At the Juno Awards banquet in Toronto. First time of many, or at least some, I hope. Here due to work with musicians resulting in acceptance for membership in the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, plus encouragement from Harvey Glatt. First time voting for various nominees, as well as voting in the nomination process.
So many dimensions to an event like this. The major social event prior to the Juno Awards, later tonight. Similar to other awards ceremonies, certain awards are televised, while others are given out at the banquet the night before. Neil Young winning the Adult Alternative Album of the Year award, for Le Noise. To the pleasant surprise of the audience, he is in attendance to receive the award. Standing ovation. His comment: “At my age, there is no alternative.” The award for Producer of The Year goes to Daniel Lanois, one of the most famous international music producers Canada has ever produced (ahem). He receives the award for producing Le Noise, among others, in the past year. Brings Neil Young back onstage. The two have a second career in standup comedy. Neil Young mentioning that the album title is a play on Lanois’ surname.
Francophone Group of The Year goes to Karkwa. As with far too much francophone music, I’ve never heard of them before. The awards ceremony is entirely in English. Even the francophone award recipients thanking the audience in English. The only French of the night comes when Karkwa closes the show, with music like this:
Karkwa closes the show
Co-host Jian Ghomeshi expressing a hope that there will be more of a mix of English and French music in the future–Karkwa being regarded as the Radiohead of Quebec, that the rest of Canada, and the world, needs to hear.
When in Toronto, I am staying at the home of my best friend. Going on nearly thirty-five years now. When I mention Daniel Lanois and Karkwa, he remembers that one of his favourite songs from times past is Daniel Lanois’ “Jolie Louise”. Gets it up on Youtube, to show me what it is, and what it does:
Daniel Lanois, in the 1980s, mixing English and French in his own song. Thinking about a mix of Daniel Lanois and Karkwa…
Postscript, March 28, 2011: To be more precise, Daniel Lanois won Producer of The Year for “Hitchhiker”, by Neil Young (from Le Noise) and “I Believe In You”, by Black Dub, a band of which he is a member.