Saturday, May 1, 2010

Strombo Street

I owe George Stroumboulopoulos an apology, not that he would have been aware of the initial slight. Way back after the autochthonic birth of the blog, I dissed him, as part of the "new CBC 2". The Strombo Show and the Signal were not up to snuff -- I wanted Patti Schmidt and Brave New Waves back.

Several Sundays later, I need to change my tune. I still want Patti and Brave New Waves back. I'm starting to lose my grip on the nomenclature of the new music genres. But that's another matter.

Every Sunday, from 8 to midnight, right after the soundtrack to my physiotherapy workout -- David Starkey's "Monarchy" -- lies the four hour commercial-free ambit of The Strombo Show. This has become appointment radio for me. Radio? Yes kids, radio. How quickly we forget those little brown boxes, those ghastly looking ghettoblasters, and now those podcasts, or whatever other devolutionary devices people increasingly utilize. Yes, George, mission accomplished. Congratulations. You have restored the spirit of radio. Once again, the invisible airwaves in my apartment crackle with life. No echoing sounds of salesmen, though. Sorry Geddy.

Where else can you hear, within one uninterrupted four-hour span of radio, old school Tool, an album side from Godspeed's magnum opus "Lift your Skinny Fists to Heaven", the tragic tones of a Johnny Cash fable, the sublimity of Feist, and the baroque grotesque of Tom Waits, all mashed into a sonic stew that caps off each and every week that most of us continue to trudge through.

Even the "Tom at Ten" segment, which counter intuitively arrives at around 9:43 each week, has converted me. I never used to understand the Waits phenomenon, and while I have yet to be conscripted into the cult, I do have an ameliorated appreciation. "What is he building in there?" accomplished that.

I used to ask that question about your alchemical experiment, George. But you must garner a ton of respect with the suits over there at the mighty CBC. Somehow you persuaded them to give you a four hour tabula rasa with which to do whatever the fuck you want. Luckily, from what I can tell, we share not only the same age but similar musical tastes as well.

Thanks, Strombo.


  1. Wicked posts, man. You, me, and Manny Weinberg, we all got an affection for those solid, simple, utilitarian things, like Underwood typewriters and medicine balls--leather ones!! Today I came back from a thrift store with a beautiful 1950s rangefinder camera. Simple, solid, aesthetic...not even a lightmeter. I put in some old Tri-X film. Can hardly wait to print it in the darkroom. Yes, wait to get the photos and print them in a darkroom--not done in a computer screen instant. Still got to do that movie night, Fish Eye.

  2. you have a darkroom in your apartment, SC? What are you building in there?