Musings on The Edge 102 by Cool Steve

emailI got a long email from Cool Steve this evening, so I thought I'd share it.

Cool Steve is a reader of this blog who had some things to get off his chest.

I know I’m slowpoking on this, but I was on vacation when it happened. I was pretty surprised Jason Barr was canned after almost ten years on that morning show. With many it was the final nail in the coffin (so many nails), and personally I always thought they had a good morning show and I can’t believe they messed with the formula. I know some don’t like their form of comedy, I do. The Edge is nothing like it was; they moved from the old long-time building they were at previous to a new location, which to me feels like another change to erase the past. I always feel since Alan Cross left, it’s been going to hell. Of course people older than me will tell me it was crap long before Alan came into power, but even at 25 I can see a slippery slope of how The Edge has been performing since I started tuning in around 2003. Nothing but overplayed music, too much of the same 90s shit, awkward indie type stuff, the same CanCon artists and songs to fill its daily intake, and a splash of hair metal and classic rock here and there (save it for Y108).

We lost and really lost Barry Taylor and Martin Streek but gained Fucked Up Fred, who I still can’t stand. I tried again recently, but nope – he still fumbles and mumbles his way through his bits on air. He even hosts the adult cartoon block on Teletoon now as well! I’m big on animation, and to not only have him invade my radio but my TV as well…it’s a friggin nightmare. I guess he fits in well hosting that block because the “adult” cartoons Teletoon plays these days are just as watered down as the music The Edge plays these days. I still feel Bookie will be next on the chopping block. Didn’t Darryl Spring leave as well? They fire all the best people. No more Punkorama, or live to air shows either (I think). But we get Loveline?! I only wish I had been born some years earlier to experience the real spirit of The Edge. Today, there is no true alternative in Toronto. Not even in the GTA. Local college stations don’t have enough power to play with the big boys. I strongly feel a new alternative station needs to be produced to give The Edge a run for its money. Play old and new stuff, and really dig deep into the music vaults and dust off stuff The Edge hasn’t played in 15-25 years. Figure out a way to get people to listen and stay tuned in. We have more than enough current pop/hip-hop, classic rock, classic/new rock, mixed old/new variety and easily listening stations than we know what to do with around here. The alternative format is left without a good home to represent it. Ross Winters should be punched in the face with his Top 40 “alternative” radio play, the same 30 songs over and over old and new. I want to kick in my radio every time I hear the spastic intro of that current Broken Bells song. I read the whole piece on what Taylor had to say about Winters. All about money, as usual.

I do like Adam however, always have, and if he were to come on board the show, I’d see no issue with it. But I see they picked the blind movie reviewer. I’ve read a lot of comments and I’m not too sure what happened with Jason and why he was let go, but I wish him well. The Edge’s way of dealing with someone leaving (i.e. wiping out their entire existence from the website) is downright cold. I can’t stand Josie Dye anymore. I could years ago, but everyday she seems more and more like a blithering idiot. And even over a year later, Streek’s death still bothers me. I didn’t know the guy, and I caught on too late to what he did at (and meant to) The Edge. And yet this past July for whatever reason he popped into my thoughts again, I started reading the articles and comments following his death and listening to his tribute shows. I’m sure other people have moved on by now but his passing still bugs my ass. Probably because as my music tastes have changed and matured, I really would have liked to known more about his music tastes and to hear his current opinions on new and old stuff. He had a great mind and enthusiasm for music, I respect that. I feel as if I missed a scene I could have easily fit into now and been a part of, and it has now long past. It’s frustrating knowing he could still be here now, as we are always left to wonder what he could have still offered to our hungry ears.

I tried to find this answer via The Wayback Machine and the old Edge site, but where/when were all the old live-to-air’s The Edge had? Was it Sound Academy on Saturday nights with new alt/industrial and The Velvet Underground on Sundays with retro and new wave? There was also The Phoenix…were those Fridays? Were these all hosted by Streek? Because I thought they didn’t do live-to-airs anymore, but the current Edge site says Lori-Ann was doing some (and club websites are never kept current it seems). I was in Toronto on vacation in September and went to the Velvet Underground on Sunday night and it was dead. I liked the music, but it was dead. Some people playing pool and some people sitting down on the couches. Maybe because it’s on a Sunday? Or just because “the spirit” had flown?

Also, I’m really sorry to hear about Mark Dailey. As soon as I remembered his CityTV line and his movie intros, I was like “Aw man, that’s the guy!”. Its funny the stuff you remember even when you were just a kid…some things stick in your memory, like that analog clock they’d display on the screen. Nostalgia! And those 80s action news openings are over the top, haha! Sometimes, a small piece of me wishes I grew up and lived in Toronto. I bet it would be awesome back years ago. But then I think it’s just nice to visit and then go back to Kitchener. I also had no idea Dailey he was on The Ripping Friends either until I read your blog, as I watched that show all the time.

- Cool Steve


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Comments (24 - click here to join in!)

McNulty

I hooked up my iPod (well, iPhone) to my car stereo and haven't looked back. Radio is Toronto is too weak to bother.

I hope I get to hear about the demise of the Dean Blundell show soon. This city needs something new but knowing Toronto they would fire Dean and hire Mad Dog and Billie. I think CFNY is the only station they haven't worked at.

December 10, 2010 @ 7:53 AM

Rob

I have given up on theEdge. Can't stand it. Steve pretty much nailed it all. I love Pearl Jam and Nirvana asmuch as the next guy, but they play them way too often.
Steve, if you are in the Kitchener area, turn on 88.3. You'll thank me later.

December 10, 2010 @ 9:03 AM

Chaser

I haven't listened to the Edge since Fred was hired. Just not worth my time. Can't stand him...

December 10, 2010 @ 9:36 AM

Nick

I couldn't of said it any better myself. I'm 24 and have very similar feelings. Since Barry and Martin were canned I have just barely listened, and now I don't at all as podcasts/ipod have taken over my listening content. A big part of the of the reason is the programming, but damn do I hold a grudge for what they did. I'd reconsider listening if Alan Cross came back, but thats about it.

I only started reading this blog (and subscribed) when I wanted information on Barry Taylor disappearing. I listened to his show at work and kept me more than entertained and was quite pissed off when he was gone. At first I though he was on vacation, but after a month I went googling. Megaphone man, 420 thought, barry-interesting survey, barry-funny joke etc. will be fond memories.

My high-school/university weekend nights often featured Martin Streek. The way he introduced a NIN or Tool was... awesome. I felt Lori-Anne just didn't cut it.

In regards to Jason getting fired; I would have never noticed (if I didn't read this blog), but I used to listen to the DBS daily, it was my alarm clock. I started way back when he was Dangerboy and there was a girl too (name doesn't come to me now). Now, I just don't care to listen.

Any who, good rant, but I feel the reminiscing and beating of the dead horses is enough. Unfortunately, time to move on... without CFNY.

December 10, 2010 @ 9:47 AM

Tevy

I'm with Nick on this one as well. I'll be 23 in a week and I just don't have it in me anymore to actively tune in and listen to the Edge. Its still my alarm in the morning, but only for max 15 mins before I leave the house... but that's just because I don't care for anything else that's played in the morning - plus I like the spontaneaity the radio brings unlike a pre-programmed IPod alarm. I still catch a podcast once in a while, but Blundell's show just sucks of late when it comes to catching my attention.
And now that you mention it, I really do see the void in not listening at night to Barry Taylor while doing homework... Those were the days (albeit only a short time ago)

Btw... The girl who used to be on the Dean Blundell show was Sandra Plagakis.

December 10, 2010 @ 12:05 PM

Tevy

Plus I also can't stand that Broken Bells song! Why does every single band try to sound like Everlast? (a la What it's Like)

December 10, 2010 @ 12:13 PM

Quinny.

CFNY has sucked for a long time. I started listening in 1979 so I've witnessed a long slow decline.

I get my fix for music from David Marsden who has a show on 94.9 the ROCK on Saturdays and Sundays from 7pm - midnight, Go to Marsden Global and you can download podcasts.

Also on the internet go to www.live365.com and select Flashback Now and listen to

CLASSIC ALTERNATIVE, NEW WAVE, PUNK late 70's - early 90's. Featuring Clash, INXS, Depeche Mode, Cure, Police, Damned, Elvis Costello, Duran Duran, Smiths, Tears For Fears, U2, New Order, Roxy Music, Ministry, David Bowie, Church, Talking Heads AND MORE!!

December 10, 2010 @ 1:40 PM

NMB Ryan

agree with all of you. i'm probably in the same age range as Quinny, as i started listening around '82, when it really had an edge.

early jive and beverly hills for example - mid song earl would take the needle off a record cuz he simply didn't want to listen to it anymore. and they'd take random phone calls, play obscure tracks and deeper cuts (eg. not just the smiths' how soon is now). the station had a real appreciation for music.

but yes, it is a dead horse so as freddie p likes to say:
don't be sad it's over - be glad it happened.

but, one more thing..there must be SOMEONE listening to 102.1. they're number 1 in the young male market in toronto..but maybe because there's no alternative so it's the only game in town for that demo.

December 10, 2010 @ 2:37 PM

elvis

If you've taken the time to listen to CFNY post year 2000, you're a moron.

December 10, 2010 @ 3:17 PM

Sammi

Mike....I heard that the ratings are out...do you have them?

December 10, 2010 @ 3:20 PM


drobins

Hey guys and gals, If you are interested in what Jason Barr is up to. He has joined forces with Chris Biggs (formerly Virgin Radio) for the Biggs and Barr show. They are currently waiting to get picked up and have a weekly podcast at www.biggsandbarr.com

December 10, 2010 @ 11:50 PM

Irvine

I'm more curious why someone would feel so betrayed that a cookie cutter station changed to another cookie cutter format with different puppets behind the mic?

That's a little like being distraught over Wendy's replacing the Bacon Double Cheeseburger with pickles with a Bacon Double Cheeseburger with onions.

December 10, 2010 @ 11:59 PM

elvis

I actually agree with Irvine. Shoot me now.

December 11, 2010 @ 9:46 AM

Douglas

Ross Winters sold Corus on his being able to make The Edge successful based on making the station into a clone of Los Angeles' KROQ. Ross? Big FAIL.

Evan after accounting for the necessary Canadian Content (much of which, fortunately is decent), Edge's playlist is far tighter than KROQ's. There is more variety even on KROQ's "most played" list http://kroq.radio.com/2010/12/08/vampire-weekend-social-distortion-join-top-5-on-kroqs-most-played-list/. Give KROQ a listen, though, and you might think that it is not that great a station, let alone one worth copying. L.A. listeners must agree: competing KYSR frequently has better ratings.

I follow an alternative radio industry newsletter. Weekly "adds" from alt stations across the US (and one in Canada, even if it is 89X "Detroit") one of the features. Most adds at KROQ end up on the Edge a few weeks later. When you look at the variety of dozens of adds per week at stations across the US each week, you realize how short-changed Toronto alt rock listeners are.

Like many (alt) music fans, towards the end of each year, I think about what were the best songs of the year. This year is going to be no different than the past few as I go through the list - not a single track will be "exclusive" to the Edge, although many will be in that category, thanks to other alt-rock stations I listen to from other cities in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

There is so much format overlap, if not duplication, in the Toronto area, that one wonders why alternative rock is the only contemporary music format for which there is no choice. No alternative.

Could the Toronto area support more than one alternative station? Consider that in October 2010, Houston-Galveston, TX, a market not much larger than the GTA, very corporate Clear Channel's modern rock KTBZ was the number one station outright. Competing (corporate again) Cox's KHPT had one-third the listeners, but at least there is choice in Houston, not a market I would normally think of as being a good one for modern rock.

So what is a Toronto alt-modern rock to do? As my favourite station to listen to online is about to go into a break, maybe I'll change to PacificFM, TripleJ, Absolute, 99X, Live105 (SFO)...oh wait, coming up - The Clash and a new Matt & Kim...

December 11, 2010 @ 2:59 PM

Steve

@ Douglas - let's see what CTV does with Flow 93.5 when they take it over early next year.

December 11, 2010 @ 3:10 PM

Douglas

@ Steve - Credit to CTV - they have done a decent job with 89X Detroit, er, Windsor.

I live in Durham Region, not far off the lake. I can see the CN Tower and the other buildings on which the FM transmitters are. I'm not sure which building 93.5 is on, but only 92.5 has a worse signal than 93.5 out this way. 93.5 gets splatter from Depew (Buffalo), NY's WBLK on 93.7. Sometimes it's difficult to tell which is which as you scan by, because those two have the same format.

My sons used to like listening to JackFM on 92.5, except for the many times when we would get country music from WBEE in Rochester, NY instead.

December 11, 2010 @ 6:05 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

My go to right now for classic CFNY type stuff is Radio Nigel or my Ipod, I have enough 90's/current stuff mixed with old school CFNY, Humble and Fred Clips, Alan Cross clips, Peet and Getes and other CFNY clips from over the years to make my IPOD sound like the old school, I do think not just Toronto but if you could get something cranking into Buffalo off that CN Tower there would be room for a REAL alternative Station that COULD do it all. The New music searchs, the CFNY spirit CDs they released all vital parts of what made the station what it was. The indie bands that used to get launched on CFNY back in the day like Lowest of the Low, hHead, BNL, and others is just ashame that this the current station doesnt do everything it can to dig into the underground like the old school station did., I think it would work, because honestly we have 103 here in Buffalo and that sucks too. I look at the death of alternative though too....Home of the hits, New World Record both closed here, Im not up to date on new music because quite frankly I dont hear it anymore.

December 12, 2010 @ 8:16 AM

James

Seriously people, GET OVER THIS SH#$. You sound like a bunch of old bags arguing over the latest Coronation Street episode. Get a F!@#ing iPod.

December 14, 2010 @ 4:07 PM

Karim

I have an Ipod, it's just that I prefer to listen to the radio because it randomizes the songs a bit more, oh and it surprises you.

December 14, 2010 @ 5:21 PM

Bean

Speaking of Ipods- I was using Limewire until they were neutralized to download songs- anyone know of an alternative?

December 15, 2010 @ 3:23 PM

cdee

this article is funny/sad. but on another topic 102 they killed the 90's for me. let the 90's go. there should be a 90's only station so people can go crazy over there. no more 90's music. 90's is dead. the edge should have new material only, and not like the same 30 song over and over. so much decent new music in the world.
sometimes live to air weekend music is alright.
fearless has a decent enough show btw

February 3, 2011 @ 11:01 AM

mario

Bean, you can download stuff from google. every url is from there. compressed rar files...etc. mediafire...etc quality sometimes sucks. buy stuff from bandcamp or itunes

p2p is a terrible idea

February 3, 2011 @ 11:10 AM

RayRay

102 has 30 songs? I thought it all got boiled down to Niravna, Bob Marley, the RDCP and Beck's "Loser". After listening to this station for over twenty five years, I'm done. Music sucks and I can't rememeber the tipping point when the morning show became a rehash of Johnny Carson. Todd, you don't do a good Ed McMahon.

Hello, 97.7 and Jason Barr.

February 15, 2011 @ 11:25 PM

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