Edge 102 ~ CFNY
CFNY Edge 102 is having a 1991 weekend, playing the best tracks from that year. As fully disclosed in my first blog entry, I'm partial to the years 1991-1994, the days between the release of Nirvana's Nevermind and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. Of course, it helps that I was sixteen when 1991 rolled around and twenty when we said goodbye to 1994.
Without allowing a band to place twice, below are my five favourite songs from this era.
- Lithium - Nirvana
- Bring the Noise - Anthrax/Public Enemy
- Hunger Strike - Temple of the Dog
- Black - Pearl Jam
- One - U2
All week long CFNY Edge 102 has been airing "The Best Of The Dean Blundell Show" in the mornings.
That's a serious oxymoron. I tune in for the tunes, but when that trio starts yakking I'm out of there. I've read articles that suggest they're quite popular in their target demographic. That's further proof that I'm getting old and they don't want me listening any more. Thankfully we have Bookie in the afternoons and great songs throughout the day.
In my humble opinion, there is no "best of" for that annoying morning show. Less talk, more rock.... please.
I still listen to a great deal of radio. I've always loved the medium, and although there are many attractive alternatives and a massive MP3 collection constantly awaiting me, I still make time for radio.
The latest BBM numbers have been released for spring 2005 and I've just checked out the list of the 24 most listened to stations in Toronto. My favourite station, CFNY Edge 102, hung on to it's #10 position. I haven't seen a demographic break-down, but you can bet they did far better in their target 18-34 bracket. Another station I was curious about is Mojo 640. Chorus keeps repackaging this station and recently changed the slant to a Toronto talk format that's just horrible. Alan Cross' participation got me to sample what was brewing, but it was just brutal. The topics were boring and even the quality of the audio seems to have deteriorated. They've got Mike Stafford on afternoons over there and I really feel for the guy. He's as sharp as a tack with an incredible knowledge of trivia and a good sense of humour and they're completely wasting him. It's a damn shame, and no wonder Mojo 640 finished 22nd in Toronto. Even Newmarket oldies station Foxy 88.5 and Country 95.3 blew Mojo away.
Here is the top ten in Toronto:
- 1. E-Z Rock
- 2. Q-107 & CFRB (tie)
- 4. CBC Radio 1 & CHUM FM (tie)
- 6. CHFI
- 7. AM 740
- 8. 680 News
- 9. Classical 96.3
- 10. CFNY Edge 102
In the city's worst kept secret, CFNY Edge 102 unveiled the lineup for this year's Edgefest at the Molson Amphitheater on July 1st. Billy Talent will headline, Alexisonfire will go second last and a few other bands will be there but I'm fairly unfamiliar with all of them. Let me be the first to say, on the record, that this is the worst Edgefest lineup ever. Now let me pronounce this fact Comic Book Guy style. Worst. Lineup. Ever.
As readers of this blog know, I think Billy Talent's debut is great. Their first three singles released all made SLS and the fourth will likely be on SLS13 this June. The whole disc is great, but it's one disc of twelve songs. How does one release of twelve songs make you the headlining act for a concert like this? To put things in perspective, I bitched last year because the awful Good Charlotte was headlining, but at least Billy Talent and Finger Eleven were hitting the stage first. Billy Talent at that time had the same catalogue of music, one album of twelve songs. Billy Talent and Finger Eleven beats Billy Talent and Alexisonfire, right? In other words, last year's brutal lineup was a stronger lineup than we have this year and that's pathetic.
Edgefest isn't so much about the music than it is about maximizing profits. You know this year's lineup came awfully cheap, and Billy Talent probably gave CFNY Edge 102 a discount because of their past history. There were no big bucks to shell out for a big name band like Audioslave, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Our Lady Peace or Sum 41. Heck, there aren't even any of the wicked new Canadian bands getting international praise these days, like The Arcade Fire, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Hot Hot Heat or The Dears. If you combined the entire catalogue of music from all bands announced today for Edgefest 2005 I suspect there are only a handful of songs your average rock fan would recognize, and four belong to Billy Talent.
Edgefest has certainly seen better days, but it will probably turn a profit this year. To Alan Cross and the gang at CFNY, that's truly all that matters. What a shame.
CFNY Edge 102's website tells you they're revealing their Edgefest 2005 lineup on Monday morning. This article, however, lets the cat out of the bag as to who will be headlining. Your Edgefest 2005 headliners will be Billy Talent.
Last year, I really let CFNY Edge 102 have it when they announced Good Charlotte was their headliner. You may recall my discussions with Alan Cross about the hypocrisy of it all. I'm happy to see the headliner this year is not only a solid band but a band they actually play on CFNY Edge 102.
I believe this is the first time the headlining band at an Edgefest is doing so with a mere one album under their belt. Unprecedented!
I'm a shower genius. During my morning shower, I tune in CFNY Edge 102 on my shower radio and brain storm. The great ideas come fast and furiously in a creative explosion.
I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but If I could live in the shower I'd be mentioned alongside men like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. For ten or so minutes a day, I'm a bonafide genius.
Periodically CFNY Edge 102 will start to play a tune that they completely ignored when first released. This happened recently when they began playing Eminem's "My Name Is" in the fall. When this happens it's usually a song that would have been regarded as off-genre at the time of release, more often than not a hip-hop song by a white artist. This time it's "Jump Around" by House of Pain.
Over the past ten days I've heard "Jump Around" on CFNY Edge 102 at least five times, including this morning. Over the previous thirteen years since the release of their debut album I don't think I heard it spun once. It's a good tune, it's too bad they didn't have the guts to play it when it was current.
For fun, below are the dated references in "Jump Around" that may go over the head of the average teen listening to CFNY Edge 102.
- "I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe" - It's unlikely kids today even know McEnroe played tennis. If they know him at all it's from his failed ventures into television and perhaps as a tennis commentator.
- "Or better yet a terminator, Like Arnold Schwarzenegger" - Thanks to Terminator 3, kids will get this reference to the current Governor of California. Note to self: remove from this list.
- "Try'n to play me out like as if my name was Sega" - I suppose this reference is still relevant because Sega continues to produce popular video games but you know they were talking about the ol' Sega console.
- Green Day - American Idiot
During the political summer of 2004, this was a great single. It reminded me of the good ol' Dookie days. I'm not surprised to see it in the top ten but I am surprised to see it at the top of this list. It would have appeared on SLS12 had "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" not supplanted it.
- Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
"Take Me Out" was my favourite song released in 2004. It's really two quality tunes in one. You've got that killer build up, which could have been a song unto itself, then it breaks down into a completely different but even better song. I can't say enough good things about "Take Me Out", a perfect single. It appropriately led off the excellent SLS11.
- Outkast - Hey Ya!
I'm fairly certain "Hey Ya! peaked on CFNY Edge 102 in 2003, but it did have a remarkably long shelf life. It appeared way back on SLS10 and was a personal favourite of mine until it was played into the ground. It's a hard tune to dislike.
- U2 - Vertigo
I said everything I had to say about this song in this entry. I had no interest, lets move on.
- Linkin Park - Breaking The Habit
From the album that keeps producing hit singles, "Breaking The Habit" was a pretty decent tune and did appear on SLS12. It didn't blow me away but I heard much, much worse in 2004.
- Beastie Boys - Ch-Check It Out
When this single first hit, I jacked up the car stereo every time it came on. It harkened me back to old school Beastie Boys and helped me get my groove back. It appeared on SLS11.
- The Offspring - Hit That
I used to have a lot of respect for The Offspring. I must have spun their disc "Smash" a billion times. "Ixnay On The Hombre" was pretty good too, and then they released the song that killed The Offspring in my eyes. "Pretty Fly For A White Guy". Argh, thinking about that sell-out of a garbage tune makes me want to puke. "Hit That" isn't much better.
- Modest Mouse - Float On
"Float On" was part of the 2004 Tunage Trifecta, all of which made CFNY Edge 102's top ten of 2004. It also made my top five. This is a great track.
- Incubus - Megalomaniac
At first I wasn't sure of this song, then I started to really like it, then it grew on me so I loved it and spun it often, then I got tired of it and haven't heard it in months. It easily made SLS12.
- The Killers - Somebody Told Me
Rounding out the 2004 Tunage Trifecta is "Somebody Told Me", a very catchy tune that I would catch my self singing periodically throughout 2004. I'm glad to see it on this list.
There you have it, my reaction to CFNY Edge 102's top ten songs of 2004. If you're curious where the rest of my top five ranked on their chart, they had The Tragically Hip's "Vaccination Scar" at #30 and The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" and The Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon" didn't rank at all. Pity.
I closely monitor the rise and fall of songs on CFNY Edge 102's Thursday 30. About a month or so ago, they began putting a little Canadian flag next to the Canadian artists on their chart. I liked this little feature because it lets me know right away whether a new band is a fellow Canuck or not. Unfortunately, I've found it's rather unreliable.
The first week they had this, I noticed no Canadian flag next to The Marble Index. Mistakes happen, so I simply wrote their web guy and they added a flag beside the band from Hamilton. Every week since I've notice a mistake or two with these Canadian flags so I've all but given up letting them no about it. Today is Thursday, and a new countdown will be unveiled soon, but if you hurry over to their current Thursday 30 chart, you'll see they've got a little Canadian flag next to America's own Collective Soul while Norwood, Ontario's Three Days Grace and Montreal, Quebec's Simple Plan goes without.
Maybe I'm being a little snarky, but our flag means something to me and I believe it should be used properly. I don't want to see American bands getting tagged with the Maple Leaf while Canadian bands aren't tagged at all. How hard can it be to get this right?
This note ain't for you, it's for the Gap. A month ago, our televisions were inundated with Gap commercials featuring Sarah Jessica Parker bopping to Lenny Kravitz' "Lady". "Lady" is a new tune of his from his new album "Baptism". This advertisement was the first time we all heard this tune, and that's the problem.
Now, CFNY Edge 102 has begun spinning this track. Every time I hear it, I only think of one thing: Sarah Jessica Parker bopping around in an ad for the Gap. It's no longer the new single from Lenny Kravitz but the theme for an advertising campaign. There is no separating the art from the product.
Spinning this tune is a form of payola, only it's not accepting cash to play a tune but playing a tune to advertise brand name clothing during the biggest consumer month of the calendar year. I dare anyone to hear this song on the radio and not think about the Gap. It's only possible if you don't own a television. Strike it from your playlist CFNY Edge 102, it's not a song but an advertisement.
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