Monday, January 17, 2005

top 5 radio moments

1. This moment was from Realtime - a brilliant live coast to coast CBC show that existed from 1994 to 1997, hosted by the pop culture maven, Leora Kornfeld. Realtime was ahead of its time in its use of online chat to connect with their listening audience, which was largely young people - another annomoly for the CBC. I remember one Realtime phone call that was of a 14 year old girl from the East Coast who called to say that she had a bunch of friends over and they were all dancing to the radio. And could Leora play some Sloan?

But that wasn't my favourite Realtime moment. My fave moment occurred during a show in which Leora was interviewing a filmmaker who had just shown his latest documentary on the creator of the Theremin in New York City and at a Winnipeg film festival. Leora asked the audience if anyone had seen the film to call in and it was great to hear all the positive calls from Winnipeg that you could tell, just blew the filmmaker away. One Winnipeg caller phoned in with a story: he had found and bought a theremin from some sort of junk shop on the first day of his honeymoon. He then admitted that he spent all that evening playing with the theremin much to the disgust of his newly wedded wife who, that evening, left him. At that point there was a thick radio silence.

Then Steve the filmmaker asked the called what kind of Theramin the caller had found and then the caller gleefully described it and Steve just cooed at the beauty of the find and the call went on.

2. The Testosterone episode of This American Life has made me really rethink about biology and human behaviour.

3. David Wisdom is the closest thing that Canada has to John Peel. But the strength of David Wisdom is his strange and enormous record collection. My third favourite radio moment was the set of shows when he played one song from each artist he owned a record of, in alphabetical order. The juxitiposition of it all was strange and beautiful music. But that's when David Wisdom hosted CBC's Nightlines. Now sadly, David Wisdom has been put to pasture and he is now only allowed to play quirky and classical music on Pearls of Wisdom. Such a waste!

4. Moments in Love - A History of Chillout Music

5. I used to be a regular listener to CBC's Richardson's Roundup - back in the day in which there was only the single premise, mind you. The premise was: the host would ask for songs and stories on a topic; listeners would call or write it with stories and requests; then other callers respond to the first set of stories and songs with their own stories and songs and then so on and so forth. One summer I listened to pretty much every show from work and by the end of the season, I could understand the backstory of all the numerous inside jokes that perculated from the simple call and response. Ah, but then it became "The Roundup" of CBC radio repeats with some song requests and stories interpresed inbetween and to me, it lost all of the show's flow and charm. But they can't take my memories away from me!

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