Prairie Dog Dog Blog readers, say hi to Ghost James. For the past few days, he’s been roaming around Regina with credentials and everything. Real official. (For the record, they told me this was one of the better passes they’d done that day.)
You’ve already seen some of the great photography of Chris Graham. You’re going to see a lot more of that in the days to come, along with blog reports on the weekend from myself and other Dog Bloggers.
For now, we’re watching Michael Bublé do his opening monologue. He just dropped a “city that rhymes with fun joke”. I can’t remember where that lands on our bingo card, but hopefully someone made a line with that. I’ll be updating this post periodically from now with tidbits from the press room, as long as the internet holds out. Enjoy the show. Look for updates after the jump.
UPDATE 6:22 P.M. To be clear, Kathleen Edwards fucking kills me. Like, completely devastates me. I’ve been a little obsessed with “House Full of Empty Rooms”, a song off her last record, Voyageur, that makes me beautifully, disastrously sad every time I listen to or think about it. More and more, I think she might be the best songwriter and performer out there.
That said, even she couldn’t topple Leonard Cohen. Come on. The dude exists in a 70-plus year prime. So no surprise: Songwriter of the Year goes to him, for songs off Old Ideas.
His son, Adam Cohen, announced it from the stage. He also mangled the envelope like you wouldn’t believe. Adam’s also his dad’s representative as Leonard couldn’t make it tonight.
UPDATE 6:35 P.M. Monster Truck winning Breakthrough Group of the Year immediately after the Sheepdogs play the Brandt Centre makes all kinds of sense. The two have toured together and they’re all shaggy dudes interested in rock music. Which makes it sound like they started a school club, but hopefully you’re following me. The fellow talking for Monster Truck read a list of names to thank off his BlackBerry, a list everyone should keep handy on their smart phones all the time.
Adam Cohen came through the press room to talk about his dad. The blogger from CallMeHannah asked for a non-musical lesson Leonard had shared with Adam. He said a killer tuna salad recipe. I don’t think there is such a thing.
UPDATE 6:51 P.M. Was Mariannas Trench played off, or did the producers just think they were done? Could we have gotten the Jaws theme like they did at the last Oscars? Regardless, they’re the 2013 Group of the Year.
Monster Truck are back in the press room. Three of the four have beers in hand, one has wine. He must feel really left out.
Some are making hay of the band winning Breakthrough Group of the Year when they’re all in their thirties. Jeremy Wilderman didn’t want to make too much of that, allowing little except that they’re smarter now than if they would’ve been experiencing this success in their 20s.
“The only thing that hurts now is our hangovers,” he says.
UPDATE 7:05 P.M. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” is the Single of the Year. If every other nominee could’ve withdrawn their name to save time, I’m sure they would’ve done so. There was simply no question. The song is a juggernaut. I remember having to explain this song to my editor, Stephen Whitworth. It was a bewildering experience. I think he’s up-to-date now.
Also, “Kiss You Inside Out” by Hedley has gone too far. The concept is like something from Troma movie. It’s terrifying.
Michael Bublé has just finished up a performance of “It’s a Beautiful Day”, the lead single off his new album, To Be Loved, available tomorrow, one of his stop-gap releases between Christmas records. (On the record, I appreciate all Bublé albums, Christmas or no.)
UPDATE 7:19 P.M. Best part of the broadcast so far has to be Anne Murray saying “Oh! There’s a familiar face” in the video package for k.d. lang’s induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. When a music video featuring Murray and lang came up, Murray sounded like Bob Ross discovering a new colour. It was great.
k.d. lang’s speech was wonderful, too. What an awesome lady.
In the press room, I’m sitting beside Hannah Alper, the JUNO Awards 10-year-old eco-blogger and proprietor of CallMeHannah. I was about to out here because she gave Timbits to everyone but me, but then just as I was writing this she came up with a box. So CallMeHannah is on Prairie Dog’s enemies list no longer.
UPDATE 7:34 The woman leading the press room just announced that this is the biggest event in terms of tickets sold ever held in the Brandt Centre. While she’s saying this, Michael Bublé is stretching his sketch muscles, doing a bit business with the Sheepdogs while wearing a Roughriders jersey. Saskatchewan.
Just as soon as Classified and David Miles finish “Inner Ninja”, they announce the Fan Choice Award, which goes to Justin Bieber. Bieber doesn’t do a video thank you or anything. The whole evening just shuffles along to Hannah Georgas performing “Robotic”. Even One Direction had the time for an awkward video chat earlier in the show, Biebs!
UPDATE 7:44 P.M. Ben Kowalewicz, lead singer of Billy Talent, pops into the press room. “We lost all the awards tonight,” he says. “Thank you very much.” Scattered applause and hoots, and he leaves.
Pride of Regina Tatiana Maslany announces that Serena Ryder has won Adult Alternative Album of the Year. By my count, that’s two former Regina Folk Festival performers to be honored during the broadcast portion of the awards tonight.
Kevin Drew introduces Metric, playing “Synthetica” to a significantly larger Brandt Centre crowd than they did last time around.
UPDATE 8:04 P.M. As Carly Rae Jepsen accepts the Album of the Year Award for Kiss, Serena Ryder is answering questions in the press room. Ryder’s had a significant career up to this point, but the success of her single “Stompa” has brought her to a new level in her career. Or, as one questioner put it, has her “riding on an incredibly positive wave”, which sounds like something out of Adventure Time.
“I knew there was no fucking way I would win Single of the Year. Seriously, if the biggest single in the world didn’t win, there’s something wrong,” she says of her chances going in, referring to “Call Me Maybe”, of course.
Of the artists nominated for Adult Alternative Album of the Year — a weird category to be sure — she’s definitely the most prominent on the charts at the moment. She seems grounded enough.
“If it’s fun, keep doing it,” she says of making music. “If it’s not, please stop. For all of us.”
The broadcast is over. We’re waiting for the Jepsen victory lap to hit the press room.
UPDATE 8:22 P.M. Metric didn’t win tonight, but they were winners three times over last night: Alternative Album of the Year, Producer of the Year and Recording Package of the Year. They come through the press room and definitely seem in good spirits. They even answer the question that’s essentially, “How do you adjust to different temperatures?”
Marianas Trench are up next. A member not vocalist Josh Ramsay says of their Group of the Year win: “It’s great to know you’ve been really good for twelve months.” It’s also revealed that Ramsay was punched in the face while performing in Moose Jaw recently. Prairie Dog doesn’t condone artists being punched while performing.
UPDATE 8:46 P.M. Carly Rae Jepsen definitely seemed like the most traditionally professional artist to come here — always on point, always gracious — but also just a person you should genuinely like. Not necessarily a charm-ball on the level of Michael Bublé, but still great. You ask her about Justin Bieber? “I haven’t checked my phone yet, but I’m sure that he’ll send some love. He normally does.” About her Vancouver days? “It always looked like someone vomited all over our posters.” Serena Ryder starts shouting greetings from across the room? Jepsen will roll with that.
k.d. lang comes in for a quick moment immediately after, saying as she comes up, “You know everything about me. I have nothing more to say.” After that awesome acceptance speech, there’s not much else to say. Hopefully, we’ll have YouTube up of that on the blog sometime tomorrow.
Michael Bublé, up next in the press room, loved the speech, too. “I was so taken by what she was saying, I was so in the moment with her that by the time that they were telling me to get to the camera, I was in the moment with her,” he says.
Bublé also confirms that his title of “head writer” for the show was ceremonial. “Basically everything you saw tonight, every joke, every weird face, every One Direction nerdiness, was from me.”
This is the end of our live blog. Hope you’ve all had a CanCon-rific evening!