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Should The Junos Be Exclusively A Canadian Artist Showcase?

Dr Trance

TRIBE Member
TORONTO (CP) - With Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas among the scheduled performers, this year's Juno Awards are fast becoming must-see TV for music fans.

Some musicians and industry folk, however, are uncomfortable with the international lineup, arguing that homegrown artists should be the focus - particularly at a time when Canada's music scene is being lauded around the world.

"A lot of people are talking about it. A lot of people are very upset," said Fred Litwin, who runs Ottawa-based indie label NorthernBlues Music.

Trevor Larocque of Toronto's Paperbag Records didn't attempt to hide his sarcasm: "Coldplay's playing I hear. They're an amazing Canadian band."

Some in the indie music sector feel the TV component of the Junos has lost its focus, letting ratings and broadcaster CTV dictate the content rather than the country's pool of talent.

Entire genres, such as roots, country and jazz, continue to be excluded from the televised show, they say.

"We would never be asked (to perform on the broadcast). Blues is too much of a small genre. They have no commercial interest in it," said Litwin.

There's also the thorny issue of how many CTV personalities, including Ben Mulroney and Canadian Idol faces, will be included on the April 2 program.

As it stands, about nine acts get to perform and only a handful of the 39 Juno categories are awarded during the TV broadcast. The rest are handed out during a dinner the night before.

"Our award isn't going to be presented (on TV) because Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas have to play," lamented Marco Raposo of Pocket Dwellers, which is nominated for best new group.

Bringing in international superstar acts isn't new for the Junos. In the 1980s, Tina Turner and Crowded House performed. Last year, country hotshot Keith Urban was invited as a presenter.

And producers haven't ignored homegrown talent.

Indie performers like Broken Social Scene, Bedouin Soundclash and Massari are all set to play. As well, Halifax's cutting-edge rapper Buck 65 will compose and perform the show's theme music.

Other high-profile Canadian acts include Michael Buble and Bryan Adams.

Industry watcher Larry LeBlanc said the content wasn't really an issue until bombshell actress Pamela Anderson was announced as host.

"The lightning rod is Pamela Anderson," said LeBlanc, the Canadian bureau chief for Billboard magazine who's been covering the Juno Awards for more than 30 years.

"This is the year they didn't need international acts. Pam's two breasts will do more for ratings than Coldplay and Black Eyed Peas."

But the show's executive producer, John Brunton, said naysayers should look at the flip side.

"It used to be we had to beg Anne Murray and Gordon Lightfoot," he said. "We couldn't get Canadians to the show. Now the show has grown up . . . we can compete with everyone in the world."

He said Canadians should be proud to have a "world-class awards show" that attracts international acts and press, and can compete against other programs like the Grammys.

"Can we not start behaving like a world-class country and not be shy about sharing our stage with the biggest bands in the world?" he said. "The small town thinking makes me insane."

Labels lobby hard to have their acts play at the Junos, given the show's enormous profile.

A talent committee made up of representatives from the industry decides who ultimately gets one of the coveted performance spots, said Brunton, adding that organizers consider all the genres, looking at what the "big story" of the past year was.

He said the country's blooming independent music scene won out.

"Next year it might be an urban scene. (The Junos) really just tries to reflect what the stories are in the Canadian music scene each year," he said.

While Raposo said he can understand the draw of international acts, he insisted his seven-piece hip-hop funk outfit is just as entertaining as the Black Eyed Peas.

"We have enough talent in Canada that we could have put on a great show," he said.

Another option, says blues man Litwin, would be to pair less commercially viable acts with mainstream ones.

At this year's Grammy Awards, for example, gospel artist Hezekiah Walker performed with superstar Mariah Carey. At a past Juno show, Nelly Furtado was brilliantly paired with aboriginal group White Fish Juniors.

Said Litwin: "They could be worked into the show if (the Junos) really cared about different genres of music.
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Here's how I see it: The Junos are supposed to be about Canadian Music. But it's also a TV show, and it's obvious that CTV doesn't feel that Canadian music alone is enough to bring in a big audience. CARAS (The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) could put pressure on CTV, but apparently they agree. So why do they always get their way when it comes to increasing the precentage of Canadian music on radio?

Think about that the next time you're listening to the same old Canadian acts playing over and over again on the airwaves.
 

Dr Trance

TRIBE Member
You DO realize that we have many world class recording artists (as well as DJs) in this country, don't you?

When I came here from the U.S. 21 years ago, I was amazed at the quality of music here that never got played outside of The Great White North. I still am.

And the sheer variety of types of great music being made here should be a source of pride to everyone who likes music.

The only mediocrity we are great in supporting is the pap that is fed to us by mainstream radio day in and day out. But as every reader of this message board can attest, there is a whole lot more out there than we hear on the radio...and that is recognized by The Junos.
 
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octo

TRIBE Member
it's a real shame that a solid group like the Pocket Dwellers, who have been paying their dues for years, don't even get on fucking TV to accept their award in their own fucking country on their own fucking award show but the Black Eyed Peas get to perform.

it's not a shame, it's a travesty.

way to promote canadian talent.

Pamela Anderson is revolting. I regret jerking off to her when i was a kid
 

kriztian

TRIBE Member
it's nothing more than a ratings plore like when MC hammer got best international artist. who cares if it brings in viewers who get exposed to canadian music than I am on board.
 

green_souljah

TRIBE Member
Dr Trance said:
The only mediocrity we are great in supporting is the pap that is fed to us by mainstream radio day in and day out. But as every reader of this message board can attest, there is a whole lot more out there than we hear on the radio...and that is recognized by The Junos.
Ya?


Every advert or discussion piece I have seen has just been the same old Nickelback and its clones promotion.

Ill pay more attention in the coming days, I hope you are right, I know this country has great artists but its garbage that gets the attention.
 

Dr Trance

TRIBE Member
kriztian said:
it's nothing more than a ratings plore like when MC hammer got best international artist. who cares if it brings in viewers who get exposed to canadian music than I am on board.
You have a point...IF the rest of the program featured a lot of up and comers (there are always a couple, like Broken Social Scene, which has a huge buzz for an indie act) and not the same ole same ole every year like it used to. But I suppose if the presence of The Black Eyed Peas meant that people would get to see a band like BSS, then it's not all bad...

BTW-since you bring up MC Hammer, I was working the Junos that year and had never actually seen a performer show up with an entourage before. One look at that posse and you could tell he would be broke really fast. Dozens of ppl just hanging out...and getting paid for it.

Then there was the year that the Junos brought in Milli Vanilli. What an embarrassment. And they wanted to be treated like total rock stars. Even the guy from their record label hated them.
 
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MoFo

TRIBE Member
Nope.

Look at the Brits. They celebrate British music extensively but they also feature tons of international acts.

The problem with Canada is that we stunt ourselves. We don't care about our own musicians and we also alienate anyone who isn't born on Canadian soil.

When will people understand that to have a cohesive music industry, it's gotta be strategized at a different level? No one fucking watched the Junos anyway! We should be inviting more artists to come here.. We should be teaming our producers with the Yankees.. There are so many possibilities.

It's this bullshit pseudo-patriotism that makes artists run and flee.

I hate Coldplay but them coming here and actually stating to the media that Toronto is their favourite place to play is going to do us A LOT OF GOOD. Same with the Stones always coming here and saying so many good things about Toronto. It makes us seem hip, in turn, it will help with the perception of our up-and-coming artists.

Montreal bands are totally hot right now.
 

shylock_one

TRIBE Member
I don't have a problem with international acts or even Pam Anderson hosting the event, but I do have a problem when the nominees for album of the year consist of:

Christmas Songs - Diana Krall
219 Days - Kalan Porter
It's Time - Michael Bublé
All the Right Reasons - Nickelback
Under The Lights - Rex Goudie
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Black Eyed Peas are on a rampage in Canada.

They played during the Grey Cup half-time show, Canadian Tire is using "Let's Get Started" for an advertising slogan and now the band is performing on the Juno Awards.

Enough already!
 

Stan

TRIBE Member
I think it's cool to have international artists play at the Junos. The Brit awards also have a bunch of non-british artists playing. And the Grammys have artists who aren't from the US.
 

Soulster

TRIBE Member
MoFo said:
Nope.

Look at the Brits. They celebrate British music extensively but they also feature tons of international acts.

The problem with Canada is that we stunt ourselves. We don't care about our own musicians and we also alienate anyone who isn't born on Canadian soil.

When will people understand that to have a cohesive music industry, it's gotta be strategized at a different level? No one fucking watched the Junos anyway! We should be inviting more artists to come here.. We should be teaming our producers with the Yankees.. There are so many possibilities.

It's this bullshit pseudo-patriotism that makes artists run and flee.

I hate Coldplay but them coming here and actually stating to the media that Toronto is their favourite place to play is going to do us A LOT OF GOOD. Same with the Stones always coming here and saying so many good things about Toronto. It makes us seem hip, in turn, it will help with the perception of our up-and-coming artists.

Montreal bands are totally hot right now.

well said, Mofo. tho i disagree about using the UK as a comparison to Canada. their music scene is just a whole different kettle of fish and following their lead wouldn't necessarily work for us (a teeny country with a teeny music scene). i <3 the creativity, innovation and diversity of the brit music scene. sigh....

Montreal bands are always hot in their hip laid-back Montreal sorta way.
 
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MoFo

TRIBE Member
Soulster said:
well said, Mofo. tho i disagree about using the UK as a comparison to Canada. their music scene is just a whole different kettle of fish and following their lead wouldn't necessarily work for us (a teeny country with a teeny music scene). i <3 the creativity, innovation and diversity of the brit music scene. sigh....

Montreal bands are always hot in their hip laid-back Montreal sorta way.
Wait, are you saying the Brits have a teeny music scene?
I'd like to argue that.
Prodigy, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Madonna, Coldplay, Oasis, Chemical Brothers, So Solid... Come on. We are a bigger country in size, sure.. But who do we have that is going to rival the Brits?

We probably have tons of hidden talent that aren't being nurtured. I mean, Michael Buble? Come on.
 

Bass-Invader

TRIBE Member
I think an important question to ask (and i think some people here have already done so) would be, "would anyone watch the Junos if it was Canadian only?" And by anyone I mean a viable viewing audience, not steve indie band and his crew. Perhaps allowing international artists to perform at the expense of some Canadian artists still goes further in exposing the Canadian music scene to the world than making it Canada only.
Even with the international acts the Junos still contain much more Canadian content than non-Canadian shows. Sacrificing some Canadian timeslots to lure viewers who tune in to see their favourite American/UK band would expose people who would not otherwise see certain Canadian acts to them. Additionally, if this practise increases the international exposure to the awards show, it potentially increases the value of timeslots allotted to Canadian content on the show by giving the musicians international exposure.
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
the music industry in canada is very stale, tonnes of talented people at the lower levels but the higher up you go the more restraint you'll find when venturing to try anything outside of the norm.

Our canadian talent has to usually gain success elsewhere before they even make it big here. the only real exception to the rule is The hip.

Canadians are big on whats already popular but not so much on the groundbreaking or next big thing where in other countires they are especially in Europe and parts of Asia. The hype machine is always turning out the same tired crap
 

djcheezwhiz

TRIBE Member
i agree with sunny's comments...

i think we should go for a brit award feel --- get everybody liquored up & have mayhem on the podium --- who wants another show like the grammys (which really kinda suck) ---

more hip hop, more electronic stuff --- if richie could do some work for the olympics have him do a set at the junos ... be foward thinking & become a show others want to imitate...
 
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octo

TRIBE Member
it boggles my mind that the winners of the best new group Juno will not appear on TV to accept their award. how is it a celebration of canadian talent (or giving canadian talent exposure) when the best new CANADIAN group is not on TV?

Juno list reassures status quo
Indie acts largely left off nominees list
Feb. 16, 2006. 09:52 AM
BEN RAYNER
POP MUSIC CRITIC


Idols, establishment crooners and the usual corporate Can-rock herd dominate the nominees list for the 2006 Juno Awards, confirming that while the domestic music industry will occasionally pay lip service to the emergent Canadian indie scene, "product" is still what receives its official endorsement.

Meat-and-'taters Alberta rockers Nickelback came out on top with six nominations, while young-fogey crooner Michael Bublé and pop-jazz songstress Diana Krall drew five nods apiece.

A total of four Canadian Idol contestants — 2004 winner Kalan Porter and his arch-rival Theresa Sokyrka, 2004 fan favourite Jacob Hoggard and his mall-punk outfit Hedley, and last year's runner-up Rex Goudie — and one American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson, will also be in the running for Juno statuettes when the awards are handed out in Halifax on April 2.

The cherubic Porter's three nominations put him in the same league as fellow three-timers Neil Young, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Montreal underground heroes the Arcade Fire.

Aside from the preponderance of youthful talent-search graduates, the rest of the Juno field was largely dominated by the usual suspects.

Nickelback will vie for group of the year with Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Our Lady Peace and Theory of a Deadman, for instance, in a category that has remained essentially unchanged, give or take a name or two, since the 1990s.

The band's All the Right Reasons will face off in the stridently mainstream rock album category against Theory of a Deadman's Gasoline and Our Lady Peace's Healthy in Paranoid Times, as well as Hedley's eponymous debut and Quebecois performer Jonas's Jonas.

All The Right Reasons also takes on Krall's Christmas Songs, Porter's debut 219 Days, Bublé's recently Grammy-nominated It's Time and Goudie's Under the Lights for album of the year.

Despite producing little music save an Air Canada jingle since she took up residence in Las Vegas in 2003, Céline Dion will compete with Krall, Bublé, Nickelback and Montreal kiddie punks Simple Plan for the fan-voted Juno Fan Choice Award.

Jann Arden's Jann Arden turned up in the running for pop album alongside Porter's 219 Days, Bublé's It's Time, Sokyrka's These Old Charms and francophone star Boom Desjardins's Boom Desjardins.

The message, unintentional or not, was one of reinforcing the industry status quo and of reassuring the major labels that the sort of safe, innocuous talent they've been grinding out for years — a breed of pop embodied by the cookie-cutter Idol kids, faceless angst-lite moaners like Hedley, Simple Plan and Theory of a Deadman (itself a knock-off protégé of Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger) — is still the way to go.

The artist of the year category was the most egregious example of where the industry's priorities lie: Krall and Bublé, two adult-contemporary jazz musicians who sell most of their records to an over-40 crowd that tends not to do much downloading and file sharing; Porter and Goudie, two TV karaoke performers who sell most of their records to the 'tweens and young teens the rapidly contracting mainstream record business needs to stay alive in the future; and Desjardins, a token francophone without a hope in hell of winning but whose presence in a major category might, presumably, stem the tide of Quebec separatism.

How nondescript discs from Porter and Goudie both wound up in the running for album of the year and Neil Young's acclaimed Prairie Wind was tossed to the "adult alternative" category, meanwhile, is a puzzle for the ages.

It's not that the Junos and the voters in the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences are oblivious to the independent talent explosion that has launched homegrown acts like Toronto's Broken Social Scene and Metric, Vancouver's New Pornographers and Montreal's Arcade Fire to acclaim on the world stage.

Record sales determine who gets into some of the major categories and, despite enjoying a growing fan base worldwide, most of those groups simply don't move units on the order of a Michael Bublé.

And indeed, even though the Arcade Fire's smash Funeral turned up in last year's crop of nominees, the Academy diligently managed to dredge up three nominations (two for video of the year, one for songwriter of the year) in recognition of the art-rock troupe's ongoing success. Metric's Live it Out, Broken's Broken Social Scene, the Pornographers' Twin Cinema, however, had to settle for duking it out with Tegan and Sara's So Jealous and Hot Hot Heat's Elevator in the alternative album ghetto.

It was nice to see multiracial Kingston trio Bedouin Soundclash's international hit "When the Night Feels My Song" and Toronto rapper/songwriter k-os's "Man I Used to Be" injecting some colours other than white into a single of the year short list that included Bublé's "Home," Nickelback's "Photograph" and Feist's "Inside and Out." The Soundclash is also up for best new group with Hedley, Silverstein, Boys Night Out and Toronto's Pocket Dwellers.
 

junglegirl

TRIBE Member
PROBABLY have tons of hidden talent
we have MAJOR hidden talent

FEIST
BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
ALEXISONFIRE
METRIC
DEATHFROMABOVE
THE WAKING EYES
WOLF PARADE
ARCADE FIRE
MATT MAYS
PILATE
SARAH HARMER
JOEL PLASKETT
GENTLEMEN REG
MATTHEW GOOD
NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHTS
DALLAS GREEN
CONTROLLER CONTROLLER
CUFF THE DUKE
THE FULLBLAST


to name a few....as well as all the canadian acts that have been mentioned in this thread

why the hell arent they performing at the junos..


i just dont get it...
 
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