A bit too much Randy Bachman

Richard “Friendly Rich” Marsella noted that CBC Radio’s Vinyl Tap with Randy Bachman features a lot of music by … Randy Bachman. If you’ve got your own radio show “to play [your] favourite songs and tell stories from [your] life on the road and in the studio“, you might want to be a bunch heavier on your influences than your own actual work. It doesn’t seem that way with Randy Bachman, though.

In the 49 unique editions of Vinyl Tap broadcast in the last year, 27 of them feature his own music and/or performances. So in addition to his CBC pay for the show, he’s getting royalties, too. Rich puts it a little better, if a lot more invective filled:

Bring back quality broadcasting from people behind the scenes who are hard-working and informed…not merely has-been rock stars with egos larger than Winnipeg.

Given that Mr. Bachman constantly plays his own music on this show, receives royalties for the theme song, and might also be receiving ACTRA payments for incessantly wanking on his guitar between songs, CBC should consider whether or not this is a conflict of interest, as a public broadcaster.

Richard’s started a petition: Let’s petition to remove Randy’s Vinyl Tap from the CBC: No more BTO on the CBC! I’ve signed it, and I hope you’ll consider signing it too.

I ran some stats on the show’s playlists (thanks, CBC!), and Richard sure has a point. Here’s a list of all the shows from the last year, showing just the first Bachman-item on the show:

Broadcast Song Performer Album/Concert Randy Bachman credit
2011/03/04 Takin’ Care Of Business Bachman-Turner Overdrive Best Of Bachman-Turner Overdrive Live Composer
2011/03/05
2011/03/12
2011/03/19
2011/03/26 When Friends Fall Out Guess Who American Woman Composer
2011/04/02
2011/04/09 Undun Kurt Elling Nightmoves Composer
2011/04/16
2011/04/23 We Gotta Change Playlist For The Planet Composer
2011/04/30 Repo Man Repo Man Composer
2011/05/07 I’m Happy Just To Dance With You Bachman Cummings Jukebox Guitar
2011/05/14 Who Do You Love Bachman Cummings Jukebox Guitar
2011/05/21
2011/05/29
2011/06/04 Laughing Guess Who: Anthology Composer
2011/06/11
2011/06/18
2011/06/25 Undun Kurt Elling Nightmoves Composer
2011/07/01 Raise A Little Hell Trooper Hot Shots Producer
2011/07/09 Takin Care Of Business Randy’s Vinyl Tap – Guitarology 101 Composer
2011/07/16 Blue Collar Bachman-Turner Overdrive Anthology Producer
2011/07/23
2011/07/30
2011/08/06
2011/08/13
2011/08/20
2011/09/10
2011/09/17
2011/09/24
2011/10/01 Closing Time Closing Time Composer
2011/10/08 Lenny’s Warmup And Improvisation Of Autumn Leaves Lenny Breau Cabin Fever Producer
2011/10/15 Suite Theam Composer, Performer
2011/10/22 No Time Guess Who American Woman Composer
2011/11/05
2011/11/12 Undun Kurt Elling Nightmoves Composer
2011/11/19 Shotgun Rider Bachman-Turner Overdrive Freeways Producer
2011/11/26 Blue Sky Day Lindsay Ell Consider This Composer
2011/12/03 Day Off Michael Carey Composer
2011/12/10
2011/12/17 Geh Zoag Ma Doch Die Ding Spider Murphy Gang Geh Zoag Ma Doch Die Ding Composer
2011/12/23 Takin’ Care Of Christmas Takin’ Care Of Christmas Composer
2011/12/30 You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet Bachman-Turner Overdrive Anthology Composer
2012/01/14
2012/01/21 Any Road Randy Bachman Any Road Composer
2012/01/28
2012/02/11 Walk Bachman Cummings Jukebox Guitar
2012/02/18 Who Do You Love Bachman Cummings Jukebox Guitar
2012/02/25
2012/03/03

Of course, when anyone mentions BTO, I can’t help but think of

… which is a whole heaping helping of morissettian irony unto itself. The whole Smashie and Nicey thing was supposedly a factor in Matthew Bannister’s decision to fire the ageing and irrelevant DJs from BBC Radio 1 in the 1990s. I wouldn’t dream of making any inference from that …

CBC Radio 1 Bandwidth: It’s a Banjolution!

CBC Bandwidth had a good show yesterday on the many banjo players and styles in Ontario. It features, amongst others: Jayme Stone, Jeff Menzies, Chris Coole, Chris Quinn, the Foggy Hogtown Boys, Andrea Simms-Karp, the Barmitzvah Brothers, Jenny Whiteley, Sheesham and Lotus, Feist and Elliott Brood.

If you missed it, I saved a copy of the stream here: http://scruss.com/music/banjodwidth-20080322.mp3 (25 MB).

There’s a faint click in some of the audio (I always seem to get it from CBC’s streams), but it’s not too noticeable.

recursive headline

This CBC headline baffles and delights me: Review of mailboxes leads to review of mailboxes

Following a safety review that led to the replacement of many end-of-driveway mailboxes, the P.E.I. Department of Transportation is setting its own guidelines for the safety of the new super mailboxes.

the reluctant rockstar of climate change

I was at Nicholas Stern‘s presentation to the Economic Club of Toronto today (as was Bob, David, Deb, Glenn, Paul, and about 490 others). He was very low-key; not sure if his dry sense of humour got the response he expected. The CBC covered it.

T’aint what you coup (it’s the way that you do it)

I know I shouldn’t, but every time I see the name of Fijian military coup leader Frank Bainimarama, the songs of this eighties girl group come to mind.

boo {gerund} hoo

[Rick Ciarnello, president of the Vancouver Hells Angels chapter] claims he has been treated rudely by his local supermarket staff, and he says many people are no longer friendly toward him, and instead fear him or avoid him altogether.

Hells Angel says he feels shunned.

providing cannon fodder for empire since 1867

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the toll of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan is the price Canada is paying for playing a leadership role in world affairs.

I reckon that if I took a random street poll anywhere (anywhere outside Canada, that is), no more than 3 out of 10 people would consider Canada as having a leadership role. I do not wish to make light of the soldiers’ plight; I just don’t want them there in my name.

(I was going to make a comment about the nearest thing to a role to most Canadians would be a Swiss Chalet 1/4 chicken dinner, but that doesn’t work in a written context, and barely works when spoken.)

CBC.ca = teh b0rken

The RSS subject says: Province says yes to four new power projects.

The page subject says: CBC Toronto – I may quit Liberals: Ontario MP.

But the article says: Freezing rain halts buses. Last Updated Feb 14 2005 08:32 AM EST.

Whhaaaaaaaaaaaaa??

An RSS generator for CBC Channels

This isn’t perfect (seems to fail on some feeds), but mostly works for me:


#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# cdf2rss - converts CBC KlipFarm CDF to crude RSS
# created by scruss on 02004/11/12
# RCS/CVS: $Id: cdf2rss,v 1.3 2004/11/13 03:59:21 scruss Exp $
# takes one argument, a stream name. Currently known streams are:
#
# Arts Business Calgary Canada
# Edmonton Montreal Ottawa
# Science Sports Toronto
# Vancouver Winnipeg World
#
# returns a crude RSS 1.0 stream fashioned from the CBC CDF output.
use strict;
use integer;
use XML::Simple;
use XML::RSS;
use LWP::Simple;
use constant CDFURL => 'http://www.cbc.ca/cdf/servlet/getCDF';
my $cdf = get( join( '?lineup=', CDFURL, $ENV{'QUERY_STRING'} ) );
my $xs = new XML::Simple;
my $ref = $xs->XMLin($cdf);
my $rss = new XML::RSS( version => '1.0' );
$rss->channel(
title => join( ' ', 'CBC', $ref->{category} ),
description => join( ' ', 'CBC', $ref->{category} ),
link => $ref->{href}
);
foreach my $cdf_item ( @{ $ref->{item} } ) {
my $tmp_abstract = $cdf_item->{abstract};
$tmp_abstract =~ s/\s+/ /g;
$tmp_abstract =~ s/^ //;
$tmp_abstract =~ s/ $//;
$rss->add_item(
title => $cdf_item->{title},
link => $cdf_item->{href},
description => $tmp_abstract
);
}
print "Content-type: application/xml+rss\n\n", $rss->as_string;
exit;

quirks, quarks, and oggs

With very little fanfare, CBC Radio’s award winning science program Quirks & Quarks is being provided in Ogg format. Q&Q host Bob McDonald first mentioned them at the beginning of 2003, and this was noticed on the Vorbis User and Discussion List back in November.

CBC is Canada’s national public broadcasting company. Let’s hope they have more success with Ogg than the BBC’s Ogg Streaming experiment.