Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 50

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 50In this 50th episode, audio guru Andrew Stoakley drops by to check out the new studio and tell us why he thinks Indie88 has already gone in the shitter. This episode is exactly 45:29.

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Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at https://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

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Peter C

About Indie 88 I think the music mix is quite good for a corporate radio station. Not noticing the repetition. Outside of Rayna, the hosts sound small-town, amateur. I disagree about giving them more time to talk, I want to her less of these people.

September 9, 2013 @ 6:30 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I just recieved an email from the program director Adam Thompson. Here's part of what he wrote:

I heard your most recent podcast, and while I encourage critique, there were a couple of inaccuracies in Andrew’s assessment.

- Our programming hasn’t changed since the launch. Our playlist evolves on a daily basis, though, and it will continue to. We play the songs/bands that are best connecting, and lean off the ones that our listeners aren’t that into. We’ll continue to present new things, and react accordingly.

- We haven’t played “Elephant” by Tame Impala within two hours. While it’s legitimately our most popular current song, our “heavy” rotation lands us at around 35 spins per week. It’s likely he may have heard the song on another station, and equated it to us playing it.

- He’s right that some of our personalities are brand new to the market. I don’t see that as a negative, though.

September 9, 2013 @ 6:34 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Nice to see Adam is feeling the pulse of the listeners on this, seems very sincere in tying to make it right.

September 9, 2013 @ 7:00 PM

markosaar

I wish them luck.

I loved Indie88 during the early part of their soft launch ... but I completely agree with Andrew: for me to care, they really need to dig deep into the catalogues.

I just started hearing the same music, and as much as I love most of the bands being played, I'd much prefer to hear the tracks that aren't being played by other stations.

I eventually remembered ... I have a massive collection of music I love (99% of which I listen to in the album format), an Rdio subscription, and piles of podcasts. I just prefer self-directing it.

I'm not for a minute suggesting, or expecting, that Indie88 should cater to my whims! Whatever earns them cash is fine by me. I just have long moved on from radio.

I still absorb lots of new bands just by word of mouth. Occasionally I discover something by checking out Rdio's new releases every Tuesday. I also have a Last.FM account feeding me recommendations for the one or two times a year I'm truly bored.

September 9, 2013 @ 7:10 PM

Anon&on

Just came to make a couple clarifications Re Andrew, but I see the 88 PD beat me to it.

The 88 playlist has actually expanded a bit lately, but I really don't hear anything different between the soft launch and the full launch. They were playing songs in high rotation from the get go, with some predictable classics peppered in. It's essentially a Top 40 Alt station.
Adam also stated on the 88 feed a few weeks ago that they were aiming for around a 35 play count on top songs, so he's consistent there- or an average of 4.5-5 hrs between plays.

The problem with the format for me is that they are playing good songs to death. And once one is dead, they bring in another one and flog it to death, and repeat. So you end up hating every song even if it's a good song.
I think they're aiming for listener who tune in for 20-25 mins once or twice a day.

September 9, 2013 @ 7:22 PM

CQ

Haven't heard this podcast issue - but I have posted negatively about Indie 88.1.
My thoughts. This month's music is quickly and markedly better than during August. Not quite enough of a lean away from that initial neo-90s hard boy Edge influence, but it is improved. I heard Walk on the Wild Side this afternoon; wasn't that exact song already played and discussed about? (A couple of CD box sets I own: Velvet Underground, and Lou Reed's solo career. Try another tune, if edited for time, instead of repeating.) Cut down on the 'I Wanna Die Young' replays. They still aren't playing the gentler (and non-homosexual) side of fresh indie pop - not without an abrupt adjoinment to the slamming stuff.
A couple of the hosts sound lousy; giggle girl and an Ed Grimley? everything-is-a-question talker. They can improve though.
The DJs are now mentioning the specific song titles with regularity - when I tuned in. Almost too much regularity? Let it gather occasionally for two or three songs' worth of recapping.
They should consider this critique as high praise from me.

September 9, 2013 @ 7:37 PM

Gary

I have to disagree with Adam Thomson. I am trying really hard to like the station, but they do repeat a lot! And the radio edits....are horrible. Hopefully these are growing pains.

September 9, 2013 @ 7:44 PM

Matt

@Andrew

Funny you mentioned it, The Golden Griddle hasn't been there in years.

September 9, 2013 @ 7:53 PM

Andrew

Hey all,

As Rick C in Oakville said I'm glad Adam is listening - that's good. I like that. But, I still stick by what I talked about...if you go through their played listings on the streaming feed you can see what their heavy rotation songs and how many plays they are getting. You get 10-20 heavy rotation songs playing 35-40 spins a week as he says that's a helluva lot air time for said songs. That's not what I wanted in this new station. Note I said "I". Some people might like that, the All Hits 680 format, I'm not one of them. I want variety, I want new stuff, I want old stuff, but I don't want the old stuff that all the other stations are giving us. Be original. Give me a reason to tune in.

To his points:

1) I'm not sure what he'e defining as programming but I don't hear the Throne of Glory anymore. That was good programming. Like I said, the Alan Cross / Matt Good was what I was hopping Indie 88 would be. I don't get that anymore. It'll be great if they do react and change, I hope they react and change. Nothing would please me more.

2) I got home from the movie yesterday with my son at 3:45pm. We then went to driving range and got home around 6:00. After dinner I went into my office and turned the Indie88 stream on my Sonos on and listened from 7pm till 11:30pm hoping to hear Bookie. Alas, that didn't happen but I did hear "Elephant" between 7pm and 10:01 when I sent that tweet out about hearing it twice within two hours. I haven't listened to another FM station for the past month. He would have known that if he listened to my words. We are getting into semantics anyway... they are basically playing the crap out of their heavy rotation songs and it sucks.

3) I don't think having personalities (notice he said personalities and not DJ's - no one DJ's at that station, they talk) from a different part of the county is a bad thing. That's a good thing. What I said is that they aren't giving them enough time to let the people who are listening a chance to get to know them. Radio is personal - give me time to care about the people you have talking on your station. I can turn my iPod on and listen to music anytime I want - no talking, no commercials, just music. I listen to radio because I want to know about the people you have chosen to represent your brand. Why did you hire them? What is it about these people that you felt the people of Toronto would like? Let them speak!! Make me care to tune in.

I should note I don't know Adam Thompson, nor do I know anyone who works for Indie88. What I wanted was a radio station I could fall in love with again like I did with CFNY way before I had the amazing opportunity to work there. CFNY was about the music, but for me it was about the people. I wanted to hear Sheppard talk and spin tunes on a Saturday night. I wanted to hear Deadly Headly play some weird ass shit late into the morning I wanted to follow Skot Turner to all the amazing clubs he was DJ'ing at, I wanted to laugh in the mornings to Pete and Geets and Humble and Fred. I wanted to be seduced by Dani Elwell in the evenings and laugh along with Mai Pauts in the mornings. I wanted to learn about music from Alan Cross and THAT is why you tune into radio. I want(ed) that from Indie 88, but it would that's not what I'm going to get. I'm going to get the same radio format as all the other stations in Toronto, just with a different 'edge' and that sucks.

@Anon&on - Yup.. bingo.

@Markosaar - I subscribe to Rdio and Sirius plus I have a Sonos system at home that gives me the world in radio and music. I was really hoping that I could find something to love again.

@Gary - radio edits are an earsore. I can remember reading a story about Freddy Mercury fighting his record label about Bohemian Rhapsody saying that over his dead body would there be a radio edit. Could you imagine that? Long format play is great when the song is great - it also gave DJ's a chance to pee!!!

@CQ - I'm not here to slam any of the personalities on this station - that's not what the chat was about. In fact, it's the opposite. I want to hear them talk, get to know them, what they like, but it's hard to do when they are reading scripted segments between songs. You can record that and play it back off a laptop, you don't need live humans.

@Matt - Good... that place brings back very painful memories!!! I will never, ever forget that day. I laugh thinking about it till this day.

In final, I wanted to like this station, I really, really did. I thought there was promise from the soft launch, but I don't think that's happening. I wish them luck - I will tune into this coming Sunday night to listen to Bookie. Mr. Thompson, if you read this, please feel free to email me or tweet at me - but set Bookie free!!! Let him have his own Throne of Glory every Sunday night and let him bring to the people of Toronto and all your listeners his amazing brand of radio. Please don't pigeon-hole him to 30 second snippets of pre-edited comments.

Thanks for listening everyone.
Hopefully the sound quality was good enough, I'd be totally embarrassed!!!!

Cheers!
Andrew

September 9, 2013 @ 8:28 PM

markosaar

@Andrew

I guess I get that radio experience in non-real-time just by following Alan Cross's blog.

I'm hardly crazy about everything he posts, but it's easy enough to pick and choose.

September 9, 2013 @ 9:25 PM

Anon&on

Well you just had 2 hours on 88 of impromptu Arcade Fire programming that was pretty entertaining and un-corporate.
Good job Adam and Raina!

September 9, 2013 @ 10:20 PM

Andrew

@ Anon&on

I'm not sure that was impromptu - it's been known that the single was to be officially released at that time... but I'm glad they dedicated 2 hours to an amazing band.

That's cool and good when they do it... but it's been rare since the launch.

Cheers,
Andrew

ps: if you work for the station, use your real name... that's cool too.

September 9, 2013 @ 10:33 PM

Heath

@CQ Yes, the uptalker! And the ditz.

September 9, 2013 @ 11:00 PM

the Spirit

The free form radio that we all miss is on 94-9 The Rock, Saturday and Sunday evenings with the guy who invented it. David Marsden, he was the Program Director for CFNY forever and the man responsible. He starts at 7pm both weekend nights and will not disappoint. I listen at www.therock.fm

September 10, 2013 @ 6:53 AM

Keith

My fav Throne of Glory segment of them all was Brendan Canning's of Broken Social Scene. As a self professed music geek who proclaims to know a lot about music, Brendan's segment made me feel like I knew nothing as I had maybe knew 1/3 of his playlist, and I loved that! I was being introduced to all this new stuff and it was all good shit, too!
I was hoping that was going to be a representation of what Indie88 was going to be all about (DJ's choice) going forward, but I'm not exactly getting that impression since the hard launch.
Here's hoping that'll change...

September 10, 2013 @ 9:58 AM

Gump

Last night's Arcade Fire fanfest was great (and satisfying CanCon requirements for days). They showed musical knowledge by highlighting LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy's contribution and played them (BTW, when was the last time you heard LCD in Toronto?). They topped it off with a triple play of the new AF single. The last time I heard that was done was ... Dean Blundell with the (then) new Green Day song "American Idiot" back in 2004.

A few weeks ago they played GG Allin. Hate the artist, but you gotta respect a station that has the guts (and back catalogue) to play him.

@the Spirit
I totally concur about Marsden. I still love his free form playlist (except for the longish Floyd and Lamb Lies Down on Broadway-era Genesis segments).

September 10, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

Liz

Really enjoyed this, Mike - excellent conversation. Well done!

September 10, 2013 @ 5:05 PM

Andrew

@Gump - couldn't agree more. but I want it to be a regular feature and not just a one off because it's a new single. There are lots of artists from that era that they could play and not just play The Cure, The Clash, Depeche Mode etc.

That's the kind of stuff that you can't find on regular radio - however, if that's what they are going for, regular formatted radio, then cool. Go at it, but I won't listen because that's not what I would personally want. To each their own.

I would love to know what their target audience is. I'm really curious to see what demo they are going after.

Cheers,
Andrew

September 10, 2013 @ 5:48 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Listened today on my travels, Andrew was a great guest, I'd be interested in hearing some of the near audio snafus that went unnoticed to the general public during a broadcast etc.
Cheers

September 10, 2013 @ 7:54 PM

Andrew

@Rick C in Oakville,

Thanks, appreciate that. I have stories I could tell, believe you me!!! Not just audio issues, whole trucks going down and genny's blowing up or being powered down... good times!

I'm enjoying the Indie88 talk too... when was the last time Mike had a good chat about radio that was good? I think the last time it was a long chat was Martin's suicide.


I really hope the guys at Indie88 are reading the blog- seeing what everyone is saying, not just my blathering thoughts!

Cheers,
Andrew

September 10, 2013 @ 9:12 PM

Wayner

But can CFNY style radio station (aka The Spirit) make a profit in today's radio landscape? The bottom line is always about making money

Maybe a hybrid of the top 40 and the spirit formats is the way to go until Indie 88 becomes more established…

September 11, 2013 @ 8:05 AM

Anonymous

@ Wayner,

No, I don't think a true CFNY style can make money in the radio market these days, however, I think they can distinguish themselves from other stations in the market, ways of which I mentioned in the podcast and in my above post.

I haven't listened since the podcast, but, I am going to listen Sunday night to see what they let Bookie do. I will post my thoughts on that Monday or Sunday night.

Cheers,
Andrew

September 12, 2013 @ 12:43 PM

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