The 2011 Polaris Short List

It's that time again; the people at the Polaris Music Prize have announced the short list of the ten albums in contention for the "best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label". This year the prize money has been bumped up to $30,000, and for the first time each of the other nine albums on the short list will receive $2,000. Any album (more than 30 minutes/8 tracks long) out from June 1st 2010 to May 31 2011 is eligible. 
Past winners have been Final FantasyHe Poos Clouds (2006) Patrick WatsonClose to Paradise (2007) CaribouAndorra (2008) Fucked UpThe Chemistry of Common Life (2009) and KarkwaLes Chemins De Verre (2010) and the big gala announcing the winners goes down on September 19th.

So let's see how this year stacks up, shall we? Here they are, in a vague order of the ones I personally want to win least to most.

House of Balloons
The Weeknd
New History Warfare Vol 2: Judges
Colin Stetson
Tigre Et Diesel

Long Player Late Bloomer
Ron Sexsmith
Creep On Creepin On
Timber Timbre

Feel It Break
Native Speaker

The Suburbs

Hey Rosetta!


I think this year I have only listened to half the albums in full, so I can't really give too many opinions so far. The Weeknd is the only one on the list that I have just not liked; "not my thing", maybe. Colin Stetson, I just don't get. I mean, I understand the musicianship behind it, and if there is indeed no looping, it is impressive, but I just can't get into it. Maybe if I listen to the full album I will appreciate it more. Both Timber Timbre and Austra I like okay, but need to listen to more. Braids I want to like a lot more than I actually do. Arcade Fire seems to be the "lock" to win, which is exactly why I think it won't. Polaris has never been predictable in the past, why start now. Hey Rosetta! and Destroyer have both been among my favourite albums this year, so those are my top two picks. It would be great if Hey Rosetta! won, but I would love to see Dan Bejar take it.
If nothing else, it is going to be an interesting couple of months, for debate and music listening. I may revisit this post closer to the date when I have more time to digest the list and listen more to the albums in question.

Polaris Prize 2011 long list

The Polaris Music Prize announced their "long list" today! This list of 40 albums nominated be media-types will be culled down to a short list of ten albums on July 6th, then a winner announced at a gala on Sept 19th, where they will get a $30,000 prize, up from the previous years 20 grand. And also new this year is $2,000 for each of the nine non-winning Short Listers.
The award is annually given to the "best full-length Canadian album based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label" and any album (more than 30 minutes/8 tracks long) out from June 1st 2010 to May 31 2011 is eligible.

And so here is the 2011 Polaris Prize long list.
And as for my opinions: albums that I liked are italicized. Ones that I especially want to make the short list, are boldified. Ones I especially want to win, are boldified and italicized.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs.
Austra - Feel It Break.
Braids - Native Speaker.
Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart.
Buck 65 - 20 Odd Years.
Louise Burns - Mellow Drama.
D-Sisive - Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye.
The Dears - Degeneration Street.
Destroyer - Kaputt.
Diamond Rings - Special Affections.
Dirty Beaches – Badlands.
Luke Doucet and The White Falcon - Steel City Trawler.
Eternia & MoSS - At Last.
Galaxie - Tigre Et Diesel.
Jenn Grant - Honeymoon Punch.
Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972.
Hey Rosetta - Seeds.
Hooded Fang - Album.
Imaginary Cities - Temporary Resident.
Land Of Talk - Cloak and Cipher.
Little Scream - The Golden Record.
The Luyas - Too Beautiful to Work.
Malajube - La Caverne.
Miracle Fortress – Was I The Wave?.
One Hundred Dollars - Songs Of Man.
Doug Paisley - Constant Companion.
PS I Love You - Meet Me At The Muster Station.
Daniel Romano - Sleep Beneath the Willow.
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing.
Ron Sexsmith - Long Player Late Bloomer.
Shotgun Jimmie - Transistor Sister.
Sloan - The Double Cross.
Frederick Squire - March 12.
Stars - The Five Ghosts.
Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges.
Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin' On.
The Weeknd - House Of Balloons.
Women - Public Strain.
Neil Young - Le Noise.
Young Galaxy – Shapeshifting.

And now some albums that I feel should be on the list, but were overlooked:
Kathryn Calder - Are You My Mother?
Matthew Good - Lights of Endangered Species.
The Liptonians - Let's All Mach Back Into The Sea.
Rah Rah - Breaking Hearts.
Chad VanGaalen - Diaper Island.
David Vertesi - Cardiography.