Edge 102 ~ CFNY

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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George Stroumboulopoulos

Edge 102 Morning ShowAs much as I enjoy the tunes I hear on CFNY Edge 102, I'm not a fan of their morning show. When Dean Blundell and his crew start one of their inane contests or other gimmicky radio bits, I tune out. In the mornings, I'm only there for the music.

It's not that I only enjoy music on the radio, I remain a Howard Stern fan and I'll listen to an interesting piece on CBC Radio One or the Fan590 regularly. It's just that I don't find the Dean Blundell show the least bit funny or interesting.

This past week they've been on vacation and replaced by George Stroumboulopoulos. I've been a Stroumboulopoulos fan going back to his previous carnation as a deejay on CFNY Edge 102 before he went national on MuchMusic. He's educated in all the important fields (music, sports, television, movies) with a quick wit that tells it like it is. It's refreshing to enjoy such sharp insight with a perfect blend of humour in the mornings surrounded by decent songs. In a perfect world, CFNY Edge 102 would secure the services of Stroumboulopoulos full-time for their very important morning slot. They'd secure a larger portion of my drive time in the process, that's for certain.

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Toronto Area Radio

Toronto RadioBack in July, I wrote an entry about my preferred Toronto area radio stations. My list of six at the time included Edge102, HTZ 97.7, WBUF 92.9, Q107, 680News and The Fan 590. There are three more I'd like to add.

Y108 - I don't know how I missed it, but at some point last year Hamilton's Best Rock began broadcasting from 107.9 on the FM dial. I discovered this new station only a month or two ago and I've quickly become a fan. Long time CFNY deejay and current host of the great radio program "The Ongoing History of New Music" Alan Cross is host of Y108's afternoons. It's great to hear him back on the air in the GTA. The music is a combination of modern rock tunes you'd hear on Edge102 and some butt rock you'd hear on HTZ 97.7. A typical three-pack might include Audioslave, The White Stripes and Guns N' Roses. It's pretty good stuff if you can pull it in. Their reception is fairly weak.

CBC RadioOne - I used to make fun of people who preferred this station to others considering them boring and old. I guess I now fall into that category as I've been enjoying this station quite a bit lately. It's a mixed bag of insightful interviews, current events and the odd tune or comedy bit thrown in for good measure. It's good radio.

Mojo Radio - Mojo has the broadcast rights for Maple Leaf games and therefore has my ear periodically. I used to stay away from their Leaf commentary because their bias was so prevalent, but the addition of Michael Landsberg in the mornings has balanced things out. Landsberg isn't afraid to bash Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment when they deserve it. He tells it straight up and that's how a true fan wants it. Also worth noting is the presence of Mike Stafford in the afternoons. Stafford has an encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture and The Simpsons in particular. You can't help but enjoy listening to someone who is that full of useless information. I'm envious of his talent.

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Toronto Radio

Toronto RadioI've always been a huge fan of radio. As a kid, I'd cruise the dial on my transistor radio picking up stations from as far away as Cleveland. Even today, I love the radio.

My preferred station is Edge102. It's been my preferred station for the past 15 years. They call themselves Edge102 now, but they're still good ol' CFNY to me. It's my station because they play more tunes I like than any other station I can pick up in Toronto. When I want to hear a good tune, chances are I'll hear one on Edge102.

I also listen to HTZ 97.7 which broadcasts out of St. Catherines. They play lots of good rock, which means I'll get my fill of The Tragically Hip, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, Nivana, Pearl Jam or whatever if Edge102 is off on some crappy Good Charlotte trip.

WBUF 92.9 out of Buffalo comes in clearly on my car stereo. This is my third favourite station on the dial. 92.9's format is similar to that of 97.7. Lots of hard rock...and Howard Stern in the mornings.

I used to listen to Q107 quite frequently, but have been drifing away of late. Q107 is now all about Classic Rock, which I dig, but have to be in the mood for. I just can't stand hearing the Rolling Stones every hour on the hour.

That's it for me on the FM dial. When something interesting is going down in the world and I need a news fix, I'll go AM and visit 680News. For a sports fix, I check out The Fan 590.

There you have my six radio stations...in case you were curious.

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Grunge Forever

Nirvana's NevermindMusic peaked in 1991-1994. Specifically, the days between the release of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. There is little doubt of this fact.

Here we are in the year 2002..almost 2003 and this music from the early 90's "grunge" scene continues to dominate rock charts. Lets take a closer look at the current top 7 from CFNY's (I'm well aware they're now Edge102, but they'll always be CFNY to me) Thursday 30 which I have posted below.

  1. Nirvana - You Know You're Right
  2. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  3. Pearl Jam - I Am Mine
  4. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
  5. U2 - Electrical Storm
  6. Audioslave - Cochise

Notice anything interesting about these bands? Am I stuck in a time-warp? Holy moly Marge...every band represented or at least a part of every band represented is straight outta 1991. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Nirvana - A band straight outta 1991.
Foo Fighters - A band with a lead singer and song writer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
Pearl Jam - A band straight outta 1991.
Queens of the Stone Age - A song with a drummer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
U2 - A band straight outta 1991.
Audioslave - A band with a lead singer straight outta Soundgarden which is a band straight outta 1991.

Get the picture? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl have something to do with 6 of the top 7 songs in the current Thursday 30. Further proof that 1991 Seattle was the epitome of rock unquestionably, undeniably and unarguably.

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