Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 4 - Winnipeg

Alarm. Snooze. More Zzzz’s. The jet lag and variations on sleep and meals are wearing so thankfully our visit to CHVN/IGNITE 107 wasn’t until 11am.

We met Maria Enqvist - LIFE’s Music Director at our hotel and Kyle Rudge from IGNITE picked us up. He and I had only met over emails so the face to face meeting was fun. Kyle runs both stations - music, programming, announcers, website and a bunch of other things. He’s an amazing guy - totally ministry-driven.

The tour was great. Nice digs, good people. Dana, Brent, Rob, Adrienna. I spent time with Jeff Funk in sales and Station Manager Els Fenton, gleaning revenue information and ideas that can help LIFE back home.

After the tour, and with hunger pains rattling our tummies, we took a moment before lunch to visit Portage and Main - the “so called” windy-est streets in Canada. It was raining - and of course windy!

Great day in Winnipeg! Now, it’s home!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Day, Another Series of Radio Stations

The alarm went off at 7:30am. I rolled over and snoozed some more. At 8:30, Steve was shaking me! “We’re gonna be late for the Newcap radio tour.” No, I will not miss a tour of a radio station! Never!

We taxied to the West Edmonton Mall, home of Newcap Broadcasting, where they have four stations under one roof. And it’s a big roof! We toured CFCW - a country/farming station; Capital-FM - a hybrid-classic hits station and the rocker - K97. Additionally, there was another station not owned by Newcap but living in their suite - HOT 107.

I’ve seen a lot of radio stations and recently toured some very modern stations where millions of dollars were sunk into studios and asthetics but this operation was not only spacous and functional but it's showpiece of colour and character, unlike any other, anywhere.

There, on-air at Capital-FM were morning guys Rob Christie and Audie Lynds - a legendary duo in Edmonton. Rob was one of my radio heroes in the mid-80s. In fact, a friend of mine living in Edmonton regularly recorded Rob on the air at CHED and sent me cassette tapes of his show so I could hear a flamethrowing radio pro in action! But, the morning show at Capital was over and he was long gone!

At 10am, Steve Moore was on-air, whom I listened to in the 70's when I grew up in Toronto. It was a surprise to see him! He's now 59 years old, looking healthy and having fun. I was encouraged to see Steve in action and actually, that quick verbal exchange was the highlight of the western radio tour. Thanks to our Newcap radio escort - Dean Thorpe.

I should have left my wallet in the car. Guy’s clothes stores are a magnet for my wallet and Steve did nothing to save my Visa from being abused at Coliseum! Ha! After Coliseum, I saw "Ascension". Oh my goodness - that was the name of the band I drummed for a couple of years ago with Charles, Nancy, Pauli, Ted and Adam. Hiliarious! Ascension at the West Edmonton Mall!

Next up, a visit to Sonic and the Bounce and then SHINE-FM - the Christian station in Edmonton where many of our friends work. Sales Manager Topher Braithwaite showed us around and introduced us to one of the on-air guys Jon Ramer. SHINE is probably “the” Christian radio station in Canada - and my first visit to their Edmonton facility.

A good day of radio surveillance. Then before we knew it we were pulling off our belts and shoes in the Edmonton airport and boarding the plane for Winnipeg, where we are now, catching up on emails, Facebook and - writing blogs. (Photo L-R Topher, Jon, me and Steve.)

Tomorrow - CHVN and IGNITE 107 - both Christian stations, and a flight home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How The West Was Won - By Us!

Day two of “Scott and Steve’s Great Tour of the West”.

Our buddy Terry Van Veen from 96.3 SHINE-FM in Grande Prairie chaffeured us around town all day as we enjoyed the wonderful sulphur-free, wild-fire-free air! Haha!

After a quick stop in the hotel gym - and aren’t those hotel gyms well maintained? Ahem - Terry took us to ROCK 97 to visit with Kevin Decker. The station with the “best rock and killer classics” was awesome! It’s a great facility and I think we made a new radio friend with KevinSHINE-FM “is” Christian radio in Alberta - with stations in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. The GP operation has been on-air for three years. It’s well-designed and well-equipped.

After departing the Swan City (do they really call it that?) we took the 59-minute flight to Edmonton where we were greeted by Wakeup Starlight’s Caleb Cummings and Chris Noble.

LIFE 100.3 played the song “One Step Away”and the boys loaded us up with copies of their CD “The Breakdown”. Listen to LIFE for their new single "This Place Is Empty". Their cool guys and they really know a lot about the music business! Very refreshing!
(Me, Chris, Caleb and Steve.)


I’m not sure how rock stars manage a schedule like this - performing and flying from town to town everyday, sleeping in a different hotel every night. I’m tellin’ ya - it’s really exhausting!

Tomorrow, we conquer Edmonton radio with a stop at SHINE-FM.

West Coast Radio Tour - Day 1

Steve Jones and me are on our “rock star west coast rock and roll christian radio tour”. It’s a major tour of connecting flights, fast livin’ and hangin’ with Djs and other random people, touching down in Alberta to hang out in lovely land of oil sands - Fort McMurray, ramblin’ Grande Prairie, the City of Champions - Edmonton and the final stop in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

(photo - me, Program Director Jonathan Andrews and KAOS morning star Stuart McIntosh)

Last night we landed in Fort McMurray and hastily breathed in the fresh aroma of sulphur and burning forest fires.

KAOS radio president Rick Kirschner hosted a fabulous day for us so we could meet the KAOS crew, share a bit of LIFE with them, and unbeknownst to them - steal some of their ideas to bring home to LIFE. Rick kept us busy and fed us well. KAOS is doing some great community work in Fort Mac.

After a fast ride to the Fort Mac airport, we dropped in Edmonton long enough to scarf some S&V potato chips and then gassed up for a one hour trailblazing flight into Grande Prairie - where we are now.

The hotel pool was a nice touch, but now a rest so we are fresh and ready to visit my buddy Terry Van Veen at 96.3 SHINE-FM tomorrow.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm Now Specialized

The bike has arrived! It was a long wait for the order to come in but with the lousy biking weather this season, I don't think I missed out on good weather days.

The new bike is made by Specialized, an American company, whose bikes have been used by world class cycling teams in the Tour de France. Alberto Contador and Team Astana love Specialized. In my case, I'm riding the Roubaix style, which is designed for comfort over speed.
And this new frame is a bit smaller than my old Fuji bike. When I rode the demo, I tried the smaller frame and it felt better. Less of a reach. (Thanks to Morgan Lemen and the crew at Bikeland in Barrie for finding a good fit.)

What's the difference? Aside from the newness, it's smoother, quieter, and a pound or two lighter. I haven't weighed it but I'm guessing at 17 pounds.

My old bike - the Fuji Roubaix - is in good hands - my brother bought it from me so he has a better ride, too.

Thanks to the lousy weather I'm already far behind my mileage from last year and it's doubtful I can catch up. If I can reach 3,000 km this season I will be thrilled.

Anyone wanna ride with me?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Alice

As long as I’ve loved music, there are two mainstream artists whom I have seen in concert almost every year - Trooper and Alice Cooper.

Last night Alice Cooper played at Casino Rama. To say I’m a fan, would be an understatement. I started following him in 1975 at the time of “Welcome to my Nightmare” when the theatrics married rock and roll. It is that combination, (and intense marketing), that I find compelling about rock stars. Maybe more than the actual music.

Classic rock is part of me. I can’t shake my love for it. I’m even digging country music! Yikes!

Here’s last night’s setlist and some thoughts.

The Black Widow - introduced by Vincent Price. Set the tone.
Brutal Planet - tough, angry, industrial song and I never realized how Alice exposes the darkness of Satan’s control.
18 - when people talk about timeless lyrics, I think of this. “I’m in the middle without any plans, I’m a boy and I’m a man”.
Under My Wheels - fun.
Billion Dollar Babies - intro drum beats are amazing!
No More Mr. Nice Guy - my fave Cooper song. “I went to church incognito...”! Ha! When he wrote the song he wasn’t a Christian, which makes the line even more amusing now!
Is it My Body - with the snake. My wife was freaking out.
Halo of Flies - old song. I don’t get it.
I’ll Bite Your Face Off - new song from a new album that sounds more like the Stones than the Stones! Great guitar riffs. It's a keeper. Keef would be proud.
Muscle of Love - no comment
Only Women Bleed - always a pretty song filled with many unfortunate truths
Cold Ethyl - Great music, bad lyrics. I wish he did not sing this song anymore
Feed My Frankenstein - a 12-foot monster was chasing the band around - it was outrageous drama!
Clones - haha! Like Devo. Like new wave. Very un-Alice but fun.
Poison - written just after he became a Christian and it probably goes over the heads of the audience who think "poison" is cool.
Wicked Young Man - interesting what happens to someone who falls into the hands of Satan.
I Love The Dead - theatrical for sure, but I wish he didn’t sing this song.
School’s Out - it may be cliche after all these years, but in concert, it is a killer climax. You can’t sit down! It concludes with Alice flinging his top hat up to the drummer who catches it on his drum stick - and I have never seen him miss!
Elected - He paraded a Canadian flag, and changed the words a bit to be pro-Canadian without mispronouncing the names of our Canadian cities. Nice.
Fire - Jimi Hendrix song. The “character Alice” came off and his huge smile let everyone know, “it’s an act”.

Can’t wait til next year!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Love "Safe"

Last night, Friday May 13, To Tell played a show at Good Shepherd Community Church in Toronto.

To Tell have become one of "LIFE's artists", as have a number of other Canadian performers that we have a relationship with. I'm not sure when my loyalty started; if I'm a fan of To Tell because they write such catchy songs, or if it's because of the vision to be great that has made me more loyal. Maybe it doesn't matter. Just keep writing the hits!

During LIFE 100.3's Sharathon last March, To Tell's singer/songwriter, Zach Havens, visited LIFE to perform a couple of songs. It was a magical moment. Anytime an artist can transfer their studio recorded songs to just one instrument, in Zach's case, piano, it's a testament to their musical polish. I mean, when it's just you and one instrument without layers of production to buff it out, and it's live on the radio, you gotta be confident!

I've had many, many memorable, "special moments" at LIFE; sometimes behind the mic, sometimes behind the scenes or on location. When Zach played "Safe To Say" in the studio, it became "my favourite moment" at LIFE. It's the song, it's Zach, himself whom I've really connected with. Maybe because of our ages, he reminds me of my son.

During those three little minutes in the studio I envisioned To Tell's career taking off, and the "what if" possibility that maybe next year, I could be watching To Tell play that song on the Letterman show. Why not?

Reflecting on that "what if", and enjoying this intimate, stripped down performance of a song that I absolutely love, was .... a moment that I will cherish for many years. I don't think Zach knows that.

Ok, back to the purpose of this blog. From last night, here is a video I shot on my iPhone, capturing a portion of "Safe To Say".

Friday, May 13, 2011

Break Free!


Last night was a BLAST! Willow Creek Baptist Church - me, sitting behind the kit with HookT and Inferno. It all happened with 24 hours, thanks to a little social media action hooking up Tyler Knegt and me. Whew! First time I’ve played with a youth group and very cool playing worship songs with a bit of muscle!

Amped Up Setlist:

I Am Free - Newsboys
Break Free - Hillsong
All Because Of Jesus - Fee
Glory To God - Fee
I Exalt Thee - Jesus Culture
Saviour King - Hillsong

Tyler was leading worship - awesome song choices. Awesome vocals. Matt Visser and Tanner Mills on guitars, not sure who else was in the band but great job. (Tag yourself, please!) Felt good playing on an acoustic kit for a change. I’ve forgotten how solid the kick drum feels when it booms in the drum cage! Mmm! It just rattles your ribs!

Pre-show home-style bbq catering by Mr. Knegt! Message by Youth Pastor Will Walker - photo on right.

Great hooking up with y’all!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Background

I love this song - SO MUCH!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Movie Filter

Yes, I watch a lot of movies. And yes, I have a filter for my choices.

Many years ago I met Pastor Lawrence Crews. He was speaking at church about movies and how our culture makes “going to the movies” a big part of our lives. He was very concerned about the content in the movies we watch.

He said, “would you invite your pastor to see that movie”? And then he said, “bring that movie to church, we’ll show it on the screen and YOU can introduce it!”

It was time to give greater thought to the movies I watch.

I want to be a Christian all the time. “It’s a lifestyle” we tell people. But it seems like we hang up our Christian morals when it comes to watching movies. The Phillipians filter is a good one - “whatever is pure, whatever is right.” Using that as a filter will reduce your movie choices to, say about - zero!

I love movies! So I put a couple of filters in place for myself to weed out the junk that I don't want to see.

First I read the Plugged In Movie Review. The latest movies are posted with a breakdown of sexual content, violence, negative themes, the plot, the positive, etc. I don't always agree with the review, but at least I have their alert to consider.

Next I look at movie trailer. If the trailer makes me feel that guns dominate the movie, then I won’t see it. I don’t like revenge movies. They leave me with a feeling of emptiness, rather than fulfilled entertainment.

Then I will read what Wikipedia has to say.

Lastly, if Wes Farrell or Adam Sandler are in the movie I will NOT watch it. Those guys are usually rude and play roles that are “stupid.”

I’ll confess that I do watch movies with some junk. One of my favourite movies is “Rock Star” with Mark Wahlberg but I wish there was a cleaner version.

So, those are my filters. I wonder if Pastor Lawrence would approve? What are your’s?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Day Of Rest (in the saddle)

Too tired to write a blog. Here's a vid.


video