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Godspeed You! Black Emperor take the 2013 Polaris Music Prize

Posted by Greg / September 24, 2013

20130925-Godspeed2.jpgAt the conclusion of a gala that stretched to over four hours, Leslie Feist came on stage (w/o bangs OMG) to announce this year's Polaris Music Prize winner: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, for the album Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! It was the most "controversial" choice the prize jurors had ever made, with Godspeed declining to perform or appear at the gala and sending Ian from Constellation Records to accept the prize on their behalf. He said that Godspeed "unequivocally" thanked the music critics who voted for them and announced that the band would donate their $30,000 toward providing musical instruments for Quebec prisons.

As a Polaris juror myself, I made no secret of my support for Godspeed from the beginning. I was genuinely surprised when they won because they have never been friendly to the press and no one should have expected them to play nice this time. By giving the award to Godspeed, the grand jury made the noble decision to recognize a band that doesn't play the PR game.

Godspeed responded this morning with a lengthy statement on the Constellation website. It begins:

"Thanks for the nomination thanks for the prize- it feels nice to be acknowledged by the Troubled Motherland when we so often feel orphaned here. and much respect for all y'all who write about local bands, who blow that horn loudly- because that trumpeting is crucial and necessary and important.

and much respect to the freelancers especially, because freelancing is a hard fucking gig, and almost all of us are freelancers now, right? falling and scrambling and hustling through these difficult times?

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."

Read the full statement here.

Listen to the winning album below.

Discussion

13 Comments

Wakana / February 4, 2015 at 02:23 am
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Green smoothie blah blah blah ha! Note to self be more isrteenting when writing about running. Oh but this guy, my heart aches. How difficult life must be. I hope he reads this and hears that others are listening and caring (even if we can't relate).
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