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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our Favourite Clips - Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll - Part 3

To complete the Tre dear readers. My third and final contribution of my favourite interviews for my themed selection of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll.

Sex - Covered by the wonderful Sue Johanson.
Drugs - Trailer Park Boys... 'nuff said.

Rock 'N' Roll - What could be more Rock 'N' Roll than having a huge tiger in the studio? Awesome. Just Awesome.
But I was scooped. Last night's re-run featured the appearance of Robbie the Tiger and his trainer, Dave Salmoni in studio. However - such a lovely creature deserves to be watched again and again. And Robbie ain't half bad either.
Love a lot about this interview. The profession of Robbie's previous owner is interesting to say the least, there's the question of what might ensue when the raw meat runs out, a shout out to the amazing Chris Rock and MOST importantly - a clarity on the level of respect and awe that we should afford these rare and magnificent animals.
Tiger Time on The Hour. Like Hammer Time was to the 80's but WAY cooler and minus the stupid pants! OK... it's nothing like Hammer Time. Enjoy HERE

Before you go... what would Rock 'N' Roll be without an encore? There have been many amazing artists interviewed on The Hour so the choice of only one is difficult. In the spirit of Rock 'N' Roll... a BONUS clip. With incredible depth, integrity and masterful musicianship this artist distinguishes himself. Whether with Rage Against the Machine or in his solo work as 'The Nightwatchman' Tom Morello is a ground breaker on every level. Political but not preachy. Talented but not arrogant.
Enjoy a rewatch of the Tom Morello Interview HERE

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our Favourite Clips - Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll - Part 2

As we burn through another week of re-runs and post our individual top three interviews - I'd made the choice to post the lighter side & theme it up. Up today is part 2 of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll. Drugs. In case you were high and didn't follow where we're going here.

Drugs - 'weed' in particular - is practically a character in the very funny TV series Trailer Park Boys.

This interview is strange and wonderful... just as this show is. The actors who play the main characters - Ricky, Julian and God help us - Bubbles - are some of the best defined characters ever on television, Canadian or otherwise. They are true pop culture icons. Incredibly popular since their 2001 debut, the boys have been featured in a Tragically Hip video and even kidnapped Alex Lifeson from Rush. How Canadian. The lead actors appear regularly at events in character and always on point.

I was a late starter when it came to the Trailer Park Boys - a family member encouraged me to watch and I catch an episode whenever I can - settle in and laugh myself sick. Even the most composed and together individual is likely to crumble into heaps of laughter just by looking at 'Bubbles' and once you hear him speak, all bets are off. Makes me giggle every time. And I'm straight edge.

A fun 'Drug' moment in TPB history was the episode in which the tool shed, full of weed, burned to the ground. Welcome to Sunnyvale..... stay a while. Guaranteed failed money making schemes, foul and colourful language, meat stealing, Shitmobile driving action and much more!

Ladies and Gentlemen... Ricky, Julian and Bubbles. A truly 'Homegrown' success story took time to stop by The Hour to chat with George.

Watch their interview HERE

So - tune in tomorrow for the third of my three favourite clips... Rock 'N' Roll. Bet you can't guess who I'll feature.... it'll be wild. That's my only clue. And no, it's NOT Johnny Rotten.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Favourite Clips - Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll

I have a confession that might get me in trouble with regular viewers of The Hour. I am actually enjoying the re-runs during hockey playoffs. *ducks behind the desk* As a regular viewer, the interviews I have missed are few and far between but there have been several that I'm glad to re watch. Jully Black. Ariel Dorfman, Warren McDonald to name a few.

We've been revisiting some of our favourite interviews from The Hour. It's now my turn and over the next three days, I've decided to keep my selections on the lighter side and theme it up a bit. Gentle readers...over the next three days we are pleased to present - Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll.

First up. SEX. Recently voted the
Greatest Thing Ever sex beat out the likes of babies, velcro and sleep. Whether YOU believe it's the Greatest Thing Ever will probably depend very strongly on your personal experience.

Who gave you 'The Talk'? Did you even get 'The Talk'? Were your parents or mentors open and willing to discuss not only the mechanics of sex but the responsibilities and risks involved in choosing to have a sexual relationship? Honest enough to share with you the often unspoken realities of sex - that it is a very pleasurable expression of affection or lust or that it's a key element in a healthy and fulfilling romantic relationship? Not so much huh. Well that's where Sue comes in.

So.. the 'Sex' clip. The wonderfully open, funny, honest and intelligent Sue Johanson. Registered Nurse, wife, mom, broadcaster, author, lecturer. Nobody can stretch a condom like Sue!

Many will have listened to Sue on the Sunday Night Sex Show which ran from 1996-2005.
Sue can currently be seen on the
Oxygen Network in the US. She could have been my Rock 'N' Roll' pick actually - she's a pioneer and a rock star in her own right. Fearless and vocal.

This interview is a favourite of mine for a couple of reasons. George and Sue have such a comfortable and easy rapport and despite the prevailing attitude that the collective 'we' knows so much - there remains a need to bring facts and knowledge about sex, sexually transmitted infections and other issues of human sexuality forward. Especially for young people. Sue highlights these important issues both over the airwaves and from the lecture stage.

So I give you a two fer actually.

A very awkward but funny Cold Open....

The Sue Interview .... HERE

Enjoy - and I'll catch you back here for the 'drugs' clip tomorrow. Any guesses who it may be? Remember that Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty haven't been on The Hour...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Week of April 27 to May 3

Well, it's Week Three of the hockey induced hiatus. Do you have a nervous twitch yet from not getting your daily Hour fix? Have you caught a couple of the whackily scheduled "best of" shows after hockey? Or have you been stalking our blog for "Our Favourite Clips" to get your Hour fix? As always, make sure you check out The Hour website for the latest information on the show, and After The Hour for extra clips from the show and other random clips. Paul McGrath announced last week on The Hour's blog, that The Hour's YouTube channel has passed 5 Million views. So you've got a lot of outlets to get through the last week of the hiatus. Check a few out, you never know what you may find that you've never, ever seen before or that you'd totally forgotten about.

Check out The Hour's Ticket Page if you're in the Toronto area and want to experience The Hour in studio. Tickets are current available for most of May. Tickets tend to go fast so book quickly for the next couple of weeks. Remember, the ticket policy has changed, it's now only two tickets per person, not the previous four.

On the April 27th edition of The Strombo Show, George's guests will talk to the Canadian Indie Band Tokyo Police Club who kick off the Canadian leg of their tour in Toronto with two shows next weekend, May 3 and 4 at The Opera House. Other shows include Winnepeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria. Check out the band's webpage or their MySpace page for the full list of their tour dates.

George's in studio guest this week will be Canadian singer/songwriter Kevin Drew, who is probably best known for being one of the founding members and leader of Broken Social Scene. While in studio, Drew will play an acoustic set.

The Strombo Show airs in Vancouver (The Fox), Winnipeg (Power 97), Toronto (The Edge), Hamilton (Y108) and London (FM96) on the Corus Radio Network from 5-8 EDT (2-5 PDT). If you're not in radio range of those cities, you can stream the show from any of the radio stations listed above. Don't forget you can watch the Strombo Show on The Edge's Webcam. If you're not a member of The Strombo Show's Facebook Group, join today! Also, get in on the action and leave your comments during the show on the group page or on George's Myspace and Facebook pages. And don't forget, you can always call in to the show at 1-866-967-3343 or email the show

Make sure you head over to the Canon Canada Digital Photography website to check out a few of George's photographs. George was selected by Canon Canada as one of twelve Canadian celebrities to participate in their fourth annual "Other Side of the Lens" collection to celebrate the theme of "Red, White and Green". Other celebrities showcased this year include: Ronnie Hawkins, Stuart McLean, Robert Bateman, Meghan Follows, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Moses Znaimer, Laura Vandervoort, Michael Standtlander, Jacques Laguirand and Jian Ghomeshi. For their participation in the collection, Canon Canada has made a sizeable donation to Earth Day Canada.

And finally, in a Harris/Decima survey commissioned by the BBC Canada series Trinny and Susannah Undress the Nation, George has been named the best dressed man in Canada by 33% percent of respondents. Runners up include Canada AM's Seamus O'Regan with 29% with Don Cherry rounding out the top three with 21% of respondents. The survey explored Canadian women's attitudes regarding the importance of men's style... or lack of style.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Our Favourite Clips...Hockey Hate

In celebration of the NHL hockey finals I bring to your attention a feature The Hour broadcast on April 24 Th 2006.
click here

Sports & Hate, and hockey hate in particular, is explored with Ron Maclean, Mike Hogan (of the fan) and a bunch of different fans expressing their hate of the 'other teams'.

I am watching hockey as I write this post. I won't tell you who wins or who I hate, or why Steph A. and Ron Maclean have something against Bobby Orr....


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our Favourite clips... George S and George S.

I find it's an interview of interest because I had never heard of this other George before I saw him on The Hour.
Here is a clip that aired October 09 2006

George Stroumboulopoulos talks with The other George S... I thinks it's Stephanopoulos about President George W. Bush.

Speaking of things that are alike, I got an email about this musician that looks a little like someone we know.

His name is Doug Gorrie .
He is an up and coming musician from T-Bay.

Our Favourite clips...The Closers

While exploring the archives of I was looking through all the Closers. I love the closers, and the title 'Hooray for more Lawyers' caught my attention. I happen to like Lawyers so I was curious to learn more.

This closer was broadcast on June 21st 2005 (season one).

George, wearing a light blue shirt, talks about National Aboriginal Day and about 11 law students in Nunavut.

National Aboriginal Day is a Canadian day of recognition of the diverse cultures and outstanding contributions to Canada of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis, who are collectively known as Aboriginal peoples in Canada. It was proclaimed in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc to be celebrated on June 21 of every year. More

One more Closer for you from my favourites then you can explore them as you like...

The Closer Contest. Broadcast June 2 2005

Peter, one of the writers on the show, explains how to write a closer for a contest The Hour was holding near the end of Season One. I wish I knew what the results were... I didn't find the winning closer in the archives.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Our favorite clips...Dave Bidini

A tip of my hat to a true Canadian singer/songwriter, author, hockey fanatic and an inspirational human being.


The Hour's interview with Dave Bidini, formerly of The Rheostatics, delves into his roots with the Toronto band, who's trademark was it's unabashed love of the land.
"People struggle really hard to establish the Canadian identity & what it means to be Canadian. It's all around us, it's palpable, it's ok to say you love it."

He's recently published a book, "Around the World in 57½ Gigs", where he travels the globe solo with a guitar, his musical passport in being a welcomed guest worldwide, to find the commonalities of Rock N' Roll in different places & cultures. He talks about teenage Rock N' Roll rebellion, where in N. America it's an ipod ad, and in other parts of the world it's real. "It's tangible. It's something to it might not be there tomorrow."

I also found a fascinating recent review on his book, by Mark D. Dunn, a writing instructor.

He can be seen live for anyone in the area interested in a show:

Dave Bidini Band
April 27/08 @ the
with The Billie Hollies, Designer Jeans and Paul Linklater
306 King Street W
Hamilton, ON
Phone: (905) 521-4441
Doors @ 8:00; show begins @ 8:45.
Tix: $10.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Our favorite clips...Naomi Kline

Kicking off Season 4, I thoroughly enjoyed George's interview with activist Naomi Kline, which prompted an interest in learning more about her ideas and her writing. After quite a bit of roving, I've found myself wanting more, and am eagerly awaiting to read her new book, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.


Naomi Klein known to some of her critics as an ideological leftist, proves to me from her observations and ideas, that she believes in a new world. A new world of informing yourself, outrage in what we are letting our politicians get away with, and a dream of humanitarian & environmental participation.

A world that is compromised of wealth distribution, by an economical and political system driven by the people who contribute to it. Can you imagine such a world? To be in charge of your own democratic rights, freedoms and faiths? To be represented by leaders chosen by the people, demanding they keep the promises made? To keep their resources and environment in such a healthy state, so as to enable that society in benefiting other less fortunate countries in establishing and generating prosperity within their own borders?

Such radical ideas, I know.....but in staying informed on the "behind the scenes" political methods we see being used today, maybe.....just maybe, we can learn from past mistakes and atrocities, and contribute to a better future. Discussion, CAN lead to action -and what more powerful way is there, than to let your imagination soar? As George Stroumboulopoulos states in one of his quotes: "Panic and Understanding". Scare tactics only last so long, before one starts to question the basis behind the terror.

I, for one, believe that Naomi Kline is on the right track. So do yourself a favor, play the short film and read some of these links; it may educate & open your eyes to see without the blinders placed on your temples. Paranoia? Conspiracy Theories? Extremist idea's? I certainly don't think so.

"Baghdad year zero:
Pillaging Iraq in pursuit of a neocon utopia"
By Naomi Klein
Published in Harper's Magazine September 2004.

Naomi Klein: From Think Tanks to Battle Tanks, "The Quest to Impose a Single World Market Has Casualties Now in the Millions"
A transcript from an interview with Amy Goodman with Democracy Now!
Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

The Shock Doctrine Short Film


Our favorite clips...Paul Franklin (1st interview)

"Is he a real man?" This was one of the questions e-mailed to The Hour when announcing the interview with Master Corporal Paul Franklin. In response, he asks what makes any man a real man? He tells George, it's in your soul, your head and what you do.
The loss of his legs doesn't define who he is, and though he takes you on the journey of that tragic day, he touches you with heartfelt insight into his mind, his family life, his ability to laugh at himself and his plan for the future.


One of the most poignant moments of the clip for me, was when he talks about sitting with his laptop on his thighs, looking at a picture of his former legs stretched out into the distance and what he feels both physically and mentally, while doing so. Something that he uses in his speeches when sharing his story of survival & recovery to Canadian audiences.
Paul Franklin, the dad & husband, discusses what life is like at home between he & his 7yr old son and the type of relationship he feels is important to keep with his wife, that of a lover & a best-friend.
His personal courage and up-beat outlook on what he's been through makes this a must-see interview, with Paul's views on Canada's role in Afghanistan to his affirmation that the first year after his incident, has been the best year of his life.
In starting The Franklin Foundation, he co-founded the Northern Alberta Amputee Program (NAAP), is back to work teaching tactical combat medicine at Canadian Army bases, and has released a critically acclaimed book,
"The Long Walk Home." <<< link with reviews from Roméo Dallaire & Rick Mercer.

You can watch the interview here.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's mystery week on The Hour...

As of this very moment, The Hour's website only shows two guests for the week ahead, so let's go with what we know...

As you read the web address, chances are you might be thinking about something else. As a young pastor, Craig Gross observed that many of his parishioners were experiencing a struggle with the issue of pornography. Gross decided to take rather a unique approach to help his flock and went directly to the porn industry. Eventually "X3", the porn fighting website was born. In 2006 Gross even engaged in a public debate with adult film performer Ron Jeremy. Craig Gross will be on The Hour this Monday.

If you are a fan of the American Pie franchise, you may remember John Cho. Or perhaps you recall the term that he popularized in those movies...try to find a link for that term and Craig Gross will not be a happy pastor. Moving on...

In 2004 Cho starred along side Kal Penn in the comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. This Friday the sequel to that movie, Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay will be released.

A new pre-tape has been added to the The Hour's schedule. Chef Gordon Ramsay of Hell's Kitchen fame will be interviewed on Monday, April 28th.

In Two Weeks...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Our favourite clips... Jamie Oliver

Food. It's one of those things that we all need for survival, so you'd think that people would look at it in the same way. Not so. Some people don't care what they eat, food is only good for satisfying a hunger. But food does so much more. It can satisfy an emotion, a craving... food can be an experience. Now now, don't turn away, I'm not going to go into one of my "food is an experience" rants about my philosophy on food... I could, but I won't. But just give me a minute.

We all have to eat, right? So why do we fill ourselves up with tasteless, cheap fake food, when the real thing can be so easy to prepare and can be so incredibly satisfying? And not only that, generally, it can be good for you and satisfy your body's needs... so why wouldn't we go for the fresh, organic, minimally processed foods?
The answers I hear to that question range from "I can't cook" (yes, you can) or "I have no time to cook" (yes, you do) or "It's just too complicated" (yes, it can be... but that's easily worked around) to the very interesting "I'm not a pansy ass cook... I eat frozen food" (ummm... okay. To this day I still have no idea what that meant).

In a former life, I trained in one of Canada's culinary schools. Yes, I wore one of those white hats and yes I walked around with a tool kit full of knives. And there, I found my philosophy on food. And a few years later,
Jamie Oliver burst onto the scene with his first show The Naked Chef, espousing the same kind of philosophy. Fresh. Flavourful. Simple. I found a kindred spirit among the celebrity chefs who never quite hit the mark.
Forget Emeril with his "Bam!" or Gordon Ramsey with his string of expletives, Jamie Oliver has a more natural, fluid and organic way of looking at food. Working in his father's pub by age 8, Oliver comes from a culinary family... his father and grandfather were both chefs. Oliver started Culinary school at age 16 and by his early twenties he was making his mark on the London food scene. The fates had another plan for him, and through producer Patricia Llewellyn, Jamie Oliver, the television chef was born.

From his first series
The Naked Chef (no he wasn't naked, the food was) to his current series Jamie at Home, Oliver's way of presenting food hasn't changed. In the midst of his growing television and book career, Oliver's also opened a handful of restaurants, written about a dozen books, and designed a line of cookware, Oliver's also gives a lot back. He gives disenfranchised teens a chance to make something of themselves by training them to be chefs at his London restaurant Fifteen, in the series Jamie's Kitchen and he's taken on the British government and school systems in an attempt to bring better quality food to students in British schools in the series Jamie's School Dinners. Jamie Oliver has taken his passion, talent and flair with food and created an empire.

Jamie Oliver on The Hour.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Our favourite clips... Tony Campolo

Anyone who knows me will probably find this choice rather shocking. I am, by every definition, not religious. It's not my thing. Hasn't been for years. Basically, I'm from the school that if it gets you through the night, great, but don't push it on me. So most of the time I have a hard time listening to religious interviews because it always seems like they are pushing something.
Tony Campolo is a well-known American preacher who challenges Christians to use their faith for the greater good. He started the Red Letter Christians movement, which promotes biblical based values such as peace and eliminating social injustices.

I came very close to changing the channel when Tony Campolo appeared on The Hour. I figured he was going to be the stereotypical evangelical, with that air of moral superiority that many tend to carry with them. I was pleasantly surprised, and the interview became one of my favourites.

Tony Campolo on The Hour

Our favourite clips...Frank O'Dea

It's not very often that you hear about true rags to riches tales. And then, every once in a while, we hear about people like Frank O'Dea.
O'Dea's early story is truly horrific, one that you would not expect to have a happy outcome. The victim of multiple sexual assaults in his childhood, by the time O'Dea was in his twenties he was living a drunken life on the streets of Toronto. At 23, he was given the courage to fight his demons, overcome the obstacles facing the homeless and rejoin mainstream society in the pursuit of making something of his life.

And his desire to be something more than what he was has paid off. Many, many times over. In 1975, O'Dea opened up a little coffee shop with a business partner in the Scarborough Town Centre. They called it Second Cup, which is now the largest chain of gourmet coffee stores in Canada.

And he didn't stop there.
Building on the success of Second Cup, O'Dea went on to found Proshred Security, a now global document shredding business.

In 1985, he co-founded Street Kids International, an organization charged with helping homeless children around the world, particularly in third world countries.

He was the founding chair of War Child Canada, the organization providing humanitarian relief to children in war zones around the world.
He co-founded Canadian Landmine Foundation in 1999, whose aim is to raise funds and awareness about the suffering caused by anti-personnel landmines. O'Dea was a key force in the creation of the Night of a Thousand Dinners fundraising initiative that is now held in over 50 countries around the world.
In 2003, Frank O'Dea was made an Officer of Canada.
Last year, Frank O'Dea released his biography titled: "When All You Have Is Hope".
In 2007, O'Dea joined George in The Hour studios to discuss his life and the book. I remember when I first watched the interview, I went through an array of emotions: horror, sadness, awe and finally, my own version of hope.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our favourite clips...Dee Snider

As someone who loves music, one of my favourite clips had to be an interview with a musician. Had the recent Bryan Adams interview gone better (you may recall BA did not represent himself particularly well), I would have made this post about him.

In preparation for my final 'favourite clip', I reviewed the many musical artists who have appeared on The Hour. During my search someone reminded me of my youth. With the exception of the Ontario Stroumpoulopouli, very few people reading this know the REAL Steph A. While I may appear to look like a quiet librarian to some, it is a facade. In all reality, I am a rocker chick in disguise. I're shocked!

I am sure we all remember that moment in our youth when we stop listening to our parents' music and develop a taste all our own...often to the complete horror of those who gave us life. Besides Mr. Adams, I was (and continue to be) a huge fan of Twisted Sister.

If you have not checked out A Twisted Christmas you ARE missing out...a very different spin on some holiday classics indeed.

To most, Twisted Sister will never be considered among the greatest of rock/metal bands. However, the contribution of lead singer Dee Snider to the censorship counter-movement of the mid '80s is an indelible part of music history.

Last season Snider dropped by The Hour. His interview can be watched here and you may also wish to check out his "Best Story Ever".

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our favourite clips...Billy Connolly

Making people laugh is probably one of the most difficult tasks around, as humour is a very personal thing. What one person may find hysterically side-splitting, someone else may consider to be the least funny thing ever. I have always admired those who make a living by doing comedy.

"I hope to grow old disgracefully. I'd like to be a complete nuisance..."

~ Billy Connolly

One of my favourite comedians is Billy Connolly. For me, part of his appeal is the Scottish accent. I swear that so much of what he says is funnier, simply because of the way the words sound as they roll off his tongue.

If you have not seen Billy in action, he can be easily found on YouTube. If you missed his appearance last season on The Hour, you can watch his interview here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Our favourite clips...June Callwood

When The Stroumboulopouli first discussed the idea of posting our favourite clips while The Hour is on hiatus during the NHL playoffs, I immediately knew which interview would be my first choice...June Callwood.

"Fit your dream to what should exist, and should be possible."

~ June Callwood

I had always admired Ms. Callwood in the many roles she had taken on in her lifetime. I was first introduced to her after reading one of her books while in high school. And later on, I became a follower of her social activism on behalf of women and children in crisis.

Last year when Ms. Callwood granted her last television interview to George and The Hour, I felt mixed emotions. Her "last" could that be? Soon a great light of compassion would dimmed. But among her vast legacy I knew a wonderful final interview would exist. In my opinion THIS is the best interview George has ever done.

Today, April 14th, happens to mark to the first anniversary of June Callwood's passing. Please take a moment to watch the interview and remember a remarkable Canadian woman. Without a doubt, I am sure that many people would say that their lives have been made better because June Callwood had come their way.

From April 13 to April 18th

To quote George:
"On The Strombo Show this Sunday. Ian Astbury from The Cult will play LIVE.

Plus Josh from QOTSA and the best new music.
Go to for details.

And to further quote George "Go Habs!"
On The Hour this week, if not bumped by a good hockey game....

Monday April 14th
We revisit Kenny and Spenny

What is the appeal of Kenny vs Spenny?

Tuesday April 15th
a revisit with

Wednesday April 16th

Jully Black was on The Hour before her Juno win...

on Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"We did it! Jane & Finch STAND UP!
So your girl Won the 2008 Juno Award for RnB/Soul Recording of the year!!!! No more "Jully Lucci". All day Saturday (The night my award was presented) I had MAJOR butterflies. When they announced my Category I damn near had a heart attack." read more

Thursday April 17th
an encore with
Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman

To celebrate the week of revisiting good interviews, we are going to revisit some of our favourite clips or interviews each day.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

This Week on The Hour....The Dawn before the Darkness

So.... things may be a bit hit or miss this week as we get into the advent of the never ending NHL playoffs. Enjoy some of the last FRESH batch of interviews on The Hour for a while. Don't shoot the messenger. I would vote for shootouts to settle the Stanley Cup by next week. Un-Canadian? Perhaps.

The last tape date until an almost 4 week hiatus will be Thursday, April 10th! Taping will resume May 5th. Wanna be in the audience? It's fun and it's free. Click
HERE for details!

Monday April 7th

Margaret Cho

Irrepressible, frank and funny as hell - Margaret Cho has distinguished herself in groundbreaking television, film and stand-up comedy. She's currently on an International Comedy tour called Beautiful.

Edgy? Yes! Love the Notorious C.H.O!

It's time that African-Americans and Korean Americans put aside their difference and focus on what's really important: hating white people! OUCH

Gary Marcus
Director of the NYU Infant Language Learning Center and a Professor of Psychology - Gary's work endeavours to understand the origins of the human mind. He's published numerous articles and books about cognitive psychology. I did a little whoop when I noted a missing word on his website. Do YOU see it?

Flashback to Psych 020 and thanking my lucky stars my friend's dad was a Prof! Cramming using a text with questions AND answers? Highly recommended!

Tuesday April 8th
Stranded last time in a NYC airport during one of our wicked snowstorms, Moby will again attempt to grace the Red Chair for a chat.

Groundbreaking musician
Moby is a paradox. At once a quiet spoken vegan artist known for creating electronic and dance music and a canny businessman who engineered the licensing for commercial purposes EVERY single track from his seminal 1999 CD, Play - he offers his music for free to non profit film makers on Moby Gratis. His latest - Last Night - hit in March. George and Moby talk Tofurkey on Tuesday. That 'joke' was recycled from last time. Sorry.

Wednesday April 9th
Magical...Mystical... No taping and no guests officially listed. Maybe you could go outside or something. Walk the dog? Catch a movie? Go for coffee?

Thursday April 10th

John Cho

Two Chos in one week? Awesome!

Best known for his role as Harold Lee in the very funny cult classic Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, John Cho is enjoying a busy career with film and episodic TV work. Brace yourselves for another Harold and Kumar flick later this month. Did you know that John was voted one of People Magazine's most Beautiful People? It's true. He's slated to appear in a new Star Trek film in the role of Sulu - spreading joy to nerds everywhere.

Friday April 11th - (See April 9th)

It's down to the wire in The Greatest Thing Ever. Vote here.

As always... check The Hour's website for the latest updates...

Never fear though because we @ The Stroumboulopouli have your back. We will post some of OUR favourite clips throughout the reruns to give you a little something to tide you over. Guaranteed, you will see something that you loved the first time round as well as something that you may have missed...ENJOY!

Don't forget, you can always re watch your favourite clips on The Hour's main website, check out some tasty little tidbits on After the Hour or surf over to their You Tube Channel. You can even check out George, Bob and crew on the Strombo Show every Sunday night from 5-8 ET on the Corus Radio Network. Ian Astbury from The Cult will stop by next Sunday though it's unclear if he'll Sell Sanctuary or will just have a chat about their current tour.

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

For the Love of Music. International Record Store Day - April 19th

As even a casual viewer would recognize, George and The Hour are fervent supporters of music. Good music anyway - because what would ‘The News’ be without the occasional well placed shot at Fergie, Celine or Matchbox 20? So far in the Junos pre-telecast awards the exquisite Jully Black, Feist and Arcade Fire were notable winners!

Whether George is interviewing a musician, encouraging you Drop a Disc, mentioning a great new band or reveling in the talent of a pioneer of the Delta blues like David ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards - music and the joy in the discovery, celebration and sharing the love of music is an ever present force. Of course, not only on The Hour, but each Sunday night on the Strombo Show.

The most resonant discussions are often those that focus not as much on the musician’s art, how they express their passion in song or even what informs their process. It’s often the unexpected conversation about family and their passions outside of music – especially humanitarian efforts. Raine and Chantal’s WarChild experiences, RZA’s commitment to becoming a Chess Grand Master or perhaps Dave Grohl’s effusive conversations about fatherhood that are most compelling.

Interviews this week past featuring Sheryl Crowe, John Cusack and George's plug for a very cool CBC Radio3 initiative triggered this post. I also rewatched High Fidelity - John Cusack’s amazing 2000 film based on the Nick Hornby novel.

In a candid moment on Monday, Sheryl spoke to the question of censorship of art and addressed her battle with Walmart. The retailer refused to carry her self titled disc based on their objection to lyrics critical of their liberal gun sale policies "Watch our children as they kill each other with a gun they bought at Wal-Mart discount stores." She refused to compromise and they didn’t carry the album – forfeiting countless sales. Years ago Nirvana changed a song title on ‘In Utero’ from “Rape Me" to "Waif Me" for their Wal-Mart version. A big deal? Yes. Sadly, the Big Box influence is massive.

So to John Cusack and High Fidelity…a flick centred on a 30 something indie record store owner with an eclectic clientele and quirky/rude/musically elitist employees. Who didn’t love this exchange between Barry (Jack Black’s character) and an unsuspecting customer?

Customer: Hi, do you have the song “I Just Called to Say I Love You?” It’s for my daughter’s birthday.

Barry: Yeah, we have it.

Customer: Great, great – can I have it?

Barry: No, no – you can’t.

Customer: Why not?

Barry: Well, it’s sentimental tacky crap. Do we look like the kind of store that sells I Just Called to Say I Love You? Go to the Mall.”

Yes.. a shameless segue to tell you about a competition on CBC Radio 3. Through ‘Searchlight’ they are on a quest to find the best independent record store in Canada. Click HERE to see if your local shop is on the top 10 and vote. On April 9th the top 5 vote getters will be announced and will battle it out until International Record Store Day on Saturday, April 19th.

You may be thinking… International Record Store Day? Who buys records anymore? Why should I care? I download all my music. Might I suggest that YOU are missing out. Check out the website for events and participating retailers in your area.

I still choose to buy CD's. I love the tangible nature, the sound quality is superior to downloads, they often have great art and my favourite thing ever - liner notes. I am a liner note fanatic. I also choose to pay for my music through retail or from the numerous merch tables I've haunted over the years. With friends and family who make their living from music I do my part by going to live shows and buying discs - particularly those of emerging artists who may just be getting started. It's critical to pay for music from artists you truly love who may have been around but haven't achieved the mainstream commercial success they deserve.

Once a week, I receive an e-newsletter from friends who own a great indie music store called Cheeky Monkey in Sarnia Ontario. The newsletter is put together with great care and love... it tells me who's releasing new stuff, who's playing live across Ontario and Michigan. Indie stores also have some amazing in store events that you should check out. Cheeky Monkey has a great mutimedia event with acclaimed photojournalist Larry Towell coming up on April 25th. I bet YOUR local store always has something amazing going on!

Cheeky Monkey’s owners are a great couple - passionate, supportive of emerging artists and above all - they KNOW music. They care if you like what you buy unlike people at chains where the person behind the counter couldn't tell you shit unless they can 'find it on the computer'. If the artist or music isn't listed on the magical computer it must not be worthy of your time. NOT the case as a true music lover can tell you... the joy is in the discovery of something new or different. Something real. Something truly inspired.

You can decompress by having a wander through your local indie shop, have a passionate debate or dialogue about music, compare notes on what shows you’ve just seen and what shows you're off to next. It's a community within a community.

Electronic distribution of music is the new normal and I do find new faves online. Friends from around the world turn me on to new sounds via Myspace and Facebook. Still, I can't think of a better way to spend some rare free moments than by browsing around a real record store.

Big box stores are increasingly getting involved in exclusive marketing deals with big name artists. This move hurts indie stores and the bottom line of their businesses - the very people who've promoted and pushed their merchandise for decades. They also make it tougher for smaller artists to make their mark and deprive people who crave something other than the mainstream. One such deal with The Eagles' last release where independent stores could not carry the disc for a year was a perfect example. The realities of retail – especially for indie stores is they do have to carry and move some mainstream stuff that is perhaps not their cup of tea.

So – check out and buy from your local indie shops and support live music… get off your laptops for a while - It’s worth the effort.

Nick Hornby - Author of High Fidelity says it so well...

"Yes, yes, I know. It's easier to download music, and probably cheaper. But what's playing on your favourite download store when you walk into it? Nothing, that's what. Who are you going to meet in there? Nobody. Where are the notice boards offering flatshares and vacant slots in bands destined for superstardom? Who's going to tell you to stop listening to that and start listening to this? Go ahead and save yourself a couple of quid. The saving will cost you a career, a set of cool friends, musical taste and, eventually, your soul. Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one."

I couldn’t agree more. How about YOU? What new discoveries have you made at your local shop lately? Is buying music passé? Share your thoughts …and don’t stop sharing your love of music.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Comedians For Climate Project-Canada

The Climate Project is a non-profit organization on an important increase public awareness of the climate crisis and find potential solutions. In less than two years, over 1,000 volunteers have been trained by Al Gore to present a version of the slideshow featured in the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. As of last month, Climate Project volunteers have delivered more than 10,000 presentations, reaching a combined audience in excess of one million people.

This weekend, Al Gore will be in Canada to train volunteers for The Climate Project - Canada.

If you happen to be in Montreal, you may wish to check out Comedians For Climate Project-Canada, A Gala Evening of Comedy at Place des Arts. The event, taking place on Saturday, April 5th, will be hosted by the very funny Russell Peters, with Al Gore being the guest of honour.

Leafs Nation at The Hour

Today, April first I went to The Hour and surrounded by the Blue and white of a Leafs Nation... Most of the audience and some of the Crew were wearing Leafs Shirts and caps and whatnot.

The joke was on George. He was a good sport about it.

This surprise for George was organised by emails to the audience attending today's show. I looked around my workplace before I left for The Hour and there was no Toronto Maple Leaf stuff to be found. All I could do was wear my Canadian flag pin, that was as close as I could get to wearing a leaf.

Being from Montreal, that's probably just as well.
Watch The Hour tonight to see Georges reaction.
I hope your April fools day was as much fun.
I got this picture in my email yesterday. It seems appropriate for the end of regular season.
For those who watch The Hour the NHL playoffs will be putting The Hour on hiatus for the next three weeks. Check with the website for The Hour's schedule in playoff time.