CBC Beckons Cool

What’s gotten into the CBC these days? They are coming across all hipstery (at least some of the time). I’m up at the cottage again (hence my lackadaisical posting – dialup sucks) and listening to a lot of CBC Radio One. The flagship show Sounds Like Canada is being guest-hosted by Jian Ghomeshi, host of the National Playlist and former frontman of Moxy Fruvous and his Canada sounds a lot cooler than I’m used to hearing on the national broadcaster.

Yesterday, after our morning dip, he interviewed Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy, who has been short listed for the Polaris music prize for his album He Poos Clouds. Pallett is also responsible for arranging the string section for Montreal’s Arcade Fire, giving him a hipster trifecta. Mainstream Canada likely didn’t know what hit them.

Today Jian – who once serenaded me with Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” – was talking to two members of Montreal’s The Stills about their latest album. They are best know for their fantastic album Logic Will Break Your Heart, of which several songs ended up on Zach Braff’s Garden State soundtrack. Even they were arguing that they aren’t all that well known.

Tomorrow alt-country superstar and member of Vancouver’s New Pornographers, Neko Case, will be on the show talking about her latest album. Very cool. It’s good to see the CBC assuming that there are more than just parents listening to them, and while I’m no youngster I’m pleased to hear music that is often relegated to college stations getting a coast-to-coast airing.

On a related note, seems CBC TV is following through on the trend and have seconded designated hipster and The Hour host George Stroumboulopoulos to ABC to host their reality music show, The One: Making a Music Star. This is the Idol-esque show that they are simulcasting and pushing Peter Mansbridge and The National out of the way for. When its run is over, a Canadian version will air, doubtlessly to be hosted by Stroumbo, despite protestations that there are no plans in the works.

I don’t know how successful yet another music reality show will be, but letting the charismatic Stroumbo take the reins at least gives it a shot. It starts next Tuesday, so I’ll at least tune in for the opener.

(Speaking of guest hosts, I may have one or two over the next couple of days. Play nice with them.)


  1. AnonymousJuly 11, 2006

    I was surprised by how good ole Georgie boy is at hosting the Hour... and part of me thinks he was part of the reason that Tommy Douglas that Greatest Canadian honor.

  2. AnonymousJuly 12, 2006

    Canadian TV is so much better than US TV. I love The Stills, the song "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" is one of my internal soundtracks. Do you know where I could get the interview online?

  3. AnonymousJuly 12, 2006

    I've quite enjoyed The Hour and has become part of my media diet. I think my TV watching in the fall will be The National, The Hour, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report. I like to mix my real and fake news.

    As for getting The Stills interview, check out the SLC site: (http://www.cbc.ca/soundslikecanada/). There are podcasts and such, but I can't tell if it is there or not 'cause of my damn dial connection. Hope that helps.

  4. AnonymousJuly 14, 2006

    MC is right. I'm convinced Tommy Douglas won because of George. I think he could have presented any of the top three and turned them into the winner.

  5. AnonymousJuly 19, 2006

    CBC's growing hipness aside, Jian is a terrible host. His interview questions are trite, he has a terrible grasp of most topics aside from music, and has no ability to empathize with or be critical of his guests. The (sometimes rhyming) prose with which he opens SLC each morning is, more often than not, offensive. I am so glad he does not have his own show any longer, and hope the CBC does not make the mistake of giving one to him again.

  6. AnonymousJuly 19, 2006

    I'm sure he has been stirring up listeners this summer. I only tend to hear the show when I'm at the cottage, so I haven't got a good handle on his hosting (or lack thereof) skills.