This weekend in Regina, Juno will hand out 45 awards and recognitions, and an array of famous musicians will perform and present. Some of the goings on are worth caring about. Some are not.
I don’t care who walks home with the country music award. Because the inclusion of Johnny Reid in the category is a travesty that diminishes the Juno moment for fellow nominees Dean Brody, Chad Brownlee, Emerson Drive and Dallas Smith. Look, the talented Mr. Reid is a swell guy who does big-hearted soul-rock. But he’s the first one to admit that he’s not a country artist. For marketing reasons, his label (Universal) submitted his album for consideration in the cowboy-hat genre. Why Juno plays along is beyond reason.
I don’t care who wins recognition for the year’s best songwriting. Because all of the contenders are wonderful at what they do. I root for Afie Jurvanen (a.k.a. Bahamas), the laid-back indie alt-rocker. I root for Kathleen Edwards, the gutsy and affecting redhead. I root for the Arkells, the melody-minded Hamilton rockers. I root for Hannah Georgas, the cool-headed Vancouver songstress. And I root for Leonard Cohen, just because.
I don’t care what songs are performed by Georgas, Billy Talent, Carly Rae Jepsen, k.d. lang, Marianas Trench, host Michael Bublé, Serena Ryder, and the Sheepdogs. I’m sure they’ll all be fine, particularly lang, the singer nonpareil who will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. I do care what song the sleek indie-rock act Metric offers. Please, let it be anything but Stadium Love, a fine anthem ruined by its placement on those relentlessly run Sportsnet baseball commercials.
I don’t care who wins the album of the year trophy. Because the nominated music is just so incredibly underwhelming. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the judges sat down and hashed out the relative merits of Jepson’s Kiss, Céline Dion’s Sans Attendre, Hedley’s Storms, Marianas Trench’s Ever After and Justin Bieber’s Believe. The only time the jury was likely moved to any passion was for the tense vote of pizza or Chinese for the dinner break.
I don’t care if Rush takes the prize as the top group. Because it would probably be anticlimactic for the trio after rightfully being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday in Los Angeles.
I don’t care if Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe was first released way back in 2011. Because it’s a fantastic little pop tune and Jepsen was robbed at this year’s Grammys. Here’s hoping the song is picked as the top single.
And I don’t care who is selected as the year’s top artist. But if Cohen does happen to prevail over Reid, Bieber, deadmau5 and Jepsen, wouldn’t it be priceless if the fedora-wearing lover man does the little phone-me hand gesture at Jepsen as he walks off the stage?