Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Juno Nominations Announced! Canada Yawns!

It's Juno time again. For some older Canadians (over 50 or 60) I guess that's still a big deal and as Now Magazine points out there are a few others:
"Nickelback devotees are likely shotgunning cans of beer in celebration of the frat rock band’s five nominations. But the rest of the country either couldn't care less, or were cringing."
The comments on the CBC site seem to back this up, there are a few cheers for Nickleback, far more negative comments about Nickleback and a few people who actually took the time to type "boring" all by itself into the comments section. For the most part the Juno awards represent the last gasp of the old recording industry. They are still, as I understand it, based on money - not that it's directly based on sales but the artists are nominated and voted on by the membership of CARAS, and memberships are $52.50 / year so your odds of getting nominated are directly related to the number of memberships behind you. So if you're Nickleback you and your label can buy memberships for yourselves and all of your friends and employees. In the age of social media an award that is voted on by a group of self selected and self isolating 'experts' can't possibly mean much to anyone outside that group. They do throw a few talented people into minor categories and throw the rest of us a bone with a "Fan Choice Award" (you can choose between Lost Fingers, Nickleback, Hedley, Feist and Celene Dion) but these seem like little more than desperate grasps at credibility by a group almost too far behind to catch up.

Canada desperately needs a new set of music awards that (however they decide to do the voting) are open, transparent and credible and that represent the new (post big label) music landscape and that recognize both fan support and artistic merit. Sadly, this cannot be the Juno's. They've gone too far to turn back now. The brand, in other words, is soiled. (McDonalds can introduce the Bacon Double Cheesburger Lite if they want to but people will never associate it with health food.)

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