2017 Juno Nominees – A Deep Analysis and Predictions

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | 1 Comment

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It’s February, you know what that means? It’s Juno time! Obviously no one ever thinks that but let’s just roll with it. On Monday or at some other point this week, the Grammy’s sadder cousin the Junos announced their nominees for their awards this year. Junos, as we all know is probably one of the five most important music awards you can get in Canada. Others being

- Polaris
– MMVAs?
– Prism Awards
– Panic Manual Lifetime Achievement Award

I’m not sure which award show is the most important, I think it changes every year depending on what food company is catering the awards show. I heard Junos might have struck a deal with Pizza Pizza* this year so you can tell the budget is high.

Anyways, the logo you see is the logo for the Junos which is appropriate since the nominees for the major award lacks diversity and also is so imbalance on the gender scale you think it was a tech company.

Still, the experts at the Panic Manual came together (no they did not) and took a look at the awards. The predicted winner is in italics.

Indigenous Music Album of the Year

Crystal Shawanda Fish Out Of Water
Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie Round Dance & Beats (Powwow)
Quantum Tangle Tiny Hands
Silla + Rise Debut
William Prince Earthly Days
A Tribe Called Red – We Are the Halluci Nation

In the shock of the Junos, A Tribe Called Red will win this award by making a surprise appearance WWF style with JR commentating. Seriously, why is there even a category for a specific group of people making music? Where is my Chinaman music of album of the year category?

JUNO Fan Choice Award

Justin Bieber
Shawn Mendes
Alessia Cara
Ruth B
The Weeknd
Tory Lanez
The Strumbellas

C’mon, the kids will always vote for the Biebs.

Single of the Year

Shawn Mendes “Treat You Better”
Drake “One Dance ft. Wizkid & Kyla”
Alessia Cara “Wild Things”
The Weeknd “Starboy “ft. Daft Punk
The Strumbellas “Spirits”

You know, if Daft Punk showed up to the Junos, it would be the only thing people talk about.

International Album of the Year

Sia – This is Acting
Rihanna – ANTI
One – Direction Made in the A.M.
Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

Now we know which record labels won the silent auctions

Album of the Year

The Weeknd Starboy
Shawn Mendes Illuminate
Leonard Cohen You Want It Darker
Drake Views
Céline Dion Encore un Soir

Raise your hand if you knew Celine Dion had an album this year. Most likely Drake takes it but Leonard Cohen would be a good sentimental choice. Tegan and Sara would have been my pick.

Group of the Year

Billy Talent
The Tragically Hip
Tegan and Sara
The Strumbellas

I loved the Tegan and Sara album this year, but Tragically Hip would make for a wonderful #hashtag# moment and since Junos are desperate for ratings that might be the right play here.

Rock Album of the Year

Arkells Morning Report
Billy Talent Afraid of Heights
Monster Truck Sittin’ Heavy
Sam Roberts Band TerraForm
The Tragically Hip Man Machine Poem

What is rock and what is alternative? I saw Dilly Dally at SXSW this year and she was like drinking hard at 11 and sounded pretty rock to me. I’m pretty sure Sam Roberts would be drinking avocado smoothies at that time (not a bad thing). Anyways this has probably spawned about 4 think pieces (maybe 3 now that Chart Attack is no more) so I don’t really need to contribute more to the criticism but we all know the Canadian Music Industry is like the US Government – a white man’s game.

There’s a few more categories but you know, no one really cares. I don’t even know why I’m writing this.

The Junos are on CTV sometime in April, it’s probably hosted by Ben Mulroney and sponsored by Moores.

*Alternative Fact

SXSW Song Of The Day: St. Tropez – Democracy

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment

Photo credit: Sanja Marušic

“Democracy,” the lead single off of Dutch garage rockers St. Tropez‘s upcoming EP Debate, is an in-your-face, short and sweet slice of political rock and roll, offering up “the band’s vision on fear, populism, debate, naivety, nationalism, hope, politics, immigration and democracy” all in less than two minutes.

The accompanying video features a masked, enigmatic figure wandering through deserts and empty highways, but where is he headed and what does he want? Is he searching for democracy? Is he perhaps a personification of democracy itself? Is he maybe just some dude in a shiny suit and a cowboy hat who’s looking to buy some ice cream or something? All good questions …

Debate is out February 23 and the band will be playing shows through February and March to promote it, including a few appearances in Austin for SXSW.

23 Feb – Oedipus, Amsterdam
25 Feb – 8 MM, Berlin
27 Feb – Shacklewell Arms, London (EP release show)
08 Mar – Good Room, New York City
10 Mar – Piano’s, New York City
16 Mar – Dutch House, SXSW
18 Mar – Sidewinder, SXSW
22 Mar – Silverlake Lounge, Los Angeles

SXSW Song Of The Day: Sungod – Cahokia

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day, South By Southwest | Leave a comment


Another week, another list of performers announced by SXSW. This week, we focus on Sungod, one of the many Austin-based acts playing the festival who aren’t actively choosing to escape the bustling madness of their city during SXSW.

Like fellow Austinites S U R V I V E (who will also be playing SouthBy), Sungod’s sound is dominated by synthesizers, however Sungod take things in a more psychedelic/spacerock direction, as exemplified by their 2015 single “Cahokia.” It seems likely the band should have some new material ready in time for SXSW and if it sounds anything like this eleven and a half minute jam, I’m definitely interested.

Concert Review: Stacey, Kirty, Maccie, Helena Deland – Silver Dollar, January 20

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment


Stacey. Kirty. Maccie. Helena.

At first glance it sounds like some sort of Millenial show about teenage girls in California who go and solve mysterious crimes, but upon closer inspections, it’s actually the name of four up and coming musical acts.

They all gathered to play Friday night at the Silver Dollar as a part of Exclaim’s Class of 2017 showcase. The showcase was co-presented with the Canadian music blog Ride The Tempo. For me it was a continuation of a week where I saw bands I basically never heard about or heard of. A rare turn of events for this old soul. The crowd was a youthful one, it was good to be surrounded by youth, if only I could somehow absorb their energy and essence via osmosis or something.

First on the show was Helena Deland. Hailing from Montreal, Helena Deland has been slowly getting steam lately with all kinds of articles written about her from all those music sites that actually keep up to date with new music. A solid act working with only a guitar, Helena showed off her angelic voice and showered the decently sized crowd with a set of minimal but effective songs that evokes memories of some sort. Not sure what, but it was all pretty good.

The next act on the bill was Maccie, a two person act who brought the most energy of the night. The lead singer, whatever her name was (maybe it’s Maccie) was a fireball of energy, dancing it up and at one point, even doing a kip up much to the crowd’s delight. The music featured some strong 80’s era guitar ballad solos that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The third act was Kirty, who’s soft voice brought an easy listening almost summer vibe to the Silver Dollar. Some of the music bordered on country, some on folk but they all kind of worked together. Kirty also gets the points for most people on stage at once. I guess she is part of the Fast Romantics as well, but I think she should just stick to her solo stuff.

Last on the bill was Stacey. With the lights dimmed and featureing moody sounds, it was an interesting turn of mood going from the summery sounds of Kirty to the late night vibes of Stacey. Her cover of Build Me Up (Buttercup) at first had me feeling a bit cautious but the stripped down version had me won over by the time it hit the chorus. Maybe now I’ll associate it less with Something About Mary.