Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq beats Arcade Fire and Mac DeMarco for Polaris Prize

courtesy Tanya Tagaq

It’s been a big year for Canadian music, with lauded albums by artists including Arcade Fire, Mac DeMarco, and Drake. This year’s Polaris Prize for best Canadian album, though, has gone to Tanya Tagaq, an Inuk throat singer known not only for her innovative music but also for promoting the seal products the Inuk economy relies on. She’s not backing away from the controversy, even after receiving death threats when she posted a photo earlier this year of her daughter next to a dead seal. “People should wear and eat seal as much as possible,” Tagaq said in her Polaris Prize acceptance speech. “An indigenous culture is thriving and surviving on a renewable resource: wearing and eating seal. It’s delicious, and there’s lots of them, and f–k PETA.” (Rolling Stone)

Bruce Springsteen has announced the release of a CD box set collecting his first seven albums—from his 1973 debut through 1984’s Born in the U.S.A. Though the set won’t include any new music or rarities, the music will all be remastered and will include—needless to say—a deluxe booklet. The set’s title—The Album Collection, Vol. 1 (1973-1984)—suggests that a Vol. 2 is also in the works. (Pitchfork)

On Nov. 17, Bette Midler will release her first album in eight years: It’s the Girls, a tribute to girl groups from the 30s to the 90s—including a cover of TLC‘s “Waterfalls,” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön,” a hit for Minnesota’s Andrews Sisters. (Billboard)

Radiohead is working on a new album, and Thom Yorke is stoking fans’ fires with photos of vintage lyrics and art, as well as this mysterious white vinyl. (Consequence of Sound)

Bob Dylan has been named MusiCares Person of the Year—seemingly more because of the “music” than the “cares”—and will be the subject of an all-star pre-Grammys tribute concert featuring Beck; the Black Keys; Crosby, Stills & Nash; John Doe; Norah Jones; Tom Jones; Los Lobos; John Mellencamp; Willie Nelson; Bonnie Raitt; Eddie Vedder; Jack White; and Neil Young. (Local Current)

Mike Rutherford talked with Rolling Stone, and here are the odds of his various groups getting back together:
Definite—Mike + the Mechanics
Entirely possible—Genesis (Phil Collins version)
Possible but unlikelyGenesis (Peter Gabriel version)

A representative of Apple has denied reports that the tech giant will shut down Beats Music, which it recently acquired. The fine print, though, is that even if it’s not technically “shut down,” it could evolve into a very different type of service that may no longer actually be called Beats Music. (Consequence of Sound)

Legendary music producer Phil Spector, 74, is serving 19 years to life for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Here’s his latest mug shot, via the Smoking Gun.

  • RJ

    Seriously, if you want your mind *blown*, check out Tanya Tagaq from Monday nights Polaris Prize awards show; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2fSaS2hsS4

  • Mary

    I agree indigenous should hunters should be left alone. To be fair… A quick search found this response from PETA: “PETA was surprised by Tanya’s ill-informed rant because we’ve never campaigned against the indigenous hunt. Our fight is — and always has been — against the East Coast commercial slaughter, which is run by white people who bilk Canadians for millions in tax dollars in order to prop up the non-existent seal trade. The international bans that PETA has successfully lobbied for, such as in Europe, exempt indigenous hunts.”