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Polaris People August 24: Black Mountain Surface, Sarah Harmer Picnics

· by Aaron Brophy

Not to play Captain Countdown too much, but we’re now officially one month away from the Polaris Gala — and by extension, one month from figuring out who the winner of the 2012 Polaris Music Prize will be.

In the next few weeks business is really going to pick up around here. This week we kicked off the Polaris Record Club listening sessions sponsored by Rdio, which we’ll keep blasting out over the next four weeks, just like little musical Polaris presents.

Also, we’ve already announced our special Polaris Peep Show party happening at the Drake Hotel, with its magic dangle of a chance to win yourself a trip to the Gala.

If that’s not all, next week we’re going to unveil a complete list of all the ways you can potentially get yourself into the Polaris Gala on Sept. 24. Think of it as a cheatsheet for getting into one of the most exclusive music parties in the country.

Still, all this stuff is secondary to the reason why we do this whole thing to begin with — the Polaris People.

Here’s what some of those Polaris People were up to this week:

First, there were a couple fascinating Polaris People intermingles. 2009 Short Listers Elliott Brood decided to cover 2012 Short Lister Feist‘s song “Graveyard” and give it away for free. Then, 2008 Short Listers Plants And Animals covered “Étienne d’Août” by two-time Short Listers Malajube.

Current Short Listers YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN aren’t resting on the laurels of their YT//ST album. They’ve just released a new song called “Lamia” through Adult Swim (Meatwad!) and signed to Paper Bag.

Former 2008 Short Listers Black Mountain are back in the news. They’re headlining a show in Vancouver on Saturday featuring Ladyhawk, Quest For Fire and Von Bingern (jealous!). Also, Amber Webber likes margaritas.

2011 Short Listers Austra have stepped up in support of imprisoned Russian punk band Pussy Riot with this intense video shot by Claire Edmondson.

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “Man, I’d really love to see video of Metric‘s Emily Haines reading a book in French while wearing sunglasses,” well, you can send your thank you cards to Pitchfork.

Drake‘s Take Care album is nominated for this year’s Short List, but it’s his ability to tangle with the Illuminati we’re most interested in. That, and his soccer kicks.

Tegan And Sara, who made the Short List in 2010, have been working on a new album. They’ve also been explaining to people which of the twins is stronger.

Current Short List nominee Grimes continues to be a gift to the internet. First, there’s the “15 Best Grimes gifs” story. Then there’s her new raver Xena video for “Genesis.” The whole Russia/Pussy Riot thing is very “Yeah, tell it like it is!” And to top it all off… BAM! … new song.

First year Short Lister Sarah Harmer is playing the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic on Sept. 1 along with Gord Downie & The Sadies. She’s been reminding everyone to bring their bathing suits, among other things.

MTV just ran a list featuring the 13 essential Divine Fits songs — basically a mixtape of the members’ various bands (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Spoon, New Bomb Turks). FYI, they only put one Furs song on there.

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