80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 12-30-08

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Last night’s “Retrospect” show boasted a sizzling playlist — just the medicine needed for a dreary winter night (not that I would know about that here in Florida). If you missed it, be sure to tune in to CFRC  for Ed-FM and his show next Tuesday night from 8-10:00 pm for some “80’s Music that Doesn’t Suck.”

CFRC-FM Playlist December 30, 2008

Basement of Carruthers Hall Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
retrospectcrfc@yahoo.ca

  1. XTC – All You Pretty Girls
  2. Gary Numan – Metal (Live)
  3. Flying Lizards – T.V.
  4. The Box – Live on T.V.
  5. Johnny Analog – Press
  6. The The – December Sunlight (All Cried Out)
  7. Soft Cell – Mr. Self Destruct
  8. Pukka Orchestra – Weekend (Come Alive)
  9. Magazine – The Light Pours Out Of Me
  10. Aztec Camera – Walk Out To Winter (extended)
  11. The Trees – Delta Sleep   
  12. Yello – Angel No
  13. Yaz – Situation
  14. Armoury Show – Waiting For The Floods
  15. Vis a Vis – I Am The Night
  16. Rational Youth – I Want To See The Light
  17. Sex Gang Children – Beasts (12”)
  18. The Chills – Pink Frost
  19. The Spoons – Smiling In Winter
  20. New Regime – I Won’t Let You Go
  21. Cult Hero (Robert Smith) – I Dig You
  22. A-Ha – Cry Wolf (extended)

80’s Music Rules ~ Christmas with David Marsden

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My admiration for Canadian DJ David Marsden spans a very short period of time — back to April 2008. It was then that Ralphd who runs Marsbar Theatre over on Blogger (my former home) urged me to listen to David’s show. One night of musical bliss, and I was absolutely hooked. Where had this man been all my life?

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David Marsden’s career (click for Wikipedia info) is a story of dedication, hard work, and selfless devotion to making fans of alternative and obscure music comfortable in their own skin. In the beginning, he created a radio station in a tiny yellow house called CFNY (the “Spirit of Radio” memorialized in Rush’s song of the same name). That this man has been inducted into the Hall of Fame underscores his impact on the radio world. He provided fond memories for countless Canadians and border-dwelling Americans who came of age during the late 70’s, 80’s and beyond.

He continues to reach out through his broadcasts from 94.9 The Rock (live over streaming Internet) and fold his listeners into his warm, nurturing embrace, making each and every one of us feel a sense of worth that perhaps we had never known before. Because our musical tastes never quite fit into the norm, a lot of Marsden’s listeners have found a safe-haven in his freestyle broadcasting and willingness to bring corporate-ignored talent into the fore.

marsdenLast night was something really special — magical, even. David gave us the gift of his annual Christmas Eve broadcast. It is a memorable occasion both for the selections of music he spins and the tales that he weaves. His voice is kind and reflective. The stories are funny, full of human foibles, and often poignant and emotionally-charged. I found myself reaching for a tissue several times over the course of the evening, whether to wipe tears from raucous laughter or from deeply held and stifled emotions suddenly uplifted and set free.

Ralphd and Soccerfan worked diligently to identify the songs that were played, publishing the list over at Marsbar Theatre, along with scores of other playlists carefully compiled over the years. Their hard work for and loyalty to this great man speaks volumes about the joy David has given to so many of us in so many different ways.13

 I couldn’t write about David without mentioning one other very important person that forms the nucleus of the weekly gatherings in the Marsden Theatre chatroom. Sistahmar is David’s roving ambassador of goodwill. She is the matriarch of the chatroom and a great friend to those who visit to relax, listen, and shoot the breeze with other friends from all over Canada, the U.S., and even the world. My appreciation for all that she does and all that she has been to me, knows no bounds.

Do yourself a favor; when David returns to his [edit:] Saturday and Sunday nights (7pm -midnight EST) on January 8, 2009, come listen. If you feel like having a bit of company, go to Marsden Global and click on the chatroom link. There, you will enjoy great music, fabulous people, and will even get a chance to speak to David himself. Sistahmar, soccerfan, and David have made sure that each person who enters feels welcome and comfortable.

David Marsden gave us all a most precious and priceless gift last night. Telling you about it is my gift to you. Merry Christmas.

80’s Music Rules ~ More from Retrospect CFRC-FM ~ 12-23-08

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Last night’s Retrospect show on CFRC 101.9 FM was definitely over the top. If you like what you see on the playlist, be sure to give ED-FM and his show a listen on Tuesday nights from 8-10 pm. Click on the link provided and select “Listen.” Read more about Ed and Retrospect here.

CFRC-FM Playlist December 23, 2008

Basement of Carruthers Hall Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
ED-FM ~ Retrospect
80’s Music That Doesn’t Suck
retrospectcrfc@yahoo.ca

1. Men Without Hats – Security (10”)
2. Fad Gadget – Fireside Favourite
3. Yeah Yeah Noh – Blood Soup (Peel Sessions)
4. Monsoon – Ever So Lonely
5. Strange Advance – Love Becomes Electric
6. Martha and the Muffins – Several Styles of Blonde Girls Dancing
7. Rational Youth – Cite Phosphore (Razormaid Mix)
8. The Glove – Mouth to Mouth
9. English Beat – March of the Swivelheads
10. Seona Dancing – Bitter Heart
11. Poeme Electronique – Echoes Fade
12. Torch Song – Tattered Dress (12”)
13. Maurice and the Cliches – Soft Core
14. Split Enz – Bold as Brass
15. Simple Minds – The American (12”)
16. The Extras – Hip Hop Hip Hip
17. It’s Immaterial – Gigantic Raft (Tempest Mix)
18. Comsat Angels – Will You Stay Tonight (Live)
19. MOEV – Wanting

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/Bands ~ Gary Numan

rave-and-rollMy infatuation with Gary Numan began a few years ago when a fellow music enthusiast introduced me to “I Die You Die.” Upon hearing this song, I was stunned – I mean, Gary Numan actually did something other than “Cars?” Thus began a journey that uncovered an endless supply of musical gems, and a better understanding of the mistakenly-perceived-as-aloof artist himself.

After discovering and listening to anything and everything I could get my hands on, starting with his band “Tubeway Army” and finishing with the most recent live “Replicas” performance, I was amazed to come to grips with the fact that I actually preferred Gary Numan’s later, goth/industrial songs. Although I am a huge fan of 80’s synthesizer-driven New Wave, and Gary Numan has indeed been called the “Godfather of Synthesizer,” I identify with the dark, unbridled emotion that surges forth from brilliant songs such as “Exile,” “Pure,” and “Listen to My Voice.”

Numan and his wife Gemma have suffered through the deep disappointment of several miscarriages, causing him to rail against God and the faith of those who believe. Although I don’t agree with his atheism, I respect his views and understand the pain that brought him to his conclusions. I also admire the fact that he has handled these unbridled, raw, and potentially self-destructive emotions by channeling them through his music. This man not only wears his emotions on his sleeve, he lays his soul bare for the world to see.

Gary Numan ~ Dark (via jd800lover on YouTube)
Gary Numan is a delight to watch in an interview. Ever gracious, yet brutally honest, he answers questions with thoughtfulness and dignity. He is humble, self-effacing, and quick to give credit to others where it is due. He is also equally quick to emasculate his critics for the damage they have attempted to rain down on his reputation and his career. Try as they might to destroy him, Gary Numan has bounced back stronger than ever, towing a large and dedicated fan base in his wake. He is never at a loss for words in describing his gratitude to those that have stuck by him throughout the past 4 decades of extreme highs and lows.

Gary Numan ~ Crazier (via Industrial82 on YouTube)

I’ve made quite a few video montages, several in honor of this hugely talented man, three of which were wrongly ordered taken down from YouTube. No matter what Eagle Records says, with the help of another fan, I have received written permission from Tony Webb, Gary Numan’s father/manager to use this music. Numan has always maintained that he has no problem with fans using his music to promote him, as long as we do not profit from it.

That said, here is one of the videos I put my own time and resources into, in honor of a man that has worked brutally hard to achieve the modest successes he has enjoyed.

Gary Numan ~ Pure

Gary Numan: There is far more to this gifted artist than “Cars.” Check him out.

80’s Music Rules ~ CFRC-FM Retrospect – Music That Doesn’t Suck

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The Interwebs is an amazing entity. It’s a place where an abundance of good things (music, blogging, meeting like-minded people) and a smattering of bad things (viruses, malware) happen. One of the very best things that has happened to me is finding some exceptionally good people who have shared their friendship and knowledge of obscure music. I have spoken highly of David Marsden, cutting-edge Canadian DJ for over 40 years, and how much he and his show mean to me. Now, I’d like to take the time to feature another vital Canadian on-air personality I’ve had the great fortune of meeting.

Imagine a world “where the music doesn’t suck.” I actually heard those words spoken last night while listening to “Ed-FM” on a show called “Retrospect” streaming over the Internet from CFRC-FM, Kingston, Ontario. His real name is Ed Cooke, and he DJ’s a two-hour show filled with obscure 80’s vinyl treasures broadcast from Lower Carruthers Hall (the “Basement”) at Queens University. Ed has left comments on both my former blog and this one, leading to an invitation and a link to listen in. What a quality-packed two hours it was.

Just to give you an idea, here is the playlist from last night’s show:
1. New Musik – The World of Water
2. Chalk Circle – April Fool
3. Torch Song – Ode To Billy Joe
4. Nash the Slash – 1984 (12”)
5. Yello – Hawaiian Chance
6. Jona Lewie – Stop the Cavalry
7. Devo – That’s Good
8. Images in Vogue – Lust for Love
9. The Box – My Dreams of You
10. Gary Numan – I Can’t Stop
11. Flash in the Pan – Midnight Man
12. Vital Sines – Collage
13. Sex Pistols – Friggin’ in the Riggin’
14. Creatures – Fury Eyes
15. Psyche – Thundershowers
16. King Crimson – Sleepless
17. Martha and the Muffins – A Song in My Head
18. Pete Shelley – On Your Own (12”)
19. Crown of Thorns – Diamond Jim

Ed was kind enough to answer a few questions, giving much more insight into the personality and foundation of the “Retrospective Show.”

MissP: How long have you been doing this?
Ed: I have been doing the show now for 9 years and counting.

MissP: What gave you the inspiration to dj a two-hour music show?
Ed: I moved away from Toronto in 1990 and I was so fed up with the local radio stations. I worked near Queens University and during Frosh week they had a booth looking for volunteers – no experience necessary. I decided then I would put my money where my mouth was and start my own show.

MissP: What stations did you listen to growing up?
Ed: I grew up in Toronto, and like most I was listening to the standard rock shows at the time: Q107 and CHUM. I started working in the kitchen of a large downtown restaurant and the staff had this amazing radio station playing that I had never heard before. That began my love affair with The Spirit of Radio, CFNY.

MissP: Who are your on-the-air heroes?
Ed: Number one has to be David Marsden. It was his genius that started the Spirit of Radio and I am forever indebted. My next hero(s) were Pete & Geets.

MissP: What are some of your favorite bands?
Ed: My number one favorite has to be Yello, a close second is early Simple Minds, OMD, The Box, Art Of Noise, early U2, early New Order – the list could go on, but you get the picture.

MissP: What made you select this period of music?
Ed: I felt there were far too many artists that did not get fair airplay and I enjoyed sharing my love of that era.

MissP: How do you decide what to play?
Ed: I attempt to always find a few obscure or rare tracks for each show and keep them upbeat. I then look for a song to open with. Once that is established I actually “wing it”. I have enough requests, that in combination with the basic framework, I can easily build a show around those few tracks. I enjoy requests as I like the audience to be engaged.

MissP: What do you think the future of radio looks like?
Ed: That is a scary question; it seems that all the stations are owned by a select few. Those few are producing a very limited and generic playlist and taking no risks with new and interesting artists. I do hope I am wrong as I think that radio is important to society as a whole.

In addition, Ed has this to say as the description of his show at the station’s website:

Ahhhhh, the eighties! Who could forget big hair, leg warmers, Miami Vice and the Commodore 64 ruled. I never said everthing about the eighties was good! But, there was some damn fine music! The era of the 12″ single and 10 minute tracks were a staple at the clubs. At Retrospect we play the 12″ singles that never get air time. We also look for and play those obscure and rare gems. Join me every Tuesday from 8-10 pm for the best eighties show you will ever hear.

I want to thank Ed-FM for taking the time to share his thoughts and his love of obscure 80’s music. If you want a Tuesday night treat, be sure to tune in to the “Retrospect” show on CFRC-FM from 8-10 pm EST.

80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Bands/Artists ~ Morten Harket

I am going to feature at least one criminally underrated band or artist each week. To qualify, the band/artist must be well-known for one 80’s song, leading unsuspecting (and clueless) people like me to wrongfully determine that they were “one-hit wonders,” never to be heard from again.

A-Ha/Morten Harket

The band A-Ha was known here in the states during the 80’s for the quirky tune “Take on Me” featuring impossible vocals, lots of synthesizer, and an animated video that blended real footage with sketchy line drawings. A delightfully funny send-up emerged on YouTube not too long ago, inspiring me to look further into what the band had produced in the 20 or so years following.

I was stunned by the treasure trove that I uncovered. Morten Harket, at times along with A-Ha, and at other times solo, has been very prolific musically speaking. His voice has remained a remarkable instrument of range and emotion, and his songs have evolved over time to be relevant and current. Added to this, the man has hardly aged physically.

From the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 1998, a truly beautiful song with an impossibly long note:

A-Ha ~ Summer Moved On (via Peremarquette1225 on YouTube)

Jump ahead ten years to 2008 and yet another album release. This video is a live performance of “Darkspace” from Morten Harket’s latest album “Letter From Egypt.” Lower, darker and moodier, Harket’s voice is still strong and satisfying:

Morten Harket ~ Darkspace (via Oximets on YouTube)

Dear Santa, if you’re listening: I’d really love to have “Letter From Egypt” for Christmas.

80’s Music Rules ~ So Does David Marsden


I’ve mentioned and linked the blog called Mars Bar Theatre, and now I want to explain what it’s about. It is a fan’s heartfelt tribute to a Canadian radio legend, David Marsden.

David’s career spans over 4 decades. In the 80’s, he was a fixture at the legendary Brampton, Ontario radio station CFNY (visit an informative site dedicated to CFNY called “The Spirit of Radio” here). This is a period held dear by many Canadians and border-dwelling Americans alike who sought out a glimmer of individuality in the dreary, cookie-cutter world of formulaic radio broadcasting. Top 40, EmpTV-driven, and heavy rotation domination formed the basis of most of the popular music stations here in the states. Those lucky enough to tune into CFNY, and David’s show in particular, were treated to cutting edge music far superior to the glut of oft-repeated dreck prescribed by corporate-American fat cats who pretended to know what the public wanted to hear.

I accidentally stumbled across Mars Bar Theatre and, in so doing, struck up a “conversation” via email with the blog owner. He encouraged me to tune into David Marsden’s show, brought to the world via 94.9 The Rock, the Internet and streaming media, every [edit:] Saturday and Sunday night from 7 pm until midnight. I tuned in for the first time last April, and was instantly hooked.

“Eclectic” is a word I tend to overuse to describe the music on Marsden’s show, but I really can’t think of a better adjective. He selects music that is all over the place rather than from one specific genre, but is a joy to listen to because it all meshes so well. Some songs will sound vaguely familiar, some will have you slapping your forehead and exclaiming, “I can’t believe I’m hearing this! It reminds me of…” Or even, “Wow – I haven’t heard that since…!” The listening experience is a combination of a trip down memory lane and a lesson in creative broadcasting.

It’s my recommendation that everyone give David’s show a listen, visit Mars Bar Theatre to look over the playlists that Ralph, the blog owner carefully constructs based on the current night’s show, and even take a trip to David’s website, Marsden Global. Marsden is entertaining, irreverent, funny as heck and one of those unaffected celebrities that actually answers his email. Give him a shout – and you just may be lucky enough to get a “shout-out” back.

Finally, here is a video montage I made in honor of this great man. It’s the least I can do to show my appreciation for the joy he’s given me over the past few months.