I’m old

not really, but older. Awhile back, I posted that we bought a radio to listen to Radio Canada in order to hear more French. The thing is, it’s above our level right now and hard to understand. TV and movies would be better.

Anyway, Thursday night as we cooked, Carrie flipped on the English CBC to hear a show one of her students had done. And I had an “a ha” moment. Wow. They really do cool things on the radio on the CBC. Since then, we’ve been checking out the CBC more seriously during cooking and dining times. I always thought of listening to “serious” radio (CBC, NPR) as something done by other people but not for me. Well, that was wrong. We’re loving it, though the programming is definitely uneven. We enjoyed an amusing debate about Alberta the other night (part of our Canadianization project) but the show on the Beatles was all around pretty lame, unless you love the Beatles and are nostalgic for your youth when you discovered them. Last night it was all piano pieces when we had the radio on (actually, the host talked about the performer pretty much the same way the Beatles guy talked about the Beatles). But I liked the overwrought classical piano music way better than the early Beatles. Which isn’t to say I’m going to go out and buy the box of Beethoven performances they were hawking. The endless trilling and lack of percussion still grates a bit. I guess I like the talk and the radio art and could do without the “legitimate music” (to use Pierre Bourdieu’s term).

But piano sonatas over the Beatles? I must be getting old(er).

2 replies on “I’m old”

  1. Not necessarily! When I was a teenager and serious about my classical training, I preferred late Beethoven sonatas to the Beatles, which represented my parents’ generation (bo-ring!). Now I’ve mellowed and like them equally.

    CBC is okay, but it’s gone majorly downhill: you almost never get to listen to a piece all the way through (past the first movement) and we have the infernally annoying Jurgen Goth to thank for that. For classical I much prefer BBC Radio 3 online.

  2. You know the “Beatles guy” was Randy Bachman of the Guess Who / BTO, right?
    He has a weekly show on rock n’ roll. Heh … Listen to CBC for Brave New Waves, past midnight — the infamous Patti Schmidt is unfortunately now gone and the show will be canned soon, but it features the best in new music anywhere, from any genre. Also check out Go! on Saturday mornings (hilarious show, you’ll dig that) and Bill O’Reilly’s show on advertising. I listen to _As It Happens_ religiously for its critical news interviews (Carol Off is probably one of Canada’s most venerated investigative reporters) as well as the morning news review with Anne-Marie Tremonte (she’s excellent as well). There’s a very odd show too cold _Wiretap_ which is part docudrama, part psychoanalysis of the announcer’s life, and for lack of better words, it’s subtle Jewish humour a la Woody Allen. Radio-Canada though is much better for local programming — they cover all manner of art and music in Montreal and Quebec. The local MTL CBC *never* covers anything interesting and seems programmed for suburban housewives in Westmount and their SUV-driving husbands (the media analysis is quick & easy on that one). For example, for the same reasons they cover religiously the season of the McGill Redmen football team (it’s their audience’s kids–!) but never speak of music / arts that “the youth” are into in the city nor take it seriously.

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