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CBC Radio 2: A Little Something for Everyone

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 7:40 AM in , , , ,

Anyone who has followed my columns knows that I’ve done much whinging and whining about the changes in the CBC Radio 2 format. I liked the old classical station that I came to love when I moved to Canada. If I wanted rock and/or roll (a Reverend Lovejoy reference for you Simpsons fans), I would turn my dial over to CHOM when I lived in Montreal or to some of the obscure New England stations. I don’t know if anyone can still get WBTZ, the alternative music station known as “the Buzz” that broadcasts out of Burlington, but it is next to impossible to pick up in Lennoxville. I always enjoyed their mix of old and new pop/rock music though the commercials made me turn the station off about as many times as I turned the station on.

The thing is, when I get in my car, I don’t feel like futzing with my iPod and all the wires plus I figure it’s not good for the iPod’s battery to leave it in the glove compartment in minus 16 weather, so I’ve been leaving CBC Radio 2 on for the drive to and from work to make my life easier and to pretend that I’m keeping an open mind. I may be middle aged but I’m still curious about new music that’s coming out.

A crazy thing has happened; I’ve started to get used to Radio 2. I’m tentatively admitting that I like it. In the morning, I’ve been listening to Bob Mackowycz who plays a solid mix of old and new music. He definitely has a well loved play list as I’m getting a little tired of hearing We Could Have Had It All by Adele (I’m also getting more than a little tired of singers with only one name, kind of presumptuous, don’t you think? Why should Adele be the quintessential Adele? There are probably some other very special Adele’s in the world…and don’t get me started about Ellen! I had the name first.) Other than that, I must admit it’s kind of nice to turn on my radio in the morning and hear Bob Mackowycz sing the praises of a group like The Clash who I used to love and then hear Rock the Casbah which, politically incorrect as it is, is still a great song and frighteningly timely.

When I come home from work and then hit the exercise or guilt machine, I listen to The Drive with Rich…Terfry. The reason that I put the pause in is that’s exactly how he says his name on the air and all the time. Everybody has his or her eccentricities and that’s his, I suppose. He’s had a running theme to the show for the last few weeks which has been music to exercise to, and for me, that’s been very handy as he’s been playing a lot of upbeat music, like Adele’s You Could Have Had It All, but then, I grew up with AM radio when the number one song was played a lot so that doesn’t put me off too much. Terfry plays everything from Joni Mitchell to Patti Smith to Elvis Costello to a Canadian band called Lazy Susan whose single is called Sweet Thing, (not to be confused with Van Morrison’s song of the same name which is infinitely better), to The Decembrists who have garnered lots of favour, according to my Facebook friends. It’s a great mix of lively music and Terfry is an engaging radio DJ without being annoying.

CBC Radio 2 may not be the class act that it was a few years ago, but in its drive to be all things to all people, there are bound to be some hits and misses. CBC Morning and The Drive are a bit of what Peter Gzowski’s Morningside was, but in a more musical vein. When you play a wide mix of music, you are sure to please some of the people some of the time.


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