July 2009 Archives

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Corazon Aquino, Dead at 76

In MemoriumCorazon Aquino was 76. She was the former Philippines president who swept away a dictator with a "people power" revolt and then sustained democracy by fighting off seven coup attempts in six years.

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A Little Raptor Love For Kic - Marco Belinelli Arriva

raptorsKic sent me an angry Blackberry message the other day. "Where's the Raptors love? We're going to be awesome with Marco Belinelli in the lineup next year!"

Truth be told, I wasn't sure what a Marco Belinelli was. It turns out the Toronto Raptors acquired shooting guard Marco Belinelli from the Golden State Warriors for cash considerations and forward Devean George. Belinelli, 23, averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 assists, 1.7 rebounds and 21 minutes in 42 games last season, his second in the NBA.

I dig the Raps, I really do, but this is Kic's department. Here's his thoughts.

Ok BC is a smart GM, he signed Jarrett Jack (who's Bosh's friend from college). BC went and got Belinelli who is great friends with Bargs. Since Bargs just signed an extention BC wants to keep his core players. Yes, they may have overpaid for Jarrett Jack but if that keeps Bosh happy, then he has a better chance to resign him in the summer. Belinelli is still young and cheaper than Delfino. This is a solid team and has a better bench than the Kings starting 5

I think that's bananas.

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Scott Rolen Traded to Reds for Encarnacion, Roenicke & Stewart

jaysThe Jays have dealt third baseman Scott Rolen to the Cincinnati Reds for third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and minor league infielder Yonder Alonso pitchers Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

Rolen is hitting .320 in 373 plate appearances with eight home runs and 43 runs batted in. He was also my second favourite active Jay, next to Roy Halladay.

Speaking of Halladay, he's still a Blue Jay. After talks with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, Ricciardi did the right thing and kept his ace in fold.

I know there are folks out there who are ticked Halladay is still here, assuming he's as good as gone when he becomes a free agent, but those folks have no soul.

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Strombo Show Cancelled?

RadioI swear this isn't meant to be a CFNY / Edge 102 blog or Corus blog, it's just a collection of things I'm personally interested in, and this past month that seems to be dominated by a certain local alt rock station.

A few Sundays ago, I wrote about the absence of The Strombo Show on CFNY / Edge 102. I wondered aloud if he had quit Corus. You can click through to read how I strung that thought together.

Then, 102.1 didn't air The Strombo Show again. It was more smoke, but no fire... yet. Now, there's more smoke, thanks to this message from a source I won't reveal.

Don't know if you have heard yet, but a friend at corus said strombo show I cancelled effective immediately. Bullshit about him not being able to find the time to do the show like he wanted to. I know he doesn't have a lot of time but he just built an entire studio in his basement a couple months ago in order to be able to have more time to himself and still be able to put a show together. Rumour has it the ratings were down, but the timing seems a bit fishy if you ask me.

Has The Strombo Show been cancelled?

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Best Car Chase Video Ever

carWatch this car chase video just released by the Weber County, Utah Sheriff’s Office. I recommend skipping ahead to the 3:00 mark for the money shot.

That's a 7-year old, all right. He stole that car because he didn't want to go to church. I can't say I blame him.

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Clickfree Transformer for iPod - Product Review

ipodThe folks at Clickfree asked me if I'd review a product they're launching on August 10th and I said, "sure". It's a Transformer for my iPod that promises to "backup your computer to unused storage space on your iPod or iPhone".

I got the little transformer device, plugged it into my USB slot and plugged my iPod in it. Instantly, it coughed up the following screen.


It's really dummy-proof. If you have room on your iPod, Clickfree will make great use of it. But, my favourite feature of this device is promoted as a "bonus feature". That's like burying the lead. This thing actually copies music from your iPod to your computer. That's right, if your music is stuck on your iPod, this sucker will set it free and copy it back down to your Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows 2000 PC.


The Clickfree folks, who are out of Richmond Hill, tell me you can also backup playlists on your iPod and not just the music. I needed this sucker about three months ago.

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Barry Taylor Reveals All - CFNY: Top 40 With Grunge

radioOn the heels of The Ballad of Martin Streek comes another super revealing look into the culture change at CFNY / Edge 102.1 under the direction of Program Director Ross Winters. Glove tap to Shane Fame Alexander for this find. Barry Taylor, fired Edge DJ, reveals all on his MySpace page.

There are no delusions of grandeur going on here. But at the same time try and name another radio personality that managed to use his name to create a play on words for the title of a joke and a survey. Seriously. That’s pretty awesome.

The inquiring emails have gotten out of control. At last count there were 7. Let’s deal with this before someone gets hurt. There were some statistical rating issues at the Edge. These began a couple of years ago when the station started to air six, two minute commercial breaks an hour instead of three breaks of three to four minutes. The station suffered - except for the morning show as they were the only time slot that didn’t change to the six commercial break format.

This new format created times when there would be two minutes of commercials followed by a song followed by another two minutes of commercials followed by a song, two more minutes of commercials, another song followed by a minute long promo followed by a song.

It should also be made clear that in radio the only times that really matter for generating revenue are Monday to Friday between 6am and 6pm. I worked Mon-Wed evenings starting at 7PM and weekend afternoons, A.K.A. – prime time. And according to Ross Winters I was a problem.

Ross Winters. The latest Program Director at one oh two point one the Edge. The guy who continually calls all the shots. When one thinks of Ross one word comes to mind: Adonis. Cut from the pages of a romance novel, the man turns heads when he walks into a room; the ladies stare with lustful eyes and the men stare with envy. He speaks with a slight accent that moistens the loincloths of every female within ear shot. The only thing sexier than his long, chestnut-brown hair are his muscles. A man among boys.

The first thing Ross ever talked to me about was how much money KROQ in Los Angeles made. This wasn’t a good sign. He casually continued to express his ideas on making the Edge like a Top 40 station but with grunge music. “Zee Edge must appear sexier to all zee people of Toronto” he told me. “Like Paris Hilton.” But he pronounced Paris like Pair-ee so I was confused at first. From that point on I was pretty positive I was ####ed. Sounding like a monotone burnout doesn’t really work with Top 40 Radio.

Changes came quick with Ross. The music played on the station became incredibly restricted and really repetitive. In the past I was allowed to have input at the station’s music meetings. The meetings happened weekly and it’s where we’d decide which songs to add. Enter Dr. Don Mitchell, the Music Director and Assistant Program Director.

Don is a six foot six, 300 pound African-Canadian who lives and breathes Gangster Rap. When Don was hired a few years ago the Canadian Music Industry instantly stopped and thought: Why, in the name of all things holy would one of the biggest new rock stations on the planet, whose musical integrity and credibility are unmatched, hire a music director that is the absolute antithesis of the demographic they’re trying to reach? Don became known in Toronto music circles for his catch phrase, “Nigga, here’s my mother ####in’ philosophy…”

Ross and Doc decided all music at the Edge would be based on what other stations were playing. They also sent out for a ton of research to try and tune them into what the demographic liked.

One of the last music meetings I was at we were trying to decide which Canadian band to add. Ross liked band A because he had met the lead singer and thought she was sexy. Don wanted band B because they were being played in Edmonton and Calgary, I offered band C. Band C had three sold out shows at Toronto’s Massey Hall that month and band C’s iTune sales were exponentially greater than band A and band B put together.

Dr. Don looked at me like I just pissed in his soup. “Nigga, here’s my mother ####in philosophy,” he snapped. “#### three sold out shows at Massy Hall. I could take a shit on stage and sell out Massey Hall. Why don’t you take your Barry Funny Ass out of this mother ####er. “ Ross agreed. I wasn’t allowed at another music meeting.

Another nail in my coffin came with the whole electric car chaos. Holy crap that upset people. The coverage received more attention from outside media than any other thing that happened on the Edge in the 7 years I was there. Awesome. Management is gonna love the publicity. No. No they didn’t. I was immediately told to not talk about the issue on air.

I was also told I talked too much about music. The 420 Thought was replaced with familiar Foo Fighter or Pearl Jam songs. The Blue Jay Breaks I did with my dad were also axed and for the record, while we covered the Jays this season they were 21-12. Since I was fired they’ve tanked to 49-51 ....so…yeah. Pick a side.

As the station continued it’s homogenization it became clear changes were coming for those who didn’t fit in. The music became even more repetitive to the point where I’d be playing the same song twice in a four hour shift. No artists were to be interviewed on the air, aside from the morning show. Announcers were told to talk for 30 seconds or less and our content was heavily scrutinized.

Finally on a Tuesday in May I was called in before my shift and let go for rating reasons. As an email went out the following day the first person to reach out was Martin Streek. He was very supportive and let me know he had my back. A few hours later Ross had him come into the station for the last time.

So that’s it. In the end it’s not a big deal, it’s a business. The Edge’s number one goal is to make money. Some have asked about Megaphoneman. Sadly he was let go too. Was it discriminatory? Let me put it this way, now that he’s gone Corus Entertainment employs no vocal-impaired Megaphonites. The days when a former opera singer who lost his vocal capabilities due to expired cough syrup and subsequently had to speak through a Megaphone was allowed on the Edge are dead. But let us not forget those days and they will live on as the Spirit of Radio.

That which we thought was true, is true. CFNY is now a Top 40 station but with grunge music.

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When OJ Boy Attacks

notepadOn a Saturday morning in June, before heading off to Edgefest, I pondered a simple question aloud. Should I ban OJ Boy?. As I wrote that morning, I had grown tired of the constant stench of humourless misery and holier-than-thou judgement.

Throughout the day you left comments. Eventually, at about 3:45pm, OJ Boy himself chimed in.

Such a terrible person I am, especially on the Kleenex and Wal-Mart matters... how dare I have responsible educated opinions!!!

I don't think I qualify as a "troll" because I sign my name to write I write... and to Stafford and anyone else that wants a charity boxing match with me, let's hook it up... but I should warn you that my winnings will be going to Greenpeace and habitat for Humanity... and I know that will drive you fascist jerks mad!!!

By the way, Shane whatshisface will be unable to prove that I have visited his site more than a few times in my life, if you can prove I have, go ahead. Do it up, show the proof, Mr. "I could use the hits". You could use a lot more than just blog hits. How about a job?

No need to ban me though Mike as I'm through with your ass kissing soccer dad-eque Edge-inhaling paint-by-numbers lifestyle fodder anyway.

On a final note, what makes you think I would know whether or not Fred was updating his blog? I have better things to do than worry about either of you let alone write a whole post about you.

Signing off...

I almost renamed this blog "Ass Kissing Soccer Dad-esque Edge-inhaling Paint-by-numbers Lifestyle Fodder" after that one. At some point, that quote will make it into the header. I love that damn comment.

I never did ban OJ Boy. He essentially banned himself, and for over a month, this blog was OJ Boy-free in the comments. Somehow, I persevered.

A few days ago, however, OJ Boy left a comment on this entry about the Globe article on CFNY. He modified his signature a little, and entered a different Hotmail address than usual, but one glance and I knew it was him. It was drenched in that foul stench.

Toronto Mike said, "determining CFNY's playlist is simply too important to be left to the masses."

Feel free to stop contradicting yourself over and over at any time.

I called OJ Boy out, and moments ago he left another comment, this time with his regular old signature and Hotmail address.

Hey Wonderbread,

You're actually full of contradictions, like the one above. When I stopped posting, you said you doubted I'd come back. Now that I dropped one comment, you say you figured I couldn't stay away.

Also, I wasn't hiding. If I'd wanted to hide, I would easily obtain an alternate I.P.

The only reason I did come back was to read other people's comments and memories about Martin Streek, not yours. We all know you'll defend The Edge to the death.

For the record that's at least 2 contraditions. Nice try though.

Now I'm left with another question to ponder. "Ass Kissing Soccer Dad-esque Edge-inhaling Paint-by-numbers Lifestyle Fodder" or "Wonderbread"? I think I'll stick with "Ass Kissing Soccer Dad-esque Edge-inhaling Paint-by-numbers Lifestyle Fodder".

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Yahoo! Gives Up On Search, To Be Powered by Microsoft Bing

yahooWell before Google, Yahoo was my Google. I'd search for everything via Yahoo! It's with a little sadness I'm reading about Yahoo's new partnership with Microsoft.

At its core, this agreement means that Yahoo has given up on its search engine business. Microsoft will be able to increase its market share in the search engine and search advertising market. Yahoo will receive revenue from Bing searches generated on Yahoo's sites and become "the exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies' premium search advertisers." What remains to be seen, though, is what will happen to Yahoo's investments in interesting search technologies like BOSS and Search Monkey. Integrating these technologies, which are tied to Yahoo's search engine, could prove rather difficult for Microsoft. We will also have to wait and see what's going to happen to Yahoo's search APIs.

That's right, in a few months, Yahoo's search engine will be "powered by Bing." It's a 10-year deal with the devil, isn't it?

I suppose it doesn't really matter. I Google everything anyway.

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k-os - Sunday Morning

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

k-os - Sunday Morning
This song remains my daughter's go-to tune when she wants to sing aloud. I heard her belting it out the other day so I'm sharing it here for you.

For the record, my son's go-to sing aloud song is still "Goodnight Goodnight" by Hot Hot Heat. The kids dig the CanCon.

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The Baby Turns 5

FamilyFive years ago today, the baby of the family was born. She's certainly no baby today. She's a bright, enthusiastic, well spoken little girl who sometimes acts more like a teenager than a kindergartener.

They really do grow up too quickly. Here's my Michelle at about six months of age.


And here she is this summer.


Happy 5th Birthday, Michie Mee! Now stop growing up so damn fast. Love, Daddy

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Darien Lake Attacks Canada With Americentric Ad

Darien LakeYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

If you grew up in Toronto, you saw the ads for Darien Lake on television. Darien Lake is a theme park resort located between Buffalo and Rochester in Darien, New York. They were always trying to get Canadians to cross the border for their rollercoasters and locals to stay put instead of coming here for Canada's Wonderland.

In 1986, in an effort to do the latter, Darien Lake went too far. They ran a campaign against Canada's Wonderland drenched in Americentrism and anti-Canada sentiment. Count the number of stereotypes in this sucker!

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Arkells - The Ballad of Hugo Chavez

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "The Ballad of Hugo Chavez" by Arkells.

It's not as good as Oh, The Boss is Coming! (a song that begs and gets a sing-along with every spin) but it's a solid single from a band we all want to like. They're from Hamilton, for goodness sake.

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Coke vs. Pepsi: The Classic Logo Wins

coke vs. pepsiHere are the logos of Coke and Pepsi colas throughout the decades.

The classic logo wins every time.


Logo aside, which pop do you prefer? Coke or Pepsi?

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The Best Music Of 2009 (So Far)

musicNPR polled their listeners and have come up with the best music of 2009 (so far). They're even sharing many of the songs.

Here's their list. Remember, if you visit the NPR link above, you can hear some of these online.

First, the Best Songs of 2009 (so far)

1. "My Girls" Animal Collective

2. "Two Weeks" Grizzly Bear

3. "Blood Bank" Bon Iver

4. "The Rake's Song" The Decemberists

5. "Lisztomania" Phoenix

6. "Zero" Yeah Yeah Yeahs

7. "This Tornado Loves You" Neko Case

8. "Sleepyhead" Passion Pit

9. "Laughing With" Regina Spektor

10. "The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid" The Decemberists

11. "Train Song" Feist and Ben Gibbard

12. "Knotty Pine" David Byrne & Dirty Projectors

13. "Daniel" Bat For Lashes

14. "Summertime Clothes" Animal Collective

15. "One Wing" Wilco

16. "The Fear" Lily Allen

17. "Heads Will Roll" Yeah Yeah Yeahs

18. "Wilco (The Song)" Wilco

19. "Stillness Is The Move" Dirty Projectors

20. "Help, I'm Alive" Metric

21. "Anonanimal" Andrew Bird

22. "On No" Andrew Bird

23. "No You Girls" Franz Ferdinand

24. "I And Love And You" The Avett Brothers

25. "French Navy" Camera Obscura

26. "Magpie To The Morning" Neko Case

27. "Woods" Bon Iver

28. "Black Hearted Love" PJ Harvey and John Parish

29. "While You Wait For The Others" Grizzly Bear

30. "Panic Switch" Silversun Pickups

Best Albums of 2009 (so far)

1. Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective
2. The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists
3. Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear
4. Middle Cyclone by Neko Case
5. Wilco (The Album) by Wilco
6. Noble Beast by Andrew Bird
7. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix
8. It's Blitz! by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
9. Dark Was The Night by Various Artists
10. Bitte Orca by Dirty Projectors
11. Far by Regina Spektor
12. Actor by St. Vincent
13. Manners by Passion Pit
14. Hold Time by M. Ward
15. Reservoir by Fanfarlo
16. Fever Ray by Fever Ray
17. Fantasies by Metric
18. Two Suns by Bat for Lashes
19. My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura
20. Dark Night of the Soul by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
21. The Crying Light by Antony & The Johnsons
22. The Eternal by Sonic Youth
23. The Ecstatic by Mos Def
24. Outer South by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
25. Swoon by Silversun Pickups
26. Together Through Life by Bob Dylan
27. No Line on the Horizon by U2
28. March of the Zapotec by Beirut
29. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
30. The Mountain by Heartless Bastards

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Leafs Acquire Wayne Primeau For Some Reason

leafsBrian Burke has pulled off a trade with the Calgary Flames. Yes, a member of our defensive glut was involved, and no, it wasn't Tomas Kaberle.

Anton Stralman, Colin Stuart and the Leafs' 7th round selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft are off to Calgary for forward Wayne Primeau and the Flames' 2nd round pick in 2011.

At first it seems like we grossly overpaid for Primeau, a 33-year-old center who only scored three goals and 14 points in 67 games over his last two seasons in Calgary, but let's break it down. We're giving up a 7th rounder for a 2nd rounder, a defenseman who can't crack the Leafs lineup and a fringe NHL forward who was only in town for a cup of coffee.

It's not a blockbuster, but it's not as bad as you think. At least we finally have a player named Wayne in the lineup.

Update: Apologies to Wayne Carleton, Wayne Presley and Wayne Thomas, great Waynes in Maple Leafs history.

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Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Movie ReviewZack and Miri Make a Porno: 4 out of 10.

I'm a Kevin Smith fan. I've pretty much dug everything he's done this side of Jersey Girl. Zack and Miri Make a Porno, however, misses the mark completely.

There are surprisingly few good laughs in this film. There are a few forced chuckles, and it's pretty funny that Elizabeth Banks might actually find Seth Rogen sexually attractive, but this is a pretty unfunny comedy.

It's not funny, and it's not sexy. It's actually pretty damn boring. It started okay, but then morphed into the "I don't care what happens - this is dumb - where the hell are the Kevin Smith laughs - I should watch Clerks again" realm.

Save yourself 101 minutes, unless it's too late. Did anyone actually like this movie?


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CUPE Local 416 Deal Struck, CUPE Local 79 Next

cityhallThere's been a breakthrough with regards to our 36-day-old civic workers strike.

A weekend of intense bargaining has produced "the basis for a deal" that could bring a swift end the strike by municipal workers in Canada's largest city.

At an early morning news conference, CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson announced that although "we still have to put the final pieces together," union negotiators "have the basis for a deal."

Local 416 represents outside workers, including garbage collectors, parks employees and sewer and water main workers.

An important sticking point, however, is the continuing lack of an agreement with the other union, CUPE Local 79, which represents daycare workers, clerks and other inside workers.

It sounds like we're almost through this. I was psyching myself up for another month or two, preparing for this to go all summer. Of course, there's no basis for an agreement with CUPE Local 79 yet, so don't bring your garbage to the curb quite yet.

Previous entries about Toronto's civic workers strike:

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That's What She Said

HumourThe folks at Trojan are marketing their new Ultra-Ribbed Ecstasy condoms with the tagline "Feels like Nothing's There!"

I'm pretty sure that's not what you want her to think when you're using this particular product.


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The Ballad of Martin Streek and Me

NewspaperOver the past week or so, I've been communicating with Bert Archer who's been writing an article for the Globe and Mail on CFNY / Edge 102. Bert and I had a nice phone conversation and exchanged several emails and Gtalk messages. He was interested in where CFNY was going following the dismissal and subsequent death of Martin Streek.

I got involved because I broke both Martin's firing and his suicide. CFNY is also one of my favourite blog topics, as it's been my go-to radio station for over 20 years. Even today, as I analyze their song repetition habits and question their playlist, it's the closest match to my musical tastes on Toronto terrestrial radio.

Today, Bert's article about CFNY and Martin Streek was published. You can read it online on the Globe site, or peruse it below. As you'll read, I'm mentioned several times and even quoted.

The Ballad of Martin Streek by Bert Archer, Special to The Globe and Mail

The night 102.1 The Edge fired DJ Martin Streek, he showed up for a birthday party at Andy Poolhall on College Street. Amid a swarm of guests, he bumped into David Marsden, the Toronto radio veteran who'd hired him almost exactly 25 years earlier when he ran the station known as CFNY. According to his former boss, Mr. Streek came over and hugged him, whispering in his ear, "I've just been fired."

Outside the world of sports, personnel decisions rarely make the news. And it's very likely that program director Ross Winters's decision on May 12 and 13 to fire two disgruntled DJs, Mr. Streek and Barry Taylor, wouldn't have either.

Though several Facebook groups sprang up in support of the jockeys - one of them reaching a membership as high as 950 - news of the firings did not go mainstream until July 6. That's when the stunning news of Mr. Streek's death broke in the form of a comment from a friend of Mr. Streek's on torontomike.com. Its proprietor, long-time Edge fan Mike Boon, also added that that Mr. Streek had killed himself.

Soon, the news and comments started popping up on other sites, often in the form of direct attacks on the station whose call letters Mr. Streek had tattooed on his right glute. "The Edge killed Martin," said one torontomike.com commenter.

The Edge is hardly the only radio station in flux, but Mr. Streek's unrelenting enthusiasm for new music made him a symbol of the old, raucous days of radio, a channel of nostalgia unto himself.

"There's something about the 'Spirit of Radio' and what it once was," says Mr. Boon, referring to the old CFNY tagline that inspired a Rush song, "and there's a collective sadness about how radio's devolving in recent years. Martin was a guy who was always there, always solid, extremely likable. When he was let go a couple of months ago, it seemed like a final nail in the coffin."

Yet as Alan Cross sees it, habits have changed as well as taste. A renowned alternative-music historian who preceded Mr. Winters as program director at The Edge, he says, "It was just easier to leave the dial on your favourite station. Now you've got 24 pre-sets."

Mr. Cross, who still works for Edge's owners, Corus Entertainment, was a long-time friend of Mr. Streek's, but rather than casting him as a martyr, he sees the dismissal in practical terms. "A radio station is a business like any other," he says. "People get hired, and sometimes people are let go."

Adapt or die: That's the bitter, and, in Mr. Streek's case, chillingly literal truth. "Our vision is to serve the young adult audience of the GTA," Mr. Winters said in a recent interview, his first since Mr. Streek's death. "We target 18-to-40-year-olds, though mostly the 18-to-34s, and we lean that towards the men."

Though he refuses to comment on the dismissals, he does say that Mr. Cross "had put together a great radio station, but it had its challenges. And when I say challenges, I mean ratings problems."

According to broadcast research company BBM, The Edge is seventh in the Toronto market by number of listeners, with 507,500 people who tune in for at least 15 minutes a week. That's roughly half CHUM-FM's numbers, and 180,000 fewer than its classic-rock brother station, Q107.

Though The Edge might lack listeners, it still enjoys a mythological aura. Originally run out of a little yellow brick house on Main Street in Brampton, the rebellious clarion of alternative music had such a weak signal that fans in Toronto often had to improvise coat-hanger antennas to be able to pick it up. It's the sort of image only a serious lack of money can buy.

But by 1992, star DJs Chris Sheppard, Lee Carter, and Dani Elwell all resigned - Ms. Elwell read out her résumé on air in lieu of notice - because the new program director, Stewart Meyers, was reducing the play lists. But it was still different enough from the rest to attract the current generation of Edge purists, including both Mr. Taylor and Mr. Boon, who only started listening to it after the shift.

Mr. Streek had started out in his last year at high school lugging equipment for the CFNY Road Show - essentially an off-air roving party DJ gig. The '92 shakeup was his big break: he got Mr. Sheppard's old job. From there, he went through a variety of shows, outlasting Mr. Marsden, Steve Anthony, Dan Duran, Live Earl Jive, Kim Hughes, Humble and Fred and Mr. Cross to become the only staff link the station had to its CFNY days.

But as soon as Mr. Winters took over from Mr. Cross last September, Mr. Taylor says both he and Mr. Streek started feeling marginalized.

"Originally, when Alan was program director, Martin and I were participants in the music meetings," he says. "When Ross came in, he just sort of switched the time of the music meetings and made it closed door and didn't let Martin or I know."

The tenor of those meetings had changed, too. According to Mr. Winters, "Our music is not picked by the disc jockeys, it's not picked by me." It's picked by listeners. The station now does three types of audience research every two weeks, and bases its play lists on the results. "If the 18-to-40-year-olds want to hear Foo Fighters and Guns n' Roses, then that's what we'll play."

Mr. Taylor says that he and Mr. Streek made it clear around the office and on the air that they were not happy with the decreasing diversity of the music they were being asked to play. It was a long way from the mid-eighties, when, under Mr. Marsden, listeners were promised $1,002 if they noticed the same song being played more than once in 24 hours. The official limit now is 7 times in 24 hours.

"Martin and I, we both had opinions and would share them on the radio," said Mr. Taylor. "I was told never to talk about anything to do with politics, and that I talked too much about the music." Ditto, he says, for Mr. Streek.

In the last couple of months before they were fired, according to Mr. Taylor, rumours started that the two were on the chopping block. Mr. Streek's own burden got heavier when his long-time romantic relationship dissolved. (Sources would divulge neither her name nor the circumstances of the breakup.)

Then, on May 12, Mr. Taylor got called into a meeting just before his shift. "Ross had an envelope, and he said, 'Ratings at The Edge aren't doing well,' " Mr. Taylor recalls, " 'so we're going to have to make some changes,' and he gave me the envelope, and that was it." The envelope contained his letter of dismissal. According to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Streek was called in for a similar meeting the next day, when he got his own envelope. The last link to the Spirit of Radio days had been severed.

It was that night Mr. Streek showed up to the party on College Street and ran into Mr. Marsden. After a couple of pleasantries, Mr. Streek, who had turned 45 three weeks earlier, leaned in to Mr. Marsden. "You're the only person who ever interviewed me for a job," he said. "I don't know how to interview for a job."

This was not unfamiliar territory for Mr. Marsden, who'd been through several firings, a name change, and now works a 10-hours-a-week jockey gig at Oshawa's 94.9 The Rock. "What we are on the radio is what we is," Mr. Marsden says, remembering the last time he saw his old protégé. "When your job disappears, you ask, 'Who am I,' and too often the answer comes back, 'Nobody.' "

It's a good article that answers some questions we've had these past few weeks. In my quote, I suggested the firing of Martin Streek was the final nail in the spirit of radio's coffin. In actuality, the final nail might be this disturbing fact from the above article.

According to Mr. Winters, "Our music is not picked by the disc jockeys, it's not picked by me." It's picked by listeners. The station now does three types of audience research every two weeks, and bases its play lists on the results. "If the 18-to-40-year-olds want to hear Foo Fighters and Guns n' Roses, then that's what we'll play."

Determining CFNY's playlist is simply too important to be left to the masses.

Discuss "The Ballad of Martin Streek and Me" (47 comments so far)

Alexisonfire - Young Cardinals

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "Young Cardinals" by Alexisonfire.

I meant to submit this new single from Alexisonfire after Edgefest, but I totally forgot.

I think this is a solid single from this St. Catherines band. It's a nice blend of their hard rock with a little Dallas Green melody to give it a hook. When "Young Cardinals" makes the cut, it will be the third song to make it from Alexisonfire, joining "This Could Be Anywhere In The World" and "Boiled Frogs".

And check out the Niagara Falls video!

Discuss "Alexisonfire - Young Cardinals" (0 comments so far)

Associated Press DRMs the News

APThe Associated Press doesn't want you to reproduce their headlines or post an except from one of their articles, even if you link to the source. Unless you pay them first, of course.

I fundamentally disagree with this stance by the AP. Article citation with links to the source article is fundamental to what we bloggers do. It's fundamental to what the world wide web has become. The AP hasn't read their own stories on the horrors of DRM in music, because they're going to add DRM to their news articles.

The Associated Press Board of Directors today directed The Associated Press to create a news registry that will tag and track all AP content online to assure compliance with terms of use. The system will register key identifying information about each piece of content that AP distributes as well as the terms of use of that content, and employ a built-in beacon to notify AP about how the content is used.

This very blog entry would apparently trigger this magic registry and I'll get some sort of virtual wrist slap for not licensing the above paragraph first. The AP thinks it can suddenly go to war against linking on the web. The AP is mad.

Or is there a method to the madness? The war against linking is so ludicrous, I think it's a clever ploy to get more web publishers to link to AP articles. How many bloggers do you think will link to AP articles more than ever now that they're attempting to DRM the sucker?

Discuss "Associated Press DRMs the News" (6 comments so far)

Mark Leduc, Dead at 47

In MemoriumMark Leduc was 47. He was the Canadian boxer who earned a silver medal in the 139-lb light welterweight class at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and was one of the few athletes in his sport to come out as a homosexual.

Discuss "Mark Leduc, Dead at 47" (4 comments so far)

Who's Your Favourite Television Character?

TVI have a crazy day today. I'm in meetings all morning, than I have a company softball tournament all afternoon before my late night double header for Raging Storm.

Since I'll be offline all day, I want to leave you all with one question.

Who is your favourite television character of all-time? All visitors must leave a comment, that's an order.

My favourite television character? That's easy...


Discuss "Who's Your Favourite Television Character?" (43 comments so far)

July 2004 Was An Exciting Month

babySometimes I'll delve into the archives of this very site to revisit the entries of July 2004. I started blogging in late 2002, several months after my first child was born, but I was already blogging up a storm when my daughter arrived almost five years ago.

Here are some blog highlights from July 2004.

That was quite the month.

Discuss "July 2004 Was An Exciting Month" (2 comments so far)

The Justin Pogge Rollercoaster Ride Continues

leafsI was sure Justin Pogge was on his way out and that suspicion was confirmed by a Sportsnet report confirming the Justin Pogge era had indeed come to an end here in Toronto. But then, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, it seemed Pogge was saved from the chopping block.

Today, Pension Plan Puppets is giving a very interesting quote from Brian Burke the light it deserves. Here's what Burke said yesterday about Pogge.

[Justin] Pogge's a good kid, but it just didn't work out for him in Toronto. I assured him I would find him somewhere to play this year.

It appears the Justin Pogge era in Toronto has indeed come to an end. The Justin Pogge rollercoaster ride continues...

Discuss "The Justin Pogge Rollercoaster Ride Continues" (4 comments so far)

Rap is Now Colour Blind

micI was recently reading about Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys and his battle with cancer. He's got a cancerous tumour in his parotid gland and a lymph node. I wish him luck, I've always been a big Beastie Boys fan.

Back in the day, their album Licensed to Ill became the first rap LP to top the Billboard 200 chart. There was something else that differentiated the Beastie Boys from others in the rap game. The Beastie Boys are white.

A rap fan for 25 years, white rappers always stood out to me, because it was a genre dominated by black men. 3rd Base, Vanilla Ice, House of Pain and Eminem were white. We noted that fact, because it was noteworthy. Over the past decade, I've found the black vs. white rapper distinction has faded. Rap is now colour blind.

Two hip-hop artists that get heavy play on my iPod happen to be white, but that's not their schtick. It's great rap with catchy hooks and interesting stories and colour doesn't enter the equation. I'm referring to Nova Scotia's Classified and Minnesota's Atmosphere.

I haven't been able to get enough of Classified and Atmosphere since Fay introduced me to Classified several years back and Kic made me listen to Atmosphere. It's not black or white rap, it's solid gold.

Here's Classified and "No Mistakes" from his excellent Boy-Cottin the Industry.

Here's Atmosphere's "Always Coming Back Home to You" from Seven's Travels.

Discuss "Rap is Now Colour Blind" (20 comments so far)

Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove
I really liked Grave Dancers Union from Soul Asylum. After that album, the band disappointed. Let Your Dim Light Shine didn't have much beyond "Misery", the lead single. Today, when I'm craving a little Soul Asylum, I always go back to GDU.

The best song on Grave Dancers Union, in my humble opinion, is "Somebody to Shove".

Discuss "Soul Asylum - Somebody To Shove" (3 comments so far)

The Right to Strike or The Right to Terrorize?

cityhallCourtney doesn't have her own blog, so I'm lending her mine for the next 1000 pixels or so. She has something she wants to share and I think it's important enough that I'm posting her words on her behalf.

Here's what Courtney wrote:

The Right to Strike or The Right to Terrorize?

 I am not writing this letter to discuss the merits of one’s right to strike or right to assemble and hold a public labor dispute.

 I am writing to discuss the behavior of the CUPE Union Locals 416 and 79, most specifically with respect to Local 79 during their public labor dispute.

 My outrage stems from a shocking personal incident that occurred yesterday at the Municipal Offences office located at 2700 Eglinton Ave W. 

 Having harboured no previous opinion either way regarding this strike, or previous distain for these Unions or their members, I attended the Municipal Enforcement office to address a parking ticket. I knew of the picket lines at the various garbage dumps throughout the City, but had no idea that it had extended to Municipal enforcement offices.

 After pulling into the driveway I saw a number of people crowded in front of the building with signs, picketing to raise awareness concerning their labor dispute.

 As I approached in my vehicle, I can’t deny that I didn’t feel some level of anxiety. In the past week I have seen and heard deplorable, aggressive and harassing behavior by CUPE Union members at various dump sites.

 I have heard reports of people being accosted in their vehicles, one individual who had their vehicle damaged by a CUPE Union members while his wife and two-year-old child were in the car; another individual who was seen on video having their vehicle surrounded by garbage; other reports of CUPE Union members tearing up garbage and throwing it around like cavemen,  in addition to various reports of seniors citizens being forced to lug large loads of garbage for hundreds of meters because of the picket lines.

 As I pulled my car into the laneway of the municipal office, these upsetting stories immediately came to mind as I saw the picketing group gathered.  That said, I had already pulled into the driveway and could not easily navigate the crowd or the line of cars ahead and behind me to turn around and so I decided to have faith in the Union members and attempt to proceed with my own personal business to resolve my parking ticket.

 I was first approached by a City Manager who advised me that:

1.       There is a labor dispute.

2.       That a union representative would approach my vehicle to discuss the issues and I could choose to listen or not listen. That if I didn’t want to listen to calmly advise the Union member and then wait to cross the picket line.

3.       I was advised that I would have to wait approximately 15 minutes per/vehicle.

I accepted those terms and continued up the narrow driveway, as again, I wasn’t left with many options considering I had picketers in front of my car, Union supervisors to the left and right of my car and even more vehicles piled up behind me.

 An older woman from the union approached my car. I wound down my window and she asked me if I would like to listen. I wasn’t really feeling well (not that I should have to give any explanation for exercising my right to choose) and so I politely advised her that I would not like to listen at that time and wound up my window preparing to wait. She respected my wishes and walked away from my vehicle.

 Without provocation and within 5 minutes a second, more aggressive younger woman approached my vehicle and was shouting through my wound up window. She told me that if I did not wind down my window and listen that my car would stay blocked and I wouldn’t be allowed through at all! I found her behavior quite aggressive and when I realized that by this time I was all but trapped in my car between the tight squeeze of other cars and the picket line: I began to panic. I have never in my life, living in this city (through numerous job actions) felt so violated and, dare I say, terrorized.

 That an individual having a dispute over the banking of her sick days felt that it was her right to demand that I oblige her by listening to her plight or face being humiliated and detained against my will and accosted in my vehicle is totally sickening. Since when has our society become a dictatorship where individuals who assemble to express their views have any right to detain and dictate orders to (or, rather, totally bully) members of the public?

 While I respect any person’s right to freedom of expression, a right which they were exercising, my rights to express my own freedom of choice and expression were violated with flagrant hostility. Quite clearly, there are members of this group who now feel emboldened to not only picket and protest, but torment and browbeat those who exercise their right to not participate in or listen to their plight.

How does this Union expect to win public support by terrorizing and intimidating the public?

What’s worse, is that while this incident was taking place, the police that were present and witnessed this woman’s hostile behavior towards me remained unfazed nearby, continuing to chat with picketers, displaying an insensitive – if not ignorant - dismissive response.  Perhaps the fact that they are CUPE Union members themselves introduces a personal agenda that presents a conflict of interest when it comes to exercising appropriate professional judgment to determine under what circumstances they will keep the peace.

Feeling the effects of this injustice after being detained against my will, after having my right to feel safe and secure in the city I was raised in taken away from me, I decided to contact the parties involved, hoping that I would find out that it was simply this one woman who acted in poor taste.

To my complete surprise the following entities responded to me in the following ways:


Who I Spoke With

What They Told Me

CUPE Local 79

Charlotte Minardo

That because “I was polite” in the incident she would look into it. She refused to provide information to me concerning the specific individual in question to prevent me from legally pursuing my issue. I got a completely condescending and “superior” response like that of a parent to a child from this woman.

Howard Moscoe’s Office – Councilor in my riding

A woman answering the phones

When I tried to report that I had completely denied access to the premises at 2700 Eglinton Ave W, contrary to the information on the City of Toronto Website, she was not knowledgeable and actually told me that she wasn’t even aware of the information concerning the strike that was posted on the Cities website. That I would be best suited to listen to the individual at my window to get past the line. This was after advising her that the Cities website stated that Unions refusal of passage was unlawful.

Mike Colles Office – Provincial Member of Parliament

A woman answering the phones

Refused to answer my questions or take a message for my representative and told me to email the Premiers office

The Toronto Police


I was told that unless a physical altercation had ensued they were doing nothing to protect the public from being detained on roadways or from being verbally accosted in their vehicles

Rob Fords Office


They were quite understanding and suggested that I send an email to the City and copy their office on my email

City of Toronto


Requested that I email a detailed description of events to them and that my issue would be looked into

Here are some sobering truths about how our leadership is prepared to deal with the violation of the rights of their constituents:

1.       The office of the councilor I voted for had no procedure to deal with, assist constituents affected by the behavior of CUPE Local Union Members. In fact they appeared to have no care or concern for what I had been through whatsoever. Their office dismissed my concerns and, in fact, advised me listen to the union to save myself the trouble. No offer was made to record or follow-up on my complaint.

2.       The Provincial Member of Parliament that I voted for refused to answer my questions and refused to accept or even record my complaint or opinions and shuffled me off to The Premiers Office.

3.       The Toronto Police just sit idly by, allowing these Union employees to harass, accost and detain individuals in their vehicles, without care or concern for the public or The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I am not unreasonable and don’t think that a verbal altercation warrants an arrest, however they should intervene when the Union member is provoking an altercation just as they’ve shown that they will when a member of the public were provoking an altercation under the same circumstances.

4.       That the Union Local 79 suggested that since “I was polite” my complaint would be considered. Had I not been “polite”, would that have made that Union employees behavior somehow acceptable?

I tend to wonder if I had been as aggressive with the Union employee as she was with me, would this be the same story I am writing today? Had I responded to her in the same fashion she was addressing me, would that have been construed as my disturbing the peace? Would the Police have continued to remain disconnected mere feet from the incident? If I had waited until the end of the strike day and blocked the union employee’s vehicle the way she was blocking mine, would that behavior have been permitted?

 It seems so painfully clear to me that in this grand hypocrisy the only people above the law appear to be Union members.

My message to the Province is not that these people should necessarily be legislated back to work, however I continue seeking legislation that mandates civilized conduct of workers during a strike and that they not be permitted to approach people in their vehicles and make arbitrary demands.

I am a business owner and work very hard to afford to be able to live and work in this City. If a client terminates, or chooses to amend the terms of a contract, should I begin to terrorize every human being that attempts to enter their facility? What would this City look like if every worker behaved the way these Union members do?

 While people throughout the world are protesting equal rights and mass genocide, I found myself in this situation because of a labor dispute over sick days. I was downtown during the Tamil protests, past the transit stations during transportation strikes and never, ever have I have encountered a thug such as the one I did yesterday at 2700 Eglinton Ave W.

 Perhaps the City should fund a membership or association granting the public the ability to organize, advertize, assemble and protest this kind of atrocious, militant behavior.

 Union members – and the lack of leadership and response by my municipal councilor, MPP and Toronto Police - are making it easy for the public to despise and resent them and everything they stand for rather than earning public support and respect. 

I urge the City of Toronto to stand their ground and not to bow down to the brute tactics of these CUPE Union members.  I also urge the public to stand up for their right to sit in their car peacefully, with their windows up if they choose, without fear of reprisal, unlawful detention or intimidation tactics.

Courtney J.
Chief Executive Officer
Inside Solutions Corp.
6001 Yonge St. #305
Toronto, Ontario

Previous entries about Toronto's civic workers strike:

Discuss "The Right to Strike or The Right to Terrorize?" (63 comments so far)

Ed O'Bannon Taught Us The Fans Aren't Always Right

basketballI just read an article about Ed O'Bannon who's suing the NCAA over its use of former student athletes' images in DVDs, video games, photographs, apparel and other material. Every time I hear the name Ed O'Bannon, I remember the lesson he taught us Raptor fans in the mid-90s.

The Toronto Raptors were an expansion team back in 1995 and we had the seventh pick in the NBA Draft Lottery that summer. The draft was held at SkyDome, so plenty of Raptor fans were in attendance. The Vancouver Grizzlies picked Bryant "Big Country" Reeves at #6 and there was no doubt who the fans wanted us to draft at #7.

Ed O'Bannon had a monster 1995 in the NCAA for UCLA. He was the key to UCLA's 1995 NCAA Basketball Championship, winning the John R. Wooden Award as well as the Oscar Robertson Trophy that year. We knew Ed O'Bannon, he was a household name, and we wanted him to be our first ever draft pick.

Isiah Thomas selected Damon Stoudamire, a point guard out of the University of Arizona, and the fans at SkyDome booed. I watched it live and I remember the boos. O'Bannon went to the Nets at #9.

Stoudamire went on to win the 1995-96 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and became our beloved Mighty Mouse. O'Bannon played a couple of mediocre seasons and is now regarded as a NBA Draft Bust.

Who knew?


Discuss "Ed O'Bannon Taught Us The Fans Aren't Always Right" (5 comments so far)

Driving the Same Car for Over Ten Years

CarI'm a month late with this one, but better late than never...

I started driving my current automobile in June 1999. It's the only new car I've ever bought so all 212,000 kms are mine.

I know people who upgrade their car every 2-4 years like clockwork. I'm simply not wired that way. I find a car I like, a reliable but economic car that will get me from A to B, and I treat it well and plan to drive it until it expires. My 10 year old '99 car doesn't have an autolocking feature or automatic windows, but I don't plan to replace it any time soon. Yes, you're reading that right. I have the old hand crank windows and I'm proud of it.

Has anyone else driven the same car for over a decade?

Discuss "Driving the Same Car for Over Ten Years" (22 comments so far)

Facebook Status Messages and Twitter Tweets Now Matter

facebookNow that I have a semblance of closure with regards to Martin Streek's suicide, I want to briefly revisit one of the details surrounding his death that has irrecoverably changed social media in my eyes.

Just before taking his own life, Martin left a suicide note for family, friends and fans in the form of a Facebook status message. Here's what he wrote.

So...I guess that's it...thanks everyone...I'm sorry to those I should be sorry to, I love you to those that I love, and I will see you all again soon (not too soon though)... Let the stories begin.

That final act gives Facebook status messages and Twitter tweets a great deal more weight. Here's a recent tweet from @jkozuch.


@madfatter was quick to point out how such words could now be misconstrued.


Your Facebook status messages and Twitter tweets now matter.

Discuss "Facebook Status Messages and Twitter Tweets Now Matter" (1 comment so far)

Roy Halladay Becomes G.O.A.T.

JaysLast September, I called Dave Stieb the greatest starting pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history. Then, in early June, I wrote the gap was closing. Today, after much deliberation, it's my great privilege to declare Roy Halladay the greatest starting pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history.

On Sunday, he went the distance in a 3-1 win over the Boston Red Sox. In giving up six early hits, Halladay worked so efficiently he needed only 105 pitches to complete nine innings. He faced 33 batters but delivered just 27 balls, finding trouble only in the first when Dustin Pedroia reached first with a single that dribbled off Halladay's leg, then scored on a Kevin Youkilis double.

He's now 11-3 with a 2.73 ERA this season. He's also the greatest of all time.

Thanks, Roy.


Other entries about Roy Halladay:

Discuss "Roy Halladay Becomes G.O.A.T." (18 comments so far)

Happiness is Marineland's Original Theme Song

memoryYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

One of my brothers used to tell me they knew the girl who appeared in the "Happiness is Marineland" ads that air every summer. The story was that her father composed the song. I don't know if any of this was true, but I do know they've been airing that same ad and song for what seems like a hundred years.

It turns out Marineland had a theme song before that one. Here's the original Marineland theme from 1983. It's not quite as zippy.

Discuss "Happiness is Marineland's Original Theme Song" (16 comments so far)

Moon Songs to Celebrate Moon Day

Moon40 years ago today, we put a man on the moon. I missed the whole thing, having not been born yet and all. I'll bet it was quite the event. Had I been born, I'd likely have live-blogged it and tweeted the hell out of it.

It's pretty cool we put a man on the moon with 1969 technology. We should do something else for the first time, just to prove we've still got it.

In honour of this 40th anniversary, here are some moon songs culled from my MP3 collection. If you've got a moon song I've missed, drop it in the comments.

  • Harvest Moon - Bedlam
  • Moonlight Sonata - Adagio Sostenuto - Beethoven
  • Moon & Tree - Blue Rodeo
  • Shame On The Moon - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
  • Harvest Moon - Cassandra Wilson
  • Moonshadow - Cat Stevens
  • The Sun & The Moon - Chief Okena Littlehawk
  • Blue Moon - Chris Isaak
  • Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Beneath The Moonlit Sky - Dave Koz & Friends
  • Life On The Moon - David Cook
  • In The Chapel In The Moonlight - Dean Martin
  • In The Misty Moonlight - Dean Martin
  • Song to the Moon - Dvorák, Antonín
  • The Killing Moon - Echo & the Bunnymen
  • Moonlight In Vermont - Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong
  • Shepherd Moons - Enya
  • My Moon My Man - Feist
  • Sisters Of The Moon - Fleetwood Mac
  • Virginia Moon - Foo Fighters
  • Girl On The Moon - Foreigner
  • Moonlight Serenade - Frank Sinatra
  • Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra
  • Moon River - Frank Sinatra
  • Harvest Moon - George Canyon
  • Moon Baby - Godsmack
  • Moonlight Desires - Gowan
  • Howlin' At The Moon - Hank Williams
  • Half Moon - Janis Joplin
  • Big Bad Moon - Joe Satriani
  • Light Of The Moon - Joel Plaskett Emergency
  • Fly Me To The Moon - Keely Smith
  • Moonlighting - Leo Sayer
  • Mooning - Louis St.Louis & Cindy Bullens
  • Fly Me To The Moon - Matt Dusk
  • Of Moons, Birds & Monsters - MGMT
  • It's Only a Paper Moon - Nat King Cole
  • Harvest Moon - Neil Young
  • Pink Moon - Nick Drake
  • Everyone's Gone To The Moon - Nina Simone
  • Shoot The Moon - Norah Jones
  • Bark At The Moon - Ozzy Osbourne
  • C Moon - Paul Mccartney, Wings
  • Harvest Moon - Pearl Jam
  • In The Moonlight - Pearl Jam
  • Tahitian Moon - Porno For Pyros
  • Man On The Moon - R.E.M.
  • Sail to the Moon (Brush the Cobwebs out of the Sky) - Radiohead
  • Howling At The Moon (Sha-La-La) - Ramones
  • Full Moon Over Russia - Rheostatics
  • Sonny Got Caught In The Moonlight - Robbie Robertson
  • How High The Moon - Sarah Vaughan
  • Blue Moon - Sha-Na-Na
  • The Marquee And The Moon - Sloan
  • Walking On The Moon - Sting & the Police
  • The Moon-man Newfie - Stompin' Tom Conners
  • Prairie Moon - Stompin' Tom Connors
  • Moonlight Bay - The Beatles
  • Mr Moonlight - The Beatles
  • Full Moon - The Black Ghosts
  • Moonlight Drive - The Doors
  • Stragglers Moon - The Fratellis
  • Blue Moon - The Marcels
  • The Sun And The Moon - The Pogues
  • Walking On the Moon - The Police
  • Drawing Down The Moon - The Tea Party
  • Morning Moon - The Tragically Hip
  • Why Look At The Moon - The Waterboys
  • White Moon - The White Stripes
  • Destination Moon - They Might Be Giants
  • Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) - Tony Bennett
  • Hawkmoon 269 - U2
  • Moondance - Van Morrison

Discuss "Moon Songs to Celebrate Moon Day" (12 comments so far)

Thoughts on 102.1 Tribute to Martin Streek, Shitty Facts, Closure Sought

tribute to streekI just listened to the 3-hour tribute to Martin Streek aired on CFNY / Edge 102. Actually, I missed the first 10 minutes, because I wasn't planning to tune in, but then curiosity got the better of me.

Tomorrow night marks two weeks since Martin Streek took his own life. Yesterday marked two months since I wrote about his firing. Corus' firing of Streek ticked me off, Streek's suicide has followed me around like a black cloud for the past 13 days. The purpose of this entry is to throw down some thoughts on tonight's Corus tribute, accept a few realities and find some closure.

The Hypocrisy
I had trouble getting passed the hypocrisy. The following sentiments were expressed over and over again:

  • Martin Streek was my favourite DJ.
  • Martin Streek was passionate about music.
  • Martin Streek was an ideal colleague.
  • Martin Streek was the consummate host.
  • I love Martin Streek.
  • I'll miss Martin Streek.
  • There is no other Martin Streek.
  • Martin was one of my heroes.
  • Martin Streek was one of the best radio hosts.

I'm sure all of the above is true. CFNY / Edge 102 certainly celebrated Streek, but there was no reference that I heard to the fact they dismissed him in May. This is where the rock meets the hard place. Corus fired Streek, and Corus knows 99% of the listeners tonight are oblivious to this fact. Anyone reading this right now is in the 1% minority. If Martin was so exceptional, with musical passion and a way of connecting with listeners like no other rock DJ in this city, why fire him?

Streek's firing received not a word of exposure on the air. He was deleted from the corporate website and never again referred to on the air until he was found dead in his apartment. Tonight, it was a Streek love-in, with creepiness that only sets in when you've been mourning his absence for two months.

The Music
The music tonight was fantastic. A great collection of excellent tunes without commercial interruption. I was pleased with the playlist.

The Separation of Management and Colleagues
Potential hypocrisy aside, those who worked with Martin loved him, and those who worked with him aren't necessarily supportive of his dismissal in May. A chance to honour Streek at CFNY, the call letters Streek had tattooed on his body, was likely important to many at that station. If we separate those in management who discounted Streek's connection to us fans and deemed him expendable from those who sincerely liked him and miss him, tonight's tribute becomes far more palatable.

We also got to hear from some old friends, like Freddie P., Kneale Mann, Brother Bill and Maie Pauts. That was pretty cool.

The Thoughts of Others
I try not to live in a silo. Sometimes, I miss the mark. Via Twitter and this blog, I was able to get thoughts from some of you listening to the tribute, and I was able to read these thoughts in real-time.

Here's what some of you thought of tonight's tribute. In the comments, I'd love to hear from the rest of you.

If they missed him so much why did they fire him? I think its too little too late. - Buffalo Boy

Edge is dead to me. - @Sinnacledotcom

Maybe I'm just bitter, but it's really too bad that Streek's unfortunate death prompted Corus to properly acknowledge him. - @bkblades

Fired or not, I think it's a good move for the Edge to provide a tribute. There are years of history there. - @chadtweets

Last night at The Phoenix was a tad creepy and by far the best 102.1 live-to-air music played in a while. We have to remember that there are a lot of friends of Martin still at 102.1. They didn't fire him, management did. - @CraigMarketer

Choosing to think the tribute is coming from staff, rather than the machine. And the song choices so far seem to support that. - @CarrieGee

Cynic in me thinks they felt like they had to do something or they'd look bad. But there's genuine desire to pay tribute too. - @snosk

It's taken them THIS long to come up with a tribute? Waiting this long is just as bad as not having one at all. - @mike_cluett

I was disgusted to hear that CFNY was doing this tribute today. Firstly because, yes, indeed - they did fire the man 2 months ago and secondly because it took them 2 effing weeks to put it together. If the tribute was truly genuine it would have happened last Tuesday. As for Marsden's tribute - that was awesome - listened to and loved every minute. - Sarah

The other issue I am having with CFNY is that they are still running Martin's promo spots. Not cool CFNY - not cool. It seems to me like they are now trying to capitalize off of his death, given that they did not even acknowledge back in May that he was 'leaving' the station and did no tribute to his work at that time. This late in the game, a tribute seems like a ploy to cover up that they had fired him or a gimmick to get back in the public's good graces for having canned Streek in the first place given the recent negative backlash online for their poor handling of the situation. - Sarah

I was listening to it driving from the city... a few of the people are a little too bubbly if you ask me. - @Noeleen1

I'm listening now.....the music is good and they are saying some nice things, but they are making sound like he never left. They talk about how important he was to the Edge and music. What a bunch of hypocritical crap! - Hector

There's a great article in the Star this weekend about Billy from 99.9 only taking 6 weeks for mat leave because she didn't want to be away from her 'audience' for too long. It's a good article about what radio people mean to their listener's. I'm not so sure radio today is like it was a while ago - with that connection, but, as someone who knew Martin for a long time (I'm an old employee) he had a rabid and loyal following and the tribute Marsden played two weeks ago was outstanding. I can't bear to listen to what's on right now. - Andrew

Marsden's tribute was like a raw wake, while the Edge one is a "memorial" with more time to consider. The family is the family. - @valerieinto

I keep having dreams about Martin Streek - BNL did a lot of remotes, etc with him in the early days. So fucking sad. - @stevenpage

The Shitty Facts
Radio is a business. Corus is a corporation seeking to maximize returns. A friend of mine in the biz once told me, "it's a business run by douche bags who never did the thing that the talent they control do, and that's relate to the audience".

Program directors fire people all the time. If you like the personality getting the boot, you hate this. When you dislike the personality getting the boot, you like this. I liked Martin Streek, so his firing understandably pissed me off.

Martin Streek felt he had no other option than to take his own life. It's easy for us to scream at the top of our lungs that he had so many other options, but that's irrelevant. His state of mind had him convinced he'd be better off dead. At the end of the day, this is the shittiest fact of all.

Moving On
To Martin's mother, his girlfriend and those who loved him in the "real world", my sincere condolences. If I've been feeling this weight for two weeks, I can only imagine what you've been feeling. Just know that he made an impact and won't soon be forgotten.

To fellow fans like myself, we need to move on. I suggest we download the five hour tribute to Martin hosted by David Marsden on The Rock. The MP3s are waiting for us at https://www.torontomike.com/2009/07/martin_streek_tribute_with_dav.html.

We'll always have the memories and we'll always have the music. Martin Streek, rest in peace.

Discuss "Thoughts on 102.1 Tribute to Martin Streek, Shitty Facts, Closure Sought" (22 comments so far)

Frank McCourt, Dead at 78

In MemoriumFrank McCourt was 78. He's the Pulitzer Prize-winning author best known as the author of Angela's Ashes.

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Strombo Show Smoke Thickens, Still No Fire

radioEdge 102.1 / CFNY won't be airing The Strombo Show for the second Sunday in a row. They're giving up that timeslot today to air a tribute to Martin Streek. Personally, I'm uncomfortable with that station airing a three hour tribute to Martin Streek because I can't get passed the fact they fired the man with the old station logo literally tattooed on his ass in May.

The tribute to Streek I can get behind, and have been promoting like crazy the past couple of days, is the five hour one David Marsden did on The Rock. I implore all CFNY fans from the 80s and 90s, and all those mourning the loss of Martin, to download all five hours now at https://www.torontomike.com/2009/07/martin_streek_tribute_with_dav.html. It's fantastic radio.

Last Sunday, I noted that CFNY did not air the first Strombo Show following Martin Streek's death. I was speculating that perhaps Strombo, a good friend and fan of Martin, made this happen. His show did air on other Corus stations. I'm a big Strombo fan, and I was interested in his tribute to Streek. For my money, nobody could impart their passion for good music the way Streek and Strombo could.

I just clicked over to thestromboshow.ca and found the site is offline. strombo.com is online, but strombo.com just links to thestromboshow.ca for more info on that radio show.


edge.ca still has a page for The Strombo Show, but when you click through their page for more on The Strombo Show, you get nothing.



A temporary hosting issue or more Strombo Show smoke while we look for fire?

Discuss "Strombo Show Smoke Thickens, Still No Fire" (18 comments so far)

Enough is Enough: End the Civic Workers Strike

cityhallFirstly, I want Chuck to take note of how I'm now calling this a Toronto civic workers strike, not a garbage strike. It's not just our garbage men and women who are on strike, it's a whole bunch of other city folk as well. Happy now, Chuck?

Having said that, it's the lack of garbage pick-up that has me losing my patience. This afternoon I'm off to a BBQ to celebrate my brother's birthday. Do you know what I'm bringing him? I'm bringing him a garbage bag of organic waste that's been rotting away in my mud room. He, unlike me, lives in Etobicoke where they're lucky enough to have contracted out their garbage pick-up. They haven't missed a beat. He can find room in his green bin for some of my refuse.

Although I really don't produce much waste, my wife and kids do. For almost a month I've been storing away garbage and recyclables while finding a home for my organic waste in temporary dumps and the homes of friends and family living in Etobicoke or Mississauga. I'm tired of it.

Mayor David Miller and CUPE, let's make a deal. Enough is enough.


Previous entries about Toronto's civic workers strike:

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Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden MP3s

RadioIf you missed David Marsden's tribute to Martin Streek, aired on 94.9 The Rock out of Oshawa, don't fret. The Rock has kindly made the entire show available on MP3.

This is great radio. Download the five MP3s below and throw them on the iPod.

» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 1
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 2
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 3
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 4
» Martin Streek Tribute with David Marsden PART 5

That's all five hours, un-cut. It's not only a great tribute to Martin, but it's a fantastic collection of awesome music.

Martin Streek1

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Walter Cronkite, Dead at 92

In MemoriumWalter Cronkite was 92. He covered the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, the Vietnam war and Watergate. He was an icon in broadcast journalism "and that's the way it is".

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Nurse Jackie

TVI'm always on the lookout for a good television series. They're few and far between, and TV in the post-Wire world seems worse than TV in the pre-Wire world.

I've watched the first six episodes of Nurse Jackie and I'm enjoying it. It's nice and dark, just the way I like it. Initially I had trouble getting used to Carmela Soprano as a New York City nurse, but Edie Falco is such a good actress, she wins you over.

I mentioned it's dark. It's not overly dark, but it's got a healthy tinge of cynicism and Nurse Jakie is a nicely flawed heroine.

I'm watching this Showtime series on TMN. If you've got TMN, you can catch up pretty quick.


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Arctic Monkeys - Crying Lightning

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "Crying Lightning" by Arctic Monkeys.

Mississauga Mike wrote me about this new single from the Arctic Monkeys new album Humbug, due out August 25. "It certainly grew on me and you can smell the Josh Homme (QOTSA) production on it, check it out!"

Nice recommendation, Mississauga Mike. I dig it.

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Another Analysis of the 102.1 The Edge Playlist

Radio Last June, I took a closer look at the Edge 102.1 playlist and then took another gander this past January. I was curious how many different songs were in rotation at CFNY. While I was crunching the numbers, I assigned each song a label: New, Recent or Classic Alternative.

Here's how I classify the songs:

New: I labelled a song new if it was new to the playlist in 2008. Yes, I was pretty generous with this label.

Recent: I created this category to cover songs that aren't exactly Classic Alternative but also aren't new. Songs less than five years old were labelled as "recent".

Classic Alternative: This covers the "golden oldies" CFNY likes to play. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, U2, Beastie Boys, STP, etc. Songs older than five years, essentially.

Last time, it was clear CFNY was playing a lot more older stuff. When I removed the repeats, almost exactly two-thirds of the music played was older than five years and of the "classic alternative" genre.

Here are the songs played between midnight and noon today with their assigned labels. After the chart, I'll hit you up with some stats.

10:31 AM "21 GUNS" - GREEN DAY NEW (R)
8:20 AM "21 GUNS" - GREEN DAY NEW (R)
5:39 AM "21 GUNS" - GREEN DAY NEW (R)
2:59 AM "21 GUNS" - GREEN DAY NEW (R)
12:24 AM "21 GUNS" - GREEN DAY NEW

Here's what we learn from this random spot check of Edge 102's playlist.

  • # of songs played: 112
  • # of different songs played: 88 / 78.5%
  • # of "new" songs: 50 / 44.6%
  • # of unique "new" songs: 30 / 26.7%
  • # of "recent" songs: 22 / 19.6%
  • # of unique "recent" songs: 19 / 16.9%
  • # of "classic alternative" songs: 43 / 38.4%

102.1 the Edge is playing about the same percentage of unique songs, with slightly more "new" songs and "recent" songs than classic alternative songs. In January, I found that over 51% of songs played were older than five years, and when we looked at the number of unique classic alternative songs played, it was a whopping 65.38%. Today, that total was only 48.3%.

Again, if we remove the repeats, almost half of the music played today was older than five years and of the "classic alternative" genre. There's lots of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains and the songs you know and love, mainly from the 1990s. Back in January, almost two-thirds of the de-duped music played was "classic alternative".

Update: My main objective was to see if CFNY was increasing the number of Classic Alternative songs they play. They're not.

24 of the songs listed above had already been played previously in the day. Remember, my sample ends before noon. This explains the reputation this station now has in my circle for repetition. Green Day's "21 Guns" was played five times. In my opinion, there's no need for 24 reruns over a 12-hour period.

Discuss "Another Analysis of the 102.1 The Edge Playlist" (32 comments so far)

The Wire's David Simon on Bill Moyers Journal

the wireI implore you to watch this interview with David Simon, screenwriter of The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™. Seriously, if you haven't seen The Wire yet, what the hell are you waiting for? Watch this interview with Bill Moyers Journal then get the five seasons of The Wire on DVD, watch them and then talk to me about it. Do it!

Here's a scene seen at the beginning of the interview and a taste of what you've been missing.

DETECTIVE JIMMY MCNULTY: Let me understand you, every Friday night you and your boys will shoot crap right? And every Friday night your pal Snot Boogie he'd wait 'till there was cash on the ground and then he'd grab the money and run away? You let him do that?

WITNESS: If we'd catch him we'd beat his ass but ain't nobody let it go past that.

DETECTIVE JIMMY MCNULTY: I gotta ask you, if every time Snot Boogie would grab the money and run away why'd you even let him in the game?


DETECTIVE JIMMY MCNULTY: Snot Boogie always stole the money, why'd you let him play?

WITNESS: Got to. This America, man.

Watching this great chat with David Simon has me aching to revisit The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™. Omar comin!


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Strombo Tribute to Streek? Or Physiological Illusion?

radioHeres what I know to be true. I know CFNY / Edge 102.1 did not air The Strombo Show on Sunday. I know the other Corus radio stations who carry Strombo's show did air it as usual.

What I don't know, and I've tried to find out but failed, is whether The Strombo Show aired this past Sunday was live. I can't say whether it was a rerun or a new episode. It's quite possible George Stroumboulopoulos is on vacation, or simply taking a break after losing a good friend.

I received the email below from someone with similar questions. This person has permitted me to post the email, so long as I keep him or her anonymous.

Hi, Mike,

Thanks for the sincere blogs over the last week. It's been helpful to visit an authentic forum.

I know from your post Sun. night that you didn't catch the strombo show, but have you heard anything about it since? I'm Brantford way and listened on fm96, where it aired at 5pm as usual.

Although I missed the beginning of the show, it seemed to me that George gave tribute via the playlist. There were some obscure tracks, some party tunes, some rebellion as usual. Not a lot of chitchat. The lyrics of the last set were striking to me and included a deathcab song (soul meets body), ac newman (prophets [which I heard at the time as "profits", given the current climate]), bedouin (walls fall down), and stones gimme shelter ended the show. He made a point of telling us to listen to the backup singer singing of rape and murder, and rather than playing through the whole song, ended the show directly after the backup singer blew out her voice singing "Murder" with such passion. That was the last word. Cut to commercial.

The statement seemed subtle and strong; he didn't give enough rope to hang himself with but if you knew what to listen for, the message was loud and clear.

So I wondered if I was reading too much into that (and was that even Strombo DJing? and was it a repeat show?) and waited for some kind of discussion online. Have you heard anymore about it? Do you have an opinion? I'd be interested in your thoughts.

**name removed**

PS - While I'm seeking opinions: this memorial at the Pheonix on Saturday - will Corus profit from that? Isn't it still a live-to-air cfny DJ'ed event? I'd love to go but have no intention of feeding the beast.

Very interesting... unless Sunday's show was a rerun. Or are me and **name removed** reading entirely too much into the fact CFNY didn't air the first Strombo Show after Martin Streek's death?

Discuss "Strombo Tribute to Streek? Or Physiological Illusion?" (9 comments so far)

Toronto Mike Wants Patrick Sharp

leafsI like this article from the Daily Herald.

The Blackhawks have talked to Toronto about Patrick Sharp, among other clubs, according to a team source.

Where those discussions go now is unclear, but what is clear is that players like Sharp ($4 million), Dustin Byfuglien ($3 million), Kris Versteeg ($3 million) and Cam Barker ($3 million) are available because a movable contract today may not be movable a year from now if the player doesn't perform next season.

And contracts will have to be moved before 2010-11, the result of the Hawks' bungled salary-cap situation that threatens the future of their young core.

ESPN says this:

As I wrote a short time ago, the Leafs have an abundance of defensemen and are lacking scoring. According to an article in the Toronto Star on Thursday, Leafs general manager Brian Burke also wants to bolster Toronto's penalty-killing unit.

According to thestar.com, Burke mentioned he received a trade proposal for one of his defensemen Wednesday. He remarked the trade would require the Leafs to take on some salary, but they would receive a forward in return. He is also looking at free-agent possibilities.

"I want to make sure if we're down to our last three to five million dollars we want to spend the money wisely," Burke said.

The Blackhawks have a talented forward who will earn $3.9 million next year. Patrick Sharp's 26 goals would have led the Maple Leaf scorers for 2008-09. He would be an attractive option for Mr. Burke.

The Leafs desperately need young scorers up front. Sharp would be a welcome additon. Make it so, Mr. Burke.

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Presidential Treatment: Fox Won't Air Obama Pitch Live

usaIt's no secret I like President Obama. I still like him. He's the coolest prez ever.

Obama threw out the first pitch at the All-Star Game last night, and Fox gave him presidential treatment. Watch him deliver the pitch below and tell me how he did. It's impossible to tell whether he threw a strike, a wild pitch or bounced one in.

This camera angle is so ridiculous I almost want to suggest that Obama hedged his bets in case he blew his pitch, and asked Fox not to show the results of his pitch live. I almost want to suggest that, but this is Obama we're talking about. I have no doubt he threw a 98 mph strike.

Discuss "Presidential Treatment: Fox Won't Air Obama Pitch Live" (26 comments so far)

Jacko is One Prolific Ghost

spookyFirst Michael Jackson haunted Muhammad Ali and George Foreman during their Rumble in the Jungle back in 1974, then he haunted Larry King during his interview with Jermaine Jackson on CNN. Now, The Sun is reporting that Jacko's at it again.

Dad-of-two Gary Sloggett, 43, had taken some pics of his Rover 200 for a car sales magazine on June 26.

But when he uploaded the snaps on to his computer he was shocked to see the King of Pop — who died the day before of a heart attack — staring back at him.

This is incredible. Jacko is quite the prolific ghost. Here's his third haunting.


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A Killing That Didn't Stick

MP3sI just shared an MP3 with a little feature I creatively named "The Weekly MP3". Five years ago today, I killed The Weekly MP3.

For the past few months, I've been sharing an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. For seven days I host an MP3 for visitors to grab and enjoy and then I host another and another and so on... Judging from the statistics, very few people are taking advantage of this service. As a result, I'm killing the Weekly MP3.

If anyone wants a tune from my collection, contact me and give me your email address and I'll hook you up.

It only took three emails from folks telling me they missed the feature for me to resurrect it. This was a killing that simply didn't stick.

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The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now
I still dig this tune from TPOH. I consider it one of ten essential Canadian tracks. You'll have to click through to learn why.

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Scratched Eye = Ode to St. Joe's

medicalMy left eye has been hurting all day. It feels like there's something in it, stabbing my eyeball every time I blink. After dinner tonight, I had had enough. I was going to St. Joseph's Health Centre to find out what the heck was in my eye.

I figured I'd have to wait a few hours while more serious ailments jumped ahead of me in emergency. You can't get a Blackberry signal inside St. Joe's, so I decided to write myself a note. Here's what I wrote while I waited to see a doctor.

I have a long relationship with St. Joes. I was born there, my first born spent 10 days there in the NICU ward and another 5 with pneumonia, and I've had several broken bones and one seperated shoulder treated there. Its my go-to hospital, and luckily I haven't needed it more often.

It seems I always need emerge at night. I'm almost never here during working hours. At night, the colourful people collect in the halls of St. Joe's and I watch them as if watching a glorious symphony.

There's always a handful of drunks sleeping one off, and the later at night you're here, the more of these folks you'll see. St. Joe's is located in Parkdale, a magnet of sorts for the colourful people. I prefer to think of it as a neighbourhood with character.

The wait to see a doc can be lengthy, but the staff are always caring and professional with just the right sense of humour. They know their stuff, and they do everything possible to make your wait as short as possible.

I'm settled in now, it's been 30 minutes and I'm ready to wait a few more hours, but I don't mind. My left eye is killing me, and I know a good diagnosis and proper treatment is imminent.

Less than 5 minutes after writing that last sentence, a doctor had put orange dye in my eye and was examining me for lacerations. He found several, assured me there was no permanent damage, prescribed ointment and pain killers and encouraged me to return on Thursday for a follow-up examination.

35 minutes.... the shortest emergency room visit of my life. It's like ordering a pizza.

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The Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "Treat Me Like Your Mother" by The Dead Weather.

The Dead Weather is a supergroup. It's comprised of vocalist Alison Mosshart (of The Kills), drummer and vocalist Jack White (of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), guitarist Dean Fertita (of Queens of the Stone Age) and bassist Jack Lawrence (of The Raconteurs and The Greenhornes).

Check out this single before Warner Music Group pulls the vid. Heaven forbid we promote a band's video!

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1:02 of Club 102 Live From The Phoenix w/ Martin Streek

Club 102Last night, after our ball game, the Mikes and I got talking about the Phoenix. The Phoenix, for you out-of-towners, is a club at 410 Sherbourne Street that I used to frequent in the mid-90s. I was there for the moshing anthems but you never knew who you'd bump into.

We were talking about the Phoenix Concert Theatre because we were talking about Club 102, a live-to-air event heard on 102.1 every Saturday night for as long as I can remember. Club 102 was hosted by Chris Sheppard, and when Shep left, Martin Streek took over.

Club 102 was fun, because it was great tune after great tune. Streek was the perfect host, full of energy and passion with a fantastic voice. There's a Facebook group in memory of Streek, and that's where I found an hour and two minutes of Club 102 recorded live from the Phoenix and hosted by Martin Streek. It was shared by Trevor Castle.

I'm embedding the audio below, but I'm not sure how much time we'll have before my free bandwidth allotment gets blown out. I recommend downloading the MP3 by clicking here.

The doors of the Phoenix.... are... now... OPEN!

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The Stills - I'm With You

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "I'm With You" by The Stills.

I actually thought I had put this single from The Stills on SLS21, but apparently I didn't. That's why pencils have erasers, so I'm getting this catchy tune on SLS22.

I saw these guys recently at Edgefest and they were great.

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Maple Leafs Season Countdown Clock Activated

ClockIf you click on over to https://www.torontomike.com/countdown.html you'll learn there are 80 days, 5 hours, 0 minutes, and 34 seconds left until the Maple Leafs opener against the Habs.

That countdown clock will track the seconds remaining until we drop the puck for real once more. I've done this every summer for seven years and there's always at least one fan who checks it daily.

I recommend checking it hourly.

Our Most Important Ornament

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On Roy Halladay

JaysI haven't written much lately about my Toronto Blue Jays. I haven't been sharing vintage Blue Jays songs or memories from the Drive of '85. I've been quiet, because I'm thoroughly disappointed.

You may recall that awesome start the Jays got off to, and now I'm ready to call it. The Jays won't be playing meaningful baseball in September, for the 15th year in a row. I feel teased.

One thing we still have going for us is the presence of Roy Halladay, the best pitcher in the game.

Halladay isn't just the best pitcher in the game, he's a throwback to a time when starters demanded the ball in the ninth inning. He never complains, he just goes about his business. When he's on the mound, you know there's a chance for a 2 hour game. He's efficient, he's effective and he's ours.

At least he's ours for now. J.P. Ricciardi said he's listening to offers for Halladay, and the thought of trading Halladay turns my stomach. He's a once in a generation pitcher and we've got him. J.P. Ricciardi ought to be doing everything possible to lock him up, not trade him away. If Halladay goes...

Speaking of Halladay, something we should do more often, he'll be starting his first All-Star game this week. He's only the third Jay to have that honour bestowed upon him, joining Dave Stieb and David Wells. It's about time.

More on Roy Halladay:

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Understanding the UFC 100

boxingI can't help but feel as if I'm missing the point of Mixed Martial Arts. I love sports in general, I loved the WWF as a youngster in the 80s and I still enjoy a good boxing match. Still, I don't get the phenomenon known as UFC. I can't seem to get into Mixed Martial Arts, even with all the recent hype surrounding it.

The recent hype was around UFC 100. A number of people I follow on Twitter were super excited about this event. Canadians get particularly excited about Georges St. Pierre, a Quebec native and UFC Welterweight Champion. GSP, as he's better known, is even sponsored by Gatorade. When Gatorade is knocking on your door, you're mainstream.

But still, with all this hype and so many singing the praises of UFC, I'm left with no interest. I watched a few GSP matches online and still didn't care. Was boxing not brutal enough? Were we in need of a WWF-like sport without a script?

I understand the MMA fan base is a passionate bunch and extremely loyal to the UFC. I expect them to chastise me for missing out. I'm curious what the rest of you think. Have I not given MMA a fair shot or is it simply a fringe sport for the blood thirsty?

Discuss "Understanding the UFC 100" (11 comments so far)

Where's Strombo? Did He Quit Corus?

questionmarkI'm plugging myself back in after a long weekend of kayaking, BBQing, chilling with the family and playing beach volleyball under sunny skies. My radio is tuned into Edge 102.1 for The Strombo Show, one of Corus' best radio shows. I've always liked George Stroumboulopoulos.

This is the first airing of The Strombo Show since Martin Streek died. It's no secret Stroumboulopoulos and Streek were tight. I saw them together as recently as last year's CASBY Awards and Strombo was swooning in the presence of Streek, a man he clearly admired. Then, there's this quote from Strombo, which has resurfaced since Streek's death.

Martin Streek (and David Bookman) are so important to this city, what they do for music ... Streek when he’s on the radio... quality wins. They believe in music. They are the snipers waiting by the window keeping everyone on their game. Because their music knowledge is impeccable, their passion is unrivalled and they’re not afraid to tell you. They understand how important a record can be to your life.

I've got CFNY on the radio, trying to listen to Strombo to hear what he'd say about Martin, but I'm not hearing The Strombo Show. I'm hearing a guy named Jeff Leake playing the typical music 102.1 plays these days, and there's no mention of George Stroumboulopoulos or The Strombo Show. The "S" word hasn't been uttered once.

Did Strombo quit Corus? Does anyone know where his radio show has gone?

Update: I'm told The Strombo Show was on Corus tonight, just not Edge 102.1. edge.ca is promoting the show as airing from 2pm - 5pm, a change I've obviously missed! It was always 5pm - 8pm.

Apparently there's nothing to see here, move along....

Update 2: When I wondered aloud if The Strombo Show aired here at 2pm, a Strombo fan who would like to remain anonymous replied and said "not today they didn't ... this afternoon Todd had some sort of bikini thing goin' on ... they didn't broadcast in T.O today "

The plot thickens...

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Auto-Tune the News (b/c Everything Sounds Better Auto-Tuned)

XXXI'm so sick of hearing Auto-Tune on the top 40 charts. It all started with Cher and now it's out of control. Kanye was so much better before he went the Auto-Tune route, wasn't he?

I don't want to hear Auto-Tune in my music, but I love hearing it in my news. Michael Gregory has been Auto-Tuning the news for a few months now and I'm still digging it. Catch the first six songs here.

Here's #6, entitled "Auto-Tune the News #6: Michael Jackson. drugs. Palin."

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Arturo "Thunder" Gatti, Dead at 37

In MemoriumArturo "Thunder" Gatti was 37. He was a former junior welterweight boxing champion from Montreal.

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Gotta Get Away

campingIt's been a rough week. I'm getting out of the city for a bit. I'll be back in time to support the James Fund at SickKids by playing beach volleyball all day on Sunday at Ashbridge's Bay.

Speaking of which, you can sponsor me by making a secure donation online by visiting http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=2264325. L8R.

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Raptors Sign Hedo Turkoglu

raptorsThe Toronto Raptors have confirmed their acquisition of forward Hedo Turkoglu. This is likely the most significant free agent addition in the team's history, and it's no coincidence Turkoglu is a non-American.

Turkoglu's agent Lon Babby said the player and his wife Banu were intrigued by Toronto's ethnic diversity, including a large Turkish community. Turkoglu joins Andrea Bargnani, José Calderón, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Roko Ukić as non-Americans on our roster.

Toronto, a cultural mosaic with a diverse populous, has little trouble attracting players like Turkoglu. It's the Americans who would rather play elsewhere.

Welcome to Toronto, Hedo. Sadece bebeğim kazanın!

Discuss "Raptors Sign Hedo Turkoglu" (1 comment so far)

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' Redemption Song for Martin Streek

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros - Redemption Song
Martin Streek's death has me feeling so sad. The world can mourn the King of Pop, I'm mourning the loss of a person I felt I knew, even though I doubt he knew my name.

On Monday night I wrote this, but it's the entry about Martin that I wrote back on May 18 that's on my mind...

I listened to CFNY (Edge 102) throughout the 90s. It was my favourite radio station, not just for the tunes but for the personalities. I can't remember a time at 102 before Martin Streek.

Martin Streek, if you're out there, let us know where you're at. You've been a familiar voice over Toronto airwaves for about 20 years and you'll be missed.

I remember writing that "let us know where you're at" line. I originally typed "let us know you're okay". I changed the sentence, thinking to myself that he's just lost his job, he hadn't died.

This city seems far less cool today than it did only a few days ago. Martin was so damn cool. He looked cool, he sounded cool, he promoted cool music and was always doing cool things. I wanted to be Martin Streek.

I'm assured a big public event in honour of Martin is being planned by those who knew him best. This city needs to assemble and do what he'd want us to do: arrive early and stay late. I'm sure we'll play this song. For Martin.

Discuss "Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros' Redemption Song for Martin Streek" (4 comments so far)

A Google Operating System: A Perfect World?

googleOver four years ago, in an entry about Google Maps, I closed with the following wish.

In a perfect world, Google would develop an operating system.

Last night, on the official Google blog, Google announced the Google Chrome Operating System is coming.

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we're already talking to partners about the project, and we'll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work.

I can't wait to give the Google OS a test drive. We'll see if it will supplant Ubuntu as my Windows alternative of choice.

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The Junction Goes from Skid Row to Hip

cntowerI've spent a lot of time in the Junction. The Junction, for you out-of-towners, is an area north of Bloor West Village by Dundas Street West and Keele. To be honest, when I was growing up, it was the smelly place thanks to the Stockyards, Canada's largest livestock market and the centre of Ontario's meat packing industry.

It was also a little sketchy. We used to joke that going north of the train tracks that run alongside Dundas Street West was literally and figuratively going to the other side of the tracks. It was a rougher patch of the city, no doubt about it, and the stores were pretty run down and shabby, especially when compared to what was happing in Bloor West Village.

Today's New York Times has a great little write up on the resurgence of The Junction. Skid Row to Hip in Toronto, it's called.

Block by block, they are transforming this stretch of Dundas Street West from a grimy skid row into a bright enclave filled with quirky bookstores, vegan restaurants and organic cafes.

But don't call it a comeback, Little Malta's been there for years.

Discuss "The Junction Goes from Skid Row to Hip" (9 comments so far)

Help Me Help The James Fund at SickKids - Sponsor Me

MoneyI will be competing in the 15th Annual Heatwave Toronto Beach Volleyball Tournament in support of The James Fund at SickKids. As one of the athletes in this event, I have made a commitment to fight childhood cancer. No child should have to suffer this terrible disease. I'm asking you to help me save children's lives and end childhood cancer by donating today.

The donations from this incredible tournament will support The James Fund at SickKids Foundation. James was 8 years old when he passed away from neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the central nervous system. James knew that there was little that could be done for him but was more concerned that no other kids would die of this disease. Before James died, he knew that a Research Fund in his name was established at The Hospital for Sick Children. "I will always be fighting cancer!" said James.

Secure on line donations can be made to The James Fund at SickKids with VISA, MasterCard or American Express and an electronic tax receipt will be sent to you by email. You can make an online donation now at:


Thank you for joining us in fulfilling James's word: "I will always be fighting cancer!"


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Local Newspapers Drop Ball With Martin Streek Death Coverage

Toronto NewspaperI've been blogging here since 2002 with almost 10,000 entries under my belt. During that time, I've broken a few stories, usually local radio hirings and firings. Last night, I broke a story here that still has me dazed.

The comments in my entry about Martin Streek's death, from dozens of people who knew him and loved him, confirm what I always suspected. Martin was a genuine good guy who loved what he did and treated everyone he encountered with class, good humour and respect. So many Torontonians felt a connection with Martin, and the 148 comments (and counting) prove he struck a chord with this city in a personal way few media personalities can equal.

The mainstream media coverage of Martin Streek's death, especially from our local newspapers, was abysmal. Martin deserved so much better for what he gave this city. I'm going to address the coverage from the Toronto Sun, National Post, Toronto Star and Globe & Mail.

Toronto Sun

Toronto Sun

Get used to this picture of Martin. It was his Facebook profile picture, and the same one I used last night. You'll be seeing a lot of it in this local MSM analysis.

I'm leading with the Sun's coverage because their factual errors really hit home with me. "The news broke on an Internet message board post by David Marden". When I clicked through, I did find a comment by Marsden on someone else's post, but the post was published over an hour after my entry about Streek's death. Clearly, a little Googling is too much fact checking to expect from the Sun.

The remainder of the article could have been written by anyone with a web browser.

National Post 1

Eye Weekly

There's that picture again. You have to admit, it's a great shot. I don't think Martin would mind one bit if the media failed to find another.

This first entry from the National Post really infuriates me with their ignorance. "One blogger named Marsden (luvradio) posted the following today." Are you kidding me, National Post? Calling Marsden "one blogger" is inexcusable. David Marsden was the driving force behind CFNY in the 1980s and a local radio legend. How does the Post not recognize that?

National Post 2

National Post

Again, the National Post's coverage of Martin Streek's suicide could have been thrown together by any teen with wifi. It's his final Facebook status message, a mini-bio, and that picture we all know and love.

The National Post did, however, give me credit as a source alongside the CBC, which is almost enough for me to forgive their inabilty to scratch beneath the surface. A popular local DJ who was on the air for over two decades before his inexplicable firing at the hands of Corus Entertainment kills himself at the age of 45 and we're once again fed lazy jounalism from one of our many dailies.

Toronto Star


I'm most disappointed in the Toronto Star for their coverage of this tragic event. The Toronto Star is my paper, the one I read daily and the one I've been reading daily ever since I discovered Blue Jays box scores and For Better of For Worse comics in the early 80s.

The Toronto Star should be ashamed for this reprint of the Canadian Press release. Couldn't the Star find a reporter to dig around, give us some insight, try and give this appearingly senseless act some context? The Canadian Press coverage is a paint-by-numbers statement that Streek lived, worked at 102.1, was fired and died. For shame.

Globe & Mail

Globe and Mail

I saved the Globe & Mail's article for last, because it's so offensive I couldn't get past the headline. It was very late in the day when I took this screen cap, and they were still misspelling Martin's name. It reminds me of that old axiom there's no such thing as bad publicity so long as they spell your name right. Poor Martin didn't get that honour.

Toronto is a huge city with a glut of media stationed here and many, many passionate citizens who are deeply feeling this loss. The service we've received from our newspapers is truly disgusting, especially when contrasted with the coverage given to a memorial service held in Los Angeles this afternoon.

We deserve so much better.

Discuss "Local Newspapers Drop Ball With Martin Streek Death Coverage" (45 comments so far)

The Ride for Mental Health

bikeI had a good chat with my buddy Elvis this morning, about Martin Streek, suicide and mental health. We were debating whether someone of sound mind and body can consciously decide to end their life without mental illness playing a role. It sounds so rock n' roll, the whole "better to burn out than fade away" thing, but it's such a final, drastic step. It's always darkest before the dawn, and when you lose that perspective, you need help.

[09:53] eLvIs: I was going to ask/tell you about this closer to the day but in light of the Martin Streek news, I thought this could be appropriate. Christy's uncle is currently riding across Canada on his bicycle to raise awareness about Mental Health. Would you be interested in posting about him?
[09:53] eLvIs: He arrives in Toronto for a rally on the 17th.
[09:54] eLvIs: http://therideformentalhealth.blogspot.com/
[09:54] eLvIs: http://www.therideformentalhealth.org/

Elvis' wife's uncle, Mel Thompson, is doing something to help those living with mental illness. His bike ride across Canada hits our fair city on July 17th. Come out and support him and this worthy cause if you can.

Friday, July 17, 2009
Toronto Pep Rally (12pm-2pm)

Come out and support Mel Thompson, Vice President, Customer Services, as he embarks on the final leg of The Ride for Mental Health, Nathan Phillips Square has hosted many remarkable events since its inception. Let’s make this one for the record books.


  • Entertainment
  • Guest speakers
  • A few surprises & more…

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Martin Streek's Unseen Demo for Martin Streek's Backstage

videoI'm still stunned that Martin Streek left us this early when there were so many other options available to him. It's a tragic story that really hits me, because I spent hundreds of nights listening to him on the Thursday 30 and his Live to Air broadcasts on CFNY 102.1 / The Edge. Furthermore, the world's collide all over the place with this one. I broke the sad news last night and have many friends who knew Martin personally and are mourning his loss in a far more personal way.

I was scheduled to meet up with Mike Wixson tonight. Mike worked with Martin, and now works with my good friend Humble Howard at RedFishEntertainment, producing his Man Up Canada game show. I was going to meet with Mike about some Man Up Canada web stuff when he cancelled because, as you can imagine, he's shattered.

Mike and I were exchanging emails this morning when he sent me this recent tid bit about Martin Streek that will likely be news to everybody.

We had just finished a pilot for a new show called Martin Streek's Backstage...he was brilliant. It was going to be popular and he would never have had to look back on radio. He was made for TV. I have a demo you need to see. He was headed toward a TV career at 1000 miles an hour.

Here's Martin Streek's demo for Martin Streek's Backstage, a show we'll never get to see developed. In this great clip, he's interviewing USS.

He looked and sounded great, didn't he?

Discuss "Martin Streek's Unseen Demo for Martin Streek's Backstage" (9 comments so far)

Monster Jonas Gustavsson Chooses Leafs

leafsJonas Gustavsson likes us, he really, really likes us! Sportsnet is reporting that the long awaited decision by Jonas Gustavsson is over as he's decided to start his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

An announcement is expected as early as today as "The Monster" signed off on a 1-year, $900,000 to start the 09-10 season backing up Vesa Toskola.

The Best Goaltender Outside the NHL™ will battle Vesa Toskala for the #1 job, even though MLSE will tell you he's backing up Tosky. Hopefully, he's worth the wait.


Discuss "Monster Jonas Gustavsson Chooses Leafs" (8 comments so far)

Martin Streek Dead

Martin Streek DiesI'm not sure how to write this one, so I'm just going to tell you what I know.

As a long time fan of CFNY / Edge 102, I was sad to learn recently that Martin Streek had been fired after over 20 years of service. As of this writing, that entry had 88 comments from others who wanted to wish Martin well. Soon enough, Martin Streek himself chimed in to say thanks.

Thank to those of you who made comments, both good and bad...either way, it's proof that you listened and/or cared about the scene I/we were part of...

Earlier today, Martin Streek updated his Facebook status message with words that sound so ominous now. This, it turns out, is Martin's farewell to the world.

So...I guess that's it...thanks everyone...I'm sorry to those I should be sorry to, I love you to those that I love, and I will see you all again soon (not too soon though)... Let the stories begin.

My entry about Martin Streek leaving CFNY / Edge102 is #1 when you Google his name, and Steve did just that an hour ago.

I just heard that Martin has passed away... very sad to hear.... (I was a cfny staffer back in the 80s and just heard this from Earl J.)

At first, I thought it was a cruel joke. Martin Streek seemed so vibrant, so full of life. But after chatting with Steve, and seeing the Facebook status message, I'm afraid it's true.

Martin Streek has taken his own life.


Discuss "Martin Streek Dead" (224 comments so far)

MJ Haunts Again

SpookyRemember when Michael Jackson's ghost haunted Muhammad Ali and George Foreman during their Rumble in the Jungle back in 1974? That was a cool trick, because it was modern day Jacko doing the haunting back in 1974, not 1974 Jacko. It seems he's at it again.

During a Larry King Interview with Jermaine Jackson on CNN, MJ haunts again. See for yourself.

Discuss "MJ Haunts Again" (3 comments so far)

Francois Beauchemin Signs With Maple Leafs

LeafsIn the comments of this entry we were debating who would be our top six defencemen next season. We have a glut of worthy defenders, including Kaberle, Schenn, Komisarek, Finger, Van Ryn, Exelby, White and Oreskovic. Brian Burke decided that wasn't enough. He's just signed free agent defencemen Francois Beauchemin to a three-year deal believed to be in the range of $10 million.

I really like this signing at that price. Burke previously brought Beauchemin to the Ducks where he helped them win the cup in '07. Beauchemin eats a lot of minutes, plays a solid physical style and makes our team better.

Clearly, Kaberle has played his last game for the Leafs.

Discuss "Francois Beauchemin Signs With Maple Leafs" (11 comments so far)

Allan King's Warrendale on TVO: PVR Alert

TVDocumentary filmmaker Allan King passed away last month, and TVOntario has been paying tribute by airing his great docs.

Tonight, TVO is airing Warrendale, and I urge all of you with PVRs to record this gem and the rest of you Ontarians to tune in in to TVO at 10pm tonight.

In 1966, filmmaker Allan King visited an experimental treatment centre for emotionally disturbed children in Toronto. Never on television before, this profound documentary reveals the feelings and experiences of children in anguish.

Tomorrow night we're in for another treat at 10pm when TVO airs A Married Couple.

The on-screen conversations, fights, and intimate secrets of a seemingly typical husband and wife living in Toronto in the 1960s made them one of the decade's best-known average couples. By filmmaker Allan King.

The Allan King Film Festival airs all week.

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When it Comes to Layla, I'm All About Jim Gordon's Piano Coda

MusicWhen Derek and the Dominos first released "Layla" back in 1971, it was 2:43 and didn't include Jim Gordon's piano coda. Don't get me wrong, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman had a classic rock gem with that version of "Layla", but it really was missing the best part.

Personally, I don't care for the first half of "Layla". I'm all about that second half, the piano coda. That's the piano piece you hear over the credits of Goodfellas. I'd like to rip it out of "Layla" and play it by its lonesome. I never get tired of hearing it.

Which half of "Layla" do you prefer? In my humble opinion, it's no contest.

Discuss "When it Comes to Layla, I'm All About Jim Gordon's Piano Coda" (10 comments so far)

Stark Raving Dad

homerDid you hear Michael Jackson passed away? CNN is still calling it "breaking news" in their 24/7 coverage of Jackson's death. Coverage that contains almost nothing in terms of new developments, by the way, but I digress.

Jacko's death will reward those of us who still pray at the alter of The Simpsons' glory years when Fox re-airs its 1991 episode “Stark Raving Dad,” in which Jackson voiced a 300-pound mental patient who believed that he was the famous singer. It's a stellar episode, and even though I own the episode on DVD, I'll be tuning to watch the best Sunday night @ 8pm episode in years.

Thanks to Horonymous for the tip.


Discuss "Stark Raving Dad" (6 comments so far)

Daniel Nestor and Canada's Male Singles Tennis Failure

TennisAs a teen, I played a lot of tennis. I used to follow tennis pretty closely, rooting for John McEnroe then Boris Becker. I always held out hope Canada could develop a top notch mens singles player. We never did.

Canada's inability to produce a single excellent men's singles tennis player is mind boggling. There have been a few decent female players, and at least a couple of excellent doubles players, but not one male player who could even upset their way into a semi-final match. The highest ranking Canadian male in singles play was Andrew Sznajder who somehow got ranked #46 in September 1989. You're forgiven if you've forgotten about Andrew Sznajder.

We've done okay with doubles, however. Grant Connell reached #1 back in 1995 and Daniel Nestor won Wimbledon earlier today with Nenad Zimonjić. Nestor has had a great career, winning 5 Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. Still, a decent singles competitor eludes us, although we came close...

I seem to recall a young Montreal-born player with promise. His name was Greg Rusedski, as I recall, but in 1995 he decided he could make more money as a Brit. He actually got to the US Open final in 1997, but he was wearing the wrong flag on his backpack.

Will there ever be an elite male singles tennis player from this country?

Discuss "Daniel Nestor and Canada's Male Singles Tennis Failure" (8 comments so far)

Steve "Air" McNair, Dead at 36

In MemoriumSteve "Air" McNair was 36. He quarterbacked the Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens to success in the National Football League, winning the NFL MVP award in 2003 and starting Super Bowl XXXIV.

I really liked Air McNair's game. He, of course, was the Titans QB during the Music City Miracle game against the Buffalo Bills that broke my heart and irrevocably turned me off the NFL. I wrote more about that game here.


Discuss "Steve "Air" McNair, Dead at 36" (6 comments so far)

American Music for my Brethren South of the Border

American PlaylistHappy Independence Day to my American friends and readers. Here are all the American songs in my MP3 collection.

  • American Jesus - Bad Religion
  • Look Inside America - Blur
  • American Skin (41 Shots) - Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
  • American Dream - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Young Americans - David Bowie
  • Real American - Derringer
  • American Pie - Don McLean
  • The New American Way - Dropkick Murphys
  • American Without Tears - Elvis Costello
  • An American Trilogy - Elvis Presley
  • White America - Eminem
  • American Boy - Estelle
  • Song From An American Movie Pt. 1 - Everclear
  • America The Beautiful - Frank Sinatra
  • American Honky-Tonk Bar Association - Garth Brooks
  • We're An American Band - Grand Funk
  • American Eulogy - Green Day
  • Last Of The American Girls - Green Day
  • American Idiot - Green Day
  • American Woman - Guess Who
  • Lost My America - I Mother Earth
  • Wild America - Iggy Pop
  • Flightless Bird, American Mouth - Iron And Wine
  • Two Cool Guys (Theme from Beavis and Butthead Do America) - Isaac Hayes
  • Living In America - James Brown
  • Bleed American - Jimmy Eat World
  • American Bad Ass - Kid Rock
  • Kids in America - Kim Wilde
  • American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
  • Radio America - Libertines
  • The Beautiful American - Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
  • Journey Through America - Louis Clark Conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Hooked on America - Louis Clark Conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • North American for Life - Matthew Good
  • Bluestime In America - Michael Hill's Blues Mob
  • American Way - Nas
  • America - Neil Diamond
  • America The Beautiful - Neil Young
  • Franco Unamerican - NOFX
  • America the Beautiful - Ray Charles
  • The Great American Nightmare - Rob Zombie
  • American Roulette - Robbie Robertson
  • An American Draft Dodger In Thunder Bay - Sam Roberts
  • America - Santana
  • America - Simon and Garfunkel
  • The American - Simple Minds
  • Breakfast In America - Supertramp
  • America, Fuck Yeah - Team America
  • America, Fuck Yeah (Bummer Remix) - Team America
  • The Team America March - Team America
  • L'America - The Doors
  • American Woman - The Guess Who
  • Americana - The Offspring
  • The Body of an American - The Pogues
  • American Rock And Roll - The Righteous Brothers
  • Last American Exit - The Tragically Hip
  • American Girl - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  • American Psycho - Treble Charger
  • Elvis Presley and America - U2
  • The Hands That Built America (Theme From Gangs Of New York) - U2
  • American Man - Velvet Revolver
  • American Music - Violent Femmes
  • America Is - Violent Femmes
  • American Gigolo - Weezer
  • Surf Wax America - Weezer
  • America - West Side Story

That would make one hell of an American playlist. I'm going to sync the iPod right now and go for a stroll.

Discuss "American Music for my Brethren South of the Border" (12 comments so far)

How I'm Dealing With Toronto's Garbage Strike

cityhallI wrote about our garbage strike on day one and again when the city decided to make my favourite park a temporary dump, but for the most part I've been quiet on the subject.

I've discovered the best way to deal with Toronto garbage strike. I've sent my wife and kids out of town.

It turns out I don't produce garbage on my own. It's true, I've produced only a minuscule amount of recyclables and just a little organic waste. It seems my wife and kids were responsible for 99% of the garbage, recycling and green bin waste we were producing each week.

Bachelor Mike could easily coast through the summer without sanitation services. It's shockingly easy.

Discuss "How I'm Dealing With Toronto's Garbage Strike" (19 comments so far)

The Monster Jonas Gustavsson Keeps Us Waiting

leafsWho does Jonas Gustavsson think he is? Not only does he get the coolest nickname ever, but he's holding off on making his decision as to which NHL team he'll suit up for next season. All this from an undrafted goalie.

The Best Goaltender Outside the NHL™ will likely choose between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Dallas Stars. He might decide tomorrow, or he might keep us waiting Sundin-style.

I need The Monster here just so I can cheer on someone named The Monster. It's not only fun to say, it's fun to type, too.


Discuss "The Monster Jonas Gustavsson Keeps Us Waiting" (7 comments so far)

Arland Bruce's End Zone Michael Jackson Tribute

argosToronto Argonaut slotback Arland Bruce scored the Argos first touchdown of the season on Wednesday, on a 21-yard pass from Kerry Joseph. Then, he paid tribute to Michael Jackson by removing his helmet, shoulder pads and uniform top, then laid down in the end zone.

Here's the controversial celebration:

Remember when guys like Jim Brown, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders refused to celebrate touchdowns? They acted like they've been in the end zone before, and they'd be there again.

But heck, Arland Bruce's MJ tribute was pretty tame compared to his Spider-Man routine last season.

Discuss "Arland Bruce's End Zone Michael Jackson Tribute" (14 comments so far)

Adult Spanking Sells Coffee

CoffeeIf my wife comes home with coffee that isn't fresh, I spank her. I'm sure other husbands do the same. It's the fear of stern spanking that sells Chase & Sanborn coffee.


14 other creepy vintage ads can be found right here.

I feel sorry for this little dude who used the wrong soap.


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Green Day - 21 Guns

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "21 Guns" by Green Day.

Green Day's "Know Your Enemy" was noticeably absent from the recently unveiled SLS21. I didn't mind it, but I thought it was a little too "American Idiot" and I know these guys can do better. "21 Guns" is a great deal better.

Although I won't see it for a year, I hear this song is prominently featured in the critically lambasted Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Discuss "Green Day - 21 Guns" (5 comments so far)

Nick Carter Stunk at Softball

BaseballDuring the summer months, softball or slo-pitch are my participation sports of choice. For years and years I've played in at least two leagues, averaging about three games a week these days. I'd guesstimate I've played over 250 games this decade, but one game six years ago has provided me with the best story.

Six years ago, on Canada Day, I played a softball game against Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame. You can read all about it in this six-year old entry.

Enough time has passed that I can call out Nick Carter on being a brutal ball player. That's right girls, your teen crush couldn't catch a ball to save his life.

I just had to get that off my chest. Carry on...

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Band of Horses - The Funeral

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Band of Horses - The Funeral
With all the free agent signings yesterday, I completely forgot the weekly MP3. Here it is a mere day late.

I'm sure you've all heard "The Funeral" by Band of Horses before, but just in case it's eluded a few of you, I urge you to download this MP3 and give it a listen. It's a fantastic tune.

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Pavel Kubina Traded to Thrashers for Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart

LeafsDamian Cox giveth, taketh away, and returneth the Kubina to Atlanta trade. But it's not the deal we were teased with, Kubina for Colby Armstrong, but instead it's Pavel Kubina and the rights to forward Tim Stapleton for defenceman Garnet Exelby and winger Colin Stuart.

This is clearly a move to make cap space. I'm not a fan of the bodies we're getting back for Kubina, but I understand the money we save will help land another free agent. Burke sure does love hard-nosed toughies who can't score to save their lives. We certainly won't be pushovers with guys like Schenn, Komisarek, Finger and Exelby on the blueline.

Let me close with a word about Tim Stapleton. I attended several Marlies games last season, and Tim Stapleton was consistently a standout. During the most exciting playoff clinching overtime win, it was Stapleton who scored the winner. I got an autographed picture of Stapleton that's pinned to my daughter's bulletin board right now. I'm sorry we won't have #17 to cheer on at Ricoh next season but I'm hopeful he'll get a chance to see more NHL ice in Atlanta.

Discuss "Pavel Kubina Traded to Thrashers for Garnet Exelby and Colin Stuart" (15 comments so far)

Mike Komisarek Signs With Maple Leafs

LeafsHours after dipping his toes in the free agency pool by signing tough guy Colton Orr, Brian Burke has reeled in a bigger fish. No, it wasn't the Mike I wanted, Mike Cammalleri, but 27 year old Mike Komisarek. He signed a 5 year deal with the Leafs for $4.5 million per year.

That's right, $4.5 million a year over five years for a guy whose allergic to points. I understand that's not his game and that we're getting a hard-nosed defensive defenseman who will block shots and hit everybody in sight, but that's a lot of cabbage. Still, my Montreal-liking frenemies tell me I'll soon fall in love with the man they call Komi.

Orr and Komi promise to make us tougher, but will they combine to put up Brad Marsh-like offensive stats? We can only hope...

Discuss "Mike Komisarek Signs With Maple Leafs" (4 comments so far)

I Am Canadian

I am CanadianIn 2000, a certain beer company launched an ad entitled "The Rant". You may have seen it. It starred Jeff Douglas as Joe, a proud Canadian with something to say. Here's the ad.

On July 1, 2000, I was at Molson Park for an Edgefest when Jeff Douglas actually delivered this rant live. That's how popular this ad was.

It didn't inspire me to buy beer, but nine years later, it's still a great ad. I am Canadian.

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Karl Malden, Dead at 97

In MemoriumKarl Malden was 97. He starred in the 1970s TV series "The Streets of San Francisco", won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," and made famous the American Express catchphrase "Don't leave home without it."

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Damien Cox Giveth the Kubina ~ Armstrong Trade, Then Taketh Away

NewspaperToronto Star sports writer Damien Cox writes a blog he calls The Spin on Sports and I subscribe to the RSS feed. Earlier this afternoon, here's the update I got in my Google Reader.


I also follow Damien Cox on Twitter, where he's @DamoSpin. Here's his tweet shortly thereafter.


The deal Damien Cox was reporting was Pavel Kubina going to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Colby Armstrong. It's a deal I dig, but if you go to Cox's Spin blog now, there's no sign of that entry. It's been deleted.

The deal could still happen, but it hasn't happened yet. It's been one big Cox tease and quite premature.

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Colton Orr Joins Maple Leafs

LeafsToday is a big day for hockey fans. As of midnight, teams can sign free agents. I had my eye on a few, namely Cammalleri, Gaborik and Ohlund. Ohlund's already gone to the Lightning, so he's off the table, but I'm still hopeful Brian Burke can make a little noise and improve my team.

So far, he's signed one free agent, and that's Colton Orr. Burke has said he wants to make the Leafs tougher, and Colton Orr will do that. Colton Orr is an enforcer, and he comes cheap. He's signed to the blue and white for $4 million over four seasons.

Here's what he's known for:

With Colton Orr in the fold we can finally start planning that parade.

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Canada Turns 142, I Look Back in Time

canadaHappy Birthday, Canada, you're 142 years young today.

Over the past 6.5 years I've written quite a bit about you. All of those posts can be found at https://www.torontomike.com/o_canada/. But here are a few of my favourites, in the order I wrote them.

  1. Vimy Ridge
  2. O Canada! (2003 Version)
  3. A Distinct Identity
  4. Blame Canada
  5. Reason Number 32
  6. Our Other Anthem
  7. The Maple Music Revolution
  8. My Ten Favourite Song References to A Canadian Place
  9. Best Canadian Movies
  10. Top 100 Canadian Songs: The Definitive List
  11. D'oh Canada!
  12. My Ten Favourite Canadian Albums
  13. Helping Fukuoka, Japan Celebrate Canada Day
  14. 117,000 Reasons to Remember

Happy Canada Day!

O Canada

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