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Music

Top 5 picks for the Prism Prize, honouring Canada's best music video of the year

Posted by Greg / February 13, 2013

20130213-PrismPrize.jpegThis Valentine's Day, musicians and music journalists will receive an unusual but nonetheless lovely present when the Prism Prize short list is revealed. Much like the Polaris Music Prize, the Prism Prize will award $5,000 to the best Canadian music video from 2012 regardless of commercial success. All music videos released between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 are up for consideration. I was asked to join the jury of music and film industry professionals, many of whom also act as Polaris judges, and submit my own top 5 picks. The organizers will tabulate our votes and whittle the vast field down to 10 for the short list. Then there's a second round of voting culminating in some grand gala at the SoHo House in Toronto during Canadian Music Week.

I always approach best-of awards and lists with more than a few grains of salt: art is not a contest, and personal taste is more important than that of a few music journalists and prize committee members. But the benefit of awards like these is to bring extra attention to artists who wouldn't normally receive it. With that in mind, and in the spirit of Jeremy Morris's posts about the Polaris, I thought I would share the 5 videos I picked out of literally hundreds of entries. This is just my own opinion and I encourage readers to comment with their own favourites from last year. If anyone needs a refresher, the Prism Prize website is playing eligible videos at random.

5. The Luyas - Montuno

To start, The Luyas are one of my very favourite Montreal bands, always walking the line between the orchestral pop of Arcade Fire and the apocalyptic musical deconstruction Godspeed You! Black Emperor. The images in this video are as haunting and memorable as Jessie Stein's voice, including but not limited to the painting of a white horse into a zebra. Damn!

4. Rah Rah - Art and a Wife

There isn't much to say about this video beyond stating its premise: dogs chasing remote control cars until they're all tuckered out (the cars, not the dogs). Wouldn't you vote for that?!

3. Qualite Motel - En Selle, Gretel

If you've ever gone loft party hopping in Montreal until sunrise then you understand. If you haven't, this is a scarily accurate depiction of what that's like.

2. Japandroids - The House that Heaven Built

It's hard to explain why Japandroids are better than a million other rock bands churning out poppy, predictable, cliché riffs - but they are. This video perfectly captures everyone's rock n' roll fantasy, from swigging whiskey on motorboats to playing in front of a different room of screaming fans every night. Like their music, it reminds viewers why we like loud guitars in the first place.

1. Phèdre - In Decay

There are a few reasons why this video was my #1 pick. For one, it reaches beyond originality to the realm of complete batshit insanity. What's that syrup they pour all over each other? How much wine did it take to fill that giant glass jug? How much of it did they drink while filming this? Is there pretty much an orgy 2/3 through? Then there's the fact that upon close inspection, the video was obviously created on a super low budget in someone's house. Guessing from the closing scene - ya know, the one where the dude literally vomits on a fish corpse? - it's just the Annex in Toronto. When was the last time you did something this amazing in your own house on a regular afternoon? I'll stop there.

The Prism Prize shortlist will be revealed on February 14th and the winner will be announced on March 24th.

Discussion

9 Comments

Manish / February 3, 2015 at 11:30 pm
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If you're reading this, you're all set, paerdrn!
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