September 24, 2013 10:22 am

Godspeed You! Black Emperor wins Polaris Music Prize, criticizes gala

Godspeed You! Black Emperor won the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

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TORONTO — Godspeed You! Black Emperor was named winner of the 2013 Polaris Music Prize on Monday — but the Montreal-based band is not very happy with the way the award was presented.

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“Holding a gala during a time of austerity and normalized decline is a weird thing to do,” reads a message on the band’s website. “Organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all.”

The group is also not happy about the corporate sponsorship of the event, which its members did not attend.

“Asking the toyota motor company to help cover the tab for that gala, during a summer where the melting northern ice caps are live-streaming on the internet, IS F***ING INSANE, and comes across as tone-deaf to the current horrifying malaise.”

A jury of music writers, broadcasters and bloggers voted Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! the best Canadian album of the year. It is the band’s fourth album since 1997.

The Polaris shortlist included albums by Zaki Ibrahim, Metric, Tegan and Sara, METZ, Purity Ring, Whitehorse, Colin Stetson, A Tribe Called Red and Young Galaxy.

The winner receives $30,000.

“We’re gonna use the money to try to set up a program so that prisoners in quebec have musical instruments if they need them,” reads the message from Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

In its online message, the group said it is grateful for the recognition despite how it came to them.

“If the point of this prize and party is acknowledging music-labor performed in the name of something other than quick money, well then maybe the next celebration should happen in a cruddier hall, without the corporate banners and culture overlords,” it said.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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