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Polaris People For The Week Of November 2: Julie Doiron Eats Coleslaw And Ron Sexsmith Appreciates Harnesses

· by Aaron Brophy

First, up a hearty congratulations to author Will Ferguson, who recently won the 2012 Giller Prize for his novel, 419. Ferguson takes home $50,000 and joins the likes of past winners Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro and Michael Ondaatje.

Back in the music world, the Barclaycard Mercury Prize for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland was also decided last night. The big winner was Alt-J for An Awesome Wave. Alt-J now get to rub shoulders with past winners like PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdinand, Pulp and, um, Ms. Dynamite.

Hear-hear to both of you, and may the sound of victory block out the tedious thinkpieces about your lack of worth and the aspersions cast in the direction of judges who found you deserving.

Now, onwards to our people, the Polaris People. Here’s what they were up to this week:

Congratulations of a different sort are in order for 2007 Short Listers The Dears, whose members Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak welcomed second child Apollo Lightburn in the world this week. If twitter status updates are to be believed, they’re also working on a live album as well.

Ron Sexsmith tends to avoid the tabloid-y gossip that guarantees landing in Polaris People each week, so it was nice to see the 2011 Short Lister appear at CBC Music last week to celebrate Kyp Harness.

Plants And Animals, who made the Short List in 2008 and the Long List in 2010, say their band is a working triangle. Whatever that means. Oh, and check this video for “Lightshow.”

Clink. Ka-ching. Clink-clink. That sound you hear? That would be the gold bullion stacking up for 2006 champ Owen Pallett thanks to his arranging work on the song “The Last Time” from Taylor Swift’s world-consuming Red album. That’s right, T-Swiss is now one degree of separation from Arcade Fire and Fucked Up.

Past two-time Short Lister Shad wants Lenny Kravitz to know that he thinks the guitarist/platform heel wearer is “uncommonly handsome and talented.” And Kravitz shouldn’t sue him. This buttering up probably has to do with the new video for “It Ain’t Over.”

Continuing with new video action, reigning champ Feist released a spooky new one for her song “Graveyard.” She also won NOW Magazine’s award for best local female vocalist. The Weeknd won for best local band.

Julie Doiron ate coleslaw the other day. And she might be getting sick.

In this week’s hey, that gives us an excuse to talk about them department, Minotaurs have enlisted members of Ohbijou and 2006 Short Lister Sarah Harmer to sing on their new album New Believers. It’s apparently inspired by the G20 and student protests. Fight the power.

On to jockish things, anyone getting excited for the 100th anniversary edition of the Grey Cup being held in Toronto? Two-time Short Listers K’naan and Kathleen Edwards will both be playing pre-game parties. And don’t get me started on the potential of a Justin Bieber-Carly Rae Jepsen-Gordon Lightfoot half-time performance threeway.

And finally, the folks at U.K. music mag DIY spent a disproportionate amount of time talking about Polaris in their lead-up Mercury Prize coverage (thanks!). So if you want an across-the-pond perspective that’ll make you feel good about your choices, first check out this head-to-head comparison between past Mercury and Polaris winners, then step it up to this solid feature.


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