Radio


Leeza Gibbons?

Leeza Gibbons?For years now, we in the Toronto area have been inundated with ads for EZ Rock 97.3 FM featuring Leeza Gibbons. I saw a new spot just last night. A typical 30 second advertisement is Leeza talking about how much she enjoys EZ Rock's syropy format when she's in town. We're privy to footage of Leeza gallavanting around town with Toronto landmarks such as the CN Tower and TTC in the background.

Am I the only one who doesn't get the connection? What does Leeza Gibbons have to do with Toronto? I know she doesn't live here. I know she doesn't work here. Of all the potential spokespeople EZ Rock had to choose from, how do they come up with Leeza Gibbons? My guess is she came surprisingly cheap. It's the only explanation that makes any sense. Either that or Dini Petty had a conflict of interest.

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The Kiss Of Death

Becoming UncoolThree evenings a week I undergo physiotherapy for my injury (see September 24, 2003 / 19:43 EST). The clinic plays CHUM FM over the ceiling speakers to entertain us while the various machines work to soothe and heal our pains.

Yesterday I was particularly surprised and concerned upon hearing Finger Eleven's "One Thing". This is a song I like and even nominated for inclusion on Smells Like Sour 10. Hearing it played on CHUM FM instantly stripped it of any and all coolness. How can a tune be considered cool if it's being played on CHUM FM?

There is an unwritten rule in the GTA that no song being played by CHUM FM or CHFI can retain its integrity. It's the kiss of death. For those of you reading this from outside the GTA, CHUM FM and CHFI are our local MOR stations. They play nice and safe pop songs for the middle aged masses...inoffensive and bland. Every city has one or two. Other songs I typically hear on this station during physio are Jewel's "Intuition" and Train's "Calling All Angels".

Say it ain't so Finger Eleven. Say it ain't so.

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Tom & Jerry

Blue Jays BaseballA common pastime for Jay fans is to turn down the volume on the TV and listen to the play by play of Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth. Tom and Jerry have been calling Blue Jay games for as long as I've been a fan, and they've always been far superior to the commentators on television. It had been a while since I've done this, but with a couple of Jays pursuing team records, today seemed the ideal day to revisit this old custom.

It didn't fly. For some reason, there was a lengthy four second delay between the call on the radio and the visual on the television. I would actually hear the results of the play before seeing the pitch delivered. I remember a subtle half-second difference between the two as a kid, but never anything close to this. Such a delay on the television side made it impossible to enjoy Tom and Jerry's call of the game. Write your MP and demand an obliteration of this sinful four second delay.

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The Freeplay Ranger

Freeplay RangerI have a rather strange obsession. It's with the Freeplay Ranger, a wind-up, solar and rechargeable powered radio. Sure, it's only an AM/FM radio, but I haven't been able to stop thinking about it for months now. Admittedly, I have a strange fascination with the radio (see July 24, 2003 / 10:51 EST), but the Freeplay Ranger will play for approximately 35 minutes per 30-second wind, and can be rewound at any time for as much playtime as you want. The sunlight charging feature is a bonus. I simply love the concept of a self-sufficient radio.

So why haven't I gone out and bought myself this new toy? I can't find it anywhere. Coleman is carrying it in the USA, but not in Canada. Radioshack and Home Hardware were supposed to be carrying it, but when I talk to them they plead ignorance. I've found a couple of places online that will ship it, but some place in the GTA must carry this sucker. If you know where I could pick up the Freeplay Ranger, I will forever be in your debt.

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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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