George Stroumboulopoulos delivers his annual celebration of music.
The Strombo Show ran the gamut this Sunday night, keeping the spirit of radio alive by delivering the best records in the best order. It's a show for music lovers by music lovers, ranging over three hours of commercial-free music to honour both old and new.
To celebrate the music from north of the 49th parallel, George Stroumboulopoulos opens his doors to some friends of the program for intimate performances and conversations around the most criminally underrated Canadian songs.
By Divine Right
From the House of Strombo in downtown Toronto, By Divine Right, the collective that was once a launching point for Canadian indie-elite to cut their teeth (Feist, Brendan Canning, Wintersleep) performed several tunes. The band's setlist included an inevitable Depeche Mode cover to commemorate its latest release, Speak And Spell.
Jim Bryson, the unofficial Mayor of Stittsville, dropped his first proper solo album in six years, Somewhere We Will Find Our Place. Mostly recorded in his backyard shed and produced by Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think, Broken Social Scene), Bryson dropped by to fill the House with these sounds. He is joined by Caroline Brooks (the Good Lovelies) and Spearin to perform several tunes, including a cover of the Smiths' classic, "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want."
Also, in conversation with Strombo, Bryson recalls his time spent touring with the Tragically Hip:
"The thing that I remember is just how well they treated me and wanted to make me feel as comfortable as you can make someone feel coming into a band that has never had a member leave so there's a certain amount of functional dysfunction in a family. It's a family! They did their best to make me feel comfortable.
"I remember when I showed up to rehearse, they were all up in the loft of their studio in Bath, Ontario, and sitting there. I learned like 90 songs. They just keep turning to me and saying — what's next? What do you want to do? ... That's what we did for three days. I'd start calling out songs that were the weirder songs and at one point, their manager said to me, I think he thought that I was trying to be a subversive influence on them or something — let's do that second-last song on the second side of your 14th record. I like that one! They had this list. They'd keep telling me, don't worry about that — our manager made that list. What do you want to do?
"I remember going to the Smithsonian with Gord Downie in Washington and going to galleries with him and stuff like that. I remember going to Museum of Modern Art in Chicago with him and looking through and going through the different floors. I don't think I taught him too much about art. When I got into the band, he gave me a couple of books. One was a book about writing and poems from Raymond Carver's poetry, I thought that was a pretty nice welcoming gift."
Also, song requests and stories are dropped by this country's greatest musicians — Carole Pope, Peaches, Joel Plaskett, k-os and many more.
You know what to do: Lock it. Crank it! Join the collective.
Oscar Peterson, "Hymn To Freedom"
The Viletones, "Screaming Fist"
The Tragically Hip, "Grace Too (Live)"
Carole Pope And Rough Trade, "High School Confidential"
Ian And Sylvia, "Four Strong Winds"
Willie Thrasher, "Wolves Don't Live By The Rules"
Above Top Secret, "Bang"
A Tribe Called Red, "Stadium Pow Wow (Ft. Black Bear)"
Bran Van 3000, "Drinking In LA"
Pursuit Of Happiness, "I'm An Adult Now"
Shadowy Men From A Shadowy Planet, "Having An Average Weekend"
LEN, "Steal My Sunshine"
By Divine Right, "What's Your Name? (Strombo Session)"
By Divine Right, "No One Can Fix Me (Strombo Session)"
By Divine Right, "Help Me Find A Place To Land (Strombo Session)"
Hole, "Miss World"
Kate & Anna McGarrigle, "Log Driver's Waltz"
Rascalz, "Northern Touch"
Martha & The Muffins, "Echo Beach"
Skinny Puppy, "Inquisition"
Jale, "Not Happy"
Sloan, "People Of The Sky"
Buffy Sainte-Marie, "Universal Soldier"
Cowboy Junkies, "Misguided Angel"
Arcade Fire & Neil Young, "Helpless"
The Constantines, "Young Lions"
Wolf Parade, "I'll Believe In Anything"
Joni Mitchell, "A Case Of You"
Jim Bryson, "Breathe (Strombo Session)"
Jim Bryson, "The Depression Dance (Strombo Session)"
Jim Bryson, "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want (The Smiths Cover) (Strombo Session)"
Broken Social Scene, "It's All Gonna Break"
For further musical exploration with George Stroumboulopoulos, tune in to The Strombo Show every Sunday night on CBC Radio 2 or CBC Music from 8 to 11 p.m. for three hours of uninterrupted music for music lovers.