The Junos Weren’t So Bad, Right?

I don’t usually post about award shows, so this is a bit of a first. I’m losing my award show blogging virginity, you could say.

Well, maybe you shouldn’t.

And maybe I shouldn’t.


Last night was the Canadian Grammy Awards, better known as the Juno awards.  I grew up watching the Juno Awards but hadn’t watched them much in the last 10 years. Last year piqued my interest as west coasters Said the Whale were nom’d for a few Junos, as was Hannah Georgas.  This year, Dan Mangan, Feist, City and Colour, Cuff the Duke were among those nominated for Junos, and all of which I am a fan.  Needless to say, I had to watch… with a little caution.

I was hoping curiosity wouldn’t kill the cat.

The show kicked off with Chad and the Gang sounding more like a Metallica cover band than the Nickelback I knew (and briefly enjoyed) some 12 years ago.  After their pyrotechnic display came William Shatner, making jokes and talk-singing his way through a medley of Canadian classic rock greats such as Tom Sawyer and Taking Care of Business, to name a few.

The first of several lowlights of the evening for me was the glitz-pop medley that featured a handful of Canadian Rhiannas and Kanyes. It was very missable, and with the exception to Dragonette and their award-winning Hello, I was nay a fan.  Other performance lowlights I ended up fast-forwarding through after stomaching almost more than I could handle were Simple Plan and Hedley.

Performance HIGHlights actually outnumbered the bad ones, which made me a happy music snob:

  • I really enjoyed Hey Rosetta!’s Welcome – the sound was mixed nicely, the band was tight and the strings sounded heavenly, as did Tim Baker’s vocals.
  • I love love LOVED Feist’s The Bad In Each Other – as it was one of the standout tracks on Metals and her umpteen piece orchestra joined her on stage to dazzle it up and more than do it justice. The pyrotechnics at the end were the icing on that musical cake.
  • I both admired and enjoyed Dallas Green’s (aka City and Colour) stripped-down, seated performance of The Grand Optimist and thought to myself as I watched, Why the hell have I not a copy of this album?!
  • Blue Rodeo were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and performed a lovely version of Lost Together with Sarah McLachlan (sidenote: Greg Keelor is lookin’ ooooold, man)

In terms of awards won, it was a bit of an odd night.  No surprise, JBiebs won Fan Choice award (I’m not really sure why there were even other nominees for this one…)

  • Dragonette & Martin Solveig won a well-deserved Juno for Dance 
    Recording of the Year for their tune Hello
  • Leslie Feist looked stunned—and absolutely stunning, might I add—when she won Artist of the Year over heavy-hitters Drake and Bublé
  • Dan Mangan made every single west coast musician and indie fan proud when he won a Juno for New Artist of the Year
  •  City and Colour won a Juno for Songwriter of the Year over the aforementioned Mangan and Feist
  • Hamilton rockers the Arkells won Group of Year, which disproves the old ‘nice guys finish last’ theory

The only real problems I had with the awards were New Group of the Year going to the Sheepdogs (over Mother Mother, Hey Rosetta!, and Rural Alberta Advantage) and the nominations for Album of the Year, and, in some aspects, the winner:  in case you were unaware, the nominees for ALBUM of the year were Avril Lavigne, Drake, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, and Nickelback.  Michael Bublé’s Christmas album won the award.

A Christmas album.

Won the award.

For album of the year.

Why two of the nominations for this award were Christmas albums (Bieber and Bublé) is anyone’s guess, but I’m going to assume this all trickles down to dollars and cents.  That would also explain Lavigne’s nomination, I suppose.  All in all, I’d rather see someone like Michael Bublé win the award than the other nominees, with maybe an exception to Drake, as I can respect his success.  But it was just a weak category with a weak finish…

Aside from the final category and the few lame-ass performances, it was a pretty successful night, in my opinion.  Sure, it felt really MTV-ish and there was the award show cheese, but what more do you expect?  Some deserving artists got some deserved recognition and performed some great songs, which made it all very tolerable, and even, dare I say, enjoyable!

And you can’t go wrong with Nickelback getting shut out.  Win-win.

Until next year, Juno Awards. Until next year.



~ by DR on April 2, 2012.

4 Responses to “The Junos Weren’t So Bad, Right?”

  1. Not gonna lie, I did not watch the Juno’s and although we bought Buble’s christmas album and have really enjoyed it, it does seem rather ridiculous that a christmas cd win album of the year, especially when it will only get listened to at MOST 3 months of the year. Personally my vote would have been for Drake, I like most of his released songs and considering he was nominated for album of the year, I imagine I would likely like the whole thing. I didn’t even know Avril was still making music to be honest… haha

  2. The album of the year nominees MUST be determined by album sales, I’m thinking. I was working at HMV over Christmas and it is disgusting how many copies of the Bieber and Buble albums we sold. I swear every second person that came into the store asked for one or the other…

    I didn’t bother to watch the Junos this year, but I’m happy to hear about all the underdogs who won.

    • Indeed the Album of the Year Juno is derived from album/single sales, hence the reason to feature Bieber, Bublé and Avril. It’s an unfair representation of awarding what is supposed to—in my mind—be the best quality album.

  3. You got farther into it than I did. I couldn’t handle William shatter and changed channels shortly afterwards!

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