nominated. Although there was definitely a period of time when “Hope & Ruin” was played on the radio every second song, so the Trews could take this one as well. I’m sticking with Hey Rosetta! though.

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Nominees for Pop Recording of the Year

Ria Mae. Ria Mae. Ria Mae. (That was supposed to be read like a chant.) I do love some good pop music, and these are all good songs. You’ve gotta tip your hat to Carleton Stone who has been doing big things this year (like having his latest album produced by Hawksley Workman). Also, that is a rock-star name if ever I’ve heard one. But of these songs, I love Under Your Skin the most.   

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Nominees for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year

Classified is probably the top dog in this one, but Three Sheet has been working their butts of this year. Their sound is unique, and not one that we’ve heard much on the east coast. I think/hope their chances are good.

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Nominees for Rising Star of the Year

And the ECMA goes to... Ryan Cook's hair stylist. Respect.

I’m unsure about the criteria that have to be met in order to be deemed a “rising star”. Given that there is no “breakout artist” or “best new artist” category at the ECMAs, I’m guessing that this is kind of like that award. Or maybe not. So as I’m not certain what this award is based on, it could be anyone’s game.

On the one hand I kind of love that Ryan Cook has a song called “Facebook Waltz” (in which he sports a teeny tiny rat tail), but I’m going to have to give this to Molly Thomason. She’s gotta be the youngest of this group, and the one that I think has really “burst” onto the scene this year. Although I do like Babette Hayward too… ugh… decisions are so hard! Ok. I made up my mind. I’m sticking with Molly on this one.

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Nominees for Song of the Year

Song of the Year… for me it’s a toss-up between Simple Pleasures and Getcha Good. Someone should create a megamix of those two songs and release that. THAT would be the song of the year. But I flipped a coin for it, and it came up in favour of David Myles.

The actual awards will be doled out on Sunday evening, so check out the ECMA website for a live stream and/or CBC Radio Broadcast of the ceremony.

Good luck to all the nominees! See you next year in Halifax!

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The Junos – high notes and low notes

I enjoy a good awards show, especially ones that are music-intensive. In light of that fact, I was quite looking forward to the Junos and pumped that there were a few east coasters nominated for awards including Jenn Grant and Hey Rosetta.

Add into the mix Canadian beauties like Dan Mangan, The Sheepdogs, Arkells, and Feist, and the Junos seemed like a sure-fire bet for a sampling of some fine music. So, after two hours of watching, my ultimate verdict was: definitely more good than bad, but there were some ‘yikes’ moments.

First, the high points:

  • Can you believe that William Shatner is 81? I can’t. The guy looks fabulous. The mock-guitar playing at the beginning but was a bit painful, but overall I thought he was a great host. When I’m 81, please let me be doing things like hosting the Junos.
  • Hey Rosetta. The played their song and played it well. What’s not to like about that? They are also excellent evidence in support of the argument that more bands should have violins. String sections sound awesome.

The more instruments, the better

  • Dan Mangan winning things. I like his music. He’s genuinely talented and he seems cool and humble so I’m happy he got recognition. I also like that in his acceptance speach for Best New Artist he said “it takes time to do anything worthwhile.” Ain’t that the truth.

Don't hate me, but I think Dan Mangan looks like a cuter Seth Rogen. Yes? No? Maybe?

  • Dragonette. I’ve been a Martina Sorbara fan for a long time, ever since Bonnie & Clyde. I thought she looked and sounded great, and I must admit that song is catchy as hell.

Cool style and cheekbones to die for.

  • Feist. Girl has been winning things for years. I thought it was funny that she went all Taylor Swift and was shocked that she won, but I do appreciate her talent. And also that her name is Leslie… that’s a cool name for cool people.
  • Jim Cuddy and his orange shirt and his cute family.

Orange rodeo.

And now the low:

  • The gimmicks. OH GOD THE GIMMICKS. Stages on fire? A Nicki Minaj/Ke$ha inspired ensemble? Hula dancers? Guys on spring-loaded legs? For shame Canada. For shame!

Anyone want to take a stab at explaining this to me?

I wore a similar get-up to my gymnastics classes in the early 90's

  • I hate to single out one person, but I DO NOT UNDERSTAND the Alyssa Reid thing. How are you eligible to be best new artist for repurposing a Heart song?  She’s a fine singer, but are we nominating people for awards based on cover songs now? Junos, if you’re short on ideas for people to nominate, I’ll be happy to provide you with some names.
  • Where the eff was Drake? Jimmy from Degrassi is one of my guiltiest pleasures.

Drake, I missed you. And your plaid hoodie.

  • Simple Plan/Hedley/Nickleback – I’m clearly not their demographic. It’s just so… it’s just… it’s not my thing.
  • I can’t fully decide if this is a high/hilarious point or a low point – but was Lights wearing any pants?!

This reminds me of the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene, but with the roles reversed and the pants removed.

  • Unless I missed something, I don’t think the east coast brought home any hardware. However, when you’re up against the likes of Feist and The Sheepdogs, that’s nothing to be too upset about. We’ll get ’em next year!

Here's some east coast music royalty to hold you over until the next awards show.

* Please note – I was not actually at the Junos, so I did not take nor do I own most of these photos. The originals can be found here and here.

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