So – it’s been a while!

To be honest I’d forgotten about this place. I’m guessing everyone else has too! I haven’t watched the show this season and I’ve been very out of the loop with the radio show. So do tell (if anyone’s out there) how are things in the land of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight? Are the guests still gripping? Are the chairs still red? Does it still have the punch it did when it was The Hour? Who’s been the best guest this season? The worst?

Until next time (or  possibly next year)



Best Videos of All Time

Music videos paint a story beyond those of the lyrics. I could spend a whole weekend just watching them on TV.

Here are some of my favourite videos of all time. Enjoy!

The 12 Days of Strombo Show

Thank you, George and Bob, for your 12 Gifts of Christmas. Great selections .. all of them.

I would like to point out two things to you however.

1. The 12th day of Christmas gave us John Bonham. Though I can’t say I disagree with you on this point, and realizing how hard this decision must have been to make, an honourable mention (at the very least) must go to Moonie. Remember that incredible drum solo in “The Kids Are Alright”? No one ever has and no one ever will play drums like Keith Moon of The Who. How tragic that both of them were taken by alcohol – Bonham by drinking 40 shots of vodka for breakfast and subsequently suffocating on his own vomit, and Moon overdosing on medication for alcohol withdrawal. Both climbed the “Stairway to Heaven” and “died before (they) got old” *insert bad joke drum roll here*.

2. The second point I would like to make is in regards to the selection of the Partridge Family’s song “Get Happy” as the gift for the first day. Everyone, EVERYONE, knows that the best Partridge Family song is “I Think I Love You”. Just ask anyone. ūüėČ

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to George, Bob, Rich and all the staff of the Strombo Show. Thanks for all your hard work and may you have an amazing 2011!

Bob’s Garage

Picture them in their bell bottomed pants and desert boots … their mop-topped hair surrounding their baby faces.¬† Usually four of them, sporting matching jackets and ties, and bobbing up and down to their simple beats, simple bass lines, simple chord progressions and mostly simple lyrics.¬† The second wave saw them sporting their paisley Nehru jackets, their ruffled shirts and their little square granny glasses, but their music ¬†shared the same raw simplicity.¬† Ah … The Garage Bands.

You wanted to rebel against your parents?  Then join a garage band.  My older brother did.  Shadows on the Wall they were known as, unfortunately the shadows faded quickly as they were lacking in some form of .. well .. talent.  Raw simple chords fed through a fuzzbox, garage rock is now considered the forerunner of punk music.

Bob introduced a few of the more popular garage rock bands of the 60s, including the Beau Brummels and the Hombres.  Other tunes of note of the era include Louie Louie (the Kingsmen),  Wooly Bully (Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs). I have listed for you some of my favourite garage rock tunes for your listening pleasure.

Though this song was not made famous by the Sonics, their cover is well worth a listen.

Though the garage band is still a part of growing up, the days of the early garage rock bands are gone. Their influence on the many bands that followed, however, cannot be denied. So sit back, turn it up .. and enjoy.

My Blood Runs Cold

Okay Mr Terfry ‚Äď you win. You were right. Your choice for scariest Hallowe‚Äôen song chilled me to the bone. Was it the pulsing drum beat? The ear-piercing shrieks? The unspeakable acts committed by Frankie Teardrop? The sinister character who weaves in and out of the darkness (in the video that like a bad car crash I had to go watch!)? I don‚Äôt know, and I don‚Äôt care. I am scarred for life.
You can watch Suicide‚Äôs ‚ÄúFrankie Teardrop” here.

There are only a handful of songs that have managed to do this to me. ‚ÄúCareful with that Axe Eugene‚ÄĚ, an early Pink Floyd masterpiece, also manages to make your heart race. The song title is the only words spoken out loud, another small handful being whispered during the 9 minute song. This tune uses its tempo to build to an exploding crescendo which is accompanied with an ear piercing shriek. We can only imagine what happens to poor Eugene. If you aren‚Äôt familiar with this classic, someone has dared to set it to a scene in the movie ‚ÄúThe Shining‚ÄĚ. This film doesn‚Äôt need any help.

I would also like to add another two songs to this list. It is not so much the music that frightens, but the fact that both songs are based on two of history most horrifying killers, Armin Meiwes and Ed Gein.

Rammstein‚Äôs Mein Teil is based on the story of Germany‚Äôs Armin Meiwes. Armin posted a classified ad on the internet looking for a willing victim to be killed and eaten. Even more shocking, his ad was responded to by Bernd J√ľrgen Brandes. I‚Äôll spare you the rest of the details, but Armin was convicted of manslaughter, for which he received a sentence of a mere 8 years.

Mudvayne‚Äôs ‚ÄúNothing to Gein‚Ä̬† is based on the story of Ed Gein, the American serial killer notorious for transforming body parts of his victims into a variety of household items. Officers who were dispatched to Gein‚Äôs house were forever changed.¬† ¬†A scene in the video portrays Ed sewing with what ¬†is supposedly human skin.¬† Enough said.

There are certainly more songs out there that will make one’s blood run cold.  What are yours?

His Master’s Voice

The black vinyl disc spun round and round, the single groove spiraling inwards at 33 and 1/3 rotations per minute, the groove leading the needle to its final destination, the label.¬† On this label sat the puppy, the overgrown puppy who could never again enter his house, but listened instead through the giant cone shaped tower on the roof.¬† He listened sadly to ‚ÄúHis Master‚Äôs Voice‚ÄĚ.

This is one of my earliest recollections of my passion for music.¬† My sister had been given a record player for her fifteenth birthday ‚Äď it was the best gift ever ‚Äď maybe not to her, but to me it was.¬† I spent more time spinning vinyl than both my sister and brother combined.¬† The Beatles, the Supremes, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, not exactly what you would expect a seven year old to be listening to. ¬†At that point I was hooked and there was no turning back.

Many years later, that passion for music still burns.¬† I know now that the dog was just an advertising idea – looking into the speaker of an old record player, the recording of his master’s voice was so clear that even he couldn’t tell the difference.¬†¬† Now I tune in weekly to the Strombo Show to help feed this passion.¬† It is the perfect mix of ‚Äúthe new, the old and the in the middle‚ÄĚ as George once said.¬† Discovering some of the best new bands, savouring the old classics, and being entertained by a vast array of musical guests and interesting discussion.¬† All of that is delivered in four hours of radio.¬† Now that fall is finally here I look forward to a brand new season.¬† I can‚Äôt wait!

I am honoured to be a contributor to this site and look forward to sharing the passion of music with all of you!


I would love to hear what were some of the influences in your life that sparked your love of music.  Anyone?

New Season, New Changes and New Year

The first half of this season is neatly in the can and although I love the show,¬†I do not like all of the changes¬†this season.¬†¬†I am not sure if it is¬†due to some¬†staffing changes in the writing department, or that the show needs to stretch out of some season six¬†growing pains.¬† Either way I’ve been a die-hard fan since day one, but something seems out of sorts for me this season.

Most notably irking me¬†is the writer(s) reading out the bios.¬† I know George¬†maintains that The Hour’s a success due to the team effort that goes into it, but the name of the show is, ‘¬†The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos’.¬† The audience expects to see and hear; the host.¬† How often have we all heard him say that the show is a late night conversation to ease us out of our day?¬† The bio was George’s time to introduce his guest to us.¬† As if we are sitting and sharing in that chat.¬†¬†George turns to us, the audience, and says, This is so-and-so and here are some facts about him/her before we get started.¬† It was a successful technique in helping us to get to know the other person in that conversation.¬† With the writers chiming in, it somehow seems incongruent¬†with the flow between George, his guest(s) and us.¬† Like someone jumping in to interrupt and then disappearing again.¬† It is awkward and it does not work.

Another miss, in my books, are the comedic skits that replaced the cold opens.¬† I know that humour is a subjective thing and that what I may find funny isn’t necessarily what you will, but this seasons skits are just not hitting my funny bone, at all.¬† Indeed I am finding some of them just plain awkward.

I personally DO like the absence of “The News” that used to consist of Celeb factoids at the end of the show.¬† I am interested in the private lives of people I actually know and care about, not in the rumour and¬†speculation of those I’ll never meet or befriend.¬† I am interested,¬†or not as the case maybe,¬†in their creative endeavours, full stop.¬† I never thought¬†that segment¬†really fit in with the uber hip “people are interesting and celebs are just people too” attitude of The Hour.

I am relieved that the Mile-a-Minute is still in the mix as is The Good News segment.  Although I do wish it was on more than once a week.  Then again that could be a production/marketing decision or it could, sadly, be a sign of the times.  I am enjoying the once a week email bit, George on his own, adlibbing with the email is charming and at times hilarious.

The new walk in intro to the show started off a bit choppy but our host seems to be easing into it in typical G fashion, making it his own and making it work.  The addition of live performances and Tomorrows Headline Today as a closer is rather enjoyable; some of them being wittier than others.

The new blue lights in studio give the¬†set a new warmer sultry glow,¬†but I’m not convinced they suit the tag line, ‚ÄúWelcome to your talk show Canada!‚Ä̬† Not that that¬†line is being used much these days now that The Hour is being syndicated to other countries.

Much congrats on that¬†BTW!¬†¬†The fact that a made in Canada, for Canadians show is now being enjoyed by people globally warms my red and white maple syrup¬†filled heart ūüôā¬† They get to know what a treasure we have in both George and the team at The Hour and we get to keep them, for a little while longer.



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