This year’s list of Juno nominees was announced in Toronto yesterday. For those of you who don’t know, a Juno is the Canadian equivalent of a Grammy. The two awards ceremonies are virtually identical, except one is much lower budget and hosted by William Shatner. (OK, in the Junos’ defense, only last year’s ceremony was hosted by William Shatner. As you might imagine, it was terrible.)

A few years ago, the Maple Grammys would have been worthy of mockery, but given the explosion of great music coming from Canada – think Grimes, The Weeknd, Fucked Up, Metz, Crystal Castles – they’re now verging on international relevance. Or at least they would be if the braintrust at the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences hadn’t decided to nominate Rush not once, but twice. Via The Globe and Mail:

The most whackadoo race happens in the top-artist contest. The 2012 contenders – Drake, Michael Bublé (hosting this year), Deadmau5, City and Colour and winner Feist – were a quintet of acts who might share space on the same iPods and visit the same after-parties. This year’s nominees represent a canyon-sized disparity in audiences, except for the fans of Jepsen and Bieber. Throw in Leonard Cohen, the fiery Scottish-Canadian crooner Johnny Reid and Deadmau5 (again), and what we have is an odd lot indeed.

But, then, Cohen creates incongruity all on his own – an enigma in a fedora, driven by an unlikely late-career resurgence. Rush is up for best rock album (for Clockwork Angels), and when those three guys arrive at the Brandt Centre on April 21, they will do so as fully fledged members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, having been inducted three days earlier. Only one other Juno nominee this year belongs to that institution. His name is Cohen, and it isn’t Adam.

Rush in also nominated for Best Group. We can only imagine the conversation that took place at the secret CARAS bunker, buried beneath the Canadian Shield.

CARAS Exec 1: Who should we nominate for Best Group? Metz? Crystal Castles?

CARAS Exec 2: Nah, those guys are a bunch of hosers, eh? How aboot Rush?

CARAS Exec 1: Oh yeah! Beauty, eh?

Token Francophone CARAS Exec: Ah oui! Geddy Lee c’est super cool!

(In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. This post was written by an embarrassed Canadian.)

That’s so unrealistic. Everyone knows there’s no school on Victoria Day.

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