The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

The place to get the latest news on what’s coming up on #Gtonight. Find out what Canada’s boyfriend is up to. Share stories, pictures, favourite tv and radio episodes.

CBC TV & Radio shows plus HNIC

His work with Artists for Peace and Justice

UN Ambassadorship for The World Food Programme

Saturday, June 30, 2007

and for this week on The Hour

Let's see... what does it say is coming up this week?

The Strombo show is Live on Sunday With Bob Mackowycz Jr. asking the questions; What Canadian songs do you want to here? Do you have any Canadian unsung heroes that you want to talk about?

There is a new facebook group created by Emily Cole and hosted by Bob and George for The Strombo Show .

What's on The Hour this week you ask?

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.... unknown. This may be the reason why, Soccer

We are going to interview Nile Seguin on Monday before the All New Materials Night at the Rivoli. The comedy show starts at 9:00 pm.

The interview will be posted here sometime in the coming months.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What the bloggers are up to...

Some of us are on vacation and blogging is the last thing on our minds...
That's OK... it's summer, and in Canada, it does not last that long so enjoy the season for all it's worth.

For myself and some friends, we are working on a few projects that are The Hour related but focusing on people like Jian Ghomeshi and Nile Seguin... it's the continuation of the series She Asked...

This is Stephanie, Shelley and Lorraine setting up for the interview with Jian in the Q studio.

If you have suggestion for subjects for this series you can write the blog

I will try to keep you informed with any Strombo bulletins as I get 'em.
Now I better go update what's on The Hour this week...

Barbara W.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What's coming up??

I have been trying to sort out what's coming up this week...

This I know.

Sunday the Strombo show will be live!!

They will be interviewing ?uestlove the drummer from The Roots

This will be the last show before George goes on vacation.

It's not to say they won't do shows without Strombo there... they could... they have... I hope they will.

This week on The Hour all I know is on Tuesday they will explore how Toronto sucks and everybody hates it, with Albert Nerenberg. Also on Tuesday Virgins, Body Farms, and Chris Coppola plus Branson?? Seems like a lot for Tuesday and nothing on Wednesday? I am not sure that's right... aah just watch what's on... then you'll know.
Thursday they will air the interview with Alexandre Trudeau about his experiences in Iraq.

I know I am forgetting something about what is coming up this week.... besides the best of shows mixed in with interviews you have not seen yet... disinformation is back...

There will be updates...just not very accurate ones.

looking back this was a great closer from last season

Monday, June 18, 2007

A few of my favourite things...

It's about that time. Season 3 is coming to a close and summer is here which means loads of fun in the sun and less time for things like blogging. With that in mind I decided to take a look back at the season and pick out some of my personal favourite moments, interviews and guests. There were many guests I was absolutely thrilled to see, many I found profoundly inspirational and some that surprised me. Going through the list of guests I discovered there were many more highlights than I expected. I'm not going to put links on everyone's names..mostly because I'm lazy.. partly because you can just go to The Hour's site and see them all there. As the man says.. limber up folks..

Favourite Interviews:
Billy Connolly - I don't know if there is a funnier person on the planet and the bit about the Scottish Presbyterians was spot on (speaking as a nonpracticing one myself)
Stephan Jones - one of the quotes that will always stick with me "religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell.. spirituality is for people who've alreayd been there"
Stephen Lewis - we should all follow this man's example
Tom Morello - surprised me

Favourite Guests:
Jim Cuddy - *sigh* that's all I'm sayin'
Jann Arden - SO funny
Michael Buble - love the dude
Sam Raimi
Ed Norton
Gene Simmons - ok so he hasn't aired yet and the best parts of this interview happened before the cameras were on and he was just himself and not in "character"
Gerard Butler - ladies.. his accent? need I really say more?
John Cusack - he's Cusack man.. what can you say?

Funniest & Favourite Moments:
During the James Cromwell interview.. the socks & the chairs (also one of my fave interviews)
Nile's lists - ok seriously CBC if you're listening (and I know you're give the man his own day of the week.. Friday even during the best of shows.
Fainting goats
Track by Track with Noel.. the dinner/diner part
George very nearly losing his pants when about to tell the story of showering at the gym (it was funnier live)
Shaun Majumder's Best Story Ever
the piano playing (by the different guests and George too)
the Tragically Hip special
the Thought of the Day - almost every one has been awesome
I loved that February's Paris Hilton free month lasted the rest of the season

Most Inspirational Guests:
These people are truly amazing examples of humanity at its best and of overcoming absolutely anything. This is obviously not a complete list..
Muhammad Yunus
Erin Gruwell
Chris Gardner
Maggie Trudeau
Ishmael Beah

As much as all of these guests have touched me in some way, either through humour, emotion or intelligence, the best of Season 3 (and possibly all others) is June Callwood. The interview itself was a rare piece of journalism and June has no match. I'm not sure how many times I've watched it and I get something different from it each time. I've cried through it many times, I've laughed through it but mostly it's made me think.

I have a couple of wee suggestions for next year: #1 bring back the closer (this could be an entire blog post by itself), #2 the music for Portraits of Canadians.. ouch..

I very much enjoyed this season and can only think of one or two guests that truly set my teeth to grinding. Most were excellent. I hope to see more of Nile, Paul, Luce, Tim and Hilary next season. I'm quite certain I'm forgetting so many people I wanted to talk about but hopefully you'll all chime in with the parts you liked the best this year. I should really add that the best part of the show this year was discovering it in the first place, figuring out how to spell Stroumboulopoulos, seeing the show live several times and getting to hang out with some really awesome people (online and in person).

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Nile on the Fringe Festival Circuit

Nile Seguin is one of this season's writers for The Hour. Various bloggers on our team have seen him perform stand up before and now it was my turn. He is currently in Montreal appearing at the Fringe Festival. I saw his one man show earlier this week and I really liked it. There were many laugh out loud moments and funny observations made about supposed historical truths and how things get swept under the rug. Very entertaining and thought provoking. I didn't realize an hour had passed by the end of it.

Nile will also be performing at other Fringe Festivals this summer (Winnipeg and Edmonton). Check out his website for details.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The end of an era...

Sadly The Strombo Forum is no more. The site was taken down over the weekend by it's creator. It was started last fall as a temporary place for fans to meet and discuss until other sites became more developed. Personally I'm sad to see it go. I loved the different topic boards and discussions and very much enjoyed the gabbly chat since it was an instantaneous connection with others. Maybe I'm just sentimental since that's where I got to really get to know many of the people I know call friends. But as they say all good things must come to an end.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Promotional Tours & Talk Shows

Yesterday I was reading the English free weekly papers here in Montreal and found two different interviews with Rufus Wainwright (1 & 2). He is also on The Hour tonight. He is a Montreal born musician so it makes sense that he would get a lot of coverage here as he releases his new album. He clearly is doing a specific part of his job now – promotion.

I think it makes sense that actors, authors, musicians, and athletes will hit the airwaves and other media outlets to get people interested in their activities, projects and products, and for politicians, their policy and books. Unless people hear about them there will be no awareness of what they are up to and consequently no sales (especially if they need to cater to middle America for their careers). Of course these promotional tours are scheduled. They are not done on a whim. Getting them on your talk show is rarely a scoop unless they seldom do press (perhaps Stephen King on The Hour is one – I cannot say I have seen a recent TV interview on a main network channel with him).

For some people this press tour business comes off as artificial, which I can appreciate, but it also makes sense to me. Recently I spoke to a musician about his project scheduling and he told me how he liked getting out there to talk about his stuff when it is time to do so. It is a change of pace as well as an opportunity to share what he has worked on for months, often alone, in the studio. It is part of the ebb and flow of the project.

The other issue some people take with it is that promotion of one product becomes content for another – which in turn gets promoted as well. They do not see substance. I do not I agree with this. I see value in hearing people speak about their projects. I am often exposed to something I would not normally have found on my own. I often get some insight into how the project came to fruition. I like the behind the scenes kind of information. I like learning about an artist’s life history and their process. I think that is substance.

I really do not think there is anything wrong with how talk shows are platforms for this kind of content. Even if there is repetition in terms of guests each talk show has a slightly different format and attitude and each provides a different context. Lots of people go on publicity tours and each show picks who they will feature.

I appreciate The Hour’s selection more often than not. According to a statement made to another blogger who is on the show is determined by the producers, and in the end George, not by PR people. It makes me think it must be freeing to have that control as compared to other possible talk show gigs.

In any case, there have been many people this season that I was glad were on The Hour. I was happy they were doing some promotion so I got to see George interview them (two actors off the top of my head - John Cusack and Steve Bushemi). And there is always Portrait of Canadians to highlight those folks outside of the mainstream who are just doing there thing and not out to sell anything which is pretty neat too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wednesday is the last audience taping

The Hour will be on all summer and there will be about a month more of shows you have not seen yet and best of shows but this is the last week of taping in front of a studio audience.

On Monday

Nickleback will soon be starting a Canadian tour.
Christopher Hitchens Author of God is Not Great.

and on Tuesday

Rufus Wainright critically acclaimed musicians in Canada talks about his life.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is going green...

Then on Wednesday

Does Stephen King scare you?

The New Ambassador to Unicef Mia Farrow talks about The crisis in Darfur

Getty Lee from Rush will be on.
John Kerry Talks about a book he co wrote 'This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future'.

The Drama

As I read, all the drama that unfolded surrounding the controversial part of our interview, I wondered, "What the hell is so controversial?"

I mean really, so what if he turned down Canadian Idol. I would have, wouldn’t you???!?!?

Quite frankly, I am grateful that George, didn't do anything else but The Hour. I have watched more interviews and learned more things, heard more new music, checked out more great stuff and read more amazing books, then ever before because of The Hour and George's influence.

If he hadn't taken the Hour, I never would have met such an awesome guy!

The drama was thoroughly entertaining though. I, for one was much, much, much more interested in what he regretted in his life. Not what job he turned down.

And as for Shinan Govani’s implication that George turned down Idol, uh, where was the implication it was Idol? If I remember correctly (from a personal meeting with George ) it was an American show. And if Canadian Idol is the biggest show in Canadian history, we sooo have major problems.

"I mean I took that show in the States and it bombed, and it was an amazing experience, and I was offered a show that's a huge show here now and I turned it down. And people said to me 'that's the biggest show in Canadian history, why don't you do that show?'Because I wouldn't have felt right, you know?...But I don't regret it. I think it was awesome. Because of that I was able to get this show here."

George’s career choices are not news.

And as for our choice to take down our video…

To our viewers/readers, if we caused you an inconvenience... we are sorry.

We run the blog though and we get to take down our interview that we wrote, directed and produced at our will. Just as any site can choose to do.

So stop criticizing us for making a decision we deemed necessary or just felt like doing. The video is up for all to enjoy. Edited as we saw fit.

So, watch it…. Don’t watch it…. Whatever.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The interview with George Stroumboulopoulos...

View above or click here.

People had complained about the low sound so the post was pulled down and the audio levels raised. It was learned that the interviewed had been copied, edited and reposted by someone else without authorization and thought it best to remove the controversial segment in the Stroumboulopouli version so as not to distract from the rest of the things discussed. Now let's back to focusing on the show.

After you watch the video we thought you may like a few links to some of the things George talks about.

The guilty pleasure songs and singers on George's ipod are listed as follows.

This Train Don't Stop There Anymore Elton John

Its Still Rock And Roll To Me Billy Joel

and Don Henley

Blogs George reads...

Rick Mercers blog

Matt Watts

Amber Mac & Leo Laporte

Brian Frank



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nile and company at The Rivoli

Last night I went to The Rivoli for an awesome evening of comedy. It was all new material night and there were a couple of familiar faces, some people I kind of vaguely thought I recognized and some I'd never heard of. Ron James stopped in for a few minutes which was cool. I was partial to (and I hope this is the right guy) Nathan MacIntosh - he was funny but he also had on a wicked pair of orange and black Nikes. Later on they had six or seven new comics who achieved various levels of success. A couple of them were really good and I'm sure they'll be around for a while.

The real reason we were there though was to see Nile.

Judging by the reaction of the audience I'm just guessing but I think a good portion of them were there for the same reason. He was great! If you go to his myspace page you can see a list of where he's going to be performing. I would highly recommend taking the chance to see him if you can. He's good on The Hour but he's even better live. And I still think they need to give him his own day of the week to do The List.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What's going on this week on The Hour.

Schedule is subject to change... more often then not...

Sunday June 3rd
Will the Strombo Show be live?
My guess would be yes, but who will be hosting it tonight is still based on how fast George gets back from watching The Sens beat
the Ducks last night in Ottawa. Tune in at 9pm to find out.

Monday June 4th
Canadian film Director Guy Maddin will be on . He learned to make movies by watching movies.
Marina Newmat tells her story of imprisonment and survival in Teheran's Notorious Evil Prison.

Tuesday June 5th
The Queen of Paint Debbie Travis will surprise you with her reveal.
American Author Gore Vidal is a screenwriter and novelist and an important contributor to the American culture.

Wednesday June 6th

Thursday June 7th
Canadian director Ivan Reitman will be inducted to the Walk of Fame for such classic films such as Animal House, Old School, and Trailer Park Boys...
George will let us know if there are any changes to the schedule... right George?