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Polaris People For The Week Of Feb. 17 ““ Nordic Music Prize, Weeknd Non-Interviews, Birdman Support And More

· by Aaron Brophy

Spiritual Polaris brothers the Nordic Music Prize recently declared Goran Kajfes’ trance-techno-world-jazz-lounge record “X/Y” the 2011 album of the year. The Swedish/Croatian trumpeter beat out the likes of Gus Gus, Bjork, Lykke Li and The Field, amongst others.

Here in North America Team Polaris continues to ponder mysteries like, “Why did everyone get to play twice at the Grammy Awards last week?” all the while basking in a successful debut Polaris Salon in Winnipeg (and don’t forget about our upcoming Salons Feb. 21 in Vancouver, Feb. 25 in Montreal and Feb. 29 in Toronto). Meanwhile, some of our favourite artists were doing interesting things.

Here’s what those various Polaris people have been up to:

2011 Polaris champions the Arcade Fire will be providing inspirational support to a champion of a different sort — Katniss Everdeen, District 12’s representative in the forthcoming Hunger Games broadcast. The Montrealers have also made it onto President Obama’s playlist, too. Oh, and Arcade roster players Colin Stetson and Sarah Newfeld are doing solo performances. Together. If that makes sense.

He’s #1! He’s #1! That “He” would be John K. Samson of 2008 Short-Listers The Weakerthans, whose solo album “Provincial” topped both the Canadian Campus Chart and !earshot top 50 charts last week.

Meanwhile, over in one corner of CBC Music’s dynamic new universe, 2008 Short List nominees Plants And Animals are currently ruling the CBC Radio3 Top 30 with their song “Lightshow.”

In events that make total sense, double Polaris nominee K’naan was interviewed backstage at the Grammys by the folks at CHFI, “Toronto’s Lite Favourites.” (Really, though, the interview was done by the KISS 92.5 folks and posted to CHFI’s site.)

Spencer Krug, of year one Polaris peeps Wolf Parade, has a new album coming out as Moonface. You can find out more about that here.

Relatedly, 2009 champs Fucked Up just released “Year Of The Tiger,” the latest in their zodiac series. MuchMusic is streaming that for curious listeners.

Oh, and The Weeknd (2011 Short List nominee for “House Of Balloons”) has just released something called “Balloons Of Haus.” And interview assassin Nardwuar The Human Serviette kinda, sorta, totally DIDN’T interview the elusive singer. Though said singer linked to the non-interview on his tumblr.

Eastside party rappers Radio Radio will be doing a special show with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra on Feb. 18 in Moncton. You can find more about that show here.

And 2007 Short-Lister Miracle Fortress put out a video for the song “Raw Spectacle.” It’s a strange, fiery trip.

Finally, a special nod to Ottawa-area vinyl collectors who did Birdman Sound a solid awhile back.

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