Godspeed Blast Polaris Prize

Canadians win prize, snub it, blast it, apologise for being boring

Canadian droning types Godspeed You! Black Emperor have been announced as victors of the 2013 Polaris prize, which is a bit like our Mercury, for their album Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!. They immediately announced that their $30,000 prize would fund musical projects in Quebec prisons, and also issued a statement via the Constellation website blasting the awards. "so yes, we are grateful, and yes we are humble and we are shy to complain when we’ve been acknowledged thusly- BUT HOLY SHIT AND HOLY COW- we’ve been plowing our field on the margins of weird culture for almost 20 years now, and “this scene is pretty cool but what it really fucking needs is an awards show” is not a thought that’s ever crossed our minds."

More importantly (they put it in bold), Godspeed! suggest there are more serious issues at stake:

"holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do… organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all… asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS FUCKING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise."

They suggest that the next awards might happen "in a cruddier hall" without corporate sponsors, and that instead of funding a prize the organisers should "give the money to the kids let ‘em put on their own goddamn parties, give the money to the olds and let them try to write opuses in spite of, but let the muchmusic videostars fight it out in the inconsequential middle, without gov’t. culture-money in their pockets."

Signing off, Godspeed You! Black Emperor said "apologies for being such bores, we love you so much / our country is fucked."

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