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Polaris People For The Week Of August 31: Two Hours Traffic Get Upbeat, Chad VanGaalen Illustrates Wheelchair Crushing

· by Aaron Brophy

Our Polaris Gala Salon tour got announced this week. Did you see it?

Basically, if you live in Edmonton, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto or Montreal, this is your free pass to a) listen to music critics argue about who’s going to win the 2012 Polaris Music Prize, and b) Participate in the argument.

That’s right. If you show up to these things and you’re not crazytown banana pants, you’ll probably get a chance to participate in the conversation. If you want to, that is. Or you could just take it all in.

And what will be talked about in all these Salons? That’d be our favourite people, the Polaris People.

Let’s see what some of them were up to this week.

2012 Short List nominees YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN are going to be debuting a new rock opera at this year’s Pop Montreal. It will apparently feature “aging drag queens, desire, fame, jealousy and murder.” Everyday stuff, basically.

Two-time Short Lister Shad has debuted a new video for his song “A Milli Vanilli.” We’re reasonably certain those are his own vocals on it.

Current reigning Polaris champs (for 24 more days) the Arcade Fire will once again be hosting a charity basketball game during Pop Montreal. Halftime entertainment will include David Byrne in a robot mascot outfit doing running sky dunks off a trampoline.

Former champ Patrick Watson is continuing to live up to his promise to leave a trail of strange and/or unique footage in his wake. His latest is a performance of “Quiet Crowd” for Halfway House Music.

Keeping on the theme of performance videos, here’s one of two-time Short Lister K’naan doing a stripped version of “Wavin’ Flag” in a hospital as part of the Musicians On Call program.

Oh, and one more video. This one’s from fellow two-time Short Lister Chad VanGaalen. It’s an animated commercial he did where a guy in a wheelchair gets crushed by a giant brick. You read that right.

Sassy twins and 2010 Short Listers Tegan And Sara have been getting around. The pair are part of Under The Radar’s “Protest Issue.” (Fight the power!) They’ve been dangling their new song “Closer” for people to listen to and they’re also going to be doing a song with David Guetta.

Two Hours Traffic, past Short Listers from 2008, are about to release a new EP called Siren Spell. The band are saying this one’s going to be more upbeat. They’ve also been listening to a lot of Teenage Fanclub and Nick Lowe.

In our weekly check-in with current nominee Drake we learned that the 416 repper made an appearance at a Meek Mill show, has been known to babysit children, and may have suffered from existential crises in his illustrated form.

Finally, fellow current nominee Cadence Weapon just recorded a Daytrotter session. Check it out.

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