Instrumental rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor have hit out at the organisers of Canada's coveted Polaris Prize ceremony, a day after winning the award. The Canadian group was honoured for its album Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! during the awards gala in Toronto on Monday (23Sep13), receiving a cheque for $30,000 (£20,000). But the outspoken stars did not attend the prizegiving and have now criticised event bosses for throwing such a costly corporate-sponsored show "during a time of austerity".
In a statement posted on their website, the members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor claim they are flattered to receive the Polaris Prize, but insist, "organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn't serve the cause of righteous music at all".
The statement continues, "These are hard times for everybody... BUT if the point of this prize and party is acknowledging music-labor performed in the name of something other than quick money, well then maybe the next celebration should happen in a cruddier hall, without the corporate banners and culture overlords."
The rockers have pledged to donate their prize money to help fund music education programmes for prisoners in Quebec.
The Polaris Prize, the equivalent of Britain's Mercury Music Prize, is handed out annually to the most influential Canadian album of the previous 12 months. Past winners include Arcade Fire and Feist.
Rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor have scooped this year's (13) Polaris Prize in Canada for their album 'allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!. The Canadian rockers were named as the recipients of the prestigious honour for the record - their first release for 10 years - and will collect $30,000 (£20,000) in prize money.
The band is planning to use the cash to fund music education programs for prisoners in Quebec, according to Pitchfork.com.
The Polaris Prize is handed out annually to the most influential Canadian album of the previous 12 months. Past winners include Arcade Fire and Feist.
Canadian singer/songwriter Feist is heading home to Calgary next month (Aug13) to perform at a charity concert benefiting victims of the floods that devastated the province of Alberta last month (Jun13). The 1,2,3,4 star will hit the stage at the Shaw Amphitheatre in Banff on 7 August (13) to boost donations for the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre, a shelter which was wrecked when severe storms battered the area on 21 June (13).
She is also auctioning off a special prize package on eBay.com, offering the highest bidder return flights within North America, a hotel stay and VIP tickets for two to the special gig.
Announcing the show in a statement, Feist writes, "This type of catastrophe has certainly shown the many faces of disaster but, rain or shine, the DI help the homeless and less fortunate every day. What they do is noble, special, and life-changing, and it deserves not just my support, but yours as well. I'm happy to have a summer's night under the stars in Banff translate into some tangible support of this incredible organization."
Feist isn't the only star giving back to the community - Canadian rockers Rush turned their Calgary concert on Wednesday (24Jul13) into a flood victims benefit, donating their fee from the gig, as well as proceeds from ticket sales, to the Alberta Relief Fund of the Red Cross.
At least four people died in the natural disaster, while more than 100,000 locals were displaced.
Feist and Joseph Arthur have completed the line-up for Peter Gabriel's long-awaited Scratch My Back follow-up after Radiohead and David Bowie backed out of the project. The And I'll Scratch Yours album was to feature covers of Gabriel's songs recorded by the artists he paid tribute to on Scratch My Back.
The finally-completed end result features tracks like I Don't Remember, Shock The Monkey and Games Without Frontiers covered by David Byrne, Arthur and Arcade Fire, respectively.
Also taking part in the project: Brian Eno, Lou Reed, Bon Iver, the Magnetic Fields, Regina Spektor, Stephin Merritt, Elbow and Randy Newman.
The highlight of the new album will be Paul Simon's stirring rendition of Gabriel's human rights anthem Biko.
Purity Ring and Tegan & Sara will be among the acts competing for this year's Polaris Prize in Canada. They join the likes of Metric, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Colin Stetson and Young Galaxy on the shortlist to find the nation's best album.
The list was announced at The Drake Hotel in Toronto by Polaris founder Steve Jordan on Tuesday (16Jul13). The winner will be announced at a gala held in Toronto on 23 September (13).
Feist won last year's $30,000 (£20,000) prize for her album Metals.
Singer songwriter Feist appeared in three venues at the same time on Thursday night (25Apr13) as part of a clever hologram experiment. The shows in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, in Canada were part of a series of launch parties for the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone.
The 1,2,3,4 singer says, "To get a chance to be a hologram is kind of playing into every childhood fantasy dream of the magic of smoke and mirrors and really lives up to a lot of my dreams in terms of the things I have been trying to do live for years."
The British actress was nearing the end of a year-long break abroad when she and her friends became caught up in a brawl, and ended up facing a line of call girls looking for a fight.
But Clarke, who plays dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen in the hit series, admits she was nothing like her brave character - because she tried to run away from the feud.
She tells talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, "I sort of tend to run away from those kind of situations. I was on a gap year in Vietnam - a gap year is when you take a year out and you travel a little bit. I was with a bunch of friends in Vietnam. We were in this bar and this guy didn't like us very much.
"Cut a long story short, we were walking out of this bar and there was this line of prostitutes waiting for us. One of them tried to hit me. They were there to fight us, and I ran away. One did punch me. All I could say was, 'I've got my drama school audition in two weeks!' That was the only thing I could say. (My character) Dany would have probably showed a bit more feist."
Take This Waltz is beautiful maddening and sexy just like its protagonist Margot (Michelle Williams). Margot speaks like a toddler to her husband Lou (Seth Rogen). She's moody but playful and she has cutesy and symbolic neuroses like insisting on taking a wheelchair at the airport because trying to make her flight is the sort of limbo that makes her anxious. As she explains to a handsome stranger named Daniel (Luke Kirby) she's afraid of connections she's afraid she'll get lost and no one will ever find her. Almost everything about her is childish from her bright yellow raincoat to her junior high insults ("retard " "gaylord") to her shrieking embarrassment when she pees in the pool during a water exercise class.
"What's the matter with you " asks Daniel "generally?" That's the crux of the movie. What is the matter with Margot? Even Margot doesn't know the root of her restlessness. It seems the only person willing to call her on it is her sister-in-law Geraldine an alcoholic in recovery who is already anticipating her own failure.
Take This Waltz relies heavily on chance and metaphor but the emotional intensity can make you willing to take that leap. Williams carries the film as Margot while Rogen gets an excellent chance to show his emotional side as Lou a lovable bear of a man. Kirby plays Daniel with an easy heady sexuality that makes Margot's decision understandably difficult. Sarah Silverman drops her bad girl comedian persona and really shines as acerbic but insightful Geraldine.
After Daniel and Margot meet at a historic village (she's rewriting the tour book for the tourist destination and he's who knows a fan of colonial history) Daniel is seated next to her on the plane. He also happens to live down the street from her and Lou. By the time he's began to wonder what Margot's deal really is they're knee deep in a heated emotional affair. Their attraction is immediate and palpable an irresistible force felt off screen. Daniel verbally consummates their affair with an unforgettably hot monologue.
Lou on the other hand isn't quite on the same page as Margot when it comes to their sex life or future children. He's knee-deep in a chicken cookbook so the couple and their family and friends eat almost nothing but different chicken dishes at every mean. You can only eat so much chicken right? Daniel on the other hand is new. "New things are shiny " Geraldine tells her in the communal gym shower as the women are soaping up after that pool incident. "New things get old " comments a woman nearby. This is one of the strongest scenes in the movie where women of all ages shapes and colors scrub down unapologetically and talk amongst themselves in a private/public space.
Take This Waltz is a more realistic portrayal of an erratic young woman who in a different writer's hands would be one of those Manic Pixie Dream Girls. Even though Margot wears adorable onesies and has the playfulness of a child she also hurts a lot of people and is screwed up for no apparent reason. It's not always clear why these men are attracted to her and you can tell they aren't sure themselves but it's interesting and painful to watch it all unfold. Take This Waltz is beautifully shot full of buttery sunlight and lush parks and sweetly decorated abodes. Polley rolled the dice on a difficult protagonist and comes up a winner.