Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Some more awards, unofficially

Brilliance from A Tribe Called Red and Lemon Bucket Orkestra outshine Junos' ordinary moments

  • Print
Ottawa trio A Tribe Called Red hams it up after winning the Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year for their unique mix of powwow and electro.


Ottawa trio A Tribe Called Red hams it up after winning the Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year for their unique mix of powwow and electro. Photo Store

When a big name drops out of the Juno Awards, something of a similar quality always takes its place.

In 2005, when the legendary Neil Young dropped out of his hometown Junos due to brain aneurysm, the amazing k.d. lang graciously agreed to perform in his slot.

In 2014, when the questionably Canadian and lyrically suspect Robin Thicke dropped out of the Winnipeg Junos due to vocal problems, Manitoba got a crap-tastic late-season snowstorm in his place.

Aside from this piece of perfect symmetry, here's what else happened at the MTS Centre and throughout Winnipeg during Juno Week, in the form of arbitrarily assigned awards:


The Justice Has Been Served Award

GIVEN pop music's tendency to eat itself, it's always surprising, if not outright shocking, to hear a recording artist create a genuinely new sound. Ottawa's A Tribe Called Red accomplished this unusual feat by seamlessly integrating powwow vocals with electronic beats, with awe-inspiring results.

In a rare example of an awards show doing what it's supposed to do, the trio was named breakthrough artist of the year. This is a big deal on a musical level as well as on a socio-political level, as these guys serve as a source of inspiration for urban indigenous kids across the country.

Good on the Juno producers for ensuring this moment wound up on the national broadcast. Personally, this was the highlight of the night.


The Better Late Than Never Trophy

THE first time the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences tried to induct Winnipeg-formed Bachman-Turner Overdrive into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, infighting among the band members nixed the opportunity.

You can't honour four people when they refuse to stand onstage together. The chill ended Sunday, when BTO was finally ushered in, following a video intro featuring tributes from the likes of Elton John and Metallica.


The Medal for Absolute Meh

SO, Arcade Fire appeared in a pre-taped performance from a tour stop in Chile.

This had all the emotional impact of a late-night infomercial. And that's being generous.


Extreme Ambivalence of the Evening

BACKSTAGE at the MTS Centre, media Q&A MC Ace Burpee was taking bets as to whether uber-brat Justin Bieber would be cheered or booed if he was named fan choice of the year.

When the Biebs won the honour, the cheers came first. But they were drowned out by subsequent boos.

Yet again, Canada remains divided into two solitudes.


No-Show of the Night

EVERY major awards show deserves a little drama -- and the aforementioned Robin Thicke was only too happy to oblige.

Juno organizers waited until early Sunday to announce the Blurred Lines vocalist wouldn't perform at the MTS Centre due to "mandatory vocal rest." While it appears they knew by Saturday Thicke wouldn't make it, releasing that info would have resulted in the cancellation superseding coverage of the non-televised Juno gala, where most of the awards were handed out.

The irony is, Thicke was the subject of an online petition that called on the Junos to get rid of him on the grounds Blurred Lines is misogynist or worse. But 1,700 signatures had nothing to do with it: Thicke has cancelled a number of performances over the past three months due to vocal issues, including gigs in Vancouver, Hamilton and Atlanta.


Best Performance of Juno weekend

OK, so Serena Ryder has an amazing voice. But it was a club show that deserves the honour for best performance.

Early Sunday morning, in one of the final Juno Fest shows of the weekend, Toronto's Lemon Bucket Orkestra delivered an amazingly frenetic, gloriously anarchic and ultimately joyous set of acoustic Slavic weirdness in the bowels of Shannon's Irish Pub on Carlton Street.

The madcap acoustic orchestra, which failed to win World Music Album of the Year on Saturday, started off onstage before marching into the audience and eventually winding up on top of the pub's bar, tables and ledges -- with nothing less than ecstatic results.

Adding to the emotion was the band's decision to drape themselves in Ukrainian-flag scarves, a show of solidarity with Russia's least comfortable neighbour.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival needs to book this band.


Moodiest Manitoba Moment

WHEN you hold the Junos in Winnipeg, you know there's going to be plenty of Peg City content.

Sunday night saw BTO inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Saint-Boniface MP and Heritage Minister Shelly Glover enjoy national face time and Chantal Kreviazuk introduce an award.

But the most memorable local moment belonged to Jennifer Jones's gold-medal-winning curling team, who were introduced with an F-bomb-augmented superlative by Juno co-host Classified.

Runner-up: astronaut Chris Hadfield disclosing he sang Takin' Care Of Business to Russian cosmonauts while in orbit.

This planet is a weird and wonderful place.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 31, 2014 A1

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets this week - Game 2 with Tim and Gary

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Canada goose protects her nest full of eggs Monday on campus at the University of Manitoba- Standup photo- Apr 30, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

About Bartley Kives

Bartley Kives wants you to know his last name rhymes with Beavis, as in Beavis and Butthead. He aspires to match the wit, grace and intelligence of the 1990s cartoon series.

Bartley joined the Free Press in 1998 as a music critic. He spent the ensuing 7.5 years interviewing the likes of Neil Young and David Bowie and trying to stay out of trouble at the Winnipeg Folk Festival before deciding it was far more exciting to sit through zoning-variance appeals at city hall.

In 2006, Bartley followed Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz from the music business into civic politics. He spent seven years covering city hall from a windowless basement office.

He is now reporter-at-large for the Free Press and also writes an outdoor-recreation column called Offroad for the Outdoors page.

A canoeist, backpacker and food geek, Bartley is fond of conventional and wilderness travel. He is the author of A Daytripper’s Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada’s Undiscovered Province, the only comprehensive travel guidebook for Manitoba – and a Canadian bestseller, to boot. He is also co-author of Stuck In The Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg, a collaboration with photographer Bryan Scott and the winner of the 2014 Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award.

Bartley’s work has also appeared on CBC Radio and Citytv as well as in publications such as The Guardian, explore magazine and National Geographic Traveler. He sits on the board of PEN Canada, which promotes freedom of expression.

Born in Winnipeg, he has an arts degree from the University of Winnipeg and a master’s degree in journalism from Ottawa’s Carleton University. He is the proud owner of a blender.

On Twitter: @bkives


Do you agree with the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board to foreign companies?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google