This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Juno Awards and, to celebrate Canadian music from those four decades, they're planning some pretty big parties. Named for Pierre Juneau, who first managed the Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC), the Junos are an annual awards pageant for major players and sellers within the mainstream music industry and, as such, don't generally get independent music lovers marking the telecast date in their calendars or setting their PVRs.
While it seems unlikely that, say, Green Go or even Elliott Brood might be granted a performance slot on a Juno broadcast any time soon, there are some intriguing live events taking place over the next four months that may just bridge the gap between members of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS, the organization that oversees the awards) and indie rock fans. To commemorate the past 40 years of musical Cancon, Juno organizers have teamed with Toronto-based labels and management teams to coordinate individual tributes to music that exemplifies specific decades. Each of these multi-artist cover nights take place on the first Saturday of the next four months, beginning December 4. The plans are as follows: artists from Six Shooter Records and Starfish Entertainment (management for Blue Rodeo, the Sadies) take on the 1970s; Last Gang Entertainment musicians will (presumably struggle desperately to) celebrate the 1980s; the 1990s fall into the folk/punk-soaked hands of Dine Alone Records and Bedlam Music Management; and the last ten years are left to Pheromone and Maple Music recording artists. There's no word yet on who exactly will be performing or what songs might be played but it might be a good time to brush up on your Neil Young, Teenage Head, Mitsou, 54-40, and Arcade Fire records just to be safe.