Hear me on the radio

Posted on January 15, 2016


Hey folks! Last week I was sitting around minding my own business when the CBC got in touch with me and said “hey, want to be on the radio… today?”. I said sure, and spent the next several hours frantically preparing files and transcribing lyrics for them. Then I hustled off to Queen Street and had my fifteen minutes. You can hear it here. I’m pleased to report that I did not embarrass myself, which is really the main goal in any such encounter.

Ever wonder what being on the CBC is like? Well, I’ve done a couple of times, so I’ll tell you. Warning: it’s not very interesting. See, you think, oh wow the CBC, a national institution, I’ve hit the big time, and get all psyched up/out, but in point of fact it’s a pretty easy, underwhelming process. First a produce will have a chat with you and probe you for what you’re all about and interesting lines of inquiry. I wanted to ask how often it is that people fail this step for being fatally boring or unprepared. Ahhhh sorry sir, our show is full all of a sudden. Maybe next year.

After you’ve based the screening you show up at the office building on Queen a few minutes before you’re meant to go on. You get your security pass, and someone comes and fetches you and leads you through the main office en route to the studio. There are TVs everywhere, and people looking exactly like people in offices everywhere. They have those cruel cubicles with tiny little walls that afford zero privacy, and I’m happy that I’ve never had to occupy one (prone as I am to goofing off and reading wikipedia articles about historical battles all the time). You are deposited in the green room. Except… the green room is actually two chairs in a tiny cramped hall just outside the studio. If you’re thinking that the CBC is blowing your tax dollars on cushy studios and luxuries, well, fear not. Hookers and cars? Maybe.

Just before go time another producer appears and ushers you into the studio. You have the idea that you’ll chat a bit with the host to get warmed up and they’ll have some important instructions for you, and so on, but obviously that’s not the case, as they’re in the middle of a live radio show. You take your seat, say hello, throw on your headphones, and that’s about it. Then fifteen minutes later it’s over, they move on to another topic, thank you, and you see yourself out. The funniest part is that for the first five minutes or so on leaving the office you can’t but think that you’re at least a very minor celebrity. However, you have no idea if anyone was even listening, and no clue at all if anyone liked what you had to say, and besides no one would recognize you on the street anyways. Then you get a pastry or something from a cafe as a reward.

Happily, several people were evidently listening, and hit me up with some great suggestions for the Sesquicentennial project. I’ve already done two songs based on their ideas. Woo!

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