Edge 102 ~ CFNY

Bad Charlotte

Edgefest 2004I'm still stewing over the fact Good Charlotte is headlining this year's Edgefest. Last year we had The Tragically Hip, Our Lady Peace, Sloan and Finger Eleven. Good Charlotte simply doesn't cut it.

I could go on a rant here, but I thought I'd post something I posted to the Smells Like Sour page last week. On the "Hold On" page, I mentioned the fact that every time I read the Good Charlotte pages on SLS I die just a little. Kelli responded with this "why do u die "just a little bit" when u see the gc pages?" Below is my response.

Kelli, I'm glad you asked that question.

I love music. One of my favourite genres of music is rock. I love The White Stripes, System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, The Tragically Hip, Nirvana, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, whatever. You get the idea.

A few years back, a song entitled "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" began getting heavy airplay both on the radio and Muchmusic, our national video station here in Canada. My ears immediately decided this sound was weak. It sounded like pretend rock - far more pop than punk. What really irked me is I accidentally caught a special on Muchmusic about this band and they wore black and makeup and acted like they were punk when they were clearly coming across as punks.

I respect people's rights to listen to whatever the hell they want, but I'm the dude who actually performs administrative duties on this very website. That means I'm the dude who has to go on here every few days to sort through the dozens of Good Charlotte submissions and copycat bands that make my ears bleed.

That's why I die just a little each time I read this page or the thousand other Good Charlotte pages on this site. I cringe reading the praise you pre-teens heap on this crapola band. Chris Rock said it best following a pathetic Good Charlotte performance on the MTV Music Video Awards. "Good Charlotte? More like mediocre Green Day".

That's my two cents about this band - why they're so popular I'll never understand. Then again, the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync were extremely popular too, so maybe it does make sense.

The people at CFNY Edge 102 should be ashamed of themselves.

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Crossover Hit

Crossover HitsI was reading the Toronto Sun this weekend when I came across The Chum Chart, Chum FM's top 30 songs of the week.

This got me wondering what songs might appear on this chart and CFNY Edge 102's Thursday 30 simultaneously. Chum FM is a middle of the road graveyard for adult comtemporary crap while CFNY Edge 102 claims to play new rock with an edge to it. For a song to appear on both charts it would have to have a great deal of crossover appeal.

Only one song turns the trick. This song is number one on the Thursday 30 and number two on the Chum Chart. It can be none other than "Hey Ya!" by Outkast, a definite crossover smash.

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Define "New"

Defining NewThis past weekend I heard a DJ on CFNY Edge 102 announce in all sincerity the following: "New Rock First from Edge 102 this is Nickelback with Someday". I've also heard them use this "New Rock First" intro in the past week while introducing Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" and Three Days Grace's "I Hate Everything About You".

How are they defining "new" exactly? I realize "new" is a relative term, but in the world of music shouldn't they refrain from using it before introducing a song that was on heavy rotation four months ago? "Someday" is hardly "new rock first". In fact, as a single it's already been played and their follow-up single "Figured You Out" is currently getting spun about a dozen times a day.

Still, this pales in comparison to the stunt pulled by "The New VR". CKVR changed its name to "The New VR" about a decade ago. One would assume they'd drop the "new" part after about six months or so, but it's still there. "The New VR" has become the old VR.

Then there's the tale of Mojo Radio, "The All-New AM 640". I don't know if they've finally dropped the "All-New" part of their intro, but I heard it fairly recently and they've been Mojo Radio for about two years now.

Remembering when "new" actually meant new, this is "The New torontomike.com"

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Stop Treading on My Tunage!

Pet PeeveIt happened again this morning. It's been happening a lot lately and it's got to stop. It's just not right.

The deejays from the Dean Blundell Show on CFNY Edge 102 this morning talked all over the first 30 seconds of The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony". Forever this has been a pet peeve of mine. I want to hear a decent song in its entirety without a deejay jabbering all over the intro and outro. CFNY Edge 102 has been extremely careless in this regard lately and they should know better.

Sure, "Bittersweet Symphony" has a rather long instrumental opening, but that's not license for a deejay to yak away until the words kick in. "Bittersweet Symphony" is a song I happen to dig and part of the beauty of this tune is that opening melody. I almost wrote an entry in disgust on New Year's Eve upon hearing Martin Streek tread all over tunes on the Top 102 of 2003 countdown show, but then I got distracted. Streek went so far as to trample over lyrics thus violating the cardinal sin of radio. Shame, shame.

Out of respect to the listener it would be awfully nice if deejays made a concerted effort to say what they have to say before playing a song and waiting until the final note is completed before talking again. It would make this devoted listener a much happier man.

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Top 10 in the World?

Top 10?CFNY Edge 102 airs a promo every once in a while that claims they are "One of the ten most listened to stations in the world". Every time I hear it, I wonder how they can justify such an outlandish claim.

I read the most recent BBM Ratings for Toronto radio stations, and CFNY Edge 102 can safely claim they are one of the ten most listened to stations in the GTA. They aren't number one, but they're in decent shape. The Greater Toronto Area, however, is not the world. CFNY Edge 102 shouldn't be able to claim they're one of the ten most listened to stations in Canada let alone the entire planet.

A visit to the CFNY Edge 102 website yielded no further details. They don't reference the promo anywhere. I did some further digging and I think I know what this promo is referring to.

Arbitron maintains a list of Webcast Ratings. "Arbitron Webcast Ratings is a server-side measurement, which captures all tuning to participating streamed media channels by compiling a near census of Internet tuning sessions." It's difficult to access these charts, because this information requires a paid subscription, but I was able to gander at a series of the Arbitron Webcast Ratings top 75 as part of some of their news releases. This release has CFNY Edge 102 listed at a healthy #39 with 148,798 hours of total time spent listening in February of 2003. I had to go back to their chart of February 2001 to find CFNY Edge 102 in the top 10 when they were 10th. It's my belief that CFNY Edge 102 took this chart listing them as the tenth most streamed station on the world wide web in order to justify their "One of the ten most listened to stations in the world" promo.

Their spin doctors deserve a round of applause for that one. At one time they were possibly one of the ten most listened to stations on the web, but when you factor in people listening to radio stations on actual radios, their statement doesn't come close to holding up. It still sounds impressive though, doesn't it?

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Classic Alternative

Classic AlternativeI just read an article from the New York Times that reveals the latest radio format sweeping the United States. They call it "classic alternative" and several stations have switched to the format in the past month.

"Classic alternative" is essentially music from the early 90s like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, and so on. In other words, my kind of music. To quote the article, "Like the classic rock format that started in the mid-1980's to cater to aging baby boomers, classic alternative - with new songs from retro-alternative bands like the White Stripes and the Strokes thrown into the mix on some stations - appeals to Generation X'ers who are beginning to show some gray." That's me!

CFNY Edge 102, my current favourite station, is pretty close to "classic alternative" as it is. They play a great deal of current modern rock hits but still hit you with a Nirvana track or two just about every hour. Just the other day I was listening to "In Bloom" and realized they're playing Nirvana as often now as they did ten years ago. I also hear a great deal of older material from bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Weezer and Soundgarden. For all intents and purposes, CFNY Edge 102 is "classic alternative" save for the wider scope of new hits being spun. Is a truer form of "classic alternative" in 102.1's future?

This new format is projected right at a guy like me and I dig it. Being catered to is always a good thing.

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Matthew Goode

Matthew GoodeListening to CFNY Edge 102 today, I heard an advertisement for Chasing Liberty starring Mandy Moore. The advertisement gave me a jolt by announcing this was a film starring Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode. Remember, you can't tell Goode is spelled with an "e" on the radio.

I was a fan of the Matthew Good Band and saw them in concert three times. I frequently spin their Underdogs disc and wondered to myself if Matthew Good had taken up acting since his band broke up. Although it turned out to be a different guy with the same sounding name as the Canadian rocker, I'm certain the advertisement was attempting to mislead the CFNY Edge 102 listeners intentionally.

Think about it. Mandy Moore is a 19 year old former pop princess starring in a fluffy teenage romantic comedy. The target audience for this flick is teens and pre-teens who enjoy the music of Moore and her compatriots Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. This target audience will not be reached by advertising on CFNY Edge 102.

CFNY Edge 102 does play a lot of Matthew Good though. Matthew Good fans listen to CFNY Edge 102 and may be inclined to check out a movie he was starring in. I believe we were intentionally deceived!

The movie is a dog with fleas by the way. Bill Muller of the Arizona Republic says it best, "Not a pleasant way to spend an hour and 45 minutes."

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Top 102 Songs of 2003

Best Songs of 2003On New Year's Eve I posted my five favourite tunes of 2003. My only rule was that the song had to have been released in 2003. Songs released in 2002 that experienced most of their airplay in 2003 were ineligible. To refresh your memory, here was my top five.

  1. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
  2. The Distillers - Drain The Blood
  3. The Strokes - 12:51
  4. Stone Temple Pilots - All In The Suit That You Wear
  5. Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Later that night, CFNY Edge 102 played their top 102 songs of 2003. Below I will reveal my feelings about their top five. Unlike my list, CFNY Edge 102 did not insist that the song be released in 2003. Here are their top five and my comments.

  1. Linkin Park - Somewhere I Belong
    I'm rather shocked this is ranked as high as #1. I enjoy Linkin Park as much as the next guy, but this was only the third best song off of Meteora to receive heavy air play in 2003. I'll take the far superior "Faint" or "Numb" any day of the week. They were ranked #9 and #29 respectively. Does anyone really think "Somewhere I Belong" is a better song than "Faint"? If you do, write me.
  2. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
    What more can I say about the tune I had ranked as my favourite of 2003. The haunting simplicity of that bass line still finds its way into my psyche on a regular basis. The entire Elephant CD is great, but this was one helluva lead single. Awesome tune.
  3. Audioslave - Like A Stone
    I'm a huge fan of this entire CD. It's fair to say this band had me at hello. When I first read that the members of Rage Against the Machine were forming a group with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, it was music to my ears. I'm a huge fan of both Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, and Audioslave didn't disappoint. I too read the mediocre reviews, but then I gave it a spin. "Chohise" was one of my favourite tracks of 2002 (along with Nirvana's "You Know You're Right", Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows" and Johnny Cash's "Hurt") and this melodic trip ranks right up there as well. Of course, all songs off this CD did not qualify for my top five, having been released in November of 2002.
  4. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop
    Lord knows CFNY Edge 102 played this song enough, but I just couldn't get into it. I liked it, but I didn't love it. It was a catchy ditty that I found myself singing each time I heard it, but I can't say it deserved a ranking as high as this.
  5. Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You
    And now for the CanCon portion of our chart. Three Days Grace are a Toronto-based trio originally from Norwood, Ontario. Don't get me wrong, "I Hate Everything About You" was a great tune, but the fifth best song of the year? Not if they're from Texas. Naturally, CFNY Edge 102 is going to favour a young Toronto-based band like this, and there's nothing wrong with that. A top five without any Canadian representation would be just wrong!

There you have it, my reaction to CFNY Edge 102's top five songs of 2003. If you're curious where the rest of my top five ranked on their chart, they had The Distillers at #94, The Strokes at #34, Stone Temple Pilots at #64 and Jet at #31.

I'm on my way back to the hospital now. If all goes well, James will be coming home tomorrow. I'm just looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, something I've yet to do this year. I'll update you all on his status tomorrow.

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Radio Listening

Radio ListeningI listened to the radio from 06:20 EST to 08:00 EST this morning. I'm about to switch to MP3s (Pearl Jam's Merkinball, No Code and Live on Two Legs respectively), but before I do so I thought I'd share the details of what radio I actually listened to.

  • CFNY Edge 102 - I heard some Audioslave, White Stripes, Nickelback and the 6:30 news, sports, traffic and weather package. Blundell started yakking and I turned off the radio for a short while to do other more important stuff.
  • CBC Radio One - I caught the last third of the 7:00 news update.
  • Fan590 - I caught the 7:20 sports update and listened to Glenn Healy discuss our streaking Leafs until 7:40.
  • Mojo Radio - In the mood for more Leaf talk, I skipped over to 640 on the AM dial for some of the Leafs Breakfast with Michael Landsberg. Landsberg weaved a nonsensical tale about Quinn's coaching methods and why he deserves zero praise for the Leafs winning streak.
  • WBUF - Howard Stern was discussing Paris Hilton and he played a clip from a bit Hilton did with Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live this weekend. It was pretty damn funny.
  • Y108 - Hamilton's Best Rock was playing Rush, and I had to stop for a listen. It was New World Man.
  • CFNY Edge 102 - Back to my favourite station for a final tune or two. Unfortunately, I got advertisements.
  • Fan590 - Don Cherry's Grapeline with Brian Williams. He was going off on Sydney Crosby again for this lacrosse style goal the other day. He's got the message, lets move on. Sometimes 16 year olds forget they aren't allowed to score an extremely creative goal when their team has a sizable lead.

That was pretty much it. It's all about timing. Sometimes I spend more time with music and other times I spend more time with Howard Stern, depending on his topic of the moment. With the Leafs winning eight in a row, it seems I spent more time with sports radio this morning. And that's my answer to the question nobody asked.

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Dean's Substitute

Edge 102 Morning ShowI realize I wrote about this yesterday morning, but I want to comment further on the CFNY Edge 102 morning show I heard this week. With George Stroumboulopoulos as host, it's the best show on the dial. The song selection has always been stellar, but the quick comments on each band or song from Stroumboulopoulos enhances the entire experience. It's not my intent to bash regular host Dean Blundell so much as it is to praise the efforts of Stroumboulopoulos who manages to entertain while educating. Perhaps I'm developing a man-crush on Stroumboulopoulos? Nah, I think it can be nicely explained by the following Simpsons reference.

In season two, there was a Simpsons episode entitled "Lisa's Substitute". The episode guide from The Simpsons Archive sums it up nicely: "Lisa's regular teacher falls sick, and gets replaced with a substitute teacher who changes the face of learning for Lisa." It was the presence of Mr. Bergstrom, a substitute teacher, that made Lisa fall in love with learning again. His passion inspired her, but like all substitute teachers, his position was temporary and the regular teacher returned. Lisa reacted to this news by rushing out of the classroom in tears. A great quote from Mr. Bergstrom as he's departing: "That's the problem with being middle-class. Anybody who really cares will abandon you for those who need it more." Great episode.

George Stroumboulopoulos is my Mr. Bergstrom. I'm being stifled by the regular cast, but when they go on vacation and Stroumboulopoulos substitutes, I fall in love with the CFNY Edge 102 morning show again. Just this morning following Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit Stroumboulopoulos remarked "If you don't know what song that was you don't need to". When I turn on my shower radio on Monday and hear the absence of George Stroumboulopoulos's voice, I imagine I too will rush out of the shower in tears. I now know exactly how Lisa felt.

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