The Tyrtles Have Landed

You'll remember Sage Tyrtle from the opening of Description 60, the episode about Canadian citizenship. I'd said the driving force of the brilliant QN Podcast was in the process of applying, with her husband and son, for Permanent Resident/Landed Immigrant status in Canada, having come, like I did, from the U.S.

Well, they made it. They were accepted not long ago. Yaaayyy!

Thing is, when most people apply for this status, they're usually not living in Canada at the time. When I applied, still living "in exile" in Ohio, it was emphasized quite strongly that you needed to go through this outside the country. But the Tyrtles have been living in Toronto for the past few years, with Todd working for a large company which was able to send him here. Very fortunately, that company wanted him and his family to stay here, so they had their own immigration lawyer work on the case for them (I had my Radio York friend Dani Zaretsky for my case, so we all have our legal angels...except for the people who don't). After the usual hoop-jumping and allowance for the times and tides of bureaucracy, they were successful.

However, as landed immigrants, they still had to "land": arrive in Canada from their original country. For me, in 1994, this meant packing up the AMC Eagle (built in Canada, so no import trouble), going to a TPOH concert in Detroit (okay, that wasn't part of the deal, but the timing worked out for a goodbye get-together), then driving up the gut of Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie on my way to my new radio job in Dryden. I had my landed immigrant document, a detailed inventory of what I had in the car, a document that said the car was built in Canada, the job offer letter from CKDR, and I think some receipt from my Canadian bank at the time to prove I had money there (when approved in my interview at the Buffalo Consulate, I was asked to have enough money to live for a couple months before getting myself on my feet, basically). I thought when I crossed over from Michigan to Ontario, people were going to inspect the car against my list and make we wait for hours. But that never happened. They didn't even look at my bank stuff. They just looked over the landed immigrant document and job offer, glanced around the car, had me fill out a one-page form about what I was bringing in, stamped a couple things and sent me on my way. It was only dramatic in its complete lack of drama.

Of course, if you know anything about Sage and her work, it could not possibly have gone that way for the Tyrtles. :-)

Going through a process which has changed over more than a decade, they had to leave Canada and come back to officially land, which they did a few days ago. She tells the story of that trip in today's episode of the QN Podcast, and you would do well to listen to it.

Welcome to Canada, immigrants, and remember if the line was really so imaginary, we would never have thought to cross it in the first place.


Description 66 - Everywhere, part 2

The Citytv odyssey continues, as I go from the kindness of a great music video director to the kindness of a former provincial policeman. Features a mashup of two Canadian music pioneers, being on live television and a million-dollar truck.

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Associated links
Again, 299 Queen Street West @Wikipedia
Toronto Rocks with Brad Giffen (you don't have to stay around for the Monkees fans...)
Joel Goldberg Productions
Video for "Let Your Backbone Slide"
Breakfast Television
eTalk on CTV
Again, CityNews
"Remember Bravo?"
Again, CP24
CP24 now in the former venue of Live at the Rehearsal Hall
Ann Rohmer CP24 bio and @Wikipedia
Frog the Dawg @Mashupciti
"The Hockey Song" by Stompin' Tom Connors Actually, you have to watch this, or you're not allowed to listen to this show anymore. :-)
Cam Woolley CP24 bio
Cam talks to the National Post
A Tribute to Colin Vaughan
Adam Vaughan of Toronto City Council
Amber Mac!
Paedric O'Sullivan
Bob Cook's public LinkedIn profile
Citytv moving to Dundas Square

So here's a killer: in talking to these other CHUM/CITY people from Cleveland, I totally missed the biggest one - the guy I started these episodes with, Mark Dailey, aka "The Voice" of Citytv. He's actually from Youngstown, about an hour south of Kingsville. I've been nearby the guy at odd things, and Bob knows him well, but I've never talked to him. Too intimidated. Besides...I'm a citizen now! I don't need any more advice from people who've moved up here! Pffft! :-)

The guy on the CP24 set making me say my name was Bob Summers, amiable CHUM traffic reporter guy who of course is now doing the same with CP24 - almost exactly the same, since the legendary oldies station CHUM1050 has been made into an audio simulcast of CP24. Yes, this is about as depressing as Citytv running back-to-back episodes of "According to Jim" in prime time.

A couple months ago, I stumbled past CTV Newsnet (CTV's 24-hour news channel), and this strangely familiar guy was presenting the news. The hair was shorter and completely white, but the voice was the same: it was Brad Giffen. It turns out in the years after Toronto Rocks, he followed a similar path to JD Roberts, into American tv news, and that path has brought him back up here. I must say, when I cross paths with him on tv, I stick around for a while. There's something kind of comforting about listening to him. And the hair.

You can find all of Joel Goldberg's music videos in this section of his company's website, but for convenience sake, here's another one, via YouTube:

He won a Juno for directing Maestro Fresh Wes' "Drop the Needle":

That video I especially loved because they sampled this:


Description 65 - Everywhere, part 1

Go with the flow as I do a soundseeing tour of my television screen, then approach a big old building where cameras, ideas and egos ran free. Includes exclusive music from Memory Bank, an impending bathroom break at Second Cup and people pressed against the glass.

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Associated links
Citytv @Wikipedia
"Vintage" Video of The New Music @Muchmusic
"Lament for The NewMusic" @CBC
Citytv @Museum of Broadcast Communications
Moses Znaimer official site (Flash-heavy)
Opening of TVTV: The Television Revolution
Moses Znaimer and TVTV @Media-Studies.ca
City Pulse Tonight intros: from 1985, from 1988, from 1990, from 1996 and from 2003
CHUM Limited timeline @Canadian Communications Foundation
"Whatever happened to Muchmusic?" @EYE Weekly
Scrolling Eye talks to Christopher Ward about City Limits and the birth of Much
When things started to turn (Globe & Mail via Friends of Canadian Broadcasting)
Zoomer Magazine
Citytv Official Site
CityNews (what was City Pulse)
Memory Bank @myspace
299 Queen Street West @Wikipedia
Speakers Corner @Ryerson Review of Journalism
A 2006 episode of Speakers Corner
Intro to Electric Circus
CP24/CHUM Christmas Wish

I have to say that in researching this show, I discovered there's a pathetic amount of Citytv/CHUM stuff out there on the ol' internet. For all the content that has been created, it was incredibly hard to find what little I did find. Maybe back then we thought of everything as being so of the moment, we didn't consider saving it for the future, like the whole vibe of the thing would always be there.

Yeah, that's what we used to say about the Oilers. :-)

So if you have some old tapes knocking around of stuff you recorded off City or Much or who-knows-what back in tha day, no matter how lame it may seem, think about converting it and putting it up somewhere. I know I will. It doesn't seem very likely that the parents in this divorce are going to do it for us.

Yes, JD Roberts of The New Music and City Pulse and any other number of things (because City people multi-tasked) is now John Roberts: previously Dan Rather's anchorman heir at CBS News and now the American Morning guy at CNN. And yes, Jeanne Beker remains the face, heart, legs and spleen of Fashion Television; which started the revolution of runway shows, supermodels and superstar designers on television - and is now a multimedia force unto itself (though it is worth noting she was the editorial director of @fashion, the first major fashion website EVER, in 1995). They are only two of the many, many Citytv people in front of the camera who took their work ethic and lessons learned into the rest of broadcasting and beyond.

But I haven't talked enough about the many more people not in front of the camera with the same elements of creativity and intelligence which made Citytv and its spinoffs what they were. More on a couple of those people is coming in the next episode in a few days. Just one example, though, is the late John Martin, who came up with the idea for The New Music and drove it for most of its (and the rest of his) life. For a great in-depth look at this work, check out this 1997 article about him from the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

He also applied his sensibilities to Muchmusic, about which he was quoted as saying, "My gig was to sort of mould the anarchy. It was a bunch of absolutely crazy people reinventing their lives every day. It was fun."

It sounds a little like what social media (including podcasting) has been going through. Mark well the achievements and issues of the past as they come back around.