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.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Strombo Show Observed

As you may know, The Strombo Show is hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos. It can be heard nationally on the Corus radio network every Sunday afternoon (5-8 pm EST / 2-5 pm PST). The show feeds to Y108 (Hamilton), FM96 (London), Power 97 (Winnipeg), 102.1 The Edge (Toronto) and The Fox (Vancouver)...

Let’s talk about what goes on at the radio station when George is doing his radio show.

You can find The Edge just outside Toronto's Eaton’s Centre on Yonge Street between Dundas and Queen Street. This past Sunday I was shopping in the Eaton’s Centre spending a little gift card money and I decided to stop by The Strombo Show to drop off a friend’s CD I was telling George about.

When I arrived in the street level studio, George was still prepping for the show with his radio crew. I got greeted, and waited my turn to chat with George about Blake Walters' CD, specifically my enjoyment of the song Mr. Exorcist. Not exactly The Edge’s style… but George might enjoy it. I give you the link to Blake Walters myspace page because you might enjoy it too.
I decided to stay in the studio and observe for a little while. I noticed Jim Richards of CFRB walking in to talk to his good buddy George. I made sure I had a chance to talk to Jim before he left. I am a fan.

Another person that was at the show that night was the publicist for Bif Naked. I saw her obvious concern for her client. She looked as worried as any relative or friend would be because Bif Naked was about to publicly reveal for the first time on air that she had breast cancer. It had been diagnosed very soon after her honeymoon. It was sad and inspirational to listen to Bif talk about her experiences with it. She has Punk attitude and she will need it. Good on her for being so brave and I wish her the best.

At the commercials I talked to Bob Mackowycz Jr. I told him stories I am not telling you, and asked his advice about stuff that will never go on air... is all I am saying and, he gave me a donut. I know, you're jealous about the donut. I understand.

I watched George's myspace page and facebook page from the other side. Not as a commenter and listener like I would be on any other Sunday but as an observer of the crew that monitors and reports to George on the comments being made by the participating audience (many of whom are friends).

A hopeful young musician also walked in that night to give George his band’s brand new CD called "Only Human". George asked him a bit about it, and played about 20 seconds of it, then let Matt know to hang around, he may play it on the show. As soon as I heard the 20 seconds of that track I had to go talk to that musician. I was impressed with what I had heard and I told him so. Matt Coatsworth is the 22 year old drummer in a young Toronto band called Isle of Thieves. {Vocals/Guitar: Japeth Lead Guitar: Mike Marsh Synths/Vocals: Justin Kwan Bass Guitar: Charles Canovas.}

Matt and I got to talking. I asked him about what brought him to this moment. The band had been together 2 years but they had not played in front of an audience more than 15 times. The five of them had worked hard in those two years rehearsing and working day jobs, pouring every spare penny into producing that CD. They had budgeted a good chunk of change to get it done right.
You can find some of that story on their myspace page.

That was not the only story going on behind the scenes at The Strombo show. A half dozen more musicians showed up to give George their CD’s and hoped for airplay too… They all chatted and networked as they listened to the radio show going on in front of them.

Near the end of the last hour of the show I saw George ask his tech to set up that Isle of Thieves CD... 'get it ready'. You could tell Matt was excited to have this opportunity to have his band's hard work played on radio for the first time. It was kind of like being at a baptism.
The CD was born and needed to be introduced officially to society.
I took pictures with my cell phone of Matt talking about the CD on air to George and of the moment the song was played on air to the nation wide audience of The Strombo Show.

Great moment!

Bob was very impressed with the way Matt promoted the band like a pro and was impressed by the song as well as he tells this to Matt off air in this photograph.

The Strombo show was finished for another Sunday night.

I walked out of the studio that night feeling like I saw a bit of magic happen.
I said goodbye to Matt and wished him the best of luck with his career.
As Matt walked across the street... he leaped in the air and gave a great cheer to express his joy about the outcome of the evenings events. I don't think his feet touched the ground for the rest of the evening... Another great moment!

I got a quote back from Japeth who is the songwriter and does vocals and Guitar for the band.

I wanted to know what the bands reaction was when they heard the song on the radio.
This is what he told me.

"I actually didn't hear the song on the radio directly - I heard it through a cell phone. Our guitarist, Mike, called his girlfriend and she placed her phone against the radio speakers. So there we were, the entire band sans Matt, gathered around a cell phone in a pub. I think the circumstances just added to the uniqueness of the experience. We did not we plan on sending Matt to the Edge studio on that night. The plan for the night was to go to a pub and simply celebrate the completion of the album. When Matt told us he was going to give the album to George, I didn't really think it was going to end up on the air. So it was quite a surprise. I was definitely excited, and happy to hear the track on the radio. We all were. I had always dreamed of hearing my songs on the radio since I was a kid, so when it happened, it felt right. It felt nothing less than perfect.I missed Matt's interview but I do know that he is a natural at promoting us. lol. Do you know if transcripts of the show are available? The gathering around the cell phone was nice, but hearing the whole thing clearly might even be better!!"


Anonymous said...

Hi - I REALLY LIKED THE ISLE OF THIEVES SONG - glad that it received airplay and hope it helps with recognition for the band!


Mich said...

That's an awesome story... I missed the show on the weekend, but I'm going to go check this band out.

joe said...

Hi Barbara,

I used to listen to George on CJAD when e was also on CFRB in Toronto. I was just wondering if anybody knew what happened for him to change stations. It kind of sucks for me as I can't get him anymore over here in Montreal anymore.


668 aka neighbour of the beast said...

i lost focus after donuts... mmmm, donuts... :)

Barbara said...

Philip, I don't know how they could miss broadcasting this on a Montreal station (it's shameful).. but you could listen online by googling for any of the Corus radio stations that do play The Strombo Show and click the listen online button to follow along. Plus you could comment with us on George's myspace page...

Yes 668, Donuts... fresh donuts...
It may have been a one time offer only...

Anonymous said...

"She has Punk attitude and she will need it."

What does this mean?

Barbara said...

for anon 11:05 pm ... I mean it in a good way...I don't know what your experiences are so it's hard to explain... got to Bif Naked's myspace page... maybe you will undertand it a bit more after reading her blog...

Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...

holly cow,i checked out the myspace really rad,these guys have an awesome sound. keep it up dudes

Anonymous said...

I love the song Hollywood! Please play it again George

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