Indie88: The First Five Songs

Indie88: The First Five SongsToronto's newest radio station, Indie88, launched today at noon. I tuned in using the Android TuneIn Radio app and went for a bikeride. Here are the first five songs they played:

  1. Arcade Fire “Ready To Start”
  2. MGMT “Electric Feel”
  3. July Talk “Paper Girl”
  4. Pixies “Where Is My Mind”
  5. Broken Social Scene “7/4 Shoreline”

I dig all five songs. Arcade Fire, MGMT and Broken Social Scene are artists you might also hear on Edge 102, in fact I suspect Arcade Fire and BSS form the Cancon base of this indie style of programming. 102.1 no longer plays older alternative acts like the Pixies, so it'll be refreshing to hear them with Sonic Youth and The Smiths again on Toronto radio.

July Talk is a new Toronto-based band and "Paper Girl" sounded great. Coincidentally enough, they're opening the mainstage at Edgefest today.

You can hear the new 88.1 online at They're playing Sloan's "Underwhelmed" right now.... damn I love that song.

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I've been enjoying the last couple hours. I'm not hugely a lot of these bands, but I really dig the variety. I really could have done without the Oasis though ... used to like them back in the day, but just played to death.

And yeah, Underwhelmed is easily my favourite Sloan song. Smeared is pretty much the only album of theirs I listen to regularly. Preferred their shoegazery sound.

July 31, 2013 @ 2:33 PM


Responsive player is a nice touch!

July 31, 2013 @ 2:40 PM


Edge plays the Pixies often (especially Where is my Mind). I'd say 4/5 of those songs are played on Edge at the very least on a monthly basis.

July 31, 2013 @ 3:15 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I honestly thought they had dropped older acts like the Pixies.

I remember a recent "best new rock songs of all-time" list ignored every song recorded before the 90s...

July 31, 2013 @ 3:20 PM



I usually hear Where is My Mind on Josie's show, 90's nooner or other request themed programming.

I do hope this new station has a good variety. I am tired of the Edge's influx of pop music short rotation of modern rock songs.

July 31, 2013 @ 3:28 PM


Daft punk is on their playlist? They're so indie that they're being played on 6+ stations in Toronto.....

July 31, 2013 @ 3:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I noticed you can't take the term "indie" literally. It's more like a spiritual description.

It's a solid mix though... they've earned themselves a well-placed station preset!

July 31, 2013 @ 3:46 PM


@torontomike I agree... I am digging the mix and overall I am quite happy with the much need change. I just laughed when I heard it come on.

Side note, thanks for being awesome. I enjoy your site and your opinions.

July 31, 2013 @ 3:54 PM


Sorry. It sounded exactly like what I expected from an Alan Cross influenced station. After an hour I needed to switch over to a self-filtered 2013/2012 playlist shuffle, for about three hours, to help get the stink out of my ears.
Too much anger hate rock, too much paint-by-numbers and/or Cross-slanted alt rock selections, too much bassy punchiness in the general sound output. (Because stations have never tweaked their sound such as by playing 45s at 46 or 48 rpm's).
Just rebrand it as Edge2 and then hire 'Todd and Kelly' for the Fall's morning show.
A week earlier I suggested some recent Spoons from 2011 - at my own website's entry; instead I got Spoon from 2005 - the 2000s U.S. band. Although - a 40% Cancon requirement will probably doom the new station anyway.

July 31, 2013 @ 5:50 PM


Loved it! heard Blue Jeans by Lana Del Ray love that crazy song

Even if it sucks after today, it was fun to hear something different on the radio.

July 31, 2013 @ 6:13 PM


ooo and they played Devil's Got a Gun by Whitehorse good Cancon!

July 31, 2013 @ 6:41 PM


Caught a couple hours. Violent Femmes, Johnny Cash, Austra in the same set. I hope that kind of range continues.
I was thinking it sounded like 102 sounded circa '87-88ish. (not necessarily the content, but the style).

July 31, 2013 @ 6:57 PM


LCD Soundsystem - awesome!
Too bad they broke up before I had a chance to listen to them on Toronto radio :(

So far, a definite CBC Radio 2 feel...

July 31, 2013 @ 7:14 PM


Can somebody who is in the "radio game" (does anyone ever call it that, that's how out of the loop I am) tell me how when will we know the "numbers" and market share that this station is getting?
Also, what is the range of this station? Where does it transmit from? Does the low frequency help/hinder their reach?

July 31, 2013 @ 7:35 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I've been listening on and off all afternoon and evening. I really dig what I'm hearing.

So far, so good...

July 31, 2013 @ 9:57 PM


Anon&on I thought the same thing... I listened most of the afternoon and it reminded me of being in grade nine, curled up with my radio in bed listening to "How Soon Is Now." Not the songs, but the feel of it.

July 31, 2013 @ 10:04 PM


Did Alan Cross steal CQ's wife?

July 31, 2013 @ 11:16 PM


Cross has gone far by being a capital fellow. No one has a bad word to say about him personally.

His style is also now extremely tired. Also condescending toward anyone younger getting in the way to take credit and money he thinks he deserves.

August 1, 2013 @ 7:44 AM


I thought the "indie" in the station meant "independently owned"-- as in they don't have the Corus machine breathing down their playlist.

August 1, 2013 @ 9:00 AM

519 Rob

I like the variety so far.
But I can't stand the 'listener feed'. Driving me nuts. 1/2 the people are bitching. Someone finally wrote 'Don't like this? Go listen to The Edge.'
I thought that was great advice.

Do I like EVERY song they've played - no, not at all.
But I'd say I've been happy with 80%. Which is a huge improvement over most FM Radio station.

You can't please all of the people, all of the time.

August 1, 2013 @ 11:40 AM


Haha and 90% of the feed is specifically just people complaining about a song not being "indie" by whatever random definition. A bunch of young people who don't understand that REM, for example, had important influential indie roots.

August 1, 2013 @ 12:10 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Markosaar at 23:16> Far too funny my friend, still chuckling!

August 1, 2013 @ 8:05 PM


Even if you hate half the songs, this is still the BEST Toronto radio station based on the last two days. A very inclusive mix of pop, rock and whatever.

August 1, 2013 @ 10:15 PM



The exact same complaints were tossed at 102.7 The Peak when it came on the air in Vancouver. People complain about music not being "indie enough" but no one has yet defined what Indie means. Is Mumford & Sons indie? Does Tegan & Sarah still qualify as indie? The band was with Walking With a Ghost but should I Was a Fool be played?

@ID. While I would never deny that Alan Cross has been incredibly successful I admit I find his programming style pretty dated/tired now. When Alan Cross was hired my first thought was "oh no". Would this be a regurgitated copy of 102.1 from the past?

One final note: The continued comparison to this being the next Spirit of Radio really shows me that few people remember that era. CFNY 102.1 The Spirit of Radio existed up to about 1986 and not much beyond. It was a station where Skinny Puppy got played back to back with Frank Sinatra which was played back to back with Bomb The Bass. It was eclectic & diverse. Everything after 1987 was not "Spirit of Radio" but a formatted rock station. Not saying some of those era's were bad but they were not The Spirit nor anywhere near as diverse. Way back in the day the CFNY TV add told us they had 10,000 songs. I highly doubt Indie will have 10,000 songs in the library.

PS. This type of programming has existed on CBC Radio 2 for years. Try 94.7 sometime (in Toronto).

August 2, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

no one

I've been listening since the station started and have enjoyed the mix. Yes at times it feels like you're tuned into the edge. To many of the main stream songs/hits have been so over played by other stations that when you hear it on indie88 it makes you sigh and think .... this station is no different. But if you give it a chance and tune in for an extended period, say your work day, you will soon notice that it is very much a much needed new station with a good mix of music. As well this station is still very much on a learning curve right now, getting the bugs out. The more input from the fan base the better, another reason why its such a good new station, they really do want to hear from the listening audience good and bad. Keep in mind you will always still hear the hits, the bands that you may not like so much, there is only so much music available and you will never please everyone all of the time. But if you enjoy 80% of what you hear then it's probably a win win situation. If not you can always listen to the edge, you can pretty well set your watch by their playlist, if you miss a hit song, don't worry they'll play it again in another hour or two.

One of the biggest problems right now for this new station is their signal is too weak. Outside of Toronto it's virtually not available except via the internet. They do have an application with the CRTC for a signal boost ...... lets just hope that is a significant increase and soon.

So sick of 102.1 so happy for a change !!!

indie 88.1 ... check it out

August 2, 2013 @ 11:33 AM

no one

much much much .... sorry about that

August 2, 2013 @ 11:35 AM


@No One

The low powered signal will likely turn out to be their saviour dude. If this station had a 100 KW stick, it would be economically not feasible to do a format like it is. The lower power allows it to work within it's confines & focus on a small, loyal core audience. Those people will find a way to listen.

In the early days of CFNY the station had 853 watts yet had listeners all over. People will find a way to listen. And with the internet it doesn't matter so much. The hard part is including internet listening in your ratings.

August 2, 2013 @ 12:12 PM


The afternoon show yesterday that Alan DJ'd live I thought was by far the strongest programming so far. Lots of enjoyable stuff I'd never heard before, like the track "9" here:

August 2, 2013 @ 12:37 PM


Hm>? Whatzis now? Mired hopelessly and shamelessly in the 80's and 90's. Robot dj's. For this we lost CKLN? Indie-Terminate direction.
Someone needs a musical GPS.

August 5, 2013 @ 7:04 PM

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