Edge 102 ~ CFNY


Edgefest 2008 Recap

edgefest 2008Yesterday I attended my first Edgefest since 2003. I explain my five year absence in this entry. I'm happy to report it was as much fun as I remember it. It was a 12 hour blast.

Before I delve into the details, here's a photoset of pictures I took. Yes, I snapped some sweet pics of the new Batmobile in addition to every band I saw. I even took a little video of Linkin Park rocking out with "A Place for My Head" Now, on with the recap...

Before

Getting there was pretty slick. At Downsview station an Express bus was waiting for us and it dropped us off right in front of the gate. There was virtually no lineup at 12:45. I brought in a 1.5 litre bottle of water, three bagel sandwiches, some orange juice, a rain poncho, my digital camera and Blackberry. Security gave me no hassles whatsoever.

The first band I wanted to see was USS, but we had a little time before they hit the stage. That meant checking out the new Batmobile and free samples of some chocolate milkshake a small army of attractive young nurses were promoting. I doubt they were certified nurses, but I didn't bother asking to see their credentials.

USS - Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker

I had heard two USS tracks on the radio and I loved them both. You really can't miss "Hollowpoint Sniper Hyperbole" on the radio, it's been on super high rotation for a while now, and for good reason. It's a great track.

For a 1:30 band, USS were great. It was a fun set that showed a great deal of promise. I'm a sucker for rock bands who utilize a turntable. This goes back to my impressionable years in the late 80s when I was digging the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy and learning that a dj could be a band. Terminator X spoke with his hands, and USS kept the tradition alive while maintaining the necessary hooks and melody. These guys have a bright future.

Attack in Black

I try to like these guys, but it's not happening. Something is missing... my ears hear Simple Plan... it's as if they're missing a certain rawness, or dare I say, edge? Their big radio hit, "Young Leaves", was left on the SLS cutting room floor. They're just not my cup of team.

Creature

After Attack in Black, it was lunch time, so we crashed to chow down by the small stage. Creature, a band I had never heard of, featured two female vocalists and a funky Blondie-like sound from the late 70s and early 80s. It was funky fun with plenty of cowbell.

Ashes Divide

Ashes Divide sound like Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode and those bands from the 80s. Like Attack in Black, they didn't grab me. They weren't my cup of tea, either.

The Bravery

The Bravery delivered a fantastic set as the sky opened up and I threw on my rain poncho. For most of this set it rained hard and that just seemed to add to the ambiance. I'd say these guys are going to be big, but they've already got the buzz, and they deserve it. I still think "Believe" sounds too much like "Plateau", but that's okay.

Sam Roberts

After The Bravery I joined the lines for the port-o-potty and quickly realized there weren't enough port-o-pottys supplied to meet the demand. I waited in line for over half an hour and missed Sam's first song. He delivered a typical Sam Roberts set which I happen to like, but he does like the lengthy jam songs. That's fine when you're headlining and have 2+ hours, but Sammy was on the clock.

Stone Temple Pilots

Without STP on the bill, I wouldn't have bought a ticket. Core was (and is) one of my favourite albums, and I spun the crap out of Purple, so seeing Scott for a third time sounded awfully appealing. My sked said STP was to hit the stage at 6:55. By 7:30, there was still no sign of them. There was also no 102.1 personality on the stage to introduce the band or explain the delay or reassure us they were coming up soon. Thank goodness I had my Blackberry to visit Scott Weiland's Wikipedia page to ensure he wasn't locked up or deceased.

Once they took the stage, I thought they started off a little shakier than usual, but as the set progressed Scott found his voice. They played just about every single they'd ever released and gave us a full show despite hitting the stage almost an hour late. For "Plush", Scott walked right by us and performed next to the light stand. They closed with "Dead and Bloated". It was a great show.

Linkin Park

I have every Linkin Park album in my collection and I nominate just about every single they release for SLS consideration, but I never really considered myself a big Linkin Park fan. I've always felt a little guilty about enjoying their rock/rap hybrid, but damn they're good live. They started with a soft touch, about three stripped down songs before they started to kick out the jams, but then they never let up. Like STP, it was hit after hit after hit. You have to see these guys live to appreciate how many hits they have in their catalogue.

After

After Linkin Park, my feet were aching, but we had a pretty lengthy walk ahead of us. We decided it would be better to haul our asses to Downsview station rather then wait for one of the Express buses. I can't tell you how good it felt to finally sit down at Downsview station.

It was a full day of great live music. Sure, about 90% of the crowd was under the age of 25, but there were plenty of dudes my age and older enjoying the day. Age truly is a matter of mind. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

STP Linkin Park The Bravery Early On

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A Closer Look at the Edge 102 Playlist

Radio We've been having an interesting discussion about 102.1 in the comments for this entry about Alan Cross's exit as Program Director for CFNY, now better known as Edge 102. The primary complaint is Edge 102's small playlist. They seem to play the same 12-15 songs over and over and over again.

Earlier today, I grabbed the names of every song Edge 102 had played up to that minute. By 10:30am today they had played 110 songs. I looked at each song and assigned it a label: New, Recent or Classic Alternative.

New: I labelled a song new if it was new to the playlist in 2008. The new Coldplay and Offspring songs are obviously new, but I also considered the Raconteurs' "Salute Your Salution" to be new, even though it's not exactly fresh at this point.

Recent: I created this category to cover songs that aren't exactly Classic Alternative but also aren't new. "Try Honesty" by Billy Talent is a good example of a fairly recent song that's well past its hey day.

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

Here are the songs with their assigned labels. After the chart, I'll hit you up with some stats.

10:25 AM"HAMMERHEAD" - OFFSPRING NEW
10:22 AM"MADE OF STONE" - SPIRAL BEACH NEW
10:15 AM"BELIEVE" - BRAVERYNEW
10:14 AM"WANDER FAR AWAY" - REBEL EMERGENCYNEW
10:11 AM"DUMB" - NIRVANA CLASSIC ALT
10:04 AM"THEM KIDS" - SAM ROBERTSNEW
9:59 AM"EVEN FLOW" - PEARL JAMCLASSIC ALT
9:55 AM"COMIN' HOME" - CITY AND COLOURRECENT
9:47 AM"PORK AND BEANS" - WEEZERNEW
9:39 AM"MONSTER HOSPITAL" - METRICRECENT
9:36 AM"MAKE IT WIT CHU" - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGENEW
9:14 AM"BEST OF YOU" - FOO FIGHTERSRECENT
9:11 AM"TESSELLATE" - TOKYO POLICE CLUBNEW
9:02 AM"HANDLEBARS" - FLOBOTSNEW
8:56 AM"SALUTE YOUR SOLUTION" - RACONTEURSNEW
8:45 AM"GOOD TIMES" - FINGER ELEVENCLASSIC ALT
8:28 AM"PLUSH" - STONE TEMPLE PILOTSCLASSIC ALT
8:11 AM"THIS RESPIRATOR" - FLATLINERSNEW
7:57 AM"VIOLET HILL" - COLDPLAYNEW
7:45 AM"RIVER BELOW" - BILLY TALENTRECENT
7:31 AM"LITHIUM" - NIRVANACLASSIC ALT
7:10 AM"HAMMERHEAD" - OFFSPRING NEW (R)
6:47 AM"NO ONE KNOWS" - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGECLASSIC ALT
6:17 AM"BELIEVE" - BRAVERY NEW (R)
6:13 AM"ONE THING" - FINGER ELEVENCLASSIC ALT
6:00 AM"PORK AND BEANS" - WEEZERNEW (R)
5:57 AM"SABOTAGE" - BEASTIE BOYSCLASSIC ALT
5:42 AM"SONG 2" - BLURCLASSIC ALT
5:39 AM"TESSELLATE" - TOKYO POLICE CLUBNEW (R)
5:27 AM"MY HERO" - FOO FIGHTERSCLASSIC ALT
5:24 AM"ALWAYS WHERE I NEED TO BE" - KOOKS NEW
5:16 AM"SOMEWHERE OUT THERE" - OUR LADY PEACECLASSIC ALT
5:13 AM"THE GOOD LEFT UNDONE" - RISE AGAINST NEW
5:05 AM"JUST" - RADIOHEADCLASSIC ALT
5:02 AM"SALUTE YOUR SOLUTION" - RACONTEURSNEW (R)
4:58 AM"UNDER THE BRIDGE" - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSCLASSIC ALT
4:55 AM"TIME BOMB" - RANCIDCLASSIC ALT
4:51 AM"I WILL POSSESS YOUR HEART" - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIENEW (R)
4:47 AM"TRY HONESTY" - BILLY TALENTRECENT
4:44 AM"WHAT I GOT" - SUBLIMECLASSIC ALT
4:36 AM"WE'RE ALL TO BLAME" - SUM 41RECENT
4:33 AM"2 & 15/16THS" - USS NEW
4:26 AM"FIRESTARTER" - PRODIGYCLASSIC ALT
4:23 AM"THIS RESPIRATOR" - FLATLINERSNEW (R)
4:20 AM"BRAIN STEW" - GREEN DAYCLASSIC ALT
4:16 AM"TALKING TO THE WALLS" - FINGER ELEVEN NEW
4:10 AM"DISCIPLINE" - NINE INCH NAILS NEW
4:05 AM"FLY AWAY" - LENNY KRAVITZCLASSIC ALT
4:01 AM"VIOLET HILL" - COLDPLAYNEW (R)
3:56 AM"SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE" - AUDIOSLAVERECENT
3:54 AM"SONS OF HOSTAGE LIFE" - HOSTAGE LIFERECENT
3:49 AM"JEREMY" - PEARL JAMCLASSIC ALT
3:41 AM"(I HATE) EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU" - THREE DAYS GRACERECENT
3:37 AM"SLEEPING SICKNESS" - CITY AND COLOUR NEW
3:31 AM"FAINT" - LINKIN PARKRECENT
3:27 AM"HAMMERHEAD" - OFFSPRINGNEW (R)
3:24 AM"SABOTAGE" - BEASTIE BOYS CLASSIC ALT (R)
3:21 AM"MADE OF STONE" - SPIRAL BEACHNEW (R)
3:10 AM"BODYSNATCHERS" - RADIOHEAD NEW
3:06 AM"LAST NITE" - STROKESCLASSIC ALT
3:02 AM"THEM KIDS" - SAM ROBERTSNEW (R)
2:59 AM"STOP" - AGAINST ME! NEW
2:55 AM"SURRENDER" - BILLY TALENTRECENT
2:47 AM"CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA" - OASISCLASSIC ALT
2:39 AM"WAKE UP" - ARCADE FIRERECENT
2:37 AM"BITCHES IN TOKYO" - STARS NEW
2:29 AM"THE HAND THAT FEEDS" - NINE INCH NAILSRECENT
2:26 AM"PORK AND BEANS" - WEEZERNEW (R)
2:24 AM"TIME OF YOUR LIFE (GOOD RIDDANCE)" - GREEN DAYCLASSIC ALT
2:19 AM"OBLIVION" - WINTERSLEEP NEW
2:11 AM"BELIEVE" - BRAVERYNEW (R)
2:05 AM"BIG EMPTY" - STONE TEMPLE PILOTSCLASSIC ALT
2:02 AM"TESSELLATE" - TOKYO POLICE CLUBNEW (R)
1:59 AM"PAIN" - THREE DAYS GRACERECENT
1:55 AM"BY THE WAY" - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERSCLASSIC ALT
1:47 AM"AMERICAN WOMAN" - LENNY KRAVITZCLASSIC ALT
1:43 AM"WANDER FAR AWAY" - REBEL EMERGENCY NEW (R)
1:35 AM"MS. JACKSON" - OUTKAST CLASSIC ALT
1:32 AM"SALUTE YOUR SOLUTION" - RACONTEURSNEW (R)
1:30 AM"HANDLEBARS" - FLOBOTSNEW (R)
1:25 AM"ONE" - U2 CLASSIC ALT
1:22 AM"TO A FRIEND" - ALEXISONFIRERECENT
1:13 AM"LONG ROAD TO RUIN" - FOO FIGHTERS NEW
1:08 AM"ANEURYSM" - NIRVANA CLASSIC ALT
1:03 AM"THIS RESPIRATOR" - FLATLINERSNEW (R)
1:00 AM"STRANGE TIMES" - BLACK KEYS NEW
12:55 AM"SAYONARA" - OPERATION MD NEW
12:51 AM"NUMB/ENCORE" - JAY-Z/LINKIN PARKRECENT
12:44 AM"MAN IN THE BOX" - ALICE IN CHAINSCLASSIC ALT
12:40 AM"UNTIL WE BURN IN THE SUN (THE KIDS JUST WANT A LOVE SONG)" - BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH NEW
12:34 AM"LAST RESORT" - PAPA ROACHCLASSIC ALT
12:31 AM"VIOLET HILL" - COLDPLAYNEW (R)
12:25 AM"PRAISE YOU" - FATBOY SLIMCLASSIC ALT
12:20 AM"WHERE WE ARE" - NEVERENDING WHITE LIGHTS NEW
12:14 AM"MAKE IT WIT CHU" - QUEENS OF THE STONE AGENEW (R)
12:10 AM"RED FLAG" - BILLY TALENT RECENT
12:08 AM"HANDLEBARS" - FLOBOTSNEW (R)
12:03 AM"HAMMERHEAD" - OFFSPRINGNEW (R)

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

  • # of unique new songs: 27 / 24.54%
  • # of unique recent songs: 17 / 15.45%
  • # of unique classic alternative songs: 31 / 28.18%
  • # of unique songs overall: 77 / 70%
  • # of repeated songs: 23 / 20.90%

If you're looking to hear a variety of new music, you'd likely be disappointed that less than a quarter of these 110 songs are unique new songs. Overall, however, if you're okay with older tracks, over two thirds of the songs played are different.

This does prove that the playlist is larger than 12-15 songs. 70% of the songs played were different, and when you're digging a hot new track, hearing it more often isn't so bad, is it?

Note: I'm not trying to defend Edge 102's song selection nor am I trying to trash them. I don't know anyone who currently works at CFNY personally, it's just a station I periodically enjoy even though it used to be way better. Draw your own conclusions from these metrics and please share them in the comments!

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Alan Cross Out As Program Director at Edge 102

radio The message was short but clear. "alan cross fired? :O" Originally it was sent anonymously, but then a follow up message made sure I knew it was coming from "mr. oj - chq sowny!".

I know SOWNY. It's The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum and the posting there led with "Alan Cross is out as the Program Director of 102.1 the Edge." I know some stuff I can't write about, and I know people who know a whole lot more, but I don't know what happened to Alan Cross at CFNY. I'll know very soon, and then I'll update this post with a comment, but right now I know as much as I did when I wrote "Humble Howard, Are You Okay?".

For more on CFNY ~ Edge 102, including a series of email exchanges between me and Alan Cross, visit my CFNY ~ Edge 102 page.

More on the ongoing history of Alan Cross soon...

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102.1 The Edge Web Site Redesign Wrecks Thursday 30

mouseEdge 102.1 has redesigned their web site. I only discovered the new Edge.ca when I was checking in on the latest Thursday 30 results. That's pretty much the only reason I click over to Edge.ca. I've always enjoyed following the Thursday 30.

Unfortunately, the new redesign has messed up my little past time. Check out the new Thursday 30 home page. Is it asking too much for a little table that tells me where the song was ranked the previous week and how many weeks the tune has been on the chart? This is a big step in the wrong direction.

In case they read this and make things right over here, here's a screen cap of how their new Thursday 30 page looks right now.

Thursday 30

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Freddie P Returns to CFNY

radioI've got a radio in my shower and this morning it was tuned to 102.1. At about 7:40am or so, I heard a familiar voice. Freddie P was in the studio, chatting with the crew that took over after Humble & Fred left CFNY for Mojo.

Freddie P was in the building because he was scheduled to appear with John Derringer on Q107, but Dean Blundell showed some class by letting Fred be heard on 102.1 for the first time since the spring of 2001. It was great hearing his voice again, I'm just sorry it was only for a few minutes and that it wasn't accompanied by another dude.

Sometimes the shower can act like a time machine.

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I'll Be the Edge Web Guy

radioSince the big Edgefest 2008 announcement, I've spent some time over at http://www.edge102.com/ and it was pretty frustrating. For most of yesterday details were impossible to find and then when they were posted they were incorrect and confusing.

Corus Radio, I'd be more than happy to be your Edge webmaster. I know web technologies, e-marketing and music. Contact me if you want to chat about it.

I first noticed the error below yesterday, but this flyer was still staring me in the face earlier today when I was trying to buy tickets. There was a Tuesday, February 26 and a Wednesday, February 27, but there ain't no Wednesday, February 26.

edgefest2008

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Edgefest 2008: Call It A Comeback

edgefestOur friends at 102.1 The Edge have announced their lineup for Edgefest 2008. They actually didn't hold an Edgefest in 2007, ending a string of 20 consecutive shows. Before I throw you the lineup, I have an Edgefest spiel to share.

I used to love these things. There were big lineups and solid headliners and they usually held it at Molson Park in Barrie, my favourite concert venue. The last Edgefest I attended was 2003's Farewell to Molson Park. The Tragically Hip headlined and they were supported by CanCon heavyweights Our Lady Peace, Sloan and others. It was awesome, but the very next year's lineup was so horrible, it threatened to destroy the franchise.

You can read my reaction to learning the 2004 Edgefest lineup here. Good Charlotte, the epitome of all that is wrong with popular music today, was scheduled to headline. This set off a string of email exchanges between CFNY Program Director Alan Cross and myself. I wasn't so upset at the fact I hated the headlining band, I was more disturbed by the hypocrisy of it all considering 102.1 wouldn't even play Good Charlotte.

The lineup for Edgefest 2005 wasn't much better, and by 2006 this once great event was evoking yawns from old fogies like me. I like to think I played a small role in the cancellation of last year's Edgefest and the vastly improved lineup this year. Yes, I'm that egotistical.

On July 12th at Downsview Park, Edgefest 2008 will feature Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, Sam Roberts and more. Once I know the more, I'll throw that info in the comments. This is an Edgefest I'd attend, and I haven't said that in five years.

I'm pretty sure Good Charlotte won't be on the bill...

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Edge 102's Top 102 of 2007

radioMy radio is tuned to 102.1 as I listen to their top 102 countdown of 2007. I can't remember the last December 31 I didn't do this, it's sort of an annual tradition of mine.

This year I'll record the top ten live as I listen. Reload this page every few minutes and you'll get an updated list. When it's done, I'll throw my two cents at the bottom of this entry.

  1. Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye
  2. Incubus - Anna Molly
  3. Alexisonfire - Boiled Frogs
  4. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
  5. Finger Eleven - Paralyzer
  6. Linkin Park - What I've Done
  7. Tokyo Police Club - Nature of the Experiment
  8. Rise Against - Prayer Of The Refugee
  9. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh)
  10. The Fratellis - Flathead

Only two songs appeared on both this CFNY list and my personal top ten of 2007. There would have been more overlap, but I delisted a few of their picks because the song was released in 2006.

Nothing shocking here. I'm still surprised at how overrated that Finger Eleven song is. I'm not a huge fan of that Chili Pepper song, either. I'm a big fan of 60% of this top ten, including their choice for #1.

Bonus thought: How old is Martin Streek? He's been on the Edge forever. Seriously, I can't remember listening to 102.1 without Streek. He's got to be pushing 60.

That's it for me, I'm logging off for the year... Happy New Year everyone.

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Snow Removal Machine

musicWhen I listed my favourite "snow" songs the other day, Phil left a comment reminding me about "Snow Removal Machine". "Snow Removal Machine" was Fred Patterson's parody of The Cult's "Love Removal Machine" and was often played at this time of year during the CFNY morning show. I remember it from the Humble & Fred show, but I understand it's older than that.

From Freddie P. himself, "This is the shortened version.. the long original version is on a tape that I can't transfer until I find an old "cart" machine." By the way, we played this during the 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas podcast last year. Enjoy.

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17 and Out: A Toronto Tradition Ends

podcastNow that both Humble and Fred have publicly stated it, I can finally write this entry. There will be no 18th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas show. Not on the radio or in podcast form. After 17 years, this annual Toronto tradition has come to an end.

Fans of the show will tell you this streak wasn't really in tact anyway. Back in 1991 Humble was at CKFM-FM while Fred was still at CFNY and in 2005 the show went on without Fred who had been relieved of his duties at Mix 99.9. Still, we all got together for the 18th annual show last December, against all odds, and it felt awfully special.

That's right, I said "we". I was invited to Dan Duran's house that Saturday morning we recorded the podcast and I took a bunch of pictures. Although I've known there would be no 18th Christmas show for some time, I had no idea I was witnessing the end of an era on December 16, 2006. At the time, I assumed we'd be doing it all again in December 2007. I was wrong.

As a fan, this truly sucks. The on-air chemistry between Humble Howard and Freddie P was awesome. They complemented each other so well, and watching them do their thing was like watching a long-time married couple complete each other's sentences. As a fan, I think it stinks that I can't hear another podcast and laugh my ass off.

On a personal level, it saddens me. I've grown quite close to Howard, we chat often about a variety of subjects and hook up whenever possible, and lately I've spent more time chatting with Fred and getting to know him. Both guys are solid citizens with unique talents and it would be a treat to watch them share a mic one more time. I root for both in their post-Humble & Fred careers, but it's tough when you think they're better when they're together. Like a long-time marriage, it's not necessarily forever. They've moved on, and so must we.

As I mentioned last month, I secured a complete backup of the old humbleandfred.com and I'm hosting it for posterity's sake. You can revisit the 17th Annual Christmas Show web page and listen to last year's podcast. You can stream it from that page, subscribe to the podcast or download the MP3. I covered all the bases. Trust me, it's a year old, but it's still hilarious. And now, it's bitter sweet.

Below is me, Bingo Bob, Fred Patterson, Dan Duran, Scary Bald Headed Pete and Humble Howard Glassman after we recorded the 17th and final Humble & Fred Christmas Show on December 16, 2006.

The Gang

For waking me up every weekday morning of the 90s, for making me laugh and for helping me through both high school and university, thanks...

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